Friday, November 5, 2010

Tot School (Coloring, Bead Play, Music Fun)

**J is 29 months old**
Tot School

I love doing Tot School with J! We are very laid back and so far I don't really plan anything. I keep a lot of things visible to J and let him lead when it's time to do some focused learning-play. We had a fun week!

I leave a few coloring books out for J all the time on the couch which serves as a little table. He absolutely LOVES to color! Often, he'll ask me to join in. He'll pick out the page and my crayon colors and we'll color together. This was a coloring book from the movie Ice Age. It had the words "Ice Age" and "Jumbo" at the top of the page in big letters. I hear J say "E for Elephant" and "J for J...(his name)" while he colored them. It gave me the idea to write out his name for him. Then I found blank cards and wrote out his name in letters. I hope to teach him to put the letters in the order his name goes. That will come with a lot of time and practice.

This is a Bible stories jigsaw book that we got when J was born. He's finally starting to use it. Underneath the puzzle pieces are the pictures, so he's learning to place the pieces by looking at at the picture on the puzzle piece and matching it on the book page. He always likes my help so we have fun doing them together. I don't think we've sat through one whole puzzle yet, but we get sidetracked and start talking about the animals, the story, things like that.

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Feeding and watching the birds has been an ongoing thing for us. I have about 4 or 5 feeders outside the window and I've been saying the birds names whenever we watch. At first, he was mixing up the names like saying "There's a cardinal" when it was a blue jay, but now he's getting them right. So far he knows blue jay, chickadee and sparrow.

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I've been letting J sleep in a bit lately. I'm surprised by how late he goes! I keep the monitor on so I can hear him. Today the first thing I heard on the monitor was him singing 10 monkeys on the bed. Mother called the dr and the dr said...No more jumping on the bed! So sweet!! So I came into his room to greet him and started singing the 10 monkeys on the bed song, and he corrected me. He said, "I wasn't singing monkeys, I was singing elephants!" So I sang the 10 little elephants jumping on the bed...etc. Then he started asking, "can teddie bear jump on the bed while picking up his teddie bear and I'd sing "no more teddy bear jumping on the bed". then he asked, Can polar bear jump on the bed?" And I said, "No more polar bear jumping on the bed!"
He kept going inserting anything he could think of with my help like blankie, slippers, mommy, etc.

J wanted to wear a birthday hat today. He kept saying "I'm wearing my birthday hat, mommy!" After that, he started watching his shadow. He was pretty creative saying, "I'm a shark mommy!" Sure enough, when I looked at his shadow while he was wearing the birthday hat, it looked like a sharks fin on his head. I tried to get a decent picture of it too.

I was doing my shopping list getting ready to get groceries and J came over and wanted to color on it. I took my page from the top and handed him the pad. I thought he'd just color but as he was writing on it, he starts saying a list of food. He was "writing" raisins, bread, pizza, apple juice, beads, jelly. He had been asking me all morning to play with the beads I bought, but I didn't get them out until later. I notice that was on his grocery list!

I sorted through a lot of my paperwork and found our Parent Pages from church Sunday school. I started singing the songs they put on there; each one has a real easy tune. I sang "God is with us" to the tune of Farmer in the Dell. He especially liked this one; marched & said I'm marching with you mommy! then pretended to be the one falling but I inserted his name for David's then. Tried singing a couple others but he wanted to keep going back to the song about David and Goliath so he could act it out.

We did some playing with beads. These were colorful hair beads I got at Walgreens for $1 and I got them mainly because the holes are nice and large. I also bought pipe cleaners and showed J how to put the beads onto the pipe cleaner after I bunched up the end so they wouldn't fall off. He liked this, but he didn't get the idea of how to hold the pipe cleaner so they wouldn't fall off.

When we were done with the beads, I got a container. I've been collecting these plastic apple juice jars because they're so cute and using them for storing our little craft pieces. I let him put them in the jar and he just loved it. He would put them all in then dump them out so he could start all over again. He did that several times and would say, "I'm going to dump them now, mommy!"

I had another idea of what to do with the beads when J followed me into the bathroom with his jar. I filled up the sink with water and had him drop the beads in. I also gave him some pumpkins and acorns to throw in. Then I got him a spoon and let him mix them up. Unfortunately, we started this right before his nap time so I had to cut the activity short. He could've gone on for hours! For some reason, he enjoyed taking out the pumpkins and lining them up on the side of the sink. As you can see from the pictures, I don't know what was more fun for him; stirring and mixing them in the sink or watching himself in the mirror! I can definitely see us doing this again and again.

J was really into playing with a case of apple juice bottles. We had them in a cardboard box and he first took them out and put as many as he could in my diaper bag. Then one by one he put them back in the box. Then he decided to line them up on his feeding chair. He did this a few times on different days of the week.

Handy Manny Firehouse Tools
Richard Scarry (little firehouse book)
Halloween in Anophia (Thomas the Train)
Early Bird on Sesame Street
The Pumpkin Patch Parable

Fireman Sam, Hero Next Door
Handy Manny, Manny's Green Team

We listened to some neat kids tunes on You Tube. He really loved "3 fishies" and wanted to listen to it over and over, especially the part with the shark. We also listened to twinkle little star and he knew the words well enough to sing with me. 3 little fishies link

When we were riding around in the car, it was mostly Where is Thumbkin? he wanted to listen to over and over. L took him to the library and said he was singing a few of the songs having them memorized. One time when he was napping and I was listening on the monitor, I heard him singing songs on his own. It's so great to hear him sing now that he has some songs memorized!

Life Fun

I figure J is finally old enough to enjoy his first sucker. He was super excited and kept saying how it was his favorite and it tasted so good. He came up to me a few times and asked me if I wanted a taste, so of course I did!

One afternoon, J overturned a bin and was standing on it playing a bit of peek-a-boo over the chair. It was cute when I would see his little head peeking over. He'd squeal with delight as I noticed him there.

Click to visit other blogs at the Weekly Wrap Up, another place I link up.

For more fun with Tot School ideas, visit 1+1+1=1


Tristan said...

Looks like a fun week with your tot! I love the alphabet floor mats, have you tried putting them in a large rectangle track like a game board? My kids thought that was fun when we did it last.

Tracey M. said...

Tristan, thanks for your visit! So we haven't done anything with a game board - could you share more details? It does sound fun.

Samantha said...

Your little one is adorable. I think you have the right idea by not over-planning and just keeping a routine and going along with the eductional activities that interest your child. I miss those days (mine are 13, 12, and 9) but there is great joy to be found in teens!

When my oldest (who is now a competitive swimmer) was little, her favorite activity was to fill up the sink with warm, soapy water and wash her dolls, toys, etc. She would do that FOREVER!

My middle son's favorite activity was play-doh and now he avidly makes Sculpey clay creations which are quite artistic.

Have a great week ahead with your little one!


Julia said...

Oh, I love the pictures in the bathroom... he is so cute!! It looks like you all had another really fun week :)

Giggly Girls said...

He sure is having fun in the sink. Too cute!!

kewkew said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your son is the same age as my Amelia. She actually is able to put regular pony beads on pipe cleaners and those don't fall off. She enjoys putting the pipe cleaners or toothpicks into a cheese shaker jar too.
Love the spur of the moment sink play.
Thanks for sharing the song. I think we'll do it tonight at Bible time.
Cute comment about the shark too. It's amazing how observant they can be.

kewkew said...

We did sing this song. We really liked it. Thanks again

Tracey M. said...

"kewkew" - So glad to hear that! I love that you sang it and enjoyed it with your family.

The Iowa Farmer's Wife said...

Looks like he had TONS of fun with the sink activity! Too cute! And what a great song and actions to go along with it!

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