Friday, December 30, 2011

Tot School: Fall 4 and Gourd Cyclops

Tot School

Month: November
Theme: Fall
Dates: 11/27 to 12/2

The Lessons

I've been scouring the Internet looking for free educational games Bobo can play on the computer. We love using the Early Literacy computers in the Children's Department at the Main Library. I wanted something similar to play at home. I don't know why I didn't think about borrowing a CD-ROM before, except I thought it would be tricky to get onto my computer. I overcame my fear and borrowed A to Zoo a Sesame Street game. It was so easy to get on my computer. Bobo worked on letters, colors and rhyming. He played it everyday.

The Activities

Bobo still loves stamping, so I found an activity to enable him to paint his body and stamp. Perfect activity! He made a Fall tree, so we used orange, yellow and red stamp pads. We had to mix paint to make a brownish color for the trunk, since I didn't have brown paint. I helped him paint his arm and hand to form the trunk. Then, he stamped leaves on the paper.

The Fall Sensory Box still isn't as big of a hit as the Halloween box, but Bobo did have fun with it. He counted, worked on fine motor skills by using the tongs and identified letters to put on the board.

One of Bobo's favorite activities is still playing with Pay-Doh, yes, the store-bought kind. He received a huge package of it last year for Christmas. We have all wood flooring, so I don't sweat using it all over the house. Since we have so much of it, I'm not worried about losing some or it drying out. However, I've been wanting to experiment with the scented dough. The blogs I follow have said the texture is different when you make it yourself. So, we made Pumpkin Play Dough.

This is also a great alternative to making cookies, which works on the same skills (measuring, counting and stirring). After we were done smooshing and mashing, we used it to identify the numbers 1 to 5. Then, we put them in order. We put the correct number of "candies" on each "cookie". Bobo used his play dough scissors to cut the dough. This is the first time I've seen him hold his scissors correctly without prompting. YAY!

I used some Fall printables to work on matching and sorting. Again, there is so much lag between printing, doing and posting that I don't remember where the materials came from but check out the blogs I follow to find similar items, if not the same materials. Bobo used the Fall shadow matching prints, Fall word match and Apples/Leaves sorting.

Field Trip
Ok, so we just went to the library. We attended the weekly Play Date and had lots of fun learning and playing with other children. We played with the Dinosaur Sensory Bin. I used "floam" for the water and earth part of the box. Then placed small dinosaurs and trees. Some of the other children came over to see what we were doing. We all worked on counting, colors and vocabulary.

Bobo dressed up like a cowboy using a hat from the dress-up play box. He fingerpainted the Christmas countdown sheet. With all the activities set up, can you guess what the children decided to do?

Chase the baby! Bobo had a wonderful time chasing the baby around the toy squares. I will count this as a Large Motor activity.

The boys also turned the puppet theater into an ice cream shop. They pretended the pieces from the sensory puzzle were cups of ice cream.

We've been doing a lot with beads lately. I discovered he liked to lace beads onto a shoe string to make a rope. I've been having him bead chenille sticks to make candy canes and he's getting pretty good at it.

The Books
Over the River and Through the Wood by L. Maria Child
Thanksgiving: Stories and Poems Edited by Caroline Bauer

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tot School: Fall 3 and an AWESOME Turkey Craft

Month: November
Theme: Fall
Dates: 11/20 to 11/26

The Lessons

We finished up a few Fall activities from last week. We only had a few trays left and were planning on being away for the holidays, so I didn't make any new ones. I did "make" a new weekly board. I had a photo board I don't use and put it on our desk in our room. I can easily switch letters, numbers and words. This week Bobo learned the Letter "T", Number "5" and some Thanksgiving words. I also made a travel pack to take with us for the long car ride. We visited the IUK Center for Early Childhood Education. I think we were there for about four hours. I packed some worksheets to work on there as well. I don't think I'll do that again, though because there is so much to do there already.

The Activities

Bobo worked on sorting Food and people. When he understands an activity and wants to make it more interesting, he'll take on the role of "teacher." This was such an activity. "Mama, the people goes here. Listen to your teacher."

One of the activites I brought to IUK was the Do-a-Dot worksheet for the letter T. We do not yet own any dotters, so we used the ones at the center.

I used a Color By Word sheet into a Color By Letter worksheet for Bobo. He liked this activity and was able to identify all the letters and the number 5. It seems like he only gets confused when 5 and 2 are both options.

In the car, Bobo worked on drawing lines. He did great, especially with the turbulence. We tried a same and different worksheet, but he just didn't get it. I think we'll revisit that in a few months. In our Early Literacy Kit this month, we have a magnetic fishing game. I believe it is a Melissa & Doug product. It has about 20 sea creatures with a sturdy, small fishing pole perfect for little hands. Bobo worked on his fine motor skills by catching the fish and vocabulary by naming the catches. He worked on a dolphin puzzle. It is the type where all the pieces come out, so it was a first for him. He put it together with greater dexterity and reasoning each time. Finally, he matched flannel pumpkins with lots of enthusiasm and skill.

The Art

I read Setting the Turkeys Free by W. Nikola-Lisa to my storytime class this week. I loved the illustrations and let the children make their own turkey handprints with glitter, sequins and feathers for embellishment. I didn't want Bobo to miss out on the fun, so we made some at home, too. He is getting more comfortable with paint and likes to paint his body. He had no problem painting his hand for the print.

He added glitter.

After he was done making the turkey, Bobo made lots of handprints on a scrap piece of paper. Then, he painted circles.

Finally, he asked to paint the gourds and pumpkins we received at the Punkin' Chunkin' at Ivy Tech. They were giving them out at the hay maze. This was the first step of a long process that ended with some crazy looking Fall foliage.

And a final look at the turkeys. Please check out the book from the library for more inspiration.