Monday, January 4, 2010

Tot School (Week 2 and 3: Dec. 20th-Jan.2nd)

Alyssa is currently 25 months old.

All activities are done under VERY CLOSE supervision due to small items. 
Please do not use photos of my child on any website, blog, etc. Thank you!

I have to apologize for NOT posting anything last week.  I REALLY wanted to, however our week was mostly spent with relatives and friends during the holidays.  This will be a combined post for the last two weeks of tot school.  It is in no particular order with some organized and some not so organized activities.  This is only my second posting to Tot School, but I am glad that I joined.  Now, I just wish I could learn how to link it up correctly without having to do it twice.  

Alyssa learned what the word "pose" meant.  She posed for a few Christmas shots (just for fun).  Don't ya just love the sheet used as a backdrop!!  The props were bought at Hobby Lobby last year during an after Christmas sale.

She enjoyed wrapping gifts with me ... she loved using the tape.  She opened her gifts on Christmas Eve again this year since daddy worked at the fire station on Christmas Day (Santa came early because she was so so good that year).  I can't wait until next year, because he doesn't have to work.  She was very NEAT when opening gifts.  Every single piece of paper had to be thrown away at each tear.  It was a LONG Christmas Day.  She also want to peel off the adhesive gift tags we put on last week.  She sorted the bows from the torn paper as she opened each gift.  Of course that was the perfect opportunity for us to review colors.

She attempted to roller skate in the living room.

She played with the oversized xylophones in Wimberley, Texas at the Trail of Lights.  I begged my hubby to make them for the yard.  I even LOVED playing with them.

Alyssa did get some exercise on the mini trampoline I bought her for Christmas at Ross.  WOW - wish I had bought one sooner!!!  She was so tired that night after jumping all day.

Alyssa and her daddy played with her name train.  They reviewed colors, letters, and how to spell her name.  I bought it at Gruene Market in New Braunfels, Texas.  If interested in purchasing this item ... I can find the business card.  They do ship items.  They also have ducks available for the caboose and engine.  They do not yet have a website, but I think you can call and place an order.

She got a harmonica in her Christmas stocking.  I bought it at Target.  She was actually trying to play notes (this one teaches by color).  She would look at the book, tell me the color, find it on the harmonica, trace her finger down to that hole, and blow.  AWESOME!  This is so exciting!  She tried to play a slide, but at first ended up just making her own sounds imitating what I had done.

She played with her Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks.  I asked her to make a square using two triangles and a rectangle using two squares.  She did without thinking.  Sorry no picture of this activity (it was one of those teachable moments and no camera was around).

Our guests wrote words on her magic writer, drew shapes, letters, and numbers for her to identify.  Oh I almost forgot ... I wrote a number on her magic writer and she would identify it and stamp out that number of items.  The magic writer came with three stamps.  We also created an "AB" pattern with leaves and caterpillars.  So fun!  I wish I knew where I could find more stamps like this.  She decided she wanted to trace her toes and fingers on it.  Then, she counted her toes.

Alyssa played with her number pegboard from Lakeshore Learning|searchResults~~p|TT625~~.jsp.  First, she counted the holes.  Then, she counted each peg as she pushed it through the hole.  Once the pegs were all in the board, she would count them again (touching the top of each one).  She put the boards in numerical order and started counting them to predict the next number.  I set out three or four boards at a time and she would search for the correct number board.  She stopped after number eight was completed.  She also decided to build a TALL tower with the pegs.  In the process of building, she wanted to put pegs on her fingers.  Alyssa showed me her "nails" and told me what color they were (review).

She also played a preschool game called Lucky Ducks.  We changed the directions a bit for now since she is still so young (independent play).  She would choose a duck and line it up behind the shape that matched its bottom side.  We used the game as a review for shape names and colors since she already knows them.  She really didn't like the noise from the game so she kept turning it off.  She said it was too loud.

We also bought her a Melissa and Doug bead set at Ross for $9.99.  At first, I wanted the set for fine motor skills.  But, we did several other learning activities with this set.  She sorted the beads by color onto the strings provided - too bad it did not come with a string for each color of bead.  She laced the beads on a string in alphabetical order while singing the alphabet song with letter sounds.  We matched upper case to upper case letters.  We also counted how many of each letter or shaped beads were on the table.  She started to sort the letters in piles on the table, but got bored with that activity.  She laced the letters of her name in the correct order and I sang a name cheer for her afterwards.  We decided to play a matching game with all of the shape beads.  Alyssa knows many sight words, so we reviewed a few.  I showed her a sight word card, she would say the word and then spell it with the beads.  Last of all, she would find the sight word in a book.  We used pinto beans to cover the word up because the words were too small for transparent Bingo chips or for wooden stars I bought.

Lately Alyssa has been singing her version of several songs including "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Holy Night," "Rock a Bye Baby," and "Row Row Row Your Boat."  LOVE IT!  Oh ... and she likes to sing a song she made up called "Mommy Loves Daddy."  I could not get the girl to put her shirt on!!!  She was in such a hurry to go play her Barbie guitar.  I included another pic from Christmas Eve of her playing a guitar that was in her stocking.  She was wearing her father's hat from Cabela's.

She built a tower with her lego blocks after singing.  We have done patterning with these blocks in the past.  The three pictures under the first one are from activities that we did a couple months ago.  I had a picture of her pointing to and stating each color in the pattern, but she didn't have a shirt on so I removed it. We also discussed short and tall towers, sorted her blocks by the number of bumps, and sorted them by colors.

Alyssa played "music" on her piano (Christmas present from her Nana Lois and Papa Kenny).  It was bought online through Amazon with FREE shipping.  She even dressed up for the occasion.

We of course read MANY books including a cute book titled, Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson, My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell ... and The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer.  We also read several versions of The Christmas Story.  She played with her Tales of Glory Nativity Set after we read the last story aloud.  I bought the 17 piece set at Ross for $9.99.  It can be bought at this website, but it'll cost you more.  The baby Jesus was a big hit with her.  She kept stopping to pray saying, "Thank you Jesus.  Amen"    

Alyssa used the Healthmaster to make a green smoothie for lunch.  As you can see she added the ingredients, sampled a few, and turned off the machine (under close supervision of course).  We washed the fruits and veggies together while discussing the characteristics of each one.

Alyssa loves the first spelling puzzle in the picture below.  It was made by a company called The Learning Journey.  Here's the website for the actual company  The Match It Spelling puzzle costs $11.99 through them.  Both puzzles were bought at Ross for a lot less ($4.99-6.99).  The first one is a sturdier puzzle.  I bought the first puzzle almost a year ago.  I introduced Alyssa to two puzzle sets at a time (increasing the number of puzzle sets).  She was able to do the entire box of 26-30 puzzles in one sitting at an early age.  I am now introducing the newer puzzle the same way because I don't want to overwhelm or frustrate her.

The snowman number game can be found at  My daughter did not want to play the game.  She decided she was going to sort the game cards by number.  She counted the circles on the cards and identified the number.  She also wanted to count the circles under the snowman.

She enjoyed playing with her kitchen set from her grandparents.  I REALLY wanted her to have this one because of all the colors and items included in the set.  It was bought at Ross.  I think the price was $9.99 or $11.99.  I can't remember.  First, she did some one-to-one correspondence work (in addition to matching colors).  Then, she sorted everything by color.  She even had a tea party with several of her dolls.

Alyssa played with her Design and Drill Activity Set.  She enjoys watching her daddy use a drill around the house so we bought one for her.  It also comes with pattern design cards for her to look at and match, but I decided to wait until after she explored the drill, bits, and screws.  This gift was a big hit with her!  She would even check to make sure the screws were NOT loose.  If any were she would tighten them.  I am planning on using the screws for reviewing colors, patterning, counting, and other mathematical concepts.  This toy came with three bits, two other tools, the drill, screws, and cards.  I bought it online through Amazon.

I finally made Alyssa a set of silver bells using Hershey Kisses as seen at (Silver Bell Game).  I LOVE THIS WEBSITE!!!  Check out her grid games too.  Alyssa and I used them for other activities as well.  She matched upper case to lower case letters, sorted upper case and lower case letters into two piles, and she placed the kisses in alphabetical order afterwards.  We will also use these to spell sight words, number words, color words, shape words, her name, and CVC words.  She could even sort by the color of the dots at the bottom.  

Alyssa checked on her sleeping baby and sang her a lullaby.

We started our gingerbread unit ... I know it is LATE and after the holidays, but I already had activities planned.  We just ran out of time.  I read her the story seen below and we made a gingerbread snack (recipe found in the gingerbread theme at  I always use activities from her website with my daughter and it is FREE.  She did each step all on her own as I read the directions aloud.  We will be reading several versions of this story this week and probably next week since we did not finish all the activities this week.

We also made gingerbread pancakes in the shape of the gingerbread man for breakfast one day.  I'll have to look up where I found the recipe before I can post it if anyone is interested.  After she cut out the shape she said, "Mommy ... look, look gingerbread man."  Then, she would not eat him.  She ate the leftover pieces as she told the gingerbread man to run (he ran around her plate).  Surprisingly, Alyssa REALLY LOVED the taste of gingerbread (just like her daddy).

Alyssa played with a gingerbread man magnetic puzzle.  The PDF was on a Complete Collection CD I bought from  I laminated it and put magnetic tape on the back.  Alyssa also wanted to put the marker lids on her fingers.  She has been doing this a lot lately.  She did tell me the color of each lid.

She loved playing with her gingerbread man shape file folder game from the same CD as mentioned above.  Here's the website again  I thought that it was going to be a little too advanced, but it was not.  She identified the shapes and counted them no problem.  She did decide to move her tray closer to mama.  After Alyssa finished the matching game, she clapped for herself and insisted that mommy clap for her too.  

Alyssa completed a gingerbread number assessment also found on the Complete Collection CD from  I forgot to put in the number tile for 10.  I usually put the tiles in a container and I have her draw one out and match it to the sheet.  This time I just set them ALL out for her since I was busy cleaning up the kitchen.  She was a little upset that the number 10 was missing.

She decided she wanted to play with her Magneatos which were bought online through  She discovered that some ends repel away from each other while other ends attract toward each other.

Alyssa sorted the poker chips by color.  These were bought in Target's dollar area for $1 each (35 per package).  She found the muffin tin in the cabinet.  The pattern created below was done by her.  I am not sure if it was a fluke or not, but I heard her saying the colors "green, yellow, green, yellow" as I washed dishes.  I stopped to check out what she was doing and then grabbed my camera.  It took me longer than usual to finish the dishes that day.

She played with orange Playdoh, a rolling pin, and alphabet stamps.  The upper case dough stamps were bought at Lakeshore Learning|searchResults~~p|2534374302098783~~.jsp.  She stamped an "A" for Alyssa and told me that apple started with the letter "A".

Well, that's all folks!  I know that we did a lot more, but I figured this post was LONG enough already.  I hope to post more next week.  For more GREAT tot school ideas see the posts submitted on Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog.


  1. Oh my gosh girl, I could write a whole ESSAY about your awesome week!! Can I wish that we lived near each other so that Maddie could play with some of those awesome new toys Alyssa got?! Every picture, I thought, "Ohhh, I love that!" or "Wow, how cool!" Prekinders IS such a great site; I love those "bells" you made her. Maddie would love that. And the peg board... So fun. Maddie plays with hers almost everyday.

    Alyssa is such a doll and you can just tell that she is such a happy little girl. You come up with so many fabulous activities, too.

    Oh, and the Christmas shots are TOO cute!!

  2. Wow you did more in those 2 weeks than I do in a month! So many great ideas in your post!

  3. What a great week you guys had. She is such a sweet, sassy and SMART young one!