Monday, February 15, 2010

Tot School (Week 9: Feb. 8th-Feb.14th)

Alyssa is 26 1/2 months old

All activities are done under VERY CLOSE supervision (small items). 
Please do not use photos of my child on any website, blog, etc.  Enjoy your visit and please come back again soon

Hi everyone!  I am glad that you came to visit my blog.  Well, this has been a CRAZY week for us.  We didn't get too much done since my computer was not working properly again and my  CF card was full.  I had to delete several photos just so that I could snap a few shots of each activity.  I think I forgot a few activities.?!.  Anyways, I guess I was wrong the guy at Best Buy did not fix my computer last week.  So ... I had to take it to an Apple store in SA twice and have a genius look at it.  The first time we went into town they told us we needed a reservation.  It is hopefully working properly now.    
Valentine's Day Theme
Conversation Heart Sorting Baskets
Alyssa sorted conversation hearts by color into the colored baskets.  I found the cute baskets at HEB (grocery store) in the Valentine's section.    

Conversation Heart Sorting Mat
This was the same type of activity just sorting by color on a sorting mat.  The mat was found at Prekinders.  Next week we will probably use this for a counting activity as seen at Prekinders.  

Numerical Order
Alyssa placed the Playdoh stampers in numerical order for a math activity we were about to do.  The number stamps came from Lakeshore Learning.  They are included in the package containing uppercase Playdoh stamps.  

Heart Cupcake Pick Counting
Alyssa rolled the Playdoh flat, stamped a number at the top, and used heart cupcake picks as counters.  She counted out the correct number of picks for each number from 0-9.  She traced the number with her finger after stamping it.  Before removing the picks from the Playdoh, I asked Alyssa to touch the top of each pick to count and make sure we had the right amount.

Glass Heart Counting
I was grocery shopping one day and saw a pair of plush heart dice at HEB in the Valentine's section.  I cut the string off and gave Alyssa one die for this math activity.  Her job was to first roll the pink Playdoh flat.  Then, she would roll the die and count or recognize the number of hearts.  She used the Playdoh stampers to stamp the number on the top part of the Playdoh.  Last of all, she had to count out the correct number of glass hearts to push in the Playdoh.  I also asked Alyssa to trace the number that was stamped in the Playdoh and to recount the glass hearts by touching the top of each one.        

Valentine Eraser Sorting
I gave Alyssa 4 bags of mini erasers from Hobby Lobby to sort by patterns or designs.  First, we discussed the patterns found on each heart or what they looked like.  Then, I gave her four red bowls for sorting and asked her to sort them by type.  One heart had red and white stripes, one was just red, one was red with with a white arrow through it, and the last heart was red with a white circle and inside the white circle was a red heart.  She learned two new words: stripes and arrow.  I stored the mini erasers in the Valentine lunchbox after the activity was done.  She did this activity twice.

Heart Number Clapping Song
This activity was found at Childcareland.  I made a few changes.  I printed it out on red card stock instead of pink and changed the words to the song.  We also included other actions besides clapping so many times.  I had Alyssa stomp her feet three times, rub her belly twice, jump up four times, etc.  

Valentine Heart Counting
Alyssa placed a glass heart as she counted 1-13.  We counted the rest together, however we stopped at number 20.  I am still looking for the website where I found this printable.  I saved it on my computer, but can't remember where I found it.  Anyone recognize it?   

Tissue Paper Sorting
Alyssa really had to focus so that she wouldn't tear the tissue paper.  She sorted pink and red tissue paper into two red bowls.  Then, I had her choose which one she wanted to use for her tissue paper heart activity.  She chose the color red.

Heart Sounds
This activity was called The Hungry Letter Mouse
I found this original activity here.  I changed a few things around to make it work for us.  There are a lot of great reading activities mentioned on this website!!!!!!!!  Check it out and you can always adapt the lessons to your age or grade level - that's what I did.  
Here's what you'll need for this activity:
1.) An alphabet strip that has both uppercase and lowercase letters with pictures.  
2.) An Expo marker, eraser, and a whiteboard or you can just use a piece of paper and a writing utensil.  Flashcards would also work!
3.) Alphabet (a-z) either uppercase or lowercase - We used the lowercase lacing alphabet from Lakeshore Learning.
4.) Markers of some sort (bingo chips, mini erasers, gems or flat marbles, cereal, candy, torn paper, paper punches, etc.) 

I made several changes to the actual activity referenced. 
Here's what we did:
1.) I wrote a lowercase or uppercase letter on the white board with an Expo marker.  Alyssa would tell me the letter name and sound.  If she could do that, then she was able to search the Valentine candy box for that specific letter.  I sang a letter song by Dr. Jean Feldman called "Who Let the Letters Out."  For example, I would sing "Who let the letter T out /t/, /t/, /t/, /t/, /t/."  I might even play I Spy the letter sound /t/ while she searches for the letter in the box. Then, she would match the letter on the alphabet strip.  I also didn't time Alyssa's response as mentioned in the activity.  
2.) If she could name a word that starts with the same sound as the letter, then she would receive a glass heart to place on the picture of the alphabet strip.  If she just told me the name of the picture under the letter I accepted that as an answer too.  This activity was going well until we stopped before we were BOTH VERY hungry.  

Valentines Letter Sound Hearts
This printable was found at Prekinders.  Alyssa was given 6 letters and six pictures at a time.  She named the picture and found the letter that had the same beginning sound as the picture.  Unfortunately ... I wasn't sure if she would just match the color, so I started covering up the colored hearts to see if she could do it on her own.  She could do it either way.  The letters match the colors for self-checking purposes.  Next time I will give her 6 more or all of the letter hearts to challenge her.  I think next time I will also just use some type of letter tiles (puzzle pieces, magnetic, or plastic letters) instead of the colored hearts just to see what she is capable of doing.  

Heart Reader
Alyssa reading an emergent reader titled, " Hearts" from Hubbards Cupboard.  She pointed to each word.  We focused on the sight word "with" this week.  She covered the word "with" on each page with a glass heart.  She didn't want to color the book.  

Heart Lacing
This activity works both fine motor and spelling skills.  Alyssa used the lowercase lacing letters that spelled the word "heart" and strung them on her red string.

H is for Hearts Magnetic Board
Alyssa used red magnetic bingo chips to cover the circles. She counted the number of bingo chips in each heart and read the sentence H is for hearts.  She traced the letter and identified the letter and its sound.  When she was done she did an "I did it!"  dance - I think she got this from the Dora cartoon.  I gave her a magnetic wand to remove the chips.  The sheet was found at Making Learning Fun.  

Alyssa practiced writing letters on this Disney writing board from uncle Keith.  She did several letters and decided she wanted to scribble all over it instead of writing.   

Fine Motor
I bought these heart sticks at Dollar Tree last month, but I wasn't sure what I would do with them until I saw an idea on Carisa's blog (THANKS CARISA!).  I didn't have the same exact foam lacing hearts, but I remembered that I bought some a few years ago for a craft project.  Alyssa laced each heart onto the heart stick.  I should have given her several heart picks, but I just had her take them off and start the activity over again.  I wanted this to be a patterning activity, but she showed no interest (again this was a new activity so she needed the time to explore the materials first).  I'll try again next week using two heart sticks - she'll match the pattern I create on my stick.  

Pop Pom Patterning
Alyssa was supposed to use tweezers to pattern the pom poms, but since this was her first time using them ... she had NO interest in patterning today.  This idea was borrowed from The Shafer Family blog and she used a pair of tongs on her blog instead of tweezers.    

Arts and Crafts
Tissue Paper Glitter Heart
Alyssa glued small pieces of red tissue paper on a heart shape with a paintbrush.  Then, she spread glue over the top and sprinkled gold glitter on the heart.  This idea came from Childcareland

Heart Cookie Cutter Prints (All Sizes)
First, we discussed the sizes of the hearts.  I asked Alyssa which was bigger and which one was the smallest.  She put them in order from largest to smallest.  Then, I had her dip the heart cookie cutters in red paint onto the pink construction paper in order from largest to smallest.  Then, she painted more hearts all over the paper.  The original cookie cutter print idea activity was found at Childcareland.  I added on the part where she dips the hearts in paint from largest to smallest.  Alyssa decided she wanted to go back a place a small heart inside each heart. 

No Theme
Fine Motor
Pony Beads
I knew I would find a use for this lid.  Years ago I bought a huge pack of gel pens for my classroom.  I decided to store the pens elsewhere, but saved the lid and bottom just in case.  I pulled the lid out and her pony beads.  I placed the beads in a Valentine's Day bowl.  I didn't even have to show her what to do - she knew.  She placed one pony bead in each hole.  She wanted to do it again, so I told her we had to remove the beads.  We couldn't get them out using our fingers.  I wasn't thinking ahead about how we were going to get them out (besides dumping them over in a bowl) which Alyssa almost did.  But, I had a thought and we went upstairs to get my tweezers and to changer her diaper.  Alyssa used the tweezers to remove each pony bead and put them back into the bowl.  She did this activity twice before moving on to another activity.  

Stamp Counting
Alyssa used a heart stamp and red ink to stamp the correct number of hearts in each box.  The counting sheet was found at Spinner's End Nursery School.   

Roll and Stamp
Alyssa rolled a foam die, identified the number, and stamped all of the numbers that matched the number on the die using red ink and a heart stamp.  

Building Blocks
The weather was horrible again this week (rain, rain, rain go away).  By the way ... we sang that song MANY times this week and last week.  So, we did what we could to get exercise and work on gross motor skills while inside.  This was an oldie but goodie activity for Alyssa (we used these a lot when she was younger).  They were stored in her classroom.  I asked Alyssa to run in the other room and bring her blocks to me.  I showed her which blocks I wanted since she had several sets in the other room.  Then, I would yell out a color and she would run and get them for me (one at a time).

Building Blocks (Sorting)
I had her stack and sort the blocks by color as she brought them to me.  We counted the number of blocks for each color and discussed how we had the SAME amount for each color.  

Patterning Stacks
Then, we stacked them up high using a ABCD (red, blue, yellow, green) pattern.  Alyssa stopped stacking them up after they reached a certain point ... she said, "Mommy, no blocks fall down."  We talked about how the stacked blocks were taller than her after we finished the activity.  

I asked Alyssa if she wanted to go get her four wheeler to run the blocks over.  She was all about that for some reason.  Weird she didn't want to add anymore to the pattern because they would fall, but running into them with her car was a GREAT idea.  Yes, she did get hit in the head with blocks. 

Sorting "Domino" Fall
We sorted the blocks by color again and gently pushed one end to make them fall down like dominoes.  We counted the number of blocks for each color too. I try to count whenever possible. 

Gross Motor
Exercise Ball
We played kickball in my office.  She also had fun bouncing on the ball.  It was still raining outside!  

Name Recognition
Pocket Chart Name Spelling
I wrote Alyssa's name on a sentence strip and cut it apart.  I scrambled up the letters.  Then, I asked Alyssa to spell her name.  

Name Tags
Alyssa spelled her name using Hobby Lobby alphabet tags.  I usually have her lace the letters on a string, but we skipped that part today.

Well, that is all I was able to document for this week.  I hope I can clear my CF card so that I can photograph next week's activities.  We still haven't finished everything I planned for this month.  For more tot school and preschool ideas visit Carisa's blog and Jolanthe's blog.  Have a great week!!!!!


  1. Looks like you had a fun week! Your blog has terrific ideas, I'll be coming back for some ideas to do with my little guy : )

  2. Fun, busy week! Love the pocket chart name spelling!

  3. Oh, wow...SOOOOO many cute ideas! I might have to re-read this post about 47 times to soak it all in. GREAT job! ;)

    I almost bought those plastic conversation heart buckets at the grocery store on Friday. I put them back because I couldn't think of a great reason for buying them. Now I wish I had...

  4. What a fun filled week! I loved all of the block ideas!

  5. WOW-what great ideas you have. I want to tuck them all away for when I'm ready to do them with my littles. Thanks and keep up the great ideas!

  6. Great activities!! It looks like she had a lot of fun! :)

  7. Those are such AMAZING Activities! I love how you used the dice and the glass hearts to highlight her sight words!