Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tot School - Christmas

Sophie is 19 months old.

Last week (and continuing this week) has been so much fun!  We've done lots of Christmas activities in Tot School to celebrate the season.  I've wanted to be very intentional about focusing our family on the birth of Christ this holiday season and have tried to create some activities that provide lots of opportunity to share that story with Sophie.

Sensory Bin 

I have been excited about this sensory bin for several weeks!  I made a Nativity sensory bin for her using hay, Nativity figurines, farm animal toob figures, and some handmade trinkets to represent the other elements of the Nativity.  For full details, check out my post over at Activity Mom.

Sophie really liked this bin.  It was so sweet.  Her high chair is right next to our Tot School shelf and the very first morning the bin was out, she was so interested in it she didn't even want to finish her breakfast.  She spent a lot of time exploring this bin.  Her favorite parts were the jar of sparkly baby oil ("myrrh") and making all of the animals and character kiss Baby Jesus "night-night." I love that I can tell her the story of Christmas over and over as she explores this bin.

Tot Trays

Her first Tot Tray was a Christmas Light matching game (free printable available here).  Honestly, she didn't touch this one.  I may try to suggest it a couple times this week, but since these trays are going to be out for two weeks I didn't bother.  If she's not interested it's no big thing, but she seems to enjoy matching even though she rarely chooses it given more enticing options! :)

Her next tray was a Christmas Tree Pom Push box.  This one was a hit!  She loved pushing the craft poms through the holes and asking "where go?"  I tried to get a picture of her sweet face and hand expressions every time but I just couldn't capture it!  You can see my tutorial for making the push box here.  I love that this idea could be used for almost any theme!

Her third tray was stringing beads.  This was her first true stringing beads experience.  We've played with the beads and we've put them on skewers before, but had never tried on a string.  She really enjoyed doing it, even though she needed lots of assistance (which was expected).  I would either hold the bead for her while she pushed the string through, or she would hold the bead while I pushed the string and she grabbed it from the other side to pull.  She was so proud of herself for getting all the beads.  You can see her wearing her necklace in many of the other pictures! :)  I love how proud she looks in that picture modeling her hard work!

Her fourth tray was a simple cookie cutter transfer activity.  I had two Christmas tins and put all my Christmas cookie cutters in them for her to play with and move between tins.  She loved the sound they made hitting the bottom of an empty tin!  I also learned that she could identify and name a star through this activity!  

 The fifth tray this week was a fine motor activity using a little peg game I found at the Dollar Tree.  She really liked the "little men" and did a great job putting them in the holes in the Christmas tree.  This one was great to throw in my purse when we were going somewhere like a restaurant!

Her final tray was kind of a carry over from her Winter theme.  It was a jingle bell transferring activity, but it was mostly out because I wanted us to be able to play with the jingle bells.  We loved singing "Shake and Stop" and "Shake those Bells" from Carisa's Song Notebook at 1+1+1=1.  We also loved just putting on the Christmas Pandora station and dancing around with our bells.  

Other Activities

Sophie spent a TON of time playing with her Little People Nativity set.  It has been out all month, but we play with it almost every day.  She even wanted a blanket on her head like Mary to rock Baby Jesus. 

I also got her a magnet Nativity set I found at Hobby Lobby.  She was so sweet telling Daddy to "look" at each piece when he came home that day!  She would then jabber on and on like she was telling him all about it. Precious!

We also did lots of craft projects (some of which cannot be shared because they are Christmas gifts for family!) but she has fallen in love with glueing!  You can find my printable for the shape Nativity here.

Here I just made some simple shapes for her to glue on the Christmas Tree.

We won't be doing Tot School next week, because we will be at Disney World with my family!  We are so looking forward to seeing Sophie's reaction to all the exciting things there.  You can be sure I'll have some great pictures and stories to share.

We'll be starting with our shapes in the New Year!  I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

For tons more ideas be sure to visit these sites I'm linking to this week!
Teaching Tuesdays at Intentional Homeschool
Tuesday Tots at Rainy Day Mum
Link and Learn at No Time for Flashcards
Show and Share Saturday Link Up at I Can Teach My Child
Tender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers at The Chaos and the Clutter 
Sunday Showcase at Learn Play Imagine
TGIF at 123Homeschool4Me
For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars


  1. This is wonderful! Your little girl is so blessed to have a mommy like you!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Thank you so much, Jessica! I'm so blessed to be able to share my days with her. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family as well! :)