Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tot School - Winter

Sophie is 18.5 months old.

If you have seen a weather map of the country lately, you would probably know that while a Winter themed tot school would be perfect for most of the country, it seemed highly inappropriate in Florida this week!  We have had almost 80 degree weather some days.  The state obviously hasn't gotten the memo that it's December...but I digress.  Needless to say, even though it was almost hot outside, we were talking about a winter wonderland inside! :)

Sensory Bin

Sophie really liked the sensory bin this week.  I used cotton balls as the base and then added some "ice" in the form of clear and blue glass stones.  I also included some sparkly plastic snowflakes and Sophie's favorite part - two pretend cardinals (tree decorations from the Dollar Tree).  Her favorite thing to do (other than kiss and "love" the birds) was to pull out all the glass stones and put them on a plate.  The cotton balls kind of bothered her, because they pulled apart ("uh-oh"), but she loved separating the parts (a great toddler-created sorting activity!)

Tot Trays

Her first tot tray was a total mom failure.  I got a snowflake stamp and an ink pad and planned to let her explore stamping.  I thought she would love it.  She did - only her mother made a horrible assumption that an ink pad placed with children's crafts and children's stamps and called "Silly Winks" would be a washable ink.  WRONG.  My daughter strongly dislikes getting her hands dirty, so when she got ink no them, I tried to wipe it off and allow her to keep stamping.  It wouldn't come off for anything.  She started freaking out, looking at her hands crying and saying "rub rub" (what she calls washing her hands).  I did what any sane woman would do in such a situation - called my mom for a solution!  I tried every suggestion she and google had (that wasn't a strong chemical or potentially harmful) and that ink wasn't budging.  My daughter was traumatized the rest of the night.  Way to go, Momma. I'm adding washable ink pads to her Christmas list.  We'll try again after we both recover.  Needless to say, there are no pictures of this one. ;)

Her second tray was MUCH less eventful.  I made one-to-one correspondence sheets for the numbers one through three and gave her enough plastic snowflakes to go in each spot.  We would count as she placed them in the circles. 

Her third tray was a big hit.  She definitely needs practice with a spoon, so I got some large jingle bells and a snowflake bowl for spooning practice.  She was occasionally successful with the spoon, but the real fun was shaking the jingle bells to music. :)

The fourth tray was more one-to-one correspondence and transferring practice.  The idea was to use the tweezers to move the "snowballs" into the ice cube tray.  She did that a few times, but the tweezers are still really difficult for her.  However, she likes exploring them, so I keep including them for her to play and practice with.

The fifth tray was by far the favorite and the one we spent the large majority of our time on this week.  It was a pouring activity using two metal condiment cups (four for a dollar at Walmart - they were absolutely the perfect size and one of my favorite finds!) and small glass beads.  She LOVED this activity.  It was the first pouring activity I had given her and we seriously spent all week pouring back and forth.  She did a great job, although sometimes she liked spilling the beads on purpose and playing with them on the tray.  

Her final tray was probably her second favorite.  I cut out some foam snowflakes (umm...WAY more difficult to do than I anticipated!) and she put them in and out of the snowflake jar.  She loved opening and closing the snap lid.

Other Activities

Window clings - these were such a hit for fall that I had to get her a new set for the winter and Christmas season.  She loved the "window stickers" and put them on and off all week long.  These will stay up through the new year.

Painting with cotton balls - She painted with cotton balls and white paint to make snow.  She really enjoyed it!  Although I honestly think she likes cleaning up afterward more! :)

Up next week:  Christmas!  I am so excited about the Christmas activities I have planned for her.  We've been doing several different crafts for Advent (I'll share some soon!), but tot school for the next two weeks will be all about Christmas.  I can't wait! :)

I'll leave you with this sweet picture from the Christmas parade last weekend!  Care to guess who she gets her great dimples from? ;)

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. So cute! Loved all the fun themed activities! BTW, Michaels sells washable ink pads in with all the regular ink pads. They're much cheaper than the ones geared towards kids, and you can use coupons on them!

    1. Kaysha, thank you for the tip! I'll definitely have to pick some up. I still shake my head at this silly mistake, but I definitely learned my lesson! :)