Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tot School - Squares

Sophie is 20 months old.

It has been so great to get back into the swing of Tot School these past couple weeks.  I am constantly remind of how beneficial it is both to Sophie and myself.  I love the dedicated one-on-one time (when I don't allow myself to try and multitask our time together - something I definitely should do more of!) and Sophie loves having "new" things to explore each week.

Forgive the pajamas in almost every picture - it was cold outside and we didn't leave the house much.  Sometimes a girl just wants to play in her jammies!

Sensory Bin

Our sensory bin this week was filled with square items I found around the house.  Honestly, I have a harder time with these shape bins than I anticipated!  This bin included wooden squares from a neglected craft project long ago, some letter tiles from the game Up Words, squares from the Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks set, some foam squares, and a couple square boxes for transferring.

She didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the circles, because she had a more difficult time getting the shapes on the spoon.  You can't make square soup if you can't scoop the letters.  That's just a fact. ;)  She did explore it quite a bit and enjoyed finding all the letter tiles and putting them in the box.

Tot Trays

The first tray this week was making popsicle stick squares.  Not such a hit at this point for Sophie.  She liked playing with the sticks, but had no desire at all to match them up to the square template.  So we just counted to four instead. 

Her second tray was by far the winner of this toddler's affections this week.  I pulled the game board and a container of letter tiles from the game UpWords.  If you are unfamiliar with this game, it is similar to Scrabble, but the tiles can stack on top of one another to modify words.  It was a last minute find in my closet and I knew from the second I saw it that she would absolutely love it.  She loved putting the letters on the board and stacking them into towers.  She was also very interested in the letters on the tiles, and would repeat after me each time I told her the letter name.  I need to remember these tiles when we move on to the alphabet!

The next tray was sorting little and big blocks.  She enjoyed this tray, but I think it was mostly because it included some of her rubber blocks that I had put away in exchange for some of her "big girl" blocks.  This was the first time we have really explored the concept of little and big.  By the end of the week she was saying the words and (when she felt like it) putting the blocks on the correct sized squares.  Not sure she really understands the concept yet, but she could definitely match up the blocks.  This will definitely be a concept we keep exploring together.

Her fourth tray was putting pipe cleaner squares onto a dowel.  She liked this one and we said the color names as she put them on as well.  And, when you get tired of putting squares on, the dowel rod makes a great microphone to practice singing.  Not kidding. ;)

The fifth tray didn't get touched - probably because it looked too much like chores. ;)  I put out some square wash cloths to fold, something she usually likes attempting when we are doing laundry, but apparently wasn't fun enough for Tot School.  Oh well!

The final tray was a simple DIY shape sorter using a plastic container with a square and circle cut into the lid and her small foam shapes.  She liked this one alright, but honestly was too interested in the others to want to keep going back to it.

Other Activities

Music Time:  I had planned to sing the shape song we did last week using both squares or circles, but honestly the week went by and it completely slipped my mind!  We'll have to do it next week.  But there is always plenty of music in our house!  Sophie learned "My God is So Big!" this week and absolutely loved it!  She caught on really fast and soon was taking the word "Big!" as her solo part.  So much fun.  Check out the video if you are in the mood for some non-square related adorableness!

Arts and Crafts: I'm pretty sure this is Sophie's favorite part of our Tot School activities and I need to be better at integrating more into our day.  This week we kept it pretty simple with a square Do-A-Dot page, putting stickers on a square template, and making a turtle shell by gluing square (an idea I found at Intentional by Grace).

Tot Notebook:  I added two square pages to Sophie's Tot Notebook this week:  the square page from this printable shape quiet book and the square page from this traceable shape book.  The quiet book pages haven't been as much of a hit as I expected, but she loves drawing and "writing" with the dry-erase marker on the traceable pages.

Out and About:  We tried out a local gymnastics place's Preschool Open Gym this week and Sophie had the time of her life!  She loved jumping and running around and was talking about "nasteeks" the rest of the day.  It was especially nice in such cold weather (for here anyway - it was below freezing in Florida!) for her to get a chance to run around and burn off some energy.

Next week: Triangles!

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

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