Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tot School: Days of Creation

Sophie and I have been working through Intentional by Grace's Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum. We have really enjoyed doing this together and it has led to many opportunities to discuss and practice behaviors common to toddlers (patience, anyone?).

We don't do all the activities, and I modify or add others to supplement, but it has served as a great backbone for our Tot School time.  It focuses on uppercase letters, which Sophie already knows well, so we focus on the lowercase letters instead.

This week (and last) has been all about Creation.  I decided to stretch this unit and focus on one day of creation each day.

We did several activities each day of this unit.

- Tot School Board.  We start our Tot School time with our board, which displays our Bible verses, letter of the week, and letter gross motor activity, as well as anything else we are focusing on.  Sophie says her memory verse (or if she is feeling a bit stubborn, she listens to momma say it) and then identifies the other items on the board.  Our memory verse was Genesis 1:1.  The letter of the week for the first week was the letter "Z". (This picture is from the following week!)

- Days of Creation Sequencing.  After reading the creation story (from our various children's Bibles or storybooks), we talk through each day and do little motions to help us remember what happened on each day using these Days of Creation cards from PreKinders. (In the pocket chart shown above). If Sophie is interested, she puts them in order, but usually we just talk about them.

- Days of Creation Song from DLTK-Bible.  My girl is all about music, so this is by far the best way for her to remember the Days of Creation!

- GOD Gave Us the Earth Interactive Sight Word Reader.  Sophie knows all her letter sounds and is showing lots of interest in letters, words and reading.  I'm not doing anything formal with her yet, but since this reader fit so well, I decided to introduce her to the idea of sight words.  She really enjoyed doing this book.  She is obsessed with Little Einsteins, so as we were reading the sight word book each day and would get to the page of the day with the word God missing, I would dramatically exclaim "Oh no!  Big Jet took the word and scrambled it all up!" She loved pretending she was solving a Little Einstein problem while cutting the letters apart and gluing them in the correct order.  So fun!

- Days of Creation Book.  I saw this adorable idea at The Art of Being Mama and we did the page that corresponded to the day we were learning.

Day One Activities
- Light and Dark.  We sat in my closet with the lights off and talked about what we saw and heard outside at nighttime.  Then we turned the lights back on and talked about how the day was different from the night and what we saw and heard then.
- For snack we had chocolate pudding with whipped cream to represent day and night.

Day Two Activities
- Beach Day!  This happened to work out perfectly with a mommy and Sophie day, so we headed to the beach to look at the clouds and the seas up close!  This was the first time Sophie was brave enough to head into the water and she had a great time!

- Clouds in a Jar.  Sophie LOVED this activity!  She wanted to do it three times and just had to show Daddy when he got home.  It was so simple, but she felt so grown up.

- Snack time: Blue jello with marshmallows to represent sky and clouds.

Day Three Activities
- Observed and watered the plants in our little vegetable garden

- Apple Tree Counting Playdoh Mats from Life Over C's

Day Four Activities
- Starry Night with a flashlight and a colander
- Counting star buttons in a muffin tin

- Snack time: Star cheese (umm...cheese cut with a star cookie cutter...creativity at its finest!). She wanted to pretend it was a cookie and put sprinkles on it.  Sure, why not. Gross.

Day Five Activities
- Bird Feeder out of toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and bird seed.
- Categorizing whether something goes in the sky or underwater.  We used this pictures on our Day Five Creation Book instead of on the worksheet.
- Snack time: Goldfish Crackers

Day Six Activities
- Sorting various Toob Animals by their habitats (forest, house pets, farm, water, etc.)

- Move like animals gross motor play.  This is totally simple - I just call out an animal and have Sophie pretend to move like that animal.  Simple, yet hilarious.
- Snack time: Animal Crackers

Day Seven
- I tried to get away with just taking naps during our Tot School time, but Sophie totally wasn't game for it.  So in honor of resting, I stayed in my pajamas (because obviously, I would never do this any other day!...)
- We just reviewed the other days and did our favorite activities over again!

For a Creation activity geared towards the younger toddler crowd, be sure to check out my God Made Everything color book. 

Linking up at 1+1+1=1 Tot School Gathering Place and Teaching Mama's Everything Early Childhood.

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'm back! - And Birthday Themed Tot School

I know, its been like twenty-seven forevers since I have posted.  Between adjusting to having two little ones, selling our house, living with in-laws for 4 months while renovating a house, and trying to get settled, something just had to give.  I thought maybe I needed to hang up the blogging for good.

But I had been thinking about starting some Tot School activities with my son who just turned one, so I came back and started scrolling through the blog.  I LOVE being able to look back at all the developmental strides Sophie took.  It was like a scrapbook or a journal depicting our days together and the learning that she is doing each and every moment.  And it made me a little sad that I have missed out on having this past year documented like that.  So....I'm going to try to blog about our learning experiences.  Even if no one but me ever reads it, it is something I want to try to have for my family and myself.

Quick catch up on my little ones.

Sophie just turned three.  She is a fun-loving, dancing, singing, princess and playdoh obsessed little lady.  She has a giggle that can melt my heart and acts way older than a three year old.  She is learning in leaps and bounds and makes me worry about keeping up with her!

Miles is 14 months old.  He is the sweetest, most loving little boy ever.  He hasn't met a food he doesn't like.  He's just started walking, loves playing ball, dancing to his sister's music, and trying to imitate anything Sophie does.  He is a momma's boy through and through, and is curious about the world (a kind way of saying "into everything!").

Birthday Theme Tot School Activities

In honor of Sophie's birthday a few weeks ago, we did a week full of birthday themed activities.  She absolutely loved having a week all about her birthday!  

We made a birthday banner to hang for her party.  I wrote her name in pencil and she painted over the lines with a paint brush.  We had done this a few weeks earlier for Daddy's birthday and she totally surprised me with her ability to trace with a paintbrush (she had shown no interest in tracing with a marker before). But she loved it and was so proud to show it off!

I made a cupcake upper/lowercase letter matching game which we called "Cupcake Shop".  She loved pretending that I was ordering letter cupcakes and she had to put the correct icing on the cupcakes.  

I also made a number recognition printable, which will be shared soon at The Activity Mom, which invoved putting the correct number of candles on the cupcake.  She loved singing "Happy Birthday to Sophie" and blowing out the candles after each number card.

She also really enjoyed putting do-a-dot "sprinkles" on a cupcake coloring page.  

We did several birthday themed printables from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1 as well.  Sophie really took to the tracing pages this time.  Her favorite by far, though, was the Find the Birthday Cake game from Homeschool Creations.

Happy Third Birthday, Sophie!