Tot school, Mother Goose and body parts

I’m going to try and start including some pictures in my tot school posts to make them more interesting, so we’ll see how it goes.

 

Monday

Our theme for Monday was Mother Goose.  Kaanas was home, so he joined us and read Mingli some rhymes out of our book.

One of the rhymes we read was The Eensy Weensy Spider.  I saw an idea to make a spider puppet here, then went ahead and made rain and a sun as well.  Mingli didn’t love this activity, but I think we will try it again when he is a little older.

We read the rhyme I’m Just a Puppy.  I found some free dog coloring pages online, put them into a word document, shrunk them, then printed them out and colored them in four different colors to make a color sorting activity.  Mingli loved this one.  His favorite color was the orange one.  He dug all through the pile of unsorted puppies to find all the orange puppies first.  He could find pink, blue, and orange when we asked him to, but couldn’t get the green.  Colors are something I plan to keep working on a lot.

The last rhyme we focused on was Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Mingli loves cotton balls right now, so I decided to use that love in an activity.  You can find this activity here.  Mingli also loved this activity.  He put the cottons balls on, then took them off and started tearing them apart.  As he started putting them back on I starting counting the ones he had on.  Mingli was super focused as I was doing this, then he pointed to the cotton balls and said “one, two, three.”!  I had never really done numbers with him, so this was super exciting.  We spent the next couple minutes counting cotton balls, and Mingli was really interested.  Looks like I will have to have a number day in the near future.

 

Tuesday

Tuesday was a great day.  Our theme for Tuesday was body part.  Mingli loves body parts, and he already knows eyes, nose, mouth, hair, chin, cheek, forehead, hands, legs, tummy, chest, and feet.  This was our longest ever tot school, and it could have gone on longer, Mingli cried when it was over, but he wasn’t following the rules with the markers, so we had to stop.

Our first activity was some nesting blocks from the Teach My Baby kit we got on sale a few months ago.  This was a huge hit, and Mingli played with them for a long time.  He didn’t really want to stack them, instead he wanted to put them inside each other.  This lead to great problem solving, because he would put a small one inside a much bigger one, then try and put a medium one inside the big one on top of the small one.  I could tell he was thinking so hard.  He also loved the mirrors that were on these blocks.

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After that we pulled out a face puzzle I found here.  Mingli didn’t play with this for long, but he did enjoy it.  Mainly he just picked up the pieces, handed them to me, and named them.  He also tried to put the eye over my eye.

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Next we sung head, shoulders, knees, and toes.  I didn’t take pictures of this, but Mingli enjoyed it.  I sung it a few times by myself to show him, then we did it very slowly and he joined in with the motions.  Toes were his favorite and he kept trying to grab them instead of the body part we were naming, but that was ok.  When I could see that he was starting to get overwhelmed with this we moved on to the next activity, coloring our hands.  I helped him trace his hand on a piece of paper, then gave him the markers and just let him color.  He really enjoyed this, and this activity lasted longer than any of the others.  I used markers this time, because I thought those would be easier for him, and they really were.  He has used crayons and colored pencils before, but he has trouble making the color show up well on the paper and quickly gets bored.  The markers were great, really easy for him to use, and he had almost as much fun taking the lids off and putting them back on as he did actually coloring.  He was also very deliberate about his coloring.  He would take the lid off a marker, then have it hover over the paper in different spots trying to decide where he wanted to color.  Every once in a while I would ask him where a certain color was and he would pick up the marker in that color.  He was able to get all the colors I had out for him (pink, orange, yellow, blue, and green), but he called all the colors blue.  By the end he would say pink if I pointed to the pink marker and said pink, but then the next time he picked it up he would hold it up and say blue.  This activity ended way before Mingli wanted it to.  I told him that we only color on the paper.  He tried coloring both on the floor and on himself.  With both I carefully pointed to the place he had colored, said its name, and told him no coloring there, then I pointed to the paper, said paper, and told him that we color on the paper.  I could tell that he understood, especially because at the beginning he had been coloring really close to the edge of the paper and sometimes accidentally going onto the carpet, but then when I talked to him about it he was very careful to not get close to the edge.  I could tell even more that he understood by the way he looked at me when he deliberately colored on himself again.  At that point I knew he was testing me to see what I would do, and I knew that I had to enforce the rules I had set up, so we put the markers away.  He cried, but we are really working with him lately to try and teach him rules.  I will have to use markers more often.

 

That was the end of my nice, organized, planned out tot school for the week.  Wednesday tot school was library story time, which Mingli loved.  It was about buses, and was very active.  Thursday and Friday we did a lot of informal, unplanned activities (that I didn’t get pictures of), like talking about colors as we built with blocks, and reading counting books.  Mingli also helped me cook for the first time, but it didn’t work out as well as I was hoping because Mingli kept trying to use the spoon that we were mixing the cake batter with to eat the cake batter, then crying when he couldn’t put it in his mouth.  Oh well, we will keep trying.

 

For more tot school ideas, http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/tag/tot-school-gathering-place/.

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