Tot school

So, tot school only happened for part of the week, again.  Someday I am going to post saying that we actually did tot school every day and everyone following this blog will be amazed.  Anyways, on Tuesday we colored a picture of a dinosaur, and Wednesday we went to library story time.  It was about our bodies, and Mingli continues to be amazed by it.  He doesn’t really participate much, just stares in wonder and the songs and activities.


Thursday was the first day this week we did real tot school, and our theme was snowmen.  It didn’t go as well as I was hoping, but that was ok.

Our first activity was found here.  It was different colored snowmen that he was supposed to build.  I expected it to be a little difficult for Mingli, and that maybe he wouldn’t put the snowman parts in the correct order, but he just didn’t like this activity much.  He had fun for a few seconds pointing at the different colors, then he just wanted to crumple up the paper, so I decided to put the activity away to maybe do when he is older.

Both of my next activities I got from the tot pack here.  The first was a counting activity with different parts of the snowman.  Mingli is getting into counting, so I thought he would like this.  He did, for like 2 minutes.  He helped me count, saying some of the numbers and pointing to the pictures, but he got bored with it fast, so we put it away.

The next activity was different snowmen that were all supposed to be colored different colors.  At the bottom they had colored words, so you just matched the color to the words.  Mingli loves markers so much that I expected him to really like this.  He did ok with it, but it took a LOT of guidance from me.  He would choose a color of marker, then I would give him two different snowmen and show him the colors at the bottom and let him try and figure out which one matched.  He did this for a couple of minutes, and for the most part was able to do it.  If you look closely you can see that a couple of the snowmen have more than one color, but most are just one color.  It only lasted a couple of minutes, though, before Mingli started putting the markers back in the box.

Our whole tot school lasted about 15 minutes.  Looking back at my activities as I am writing this I can see that they were much less child led than a lot of the activities I usually do.  I don’t think Mingli was ready for quite this much teacher led activities.  Well, now I know what to do differently!



Tot school on Friday went so much better.  Our theme was water, and Mingli had a blast.  I did realize that it would have been so much better in the summer, but we will probably redo some of the activities when it is warmer outside.

Our first activity was from here.  It was a ocean sensory bin that we made with fish tank pebbles and some of Mingli’s bath toys.  Mingli loved this activity.  We did have to cut it short because Mingli started dumping the rocks onto the floor.  I gave him a couple of warnings, but when he kept doing it I put them away.  I plan to get them out again soon, and we will just have to keep working on the rules until he is doing better with them.

I put containers in the bathtub for Mingli to fill and dumb, and this was the activity that lasted the longest.  Mingli loved using all the smaller containers to dump water into the big pitcher.  Then trying to get the bowl to sink.  He was so engaged with this, and I could tell his little mind was working and he experimented with the water and containers.


Our other activity was inspired by this post.  I used sponges instead of the pad because it was cheaper, and with just Mingli I didn’t need as much space around it.  I put a little bit of water in the container, just enough for the sponges to soak up and get all wet, then I put soap on the sponges.  I squeezed the sponges a bit until they just began getting soapy, then gave Mingli the container.  I was going to do this activity in his bedroom, but I quickly moved it to the bathtub because Mingli wanted to squeeze the sponges over the carpet, and I didn’t want everything getting all wet.  I think the best word to describe this activity would be JOY.  I don’t like posting pictures of faces on my blog, but I almost did just so everyone could see the joy on his face.  He laughed through this whole activity.  Wonderful, squealing, joyous laughter.  A bonus of using the sponges instead of the pad from the post was that Mingli could pick up the sponges and squeeze them, which seemed to be his favorite part.  Sponges are definitely going to be part of his tot school in the future, because he just loved this activity SO much.


Last, we read a book about sea lions.  In the book the mommy sea lion gave the baby sea lion a kiss.  Mingli loves giving kisses, and when I told him the mommy was giving the baby a kiss he had to give the baby a kiss, too, on every single page after that.  It was so cute.


For more tot school idea, visit the Tot School Gathering Place.


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