Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tot School-Caterpillars and Butterflies

Tot School

Star is 28 Months Old

This week in Tot school, we learned about caterpillars and butterflies. We read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar while using this great project. It was great for counting practice as well as re-telling the story later in the week without the book.
Tot School
We made caterpillars from a bunch of letter C's I cut from construction paper. We used watered down glue to attach them. This was a perfect way to practice drawing the letter.

We finished with a little glue and glitter.

We made butterflies with clothespins, tissue paper and pom poms. We then did various things with them like flying them on our heads, down to our toes. We flew them in circles and danced with them. Sorry, there are no pictures since we were having too much fun.

I made a few new tools with the butterfly theme. I made a butterfly matching flipbook.

Also butterfly letter match. I used the idea from this picture and dug into my supply of bottle caps for the letters. You pick a letter out of the bag, say its name or sound then try to find its location on the butterfly. It's a little difficult for Star to find her letter out of the mass of letters, but I like to give her something that's challenging. The first day she did two bottle caps, while the second day she did six before deciding to move on.

I also made these counting cards (little butterfly stickers)

to go into these counting envelopes, which we will use tomorrow. I plan on re-using the envelopes and making different cards to match with different themes later on.

We also played I-Spy to practice our colors and Hide and Go Seek to practice our numbers. (Counting to ten then Here I Come!)

Which leads me to the cute pictures of the week. Star "hiding"

And when she finds me hiding.

To see what others have been doing for Tot School, click on this button, and have a blessed day!
Tot School

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Free Giveaway

Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations is having a wonderful Giveaway on her blog. Its for a preschool curriculum called Itty Bitty Bookworm. If you have a preschooler, you should check it out, it looks like a wonderful program. Even if you're not interested in the giveaway, you should check out her blog. I always get good ideas and wonderful information from her. Just click on the blog name above to check out the site.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Can Do it Myself

Recently my hubby and I have found ourselves almost daily in a battle of wits with our 2 1/2 year old. Star is very bright and also VERY determined. When she decides something, then it's final. She has been trying to do a lot more on her own recently, which is fine except when she really isn't able to do it on her own, or so we think. Also she is not quite able to communicate to us exactly what she wants or what the problem is. This has led to a lot of frustration, tears, acting out and time outs. Frankly this is not what I want my house filled with. It can be easy to say, "well, that's the terrible two's", but I don't want to accept that. There has to be a better way to bring peace and joy to this house. Then I saw this video on another blog I've been reading and it made me think. As parents it is our responsibility to teach and train our children and not just in faith but in how to live their lives. This is something that should start from birth, so why do I find myself waiting for some magic age to start instructing Star in different tasks and allowing her to do more for herself whether she can do it to full completion on her own or not.
I had a chance to test this all out today. We have been potty training for over a month now. Everything was going great until a week ago. Suddenly Star didn't want to go on the potty any more and we couldn't figure out why. After watching this video ,last night and watching my daughters behavior today I determined that the problem was that she didn't want any help, but wasn't sure how to do it on her own. Now, while we are not a Montessori home, occasionally I come across different things that will work well in my home. I believe that this is one of those instances, so I tested my theory. While I was nursing Butterbean, I noticed that Star probably had to go. Instead of interrupting Butterbean like I usually do, I instructed Star to go into the bathroom and turn the light on by moving the step stool. I then walked her through the entire process by calling from the couch. Amazingly, she did it, well...almost. Once she had flushed she was so excited at what she had done she came running naked out into the living room yelling "I peed in the potty!". Ahh, the simple joys of toddlerhood. After a little help we got redressed and hands washed and I sat down to do some serious thinking. Is there more in this house that Star really wants to do, is capable of doing and is frustrated with us because we won't allow it? Hmmm, I have to think a little more and post again with what I come up with.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tot School

Tot School
Star is 28 Months Old

Well, another two weeks have passed and we still do not have our computer back, which means another short post. We have had a wonderful tot school the past two weeks, with many great pictures, but I can only share a few.

We practiced drawing in a salt tray
We matched up letters to make words in a file folder game
We played another folder game from this website.
I found Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for 19 cents at the salvation army. We did several activities from this wonderful website, including painting with our new Do-A Dot markers
And we tried coconut for the first time. Star did not like it, but mommy sure did!

This was a proud moment for me when Star was able to do this activity all by herself. In the past I had to hold the cardboard, while she put on the clothespins. But not on this day, she wanted to do it all by herself. Yay!

We had a couple visitors this week in tot school. My mother visited and we went to the local children's interactive museaum.
Also Daddy got to join us one day as we practiced our writing skills.

And finally we played with our trains while practicing the words red, yellow, green, black, over, under, next to, in the middle, first, last, fast and slow. Phew...who knew you could learn so much from a wooden train.

And here's the cute picture of the week..

To see what others have been doing, click on this button,
Tot School

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tot School, sort of

Tot School

Star is 28 months old

The past two weeks has been filled with sickness, broken cars and broken computers. This all adds up to one really short post about Tot School, but I wanted to at least share the little we did. Unfortunatelly the computer is still broken so I don't have the links to where I got my ideas from, sorry.
We read the book Mouse Paint which came in a package from our library which also had these great color chips so that you can mix the colors as you look through them. Star Loved it.

**I have a great picture of this on the other computer, whe we get it back, I will add it in**

We also painted with red and yellow. First we did marble painting by rolling marbles in the paint, then dropping them into a tub with paper on the bottom and letting them roll around. We also did some free painting.

For blue and yellow we made a bubble bottle. We took a plastic water bottle and added laundry detergent and water to it to fill it about half way. I then added blue and yellow food coloring. (I have heard that the colors are brighter if you use tempura paint)

I then hot gued the top on and let Star shake it, producing wonderful green bubbles. After a little bit, the bubbles start to dissapear, letting Star (or Mommy) have the joy of shaking it all over again. This bottle is still rolling around the house a week later. Whenever one of us finds it we shake it and are mesmerized by the bubbles at least for a few minutes.

Unfortunetly the sickness over took us before we could play with red and blue, but I would love to hear if anybody has any other great ideas to demonstrate how to mix colors.

The only other things I have to share is a fishing game I made. I have seen on many other blogs some wonderful puzzles or games that used magnets to let the kids "fish" for different articles. Alas, we do not have one of these, so instead I made my own. I just found a graphic of a fish I liked and copied several times on a page. I used Microsoft Word, but anything would work. After printing, I cut them out and wrote one letter of the alphabet on them. I laminated them and attached paper clips. We happened to already have a fishing pole with a magnet attached to it, but you could use a stick, some string and a magnet. Star enjoyed this a lot. I think I will make some with numbers next.
The rest of the two weeks was pretty sporadic. Luckily Star didn't get very sick, but Butterbean and I did. So what I ended up doing was setting up our dining room table with stations using various Tot tools or art projects which did not require supervision. This way I could collapse on the couch or take care of the baby, but Star still was getting the stimulation she needs. Here's a picture from one day.

Finally, I wanted to just show this picture becasue I think its adorable. With all the sickness in the house, Star appointed herself "doctor" for everyone who was sick, which in her mind was everyone and everything. The Cat was sick, Mrs. Potato head was sick, the baby doll was sick, etc. Here she is taking the baby dolls temperature.

I just love her imagination.
I hope your week was better than ours to see what other have been doing click on the Tot School graphic at the top of the page.