Friday, August 19, 2011

Tot School- August 12th to August 19th

**Boogie is 22 months old**

In at attempt to network with other moms homeschooling tots, I am going to link back to one of my favorites sites that I have discovered in my researching. If you have been enjoying my "how to" tot activity posts, a lot of the ideas and inspiration either came from 1+1+1=1 or one of the blogs I found through her site. So I am going to write a summary of the things Boogie and I have been doing this week, than I will do separate "how to" posts for the tools and activities we have been doing that have a preparation or assembly angle.

Tot School

Practical Life

As I have been researching during all the free time I have (HA! Mostly it is on my iPhone while nursing Bun in the wee small hours of the morning), I have seen a lot of moms posting about the "practical life" things they do with their child. The nice thing is, pretty much everyone does some of these things automatically, but you might not have realized that your child is learning from them and that they are necessary to development! I didn't!

So, one of the practical life activities we did this week was with containers and their lids. Boogie has a tub full of food containers that have been used up and washed out. He LOVES to take the lids off and put them back on a million times a day. He also likes to scour the playroom and see what he can find to put in the containers. This is great for fine motor skills and coordination, especially with the smaller twist tops. It also has a matching and recall aspect, since he has to figure out or remember which lids go with which containers. I usually use the words "top" and "bottom" with him when we are playing with these. We also talk about circles while doing this. And I will tell him if a top is too big or too little for the container, so there is some practice with opposite language while we play with these too.

While we are talking about practical life skills, a few big things we have been working on the past week are consistently drinking out of a regular cup at meals and cleaning up what we are doing before starting on something else. Boogie has been doing so well with both of these things, thankfully! The cleaning up is a HUGE help for me. He always loves helping us vacuum or put laundry in the washer and dryer so if I say something like "help mama put this back" he says "help" or "back" and usually does it very nicely! We also listen to Barney's "Clean Up" and sing along.

Another practical skill we are working on is having him brush his own teeth, which he LOVES to do in the sink. His vocabulary is expanding daily at this point, which is really exciting, and he will say "brush" and "sink" when he wakes up in the morning and after his nap. We listen to another Barney song ("Brushing My Teeth") while we do it and he really enjoys it. He also loves to play in the sink in general because pouring and transferring are two of his favorite activities now matter what skill we are working on. He loves playing in water so this is an easy way to meet him halfway without a mess or traveling (and it is so hot to go to the community pool with the baby).

Sensory Play/ Exploring Textures

Another type of sensory play (besides playing in the sink) Boogie loves is his rice bin. He will request this at least twice a day. The first time we did not put a blanket under it but since then we do every time and he is pretty good about keeping the rice on the blanket but it does escape from time to time. When Bun is starting tot school, I will start with something bigger, like pasta! Rice is a pain to clean up! Again, Boogie LOVES pouring, scooping, and transferring, which is why this is a favorite.

I love doing arts and crafts, so we finger painted with Boogie for the first time the other night. We thought it would be a fun way to play with colors and make shapes. He was not too sure about it, though, and asked for a napkin after a few minutes! We did it again this morning, with two colors this time, but he didn't stay interested for very long.

The pom pom balls were a big hit, and Boogie asks for those every day or so. I try to put a different spin on it each time I take them out. He is such a boy, so of course, any activity with balls turns into how hard and far he can throw them. But he usually will humor me for a little bit and transfer them back and forth between containers using different methods. While he does that we teach him colors and counting. We have given him frying pans, bowls, tupperware, and muffin tins using his hands, spoons, tongs, and measuring cups. My kitchen tongs are hard for him to use, but the Target $1 section came through for me again! They have small ice tongs. We haven't tried them yet but they will definitely be easier to pinch! When he gets frustrated with the fine motor skills aspect of this and hasn't yet moved on to throwing them, he will just pick up one container and dump the balls into the other one. It's very cute :)

We have played with play dough before, but Boogie was happy making cars and balls for over an hour one afternoon this week! Well, let me rephrase that. He was happy with me making cars and balls for over an hour while he squished them and asked me to make them again. I got out some shape cookie cutters (all we have in the 101 cutter set is circles, hearts, and stars! I guess I need to get a shape specific set?) and we made a few circles (of course! Circles are his favorite), but mostly it was all about cars and balls. Which is pretty much true for life in general with little boys, huh?

Since we are focusing a lot on shapes and colors right now, I made him a color-oriented clank can, found on this blog. My how to post has more pictures and details about how that went. Bottom line, he loved the noise but wasn't really into the colors.

My mom and I raided the Target $1 section and got these awesome shapes and colors flashcards. They also teach sizes but Boogie is not ready for that yet. I separated the circles, squares, triangles and diamonds after this initial introduction because it was too much for him. He loves diamonds. I think I will add back the stars too because he started saying "star" this week.

When Boogie got down from breakfast one morning this week, I tried a matching game with some of his laminated shapes and some construction paper. He was NOT impressed. The idea was for him to put the shapes onto the color that matched. I really thought he would be interested in colors, but he is picking up the names of the shapes faster than he is picking up the names of the colors. He also seems to have an obsessive-compulsive streak, and wanted to line up the paper so it was in a straight line. I am in trouble with this stubborn little perfectionist! He was doomed to be both stubborn and a perfectionist though, with Hubby and me as his parents!

Boogie has a fruits of the Spirit shape sorter that he has been playing with more recently. He said "star" and "apple" for the first time playing with it this week. There aren't really traditional shapes with this set, but I tell him what they are called and what color they are. Sometimes I will name the fruits of the Spirit for him as he does it too.

I also finally finished the color wheel I have been working on for days now. The sticking point was I needed ink for our printer. He was way more interested in dumping and refilling a container with the clothespins he was supposed to be matching. Again, my how to post has the details.

Today, I took out the dry erase board and the dry erase crayons and we talked about colors and drew shapes. Let me tell you, the dry erase crayons are awesome, but if your child presses hard (mine does) then it takes some rubbing to get it off. And if your child is a hoarder (mine is) and likes to hold all the other crayons while using one, the crayons will get all over their hands and clothes. Crayola swears they're washable so we will see if his shirt is ever the same again. The most exciting thing for me, besides trying out the crayons for the first time, was that he now has a word for "triangle" and wanted me to draw both triangles AND circles!

This and That

There have been a few blogs recently that have posted about repurposing a pool noodle, so we tried a lacing activity this week. My how to post has the pictures and my thoughts about that.

Hubby got a remote controlled helicopter that Boogie enjoyed watching him play with. We have had a couple playdates with cousins. There has been a lot of rain so we haven't been outside much but I want to introduce him to chalk this weekend.

Otherwise, we play with cars, watch Disney Pixar's Cars, and read books about trucks and cars :D

In hindsight, I wish I had made the learning wheel and clank can using shapes instead of colors, since he is much more interested in learning the names of shapes. You live and learn!


  1. Isn't it interesting all the "practical" life things we teach our kids without realizing it? Sounds like a great week!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Marlynn! Life is definitely full of teachable moments if we parents take advantage of them.



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