Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tot School- February and Valentines

**Boogie was 28 months old in February**

Holy Moly. I just looked back and found out that my last tot school post included the Super Bowl. It has been a month since I posted a picture of Boogie on here. That makes me so sad because doing it weekly means that I remember more of what was happening when I took the pictures. I decided last night that I am cutting back on my What's on the Tray Wednesday link party, and turning it into a monthly party for the time being. I really want to post more about how Boogie likes all the things we're doing together.

So, without further delay, and picking up where we left off...Valentine's Day and the month of germs! This is the fast, photo-full version of our month. If I like a ton of pictures of the same tray I am going to group them together to save everyone load and scrolling time.

Reminder: Please DO NOT pin pictures that include my children!

Let's start with the first round of tot trays!

Here is Boogie enjoying his open and close tray with different kinds of containers. I love hearing him ask questions and I heard "In Nare?" a lot with this tray :)

The mailboxes were a big hit, and we talked about the numbers a little, but mostly Boogie wanted to line them up like a train. he did like taking all the erasers out of the little heart containers, too. He had some trouble opening the mailboxes. And when he discovered both sides opened, pretty much all other bets were off.

Putting heart sticks into the sugar container. He did this once. The glitter got everywhere. Next time I buy sticks, they will be fuzzy, not glittery! I don't mind glitter for projects. I mind when something is made so that is sheds glitter everywhere unexpectedly.

Boogie LOVED the conversation hearts and did not figure out that they were candy. He carried them everywhere for the month of February. We found them all over the house. He especially loved putting them in his trucks. He enjoyed dumping them between these two goblets. The problem is that these were completely unsteady and kept falling down when he was playing with them, spilling hearts everywhere. Boogie goes Hulk in these situations. He cries and flings things around and shrieks "no way!" and I think it must come from a) his perfectionism and b) his fear of getting in trouble for making a mess. I really try not to yell at him for accidents, but I do use a very firm voice when he takes a mess outside of the designated mess zone (usually a blanket in the kitchen, the kitchen in general, or the bathroom). I think I need to relax so he relaxes. But anyway, the point is, while he loved this, and brought it out constantly, it almost always led to Hulk Boogie and was hugely aggravating to both of us. One interesting thing was he figured out that the hearts came off the goblets. I told him they didn't when he asked me to take them off because I thought they didn't! He is smarter than I am.

I thought these pattern strips I made from erasers were going to be so fun for him. While he did enjoy them, he really only was interested in the flowers and only took them out once or twice. I had to lay out all the strips like this for him because he wanted to use every flower all at once. Then he wanted to move on to something else.

Now, the second batch of Valentine's tot trays.

I wanted to do two weeks of Valentine's fun because I had so many ideas. And I knew I could reuse a lot of the things from the first week, just switching the presentation a little. So, this tray used the salt shaker again, but the manipulative was plastic heart toothpicks. Boogie enjoyed dropping and dumping them more than putting them in and out of the sugar shaker holes. He also got in trouble for trying to stand up and run with one. That was a big no. Those little suckers are pointy!

Boogie loved seeing the conversation hearts out again. He sat right down and did this like a pro. And then put the conversation hearts in his bulldozer and Mack truck.

There were a couple days when Boogie really enjoyed the felt Valentine cookie set I made him. He loved to drop and dump the sprinkles. He loved taking the wrapper off the icing container and had some trouble Velcro-ing it back on. He got really into pretend playing with them and wanted to feed his monkey and Mack truck. It was too cute. "Nudder one, Monkey?"

These pictures turned out kind of small as a group but I do not have the energy to do it again. I got this idea from Dirt and Boogers and knew Boogie would love it. I gave him three different sized glass jars in a cake pan to keep everything from falling on the floor, then I gave him red flat marbles, heart table scatter, and pink and white pom poms. This kept him entertained for a little while, just sorting through them and opening and closing the lids. He didn't separate them into the three jars like I had in mind, but he did really enjoy the noises they made in the cake pan and in the jars. I also added the cool whip container with the holes cut in top. Then he wanted Mack truck to come play, too, of course, so he could put everything in the trailer. I had him doing this at the table instead of on the floor because I was cooking and it was not a good day to have him underfoot.


Boogie "baked" with our Valentine's play dough and made some hearts, too.

We did some table time with worksheets. We tried his new scissors, which he liked but needed help working. He asked me to make hearts and then he wanted to paint them. We also had some desk time with coloring.

Valentine cutting worksheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler.


Boogie played in his salt tray, that I added a drop of blue food coloring to. I made V's and circles, and he scribbled. He also likes to shake it and get it everywhere so we honestly don't take this out very often.

We have not been consistent at all with calendar time. Or Bible time either actually. I mean, we always read a chapter from the actual Bible at bedtime with him, but I haven't been reading from his Bible story book recently. This is something I am really disappointed in myself about and want to be more consistent with. Reading the Bible is the most important thing I do with him. I have excuses, like since Bam Bam has started eating solids, I am often feeding both of them lunch at the same time, and that was when I would usually read Boogie the Bible. But there is a lot of other time during the day. I just need to re-think it.


We got a coupon for $25 to spend at Melissa and Doug, so we got Boogie some tools and a garbage truck. He LOVES that garbage truck. Here, he and the garbage truck are watching the real garbage truck outside. So cute!

Okay, if you are still reading this, I would love your opinion on water beads. There is a warning on the packs from Walmart that they have been known to cause cancer and other reproductive issues in the state of CA. It also says they are non-toxic. I did some reading about it, and apparently one of the chemicals, if crushed and I think then ingested, can settle in the lungs and that then causes cancer. Or something like that. Sometimes the water beads to get smushed. I was very uncomfortable after reading the label, and between that and the mold they were starting to grow, I got rid of them. But he loves them and there are so many cool ways to use them. Has anyone used brands other than Walmart? Do all of them have that warning? Does anyone know more about it?

Anyway, this was the last fun time Boogie had with waterbeads, on his light box. They looked so pretty!

Boogie also played with his heart table scatter and flat red marbles on the light box around Valentine's Day. Why is everything so pretty if you shine light through it?


While we were still fighting the colds and Boogie wasn't interested in his trays anymore, I finally tried this awesome idea I had seen all over Pinterest, to use pipe cleaners in a colander. Boogie really enjoyed this. I added pony beads to the mix when he started to get bored (also an idea I saw on a lot of blogs around the same time) and he went right to color matching. Then, he dumped the beads all over the floor and refused to pick them up and we had quite a battle of wills and the pony beads have been in time out since that day.

Have you been to Growing a Jeweled Rose? She has so many fun messy play ideas, including lots of ways to use glow water. Boogie helped to make glow water (water + insides of a highlighter) and then we got a $11 Walmart black light and took a glow bath! It was awesome! To make the glow bath, I gave him a spray bottle full of glow water then he did the rest. I want to get some glow sticks and submersible lights for more fun with this idea.


You can pin this picture if you want because you can't really see him and it is AWESOME!

Did you read Taming the Goblin's guest post here for my Lesson Learned series? She shared a bird feeder craft that I really wanted to try, keeping her experience in mind. Boogie helped me make bird seed feeder cakes and we hung one right outside the playroom window. I haven't seen anything eating it but the first one is gone so hopefully more birds will come. Ours did turn out a bit crumbly, but it was fun making them. Then Boogie had fun playing with all the straws we didn't use to make the holes for hanging.

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I did have pictures of him playing with this next thing I made him but I am not sure where they are. I filled up an external hard drive with pictures and have not been able to upload the more recent ones yet. But, he has really enjoyed this barn I made for him out of a Target diaper box and construction paper. I made hay out of shredded paper and added some corn kernels for the animals to eat. This was a lot of quiet pretend play fun when none of us were feeling well.


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Whew! That was our February tot school in a very big nutshell! Thanks for reading!

Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1.

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