Friday, September 20, 2019

Blue Week

Archer is 16 months

In August I posted our Color Themes Goals. Those are what I had in mind while we started Tot School this week, not actually learning the color.
His little shelf had several books about colors or Purple.  I also got out two of his Non-Fiction Sight Words books and one of his Meet the Sight Words readers.  The poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I also hung up the pages to his color book (free here) and some blue Do-A-Dot artwork.
Playroom shelves this week.  The goal of the toys is to entertain him and give him some fine motor practice.  Things like building, sorting and puzzles also provide some spacial awareness (math and even physics). 

Shelves included 6 Pet Vocabulary Cards (free here) and corresponding Toob animals, one beginning pattern blocks board, his mailbox, a latch board, color viewer, felt envelopes and shapes, wooden trucks (EVERY shelf rotation must include trucks), construction toys (similar to these), a chunky puzzle and a discovery bin.
6 of the Pet Vocabulary Cards (free here) and corresponding Toob animals. He mostly sat on my lap and we did them together.  He REALLY liked the cat, so hat trouble wanting to put that toy or word down.
This was the biggest surprise of the week! I've never gotten these out for him before and he LOVED them. He put the pieces in over and over and over.  Then he'd carry a couple of the shapes around.  He even help a couple of the shapes while we walked to pick Xander up from school.
Looking through his color viewer. (We got ours second hand, but it was originally from Lakeshore Learning).
I made what I thought was a flower, and he went nuts calling it a star again and again. The kid loves stars!
Blue discovery basket with miscellaneous blue toys
Red foods 3 part cards (free here). I still did most of the matching for him, but we did it every day. We also did the corresponding Little Reader lesson to go with every day. Here he was very excited about the paperclip!

Coloring his Red Book (free here). He wanted to color while holding ALL the crayons!
Markers and Do a Dots.  He thinks the caps are more fun the the actual artwork.
Animal Rescue Activity for both fine motor and sensory play (more pictures and details on this post)
Gross motor usually involves a lot of running around and climbing at parks. He also rediscovered his Rody Horse (best $1 Facebook Marketplace find EVER).
Not part of our "planned" activities, but Archer found our alphabet peg stackers in the basement one day.  We got them out and started playing with the pegs. I made the word "for" and "of" for him, as well as a few other short words.  He was enthralled! I think that was the first time it clicked for him that letters make words. He kept taking away the f, putting it back and saying "of" and then doing it again. I am so blessed to get to watch those moments of learning!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Animal Rescue Activity


I recently painted my kitchen cabinets. As I was prepping, I decided the painters definitely needed to be incorporated into our Blue Week of Tot School. Since I already had out some Toob animals to go with his Pet Vocabulary Cards (free here), I came up with this animal rescue activity.
I put each animal into a well of a muffin tin and used a couple of pieces of painters tape to secure it. I didn't even tell Archer what to do. I just set it down in front of him and he automatically started peeling off all the tape and freeing the animals. He got all the animals out himself, but he did have some trouble getting the tape off his fingers, so I had to help with that part.
When he had them all out, he spent a long time playing with the tin and the animals.



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Monday, September 16, 2019

Games for Brains: Carcassonne


Carcassonne
Playing Time: 30 min
 Players: 2-5



Overview:
I'm kind of surprised that I haven't posted this game sooner! It is one of our favorites to play when it is just Xander and me.  It plays well with two, takes essentially no setup, and can be played pretty quickly (important for games during the baby's naptime). This is a tile laying game, where you choose where to play your tile and whether or not to place your Meeples on it.  There are different ways you can place the Meeples, that let you score different amounts of points.  It's mostly a strategy game, although there is a component of luck in what tiles you draw. Note: we do play with the Abbot and the River, which are mini-expansions that come with it.  We have not actually ventured into buying full expansions yet.


Brain Value:
Until actually playing with Xander, I didn't realize what a good visual/spacial game this was.  At first, he had some trouble figuring out why he couldn't play tiles in certain places. Once you'd point it out to him, he'd see it immediately, but he had to learn to pay attention to all sides of a tile. I also like that this game takes some planning ahead and weighing decisions.  For instance, you have to decide whether you want to add to a city, potentially getting you more points, but also potentially making it harder to finish. Xander has been playing with me for years, but in the last year or so had gotten much more strategic!



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Friday, September 13, 2019

Red Week

Archer is 15 months

In August I posted our Color Themes Goals. Those are what I had in mind while we started Tot School this week, not actually learning the color.
His little shelf had several books about colors.  I also got out two of his Non-Fiction Sight Words books and one of his Meet the Sight Words readers.  He LOVES his sight words books right now, much better than regular story books. I'm going to go with it! The poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT.
Playroom shelves this week.  The goal of the toys is to entertain him and give him some fine motor practice.  Things like building, sorting and puzzles also provide some spacial awareness (math and even physics). The file box and game on top are part of Xander's Afterschooling Activities.

Shelves include color viewer, lacing apple, red sorting food, rainbow stacker, latch barn, peg pop up toy, rubber blocks, cars and garage, safari puzzle, red discovery basket and safari truck. (A lot of which were second hand).
Red discovery basket with miscellaneous red toys
Red foods 3 part cards (free here). I still did most of the matching for him, but we did it every day. We also did the corresponding Little Reader lesson to go with every day, that kid LOVES words!
Coloring his Red Book (free here)
I got out the tunnel and took him to a couple of parks for Gross Motor. He's only 15 months, so that's still good practice for him.
Red light table play (more pictures on this post).
Looking through his color viewer, although a plastic storage lid works too. (We got ours second hand, but it was originally from Lakeshore Learning)
Life lesson, finger paint tastes yucky.
Sorting activity turned gross motor?? I didn't actually plan on getting out the vehicle counters/counting bears this week, but Archer goes straight to that bin every time we're in the basement.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pets Vocabulary Cards


Archer loves words! He loves doing Little Reader lessons, loves watching  movies that teach words, loves sight words books and pointing out all the words he knows/can say whenever he sees them.  I want to keep feeding this passion, so I made this set of 3 Part Vocabulary Cards for him with common animals.  
I used animals to go with the Pets Toob, for an extra matching activity, since enjoys playing with the little figurines.  I imagine it will still be a few months before he can match them up entirely independently, but for now we will do it together.

You're welcome to download the Pets Vocabulary Cards here.
You can check out my other free printables here.

Note: because Little Reader already has a few lessons on common animals, I did not make a Little Reader lesson to go with this set.

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