Thursday, February 27, 2020

Winter Themed Tot School Activities

Since (I'm hoping) winter is about over, we decided to squeeze in a winter tot school theme.
This was his desk area. I found the poster in an old magazine and hung some of his artwork on the wall. The shelf has a bunch of winter books.
The winter sensory bin had Epsom salt as a base. Then I threw in a bunch of acrylic snowflakes (scatter from Hobby Lobby) and some blue gems. We got out the animals from his arctic toob and buried them in the "snow."
Winter stickers. I am trying not to buy new stickers, since they just end up in a landfill. These I already had, so might as well use.
Play dough for this week included some snowflake cutters (clay cutters from Hobby Lobby) and some cookie stamps. I forgot to get some action shots.
These were the playroom shelves. Not every activity was winter related. I had First Orchard on top, since we're making a more concerted effort to play games.  There was a basket of Daniel Tiger toys, a golf tee game and our mitten matching game (free here). The next shelf had some number cards and snowballs. Top right was a wooden puzzle and some 2-part puzzles. Then a snowman stuffing activity, shape cupcakes (stayed out from last week since he was playing with them so much), the arctic toob and matching vocabulary cards, farm blocks and a basket of vehicles.
Playing First Orchard with Xander. He seems to understand games better if someone else plays with him and I can just focus on helping him with his turn.
We used MagnaTiles to build a "house" for his Daniel Tiger characters.
Simple game I picked up years ago for a dollar.  Archer loved putting all the pegs in.
I made cards with dots 0-10 and set out some snowflakes to put on the dots. He didn't do all the numbers, but he did several throughout the week. He particularly liked looking through all the cards and saying the numbers.
Shoveling snowballs. Last year we got these awesome "crunchy" snowballs and I cleaned off Xander's old kids shovel. I think this was the biggest hit of the week.  The kid walked around with the shovel all the time. He did need to push the snowballs up against a wall or something to be able to pick them up with the shovel, though.
Matching arctic toob animals. There are also words which we did after the picture was taken.  You can print the cards here.
2-Part Puzzles
Fill up the snowman. We got out several tweezers, but fingers ended up being the easiest.
Playing with farm blocks.

Check out other Winter Themed Ideas and Materials:

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Mitten Pattern Matching Game

Printable Mitten Pattern Matching Game for Visual Discrimination

It's no secret that I have a slight obsession with educational toys and board games. However, I feel like I'm often struggling when it comes to toys/games for my toddler.  They all seem to focus on color or shape matching.  How many toys and games do we need that focus on the same skills? With that in mind, I started looking for other skills. 

Pattern matching seemed like a fun, but so many toys and games use colors to distinguish the patterns also.  That means a kid can just match the color, regardless of the pattern or texture. Therefore, I made my own pattern matching game all in the same color. I went with mittens since we're doing a "winter" theme, but I will probably do some others as well.

Since Archer is still young, we just worked on matching.  For older kids you could turn them over and play "memory". After playing with him, I decided I should have made a "right" and a "left" mitten, so I changed the file for anyone else who might want to use it.

So far, it has been a hit.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Gray Tot School Activities

Archer is 20 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 a few books.  I got out two of his Non-Fiction Sight Words books, two of his Meet the Sight Words readers and two of his Meet the Phonics books (he likes those better than story books at the moment).  The poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I also hung up the pages to his color book (free here).
Gray word cards (free here). Sometimes he really likes these matching activities, and other times he gets bored.  He can almost always read all the words (from watching the corresponding Little Reader lessons)
 Coloring his Gray Book (free here). Gray was a bit harder, so we only had crayons, a colored pencil and a marker.
Bin of miscellaneous gray/silver objects. Since many were metal, I got out some magnets also.
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). 

On top was Acorn Soup (we're trying to get in more games for him). The shelves had a wooden puzzle, Rollipop ball roller, two part vehicle puzzles, a basket of gray animals, a clear container with paperclips and magnets, a bin of silver/gray objects, Inchimals and his basket of vehicles. We also brought up the Hilltops, which usually live in the basement.

Honestly, I kind of forgot about our Inchimals, from when Xander was younger.  I shouldn't have waited so long to get them out.  Archer really enjoyed them!
Helping Mommy bake "taste."

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Kaysha @ Memorizing the MomentsColorsFollow On
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