Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Tot School Christmas Activities

With Christmas approaching, we took a break from our Color Themes to do some fun holiday activities. We'll continue with color themes in the new year.

Play dough is a daily, if not multiple times a day, activity in our house, so I made two different play dough trays. The first one was "tree" themed.
She used it with both dark and light green play dough.
The second was gingerbread themed. We used gingerbread play dough and lots of fun little add ins. I don't think either kid made many actual gingerbread men or houses.
The boys, their dad and I build a big Lego Christmas Village every year.  So that Juniper wouldn't feel left out, I bought her this adorable little Christmas Duplo set.
I threw some jingle bells and magnets in a bin and both younger kids had a blast! There were jingle bells all over the play room for days!
At one point, Archer decided to get out the baby ball track and that was a huge hit. We also stuck some jingle bells on Magna-Tiles.
She made her first ornament. I set out some gems, pom poms, beads and pipe cleaners with an empty ornament. I was shocked at how long she worked on it!
Christmas Sensory Bin. I dyed pearl barley red and green and threw in some little white pasta stars.
Light table Christmas Trees - I cut up a binder divider. Since it had pockets, I was able to get four triangles. I gave her some bingo chips and a wand for her to decorate and "clean up."

We let her try decorating a cookie while the big kids decorated gingerbread houses. She wasn't too interested in decorating, mostly eating.
I love it when materials I used over a decade ago are still useful now. We did some color matching with little light bulbs I printed from Tons of Fun
Matching Christmas 3 Part Cards. Juniper is still beginning reading, so she definitely couldn't read all the words. We just practiced reading them together and finding the match.
I've posted about our Christmas Book Advent Calendar activity before, so it's no surprise that we read lots of Christmas books. Here are some of Juniper's favorites.

Toy Cookies
Reusable Christmas Stickers

Make Learning About The World Fun And Entertaining For Your Child

 The world is a big place, and it’s an even bigger place for your children. Being able to teach them about different countries and cultures is a magical way to help them learn more about the world and open up their horizons. 

Going far beyond geography, learning about the world can incorporate different topics including language, literature and even food. It can be a fun way for you and your child to explore these topics together, and perhaps even inspire some real-life adventures too. 

Take a look at these fantastic ideas to help make learning about the world a fun and entertaining experience for your child.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Choose different countries to focus on

With 195 recognized countries in the world, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to opioids to teach your kids about. It’s a good idea to mix things up and focus on countries on different continents, helping you introduce many different cultures, traditions, languages and more. 

It will help you to conduct a little research in advance to help you gather everything you need and plan a fun session which will bring several different elements of learning together. Making this kind of subject a regular part of your child’s learning will build up some excitement, especially if it is seen as a more fun alternative to more traditional school subjects.

Create a regular learning program covering different topics

The great thing about studying different countries is that you can incorporate a lot of different elements into your learning sessions. You’ll be able to cover things like geography and culture, but can also think a bit more outside the box to focus on native animals and of course, food. Some ideas of subjects and how you can cover them include:


Geography is a simple topic to start with when learning about any country. You’ll be able to explain where a country is located on a map, what its flag, is as well as the type of climate it has. Geography is an interesting subject and will help your child learn a lot about each country that could come in handy one day.

Far and Wide is an excellent resource to help you learn some interesting facts about each country.


What makes every country unique are the people who live there. Teaching your child about other cultures can help them learn a lot about a country, but also to respect others. Taking a closer look at a country’s culture can help you look at traditions more closely, and gives you an opportunity to discover music, dance, film and more that have come out of that country. 


Language is another fantastic way to learn more about a country. You may already teach additional languages such as French or Spanish as part of your learning, but you could expand further by learning words from other languages. Some simple examples include greetings, numbers and how to say “Happy Birthday” in different languages. While you may want to focus on one or two languages in depth, this can still be a fun element to your lessons.


Every country has dishes that it is famous for, so why not add a food element to each of your lessons? You could teach cooking by learning how to make different foods together, or you can find out if there are any local stores that sell traditional dishes from your chosen country that you can enjoy at home. 

Take a look at some fantastic international recipes you can make as part of your adventures!


Another way to introduce different countries to your child is by discussing nature. Learning about the animals that are native to each country can be a fun way to connect your child with different places. From the lions that inhabit Tanzania to kangaroos in Australia, there’s a lot to discover when you take a closer look at different countries.


The history of individual countries is fascinating once you start to get into it. Some countries’ histories will have had an impact on America, so learning some world history can be beneficial to your child’s other studies too. This can help your child expand their worldview, especially as they get older.

You may find other topics relevant to what you want your child to earn. Tailor your program for each country to add some unique elements to your child’s learning experience. 

Make the session as interactive as possible

Learning about the world gives you some fantastic material to help you educate your child and teach them different things. Making these sessions as varied and interesting as possible will help keep your child’s attention, and ensure learning stays fun too. Some of the ways you can do this include:

Read some books

You can find many great books about different countries of the world, providing plenty of facts and knowledge that can help your child’s studies. From picture books to textbooks, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. You could even check out the selection at your local library which may have some interesting choices for you to borrow.

Engage in different activities

Making your sessions more interactive through different activities can keep your child’s learning fresh and interesting. From activity books to interactive games, you can encourage learning through more than just reading and writing. Keep an eye out online for different songs that could also be an enjoyable way for your child to learn about the world.

Do some arts and crafts

Arts and crafts can teach your child many different skills, but they can also be a good way to learn. From drawing pictures to different craft activities, you could encourage your child’s creativity and help them interpret what they’ve learned in their own way.

Watch videos and movies

Videos and movies are another great resource to help your child learn more about the world. There are a lot of sources you can check for this, including YouTube, and free educational resources online. Movies that are set in different countries can teach a lot too, but can also be a way to follow up on your child’s learning while doing something they enjoy.

A fantastic example of how this can work is learning about the British Isles. From books and videos to some cooking sessions, combining all of these elements makes for an in-depth and exciting learning experience for kids.

Take language learning further

Learning new languages has several benefits for your child, including:

  • Improved memory

  • Cognitive development

  • Better cultural awareness

  • Expands their worldview

  • Cultural awareness

It can also give them many advantages for their further education and possible future job prospects. 

Adding regular language lessons from a young age can help your child learn a language quickly. It could even help you learn, too! There are different ways to teach your child a foreign language at home based on their age, so you can start them at a young age and develop their skills as they get older.

Plan some visits to bring everything to life

If it’s possible, why not bring your lessons to life with some real-life visits to other countries? Getting the chance to explore new places and take in different sights and languages can boost your child’s development, and will help you create some incredible memories too.

With extended travel, you will really get the chance to explore. You can continue your child’s learning by creating a routine while you’re away, factoring in different lessons while finding time to enjoy your surroundings. You will need some essentials, including a pack and play crib. Learn what is a pack and play and how it can help make travelling easier. This could be a fantastic experience for your whole family, helping to make memories while you all learn a little more about the world. 

As they get older, start to discuss current events around the world 

As your child gets older, they will naturally start to wonder more about the world. They’ll be exposed to new stories and other people’s conversations, which can leave them curious, and potentially even anxious about what’s happening around them. Being able to have conversations about current events with your child can help reassure them, and help them feel more informed too. You can guide the conversation in line with your child’s age and understanding, ensuring you protect their wellbeing at the same time.

Teaching your child about the world will open them up to a whole new load of learning experiences. You can show them different cultures, landscapes, and traditions - helping to fuel their curiosity and help them develop knowledge and skills that will benefit them later in life too. Learning about different countries can make your lessons fun and engaging, giving your child something to look forward to, and give you some new things to learn too. Make your way around the globe to help your child discover the world around them, for learning experiences they won’t forget.

*This was a contributed post

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tot School Green Week

     We recently wrapped out our green week of our color themes.  As with the boys, my goal is not for her to learn her colors. You can see my tot school goals here.

Juniper was 17 months
Juniper's little area on our wall. I put up her color poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I put out some green themed books and sight words for her. She liked the sight words books better than the color books this week.
I tried to give her a chance to use different media for her little coloring book pages (free here). She used markers and paint this week.
I also let her explore with the paint a couple of brushes. She painted her hand and then was very concerned about it being messy.
I'm introducing her to Montessori 3 Part Vocabulary Cards with some color cards. She's not ready to do them independently, but I'm modeling for her and eventually she'll get it. She does like trying to help put the word card on the picture. Sometimes she does it correctly, sometimes she doesn't, and sometimes she knocks all the cards on the floor. She's slowly been getting better, though.
Lots and lots of play dough this week. We used both dark green and light green, since I already had them. She used rollers, character body parts and stampers.
Green stickers.
Various green things on the light table.
Bug puzzle
Sound block puzzle she wanted to do.
Green sensory bin with lots of different pastas and rice.

You can check out our other Color Theme posts here:

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