Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Tot School & Preschool Corner

M is 3 2/3 years old

Tot School
R is 23 months old
I'll be continuing with our new format - comparing the Tot School & Preschool Corner activities so that you can see how I adapt them so that my kids can work on them together.

I was lucky enough to find another pocket of time this week where M woke up from her nap before R to do some of our printables.  We usually do them at the kitchen table but she chose to do them hanging out on our living room floor instead.  We didn't get to finish all our printables before brother woke up, but since she works on similar things each week, I'm not going to stress about it too much.
Number Order Puzzle from 2 Teaching Mommies

Which is Different from 2 Teaching Mommies

Beginning Writing Practice from 2 Teaching Mommies
Montessori Style Trays
Pumpkin Transferring
R put orange pom poms in a pumpkin ice tray (great for 1:1 correspondence)
M used chopsticks to transfer tiny pumpkin erasers to an ice tray with many tiny holes
Pumpkin Pouring
M poured water into a pumpkin ice tray.
R poured pumpkin erasers back and forth between two small containters.
(He LOVED this activity and kept going until he finally could pour without spilling!)

R matched pumpkins that had different patterns (cut from scrapbook paper)
M matched pumpkin faces with different expressions and we talked about feelings

Pumpkin Lacing Cards
R isn't able to do these very well, but he still likes to be included!
Pumpkin Stamping
(Using the top of a cut off pumpkin)
Painting Pumpkins
We don't carve pumpkins, I'm just to afraid of the potential injuries!
After we dismantled the pumpkins above, we bought these small ones to paint.
I made a Sensory Bin out of the pulp and seeds from a pumpkin.  Well, actually, I roasted the seeds and pumpkin right away when we cut into it for the pumpkin stamping art above, so the seeds and pulp are from a butternut squash that I used for dinner, but close enough!
R played with it awhile, but M flat out refused to touch it!
I made this Jack o Lantern felt game with a few scraps of felt.  It took me maybe about 10 minutes and that was with me stopping frequently while I chatted with a friend!
Felt Mr. Pumpkin Head
The kids loved changing out the eyes, noses and mouths.
Field Trips
We are lucky enough to live in an area that has TONS of great fall activities.  We chose this year to go to a pumpkin patch that we had never been to before, but is run through the same organization that allows M to go horseback riding for free, provided she does chores around the ranch.  The pumpkin patch was free too, and absolutely amazing!
Happily riding a horse

M navigated the entire hay maze by herself - on one try!

We also went to Chik Fil-A's family night on Tuesday because I didn't want to cook they were decorating pumpkin shaped cookies for their activity.  The kids were SO happy to be getting some sweets!


Are you on Pintrest?  I had SO many more ideas than what we actually got to this week, so check out my Pumpkin Theme board if you are looking for more ideas!

That's all for this week! To see what other toddlers and preschoolers are learning this week, check out the official Preschool Corner website and Tot School Website

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pirate Tot School & Preschool Corner

M is 3.5 years old
Tot School
R is 22 months old
I decided this week to do just one post for both Tot School and Preschool Corner.  R always wants to do what M is doing, so lately I've been finding ways to include them both at the same time.  It take a bit more preperation on my part but leads to far less tantrums on the part of the almost 2 year old.  If you have two of similar age, I hope it helps for you to see how I do keep them both involved even though they are clearly at different levels!

As far as the theme goes, I had a few reservations about doing pirates.  I mean basically they are theifs, right?  Well after we found some cute printables and a great kids show about pirates, I figured I could do this theme in a way that doesn't glorify stealing or bad behavior.
Color By Number / Coloring Page from Making Learning Fun
M worked on a color by number page, while R colored plain coloring page.
Pirate Vocabulary from Homeschool Creations' Pirate Lapbook
Neither of my kids knew all that much about pirates, so this was a great starting point for learning what pirates are all about!
Luckily this week M woke up early from her nap one day, and R was happily occupied with some puzzles in his room on another day, so I was able to do the rest of our printables without having R get in the way!

The printables below are all from the Pirate Pack on 2 Teaching Mommies.
Prewriting practice.  She's getting really good at staying on the lines!

Which is Different?

Number Cards - mark the number that corresponds to the amount of items
The printables below are from Homeschool Creations
Pirate Ship Size Sorting
Pirate Ship Board Game
We rolled a dice and moved our markers (gold coins) around the board to the finish line.
 The printables below come from Making Learning Fun, one of my new favorite sites!
Beginning Letter Sounds Pirate Ship
She glued the pictures to the flags that had the corresponding begining letter.
Pirate Chest Letter Assesment
M matched the lowercase letters written on the back of gold coins (circles cut from gold scrapbook paper)
with uppercase letters on the sheet.  She has known her letters for a long time but it doesn't hurt to review!
Montessori Style Trays
I tried this week to make Preschool Trays and Tot Trays that were very similar but slightly different as far as skill level.
Message in a Bottle
I rolled small scraps of paper and M put them in a narrow necked bottle w/ chopsticks while R used his fingers.
Treasure Sorting
M sorted different colored buttons into seperate containers.
R worked on his fine motor skills and put buttons into a piggy bank.
The kids decorated pirate hats using the printable from 2 Teaching Mommies.
Aging a Map
They painted a piece of paper with coffee to make it look antique.
This is the paper I used for our treasure map below.
These the kids always seem to do together anyway, so it works well for this kind of post.
Walk the Plank!
They had a great time balancing on a 4x4 that I laid on the ground (wearing their pirate hats of course!) 
Great for gross motor skills!

M said that real pirates have telescopes, so I pulled a couple of toilet paper rolls out of the recycling bin and they were set!
I used the "antiqued" paper from their art project to make a treasure map.

M deciphered the map (which was of our front yard)...

And they found the treasure!

A sensory box!  Dirt filled with necklaces and other treasure they had to dig for!
Books & Movies
I introduced the kids to Jake and the Neverland Pirates this week (under reccomendation from a friend) and they loved it!  We don't have cable, so we watched a couple of episodes online.

That's all for this week!  To see what other toddlers and preschoolers are learning this week, check out the official Preschool Corner website and Tot School Website!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Balloon Tot School

Tot School
R is 22 months old
This week one of the great fall events in our area was in town, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  This is an event that brings 700+ hot air balloons together and literally thousands of visitors to our little city.  We are so lucky to have it, and so this week I decided to teach a Hot Air Balloon theme.  A few of our activities were more "regular balloon" than "hot air balloon" but materials for this theme are pretty scarce!

Tot Trays
Lacing a Balloon Lacing Card

Sensory Balloons -
I filled some balloons up with various materials
(rice, beans, sugar, coffee grounds, nuts)
and he enjoyed feeling them all.
R also practiced naming shapes using the shape balloons from the preschool printables I made for his sister.

We used inflated balloons to paint a printed picture of a hot air balloon.
Just for Fun
The kids watched the hot air balloons take to the skies almost every morning via one of our local channels coverage.  There were also a couple of days where the balloons flew right over our house!

Field Trip
We went last Saturday to one of the Balloon Glows - a nighttime event at which you get to see all the balloons light up together as they stay stationary on the ground. There was a cool fireworks show afterwards as well.

I also tried taking the kids to a morning mass ascenscion, but unfortunately it was a rainy day and the launch was cancelled.  We had tickets to a Teacher Appreciation event in the nearby Balloon Museum though, so we enjoyed checking out the museum and doing some of the activities they had set out for kids.

Books & Movies
Age appropriate books about hot air balloons (or balloons in general!) were a bit hard to find, but this is what I managed to rustle up from the library.  A few were a little too long and had to be edited, but he still enjoyed the pictures!  We also watched Up!, which was the perfect movie for this theme.

That's all for this week! To see what other toddlers are learning this week, check out the official Tot School Website!