Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tot School - C is for Cars and Cookies

This is actually my third week of Tot School at home, but the first time that I was finally able to take pictures and document everything that we did.  I am very happy with all of the things my trio of tots learned this week.  I do need to add my disclaimer: I snag most of my ideas from Hand Over The Cookies and 1+1+1=1

We took our first trip to the library last weekend.  Ant was working that morning, so I ventured into our local library with three children under the age of four who had never been to a library before.  Oh, and I wouldn't want to forget to mention that it took FOR-FREAKING-EVER because the picture books for small children aren't in order on shelves.  That would make entirely too much sense.  Instead, they are in about twenty different child-high bins so that small children can get them out and put them back as they please.  So not only did I have to try to keep an eye on three toddlers and encourage them to be quiet the entire time, but I also had to search through several bins of unorganized books just to find a few that fit our category.

On the bright side, these books were a hit.  My plan was to read just one book each day, but instead we reach each book every night.  I doubt we'll ever have to try hard to encourage our children to enjoy books.

What I count as "writing" is really more letter-recognition than writing.  But this really is the toddler version of what writing would be.  We traced "C" and "c", found all of the C's in a giant letter "C", and outlined our Cc sheet with Play-Doh--by far their favorite activity.  They like to poke the Play-Doh, and they don't even realize that while they're poking and making fingerprints, they are also outlining the letter "C".

We attempted to draw lines on the worksheets below.  Ace is really good at this concept.  The younger two, could use some work.

Our first art project was a combination of two ideas I saw on other blogs.  I taped off the letter "C" on a sheet of paper, and let them drive toy cars through paint to make car tracks all over the page.  After the pages had dried, I lifted off the tape and we had very decorative letter C's that went along with our car theme.  We do one of these "tape-off" projects for each letter and hang the results in the kids' rooms.
(Although one would think that the pink and purple art would be Jellybean's... it's actually Dango's project.  Yes, I let them pick their own colors.  Dango loves the color pink, and since his daddy won't let him actually wear pink, he uses his art to express his passion for the color.)

I thought of the other art project all on my own, and the kids really like it.  Especially because it involved glue.  Each child colored two cookies and then we glued them onto a plate that I printed from Google Images. 
We also did some color-matching, trying to match crayons to the colored cookies below.  Ace (3 years) got about 8/10 right.  Dango (2.5 years) only got about 2/10 right without my help.  And Jellybean (23 months) got exactly zero right, and just tried to scribble all over the page, then threw a fit when I took the page away.  Ah, yes, Terrible Two's, I can hear you coming.

Toddler math mostly involves counting and a little number recognition.  This week, I taped paper cookies on the wall and we counted all 15 of them.  We even counted in French!  Dango loves counting in French.  Ace and Jellybean are usually annoyed with it, giving me looks like, "what're we in Canada?!"

Not that these kids need any help being active... they always have more energy than I do, that's for sure.  But sometimes a little guidance with their physical activities helps.  This week, we tried to play "Red Light Green Light" to go along with our cars theme.  It didn't go over so well.  Dango and Jellybean, being only 2.5 and almost 2, pretty much just ran around no matter what light I said.  Ace got the giggles every time I said "green light" and couldn't go anywhere.  But it did give us a chance to talk about traffic lights and which colors mean what.

This week I tried to get them to play along with the musical game "Who Took The Cookies From The Cookie Jar" in which I pretty much recited the whole thing and they just giggled a lot when I said their name.  A for effort, right?

Our big "science project" was to bake some cookies.  That's a pretty big deal when you're a little kid.  Just adding an egg or stirring the batter makes those cookies taste so much sweeter to them.  We even baked some C shaped cookies.

At the end of our week, our completed work looks something like this:

Everyone is doing something fun!
Tot School

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