Category Archives: early learning

Tot School Begins- Dinosaurs and more

Tot School

Boo is my brainy 22 months old tot who I can’t seem to kiss and hug enough

I have wanted to post my Tot school learning for some time- have been super busy, but took the time tonight to quickly jot down what my Boo has been working on this past week!

  • we started back up with our itty bitty curriculum! Boo LOVED reading books about babies, and one of the extension activities was to bathe a baby doll in your water table. Since we don’t have one, we just grabbed the baby bath from storage and used that instead! My daughter can’t get enough of water- this activity was perfect for her!
  • I hung an alphabet strip in my daughter’s play/learning room. She will know go up to the letters and say “big A, little A”. I wanted to teach her capital and lowercase- but those words are a little too tricky.
  • I had a small potted plant that was part of my Church lesson that has been designated as one of Boo’s responsibilities. She is in charge of watering the plant- no, all the water doesn’t make it in the flower pot and she still insists that the watering can is really a teapot.
  • Boo spent some time working on her shape sorter- we reviewed colors and shapes with this silly Elmo toy!
  • Played with my Yacker Tracker (a classroom management stoplight that will turn red when the noise is loud) I wanted my Boo to use it as a traffic light for her cars (she very recently learned what the colors on a traffic light mean and we review them ALL the time now in the car) but instead she runs up and says hi to all the colors. She is a very sociable little thing!
  • We stared at lots of bugs outside- my daughter got caught trying to lick ants- SICK! and yet, very creative in an odd way…
  • Boo tried her hand at tee ball. Great Grandma and Grandpa have this adorable little tee ball set and I am SO wanting to get one for my daughter! She does have a little sporty streak in her!
  • Pretty much every lunch consisted of the following: peanut butter, blueberries, tomatoes, milk, and cheese. A colorful, nutritious meal! (lacking grains- my daughter is a cracker baby and so she is not deprived of grains at all!)
  • Boo is all about large motor activities, and when I noticed she was struggling a bit with the concept of rolling a ball (she would throw it instead) we took out our CHEAP (i mean price and quality) bowling ball set and practiced setting the ball down and then pushing it towards a few pins. She seemed to catch on quickly and in fact grabbed another, bigger, ball to use instead since it knocked the pins down easier!
  • the big learning chunk this week was spent learning about dinosaurs. YES my baby girl likes dinosaurs! The fascination began after seeing the big green dinosaurs at local gas stations, blow up dinos at car lots, and then recently seeing Toy Story with Daddy (which by the way I totally want to get my daughter a potato head doll for her birthday- those things were the best growing up!) I took her to a local dinosaur museum which had lots of fossils, life size replicas of dinosaur skeletons, robotic dinos (made my Boo hesitate all of 5 seconds before running up to them and saying in her high pitched, squeaky voice “hi dinosaurs!”) and then there are several large dinos outside along a walking path. At the museum there is an area where kids can uncover dino bones in the dirt using paintbrushes. We had some of those sponge dino capsules that expand in water that we picked up from Target for a buck- those were a big hit! We would stare at the water and Boo says “changing” as the capsule turns into a dino! I also have a dino tub from second grade teaching days with plastic dinos- Boo was in heaven! She would have the dinos lay down and go to sleep, giving them big slobbery kisses and saying sweet “dreams”. When the dinos woke up, and before they could eat she said “puh-way”- folded her arms, bowed her head and said this sweet prayer: “dadada dinosaurs. Amen.” She then spotted a fishy (she can’t say “f” yet) and then revised her prayer to this: “dadada dinosaurs shishy. Amen” I love that she brings the girly, sweet side to the dinosaurs!

That is ONE busy week behind us!
Happy Teaching!

Toddler Tug-o-War

Toddler Tug-o-war
Here’s an easy and fun activity that will only require two bibs! Loop the two bibs together and have your tot hold one bib and you hold the other. Then have your tot pull on the bibs. My daughter didn’t really get the concept of pulling at first, but it will come quickly with this game.
A great suggestion is to be sure that your tot is sitting down so that when the loops break he doesn’t lose balance and fall down. Laugh and clap when the bibs pull apart and talk about which one stayed together and which one opened up. Talk about the colors of the bibs, and any words or pictures on them. For the older toddlers, have them hold the bib in their right hand and then the left hand while pulling each time. Then try to see if he can pull the bibs apart by himself. My daughter thought this game was hilarious and we played it over and over and over…. (you know how it goes!)

Supplies Needed-
– 2 bibs

This activity was taken from TODDLERTODDLER.com- check out this great site!

Toddler Twister

Toddler Twister!-
This is a fun game for the whole family to play! One way to play is to print out a sheet of shapes and then cut them out, but you can use large foam shapes or shapes drawn on an old white sheet. The sheet idea would be easy to pack around anywhere- go play in the backyard! Put the shapes (or shape sheet) on the floor and then have your toddler stand or sit on each shape. Once she has mastered that, then have her put one foot/hand on one shape and the other foot/hand on another shape. Maybe she can touch her nose to a shape! If your shapes are multi-colored, you can discuss each of the colors as your tot hops on and off the shapes.

Supplies Needed-
– shapes (can be made out of paper, or if you have foam or material shapes they would work as well)
– masking tape
– floor space

taken from TODDLERTODDLER.com- great resource for tot games!

Happy Playing!

Swinging

Swinging
What kid doesn’t like to swing? If your little one seems ready, you can start showing them how they move their legs to pump in the swings. It may take awhile to pick up, but if they are trying they are making the swing more of an exercise than a ride!

Supplies Needed--swing

My daughter could sit on a swing for hours. Literally. I am excited to make this a more active game for her and I know she’ll have fun! And thats what its all about! 🙂

Hula Hoop

Hula Hoop
Grab a hula hoop and you and your tot can have lots of fun! There are many different games you can play with one of these simple toys. You can have a hula hoop contest to see who can keep it up the longest (without holding it of course), you can roll them, you can use them as giant sorting rings to sort (if you have 5 hoops sort plastic food by the food groups OR if you have 2 sort by opposites like things you use at night/day and hot/cold- possibilities are endless!) You can also toss the hoops and see who can throw them the farthest!

Supplies Needed-– at least one hula hoop!

Toddler Twister

Activity copied directly from TODDLERTODDLER.COM
Toddler Twister
This is a fun game for the whole family to play! Print out the sheet of shapes and then cut them out. Tape them to the floor in a small group and then have your toddler stand or sit on each shape. Once she has mastered that, then have her put one foot/hand on one shape and the other foot/hand on another shape. Maybe she can touch her nose to a shape! She might have to think about what to do next with her body? Or she might turn in circles to try. You’ll enjoy watching her and she’ll have fun with all the shapes.

Supplies Needed- – Printer to print out the shapes—-
( or use construction paper)
– masking tape
– floor space
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Tips/Suggestions-
– Ask your toddler to jump on each shape, then jump off to review “on” and “off”

– Talk about the colors of the shapes while trying to put a hand/foot on each one.

-Show by example…see how twisted up you can get and your toddler will get a chuckle seeing you try and then falling down.

I am really excited to try this out with my daughter! Our good camera is in the shop getting repaired (thank heavens we purchased the extended warranty) so if I take pics I will update this post.

Happy Teaching and have lots of fun!

Dance

Dance
All you need is a good beat and dancing seems to come naturally! This is a good time for our little ones to show some freedom of expression with their movements and to just have a good time. We dance at least once every day-not only is it good exercise, but my daughter really enjoys moving (and I am happy to see her release some of that energy!)

Supplies Needed-– music (CD, piano, guitar, other instruments, singing, musical toys, etc)
ribbon sticks add a little pizazz to the dance but are not necessary for fun!

Movement Cards


Movement Cards Print a set of cards and you have an instant variety of fun activities! There are some sets to download (see the do it yourself section at the end of this post). You can play these cards in a variety of ways- from just drawing one card at a time and doing the activity, to having a race to see how many cards you can complete in a given amount of time, to setting the cards in a circle and doing the activities as you walk around…. there are many more!

Supplies Needed-– a set of cards (see below to download)

Downloads: There are 3 different sets of movement cards. One is a very simple set I made for my daughter when she was about 1. The second set came about when I read this great blog post on the ABC’s of movement- we worked together and came up with a set of movement cards. Anyway you choose to go, these movement cards will keep your tots busy!
Set One
Set Two

Happy Teaching!

Yoga for Kids

Yoga
Don’t be intimidated by the word- your toddler CAN do yoga! And more than likely he/she will enjoy doing the different poses! Just pick two or three at first- not to be too overwhelming. Go through each of the steps of the poses- modeling it for your tot- and be sure to not get frustrated if your tot has their own yoga technique. Remember that the goal of yoga is to relax and energize your mind and body- not leave you stressed out! I recommend purchasing a yoga for kids program to help simplify the pose steps and make this a FUN activity as well- I use the Yoga Pretzel cards and LOVE them!! My wiggly daughter loves the rock pose- who knew she would want to be so still!

Supplies Needed-
– yoga mat or towel to perform the different poses on

– a knowledge of yoga or a learning tool (book, video, activity cards)

Happy Teaching!

Play Catch

Play Catch!
This is a simple game that requires nothing more than a willing toddler and a soft ball! Your tot might not be able to catch the ball mid-air, but will have tons of fun grabbing the ball and throwing it back to you! This game is also fun with balloons (my daughter preferred that method to balls- they came down slower so she had time to grab the balloon before it fell to the ground)

Supplies Needed-
– soft ball or balloon

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