Tag Archives: tot school

Learning Trays are FINALLY up!!!

It has only taken me about 5 months to finally get my toddler learning trays up! Working at home is nice in so many ways, but it definitely has cut into my mommy planning time. Here is a pic of what our trays looked like Monday morning (I accidentally put the blue piano on the tray- they are two different activities):

Piano- This tray is not really a tray. It is our early piano skills activity. Or as we simply call it- playing the piano. I have color coded squares as “piano music” that match the keys on this little tikes piano. We are currently learning the first line of Mary had a Little Lamb. I think that piano time will be the first learning activity we do each day.
Underneath the piano is the light blue tray. This is currently our religion tray that will go with our My Faith Monday activity. This week we learned about Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors. I found a coloring book about this story for a $1 at a local bookstore. (we also rented the broadway production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat that was made into a movie- it is great! My little girl loved it! After watching the brothers rip Joseph’s coat she turned to me and said- “just like the stepsisters and cinderellas pink dress!”)
Yellow tray- this tray is currently unassigned to any specific activity- I just threw some sequencing puzzles on there.
Purple tray- this is the math tray. I have a tangram activity sheet and shapes. . . My Boo is pretty good about putting the correct shape in the spots,but struggles a little with orienting the shapes.
Dark blue tray- this is our alphabet tray. We are matching lowercase letters to uppercase stickers. These ABC sticker sheets have been a great way to review the alphabet letters and sounds! A great activity for anyone who loves stickers, too!
Green Tray- this tray will currently be our name recognition tray. I created a chart in a word doc program that had two rows and one column for each letter in her first name. (I blurred it out on the blog for safety reasons) I then placed a stamp pad and a letter stamp for each letter of her first name. She had to look at each letter on her sheet, find the matching stamp, and then stamp it underneath her name in the correct square (does this make sense??) It was a great way to practice spelling her name and work on orienting stamps.

The pink tray is currently unassigned to a topic. I just put on some playdough tools and green play dough and called it good. My daughter likes working with playdough- cutting it especially- but i have to be careful because she likes to eat it!
The red tray is our craft tray. We strung jingle bells on pipe cleaners and made jingly bracelets. It was cute to hear my daughter repeating the directions to herself as she slid the bells on the pipe cleaner. I see a little teacher in her already!

Some things I am noticing- I have 8 activities, and we have already gone through them all. And it is only Tuesday. So. . . . I need to either come up with longer activities, or plan more things that she can repeat, like the puzzles, piano and play dough. All in all- a good experience so far. My daughter calls these trays her “super work” and she loves to sit at her desk and do work like daddy!
Happy Teaching!!

How To Get Ready for Halloween Night using Little People

I am back! Trusty old laptop is back from the cord accident and just waiting on my imac’s new hard drive to be finished and we will be 100% back to blogging!
Like many of you, I grew up playing with Little People. I spent hours and hours playing with them and now I am enjoying sharing this experience with my daughter! Of course a teacher can’t just play without sneaking in a lesson or two! Using Little People (or other dolls, stuffed animals, etc) you can teach your little one a lot about life skills! We have discussed sharing (when there is only one car, then the two people have to take turns), sleeping in a big girl bed vs sleeping with mommy and daddy (we are struggling w/Boo waking up @ night and wanting to come sleep w/us so I pulled out the Little People and we did some role playing!) Other ideas we haven’t done YET are the steps in going to the potty, what to do after you are finished eating at the table, taking care of pets, … the list could go on forever!

Here is a video clip of our most recent life skills lesson…. practicing trick or treating! (it’s an important part of one’s life, right?) Enjoy!

Happy “TOY” Teaching!

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!

Learning About….CIRCLES

I am SO excited to teach my brainy little Boo about shapes this month! I have compiled a huge list of resources here that you can download (click on the round sun):
In addition to this fabulous list generated from hours of Google searching, I will be using my Complete Resource Book for Toddlers and Twos to supplement my lesson plans. This is a wonderful book with lots of ideas from a variety of learning styles. Some suggestions from this book include:


  • I See Circles by Mike Artell
  • So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban
  • What is Round? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Language Enrichment:

  • show how a round object can roll
  • use the word circle in a sentence
  • flannel board story about a round cookie (included in the book)
  • teach the child the ASL sign for the word circle

Physical Development:

  • play ring around the rosies

Cognitive Development:

  • cut sponges into circles and make sponge prints on a piece of paper. Ask the child if the circular designs look like anything.
  • have children put scrunchies and an empty paper towel tube while you discuss the circular shape of the scrunchies.
  • make a paper chain by gluing paper strips into circles
  • play with buttons and discuss their shape
  • cut out 4 different sizes of circles and have the child put them in order from largest to smallest

With so many fun activities centered just around CIRCLES, I am glad that I have planned a week on this shape. I will post throughout the upcoming week about some of our activities! And if my daughter picks it up day one- well, we will still have a lot of fun exploring with circles!

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