Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tot School: The Past 2 Weeks

Last week we had the Biggest Brother and Daddy home with us all week, so we just did fun stuff like playing with blocks, building our own marble runs, going rollerskating, and going to the movies. I didn't do a Tot School post last week, though, so here are some of the Turkey/Thanksgiving themed stuff we did over the last 2 weeks:

We also made Apple Turkeys:
and enjoyed being together! 
(Here we are on Thanksgiving) 
It was a great Thanksgiving, and now I am excited for Christmas activities!
Go to 1+1+1=1 to see more tot school posts!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Matching Game

 I found a turkey-themed shapes and colors matching game at Making Learning Fun.  The game consists of a set of turkey cards with different colored shapes on them, and a set of cards that just have the shapes. I hid the turkey cards under small Dixie cups (the instructions said to paint the cups like haystacks, but my time was limited so I skipped that part), then had K draw one of the shapes cards from a pile.  He looked underneath each cup until he found the turkey with the shape on it that matched the card he had drawn.
We've played lots of matching games before, but using the cups made this different and fun for K.  After we were done playing the game, K had fun just playing with the cups for a while!  He stacked, unstacked, and built pyramids with them (with my help).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

T is for Turkey

K and I made this fun "T is for Turkey" craft this week. I cut out the feathers and the "T" and then let K do the gluing.  He was so proud of his turkey!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Games

I found a simple turkey game idea at Cullen's ABCs called "Find the Turkey". All you need is a simple turkey picture (I would have printed one from Google Images, but my printer isn't working so I had to draw one).  To play, you hide the turkey somewhere in the room.  If you're playing with a preschooler, it's probably best to leave the turkey sticking out a little so they can be successful finding it.  While the child looks, you say "Gobble, gobble."  If they are far away from the turkey, you say it quietly, and when they get close, say those "gobble, gobbles" loudly!  This was a lot of fun for my 2 year-old and 5 year-old.  We also did the "Turkey Trot" activity which you can see here

Joyful Moments

Baby J is so loveable!  First thing this morning, he toddled over to A and started hugging him.  A, who loves his baby brother, was happy to hug him back.
Then K decided he wanted some cuddles from Baby J, too.
I love these 3 boys!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey Song with Felt Board Activity

I found an adorable song on youtube by Cullens ABCs.  It's called, "Did You Ever See a Turkey?" It's cute, easy to learn, and helps kids practice their colors.  I quickly cut out some felt pieces and made a turkey to go along with the song. K and A both had fun singing the song and putting the turkey's feathers on when we sang each color.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Playful Moments: Cookie Matching Game

We purchased a game a few months ago from Oriental Trading Co., and I put it aside and kind of forgot about it.  I finally took it out again yesterday and K and I had a blast with it!  It is a cookie matching game, and I love how the cookies are big and sturdy enough to easily withstand whatever my 2 year-old might put them through.
 First we arranged them on the floor face up and K found several sets of matches. 
 After he had found 6 matches, we set the rest aside and used those pairs to play Memory (this is what the back of the cookies look like).  K doesn't usually have the patience for Memory games, but he played this with me about 5 times in a row! 
 And after you are done playing Memory, the cookies are great for stacking on your head (at least, K thought so!).
I am so glad I got this game, especially since it only cost me $5.  Here is the link to the game on their website.  They also carry some other Seasonal matching games, like hearts and Easter eggs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tot School: Thankfulness

Tot School

K is currently 35 months. J is 14 months.
Our schedule was a little different this week due to a visit from my mom, a day off of school for my oldest, etc., so we didn't have a lot of "official" tot school.  The things we did do were focused around a Thanksgiving/thankfulness theme.
We made "thankful trees" patterned after the trees they made at 1+1+1=1 (see my full post about this activity here).
We made turkey handprints.  We did these last year too, but I think they're so cute, I want to make them every year!

We continued our daily thankful activities as we count down to Thanksgiving.  One day the activity was to make an obstacle course that we had to jump, run, and crawl to get through (because we are thankful for our healthy bodies).
Here is K crawling under the table as part of our course, and A is bouncing in the bean bag chair before moving onto the tunnels.  They loved this!
Another day's activity was to go to one of our favorite parks, because we are thankful for parks! Here are the boys sitting in a tree at our park that is the perfect size for them to climb.
Baby J loves parks, too! He wants to do everything his brothers do there, though, which scares Mommy a bit!
Last but not least, we celebrated our thankfulness for ice cream by going to our family's favorite ice cream shop. 
Head over to 1+1+1=1 to see what other tots have been up to!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Trees

One of our thankful activities this past week read, "We are thankful for FALL!  Make a fall craft together."  I LOVED this fall tree craft that I had seen at 1+1+1=1, so I decided to do that.  But I also wanted to have a lesson on being thankful for our Family Night, so we did it a little bit differently.
First, the boys painted their paper towel rolls brown. (I painted Baby J.'s)
They used do-a-dot markers to make the "ground" to go under their tree.  Baby J used do-a-dots for the very first time! (Though I think he got more color on his fingers than the paper!)
That night, after the tree trunks had dried, I gave the boys some paper leaves I had cut out and they wrote things they were thankful for on each leaf.  Well, A wrote his, and Daddy and I wrote K and J's (with some guessing for J's, of course!)
The boys were so proud of how their trees turned out, and I am loving using them as fall centerpieces for our kitchen table!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tot School: Batman!

Tot School
K is currently 35 months.  J is 14 months.

My boys have developed a Batman obsession lately.  A (my first grader) got to decorate a plain person cut-out for a Halloween project at school and chose to dress him as Batman.  Of course, K had to have one too.  So I cut out a figure for him, made a mask to the best of my (non-artistic) ability, and drew the Batman symbol on his chest.  Then, I let K color him (as you can probably tell).  He needed a cape, so we used felt and it's attached with velcro so K can remove it. 
Here is K playing with his "Batman."
With my boys' new love of Batman, I was thrilled when I saw a Batman preschool pack on 1+1+1=1. Perfect timing!  K ordered the Batman figures from the pack by size (he's really good at this!).
We played "Find the Letter." Because K is still learning his letters, we drew magnetic letters out of a bag, I would ask him what it was (and tell him if he didn't know) and then K would find the same letter on the Batman page.  One of Carisa's suggestions was to use a Batman toy and have your child put Batman on the letter you call out.  We did this (although our Batman was a little big for the letters so he just "stomped" on them with one foot) and I think it made it a lot more enjoyable for K.  We also used the pre-writing pages from the tot pack (these are always a hit with K) but I didn't get any pictures of that.

Favorite Toys of the Week:
I've had my eye on this shape sorter toy for a while, so when I came across it at Ross for half price I couldn't resist!  It is much more challenging than regular shape sorters.  There are two shapes for each color, and you have to open the little doors with a key to get the shapes out.  It is awesome for a child K's age - he loves it!

Baby J has been loving his Playskool Busy Ball Popper (even though he tends to put much more than just balls in there!)
Baby J really enjoyed our Simple Fun activities this week, too, which you can read about here.
The hit of the week, for both boys, was when I transformed our outdoor kiddie pool into an indoor ball pit.  Click here for my post about that.
Check out 1+1+1=1 for more tot school ideas!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Wintertime Use for a Kiddie Pool

 Cheap Ball Pit!  
To mix things up a little, I brought in our kiddie pool from the garage and filled it with our ball pit balls (which I bought at a yard sale for $2!) The kids had a blast playing in this off and on all day!
 K loved "diving" into the ball pit (he is my, um, adventurous one).
K got so creative with these: they were his "eyes," he pretended they were apples, and one that was broken in half became a pretend juice cup and later a hat.  He also at one point decided to throw out all the yellow ones to one side, and the red ones to the other side (sorting!) We definitely had a "ball" with this activity...=)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Songs for Fall

 Today we pulled out our Fall Sensory Box again, and the fake leaves in it inspired me to sing some fall songs with the boys.  We sang "It's Autumntime" and "Rain is Falling All Around" (but we substituted the word "rain" for "leaves").  We threw our fake leaves in the air as we sang and it was a lot of fun. (click on the song titles to see the words and music and listen to the songs) I teach Singing Time each Sunday to the kids at my church, and have used the leaves when singing these songs with them also.  I have found it to be a hit with all the kids in my group, ages 3 to 11!
 Here is Baby J watching the leaves float down.
Baby J and K both thought it was so funny when leaves landed on their heads!

More Simple Fun: Ping Pong Balls

Another idea I found in The Toddler's Busy Book is to make a simple shape sorter using a container with a lid and ping pong balls.  I just cut a circle in the top of an old Cool Whip container and showed J how to drop the ping pong balls through the hole.  He loved this! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simple Fun: Clothespins in a milk jug

 I recently re-discovered my copy of The Toddler's Busy Book, and I have been finding some great ideas.  One of them was letting your toddler put clothespins in a milk jug.  I tried it out with Baby J, and he had a ton of fun.  He figured it out right away and it kept him occupied for several minutes.
 J also had fun walking around the house and shaking the milk jug with clothespins in it.  I think he liked all the noise it made!
To my surprise, K enjoyed this activity, too.  He also started clipping the clothespins to the lid all on his own.  I ended up giving him a container with a larger top, and he carefully clipped clothespins around the whole thing.  I love when I find simple, cheap activities that the kids like!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motherhood is a holy calling

"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to angels."

-Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tot School: Halloween!

Tot School

K is currently 34 months. J is 13 months.
This was a fun, laid back week that was all about Halloween!
We played the Roll a Jack-o-Lantern game from Play 2 Learn Printables.
We used some of Lawteedah's adorable Halloween tot pack.  Here is K doing the puzzles.
We made an adorable craft that we found on 1+1+1=1.  Even Baby J got to participate!
The final products!
I spray painted some ping pong balls orange and drew faces on them with a sharpie.  We played with them by rolling them to each other, tossing them into containers, etc.  We also played a game where I would ask K, "Where's the pumpkin with square eyes?" or "Where's the pumpkin with a triangle nose?" and so on, and he would find them.
We made this cute ghost craft from No Time for Flash Cards.
We carved our pumpkins.
We made more play doh "monsters." It never ceases to amaze me how long my boys can stay occupied with play doh!  It is totally worth the mess! :)
We went to a church trunk-or-treat.  Here are my 3 cute boys with my cute hubby! :)  
Head over to 1+1+1=1 to see what other moms & tots are up to!
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