Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tot School: Easter

K is 40 months and J is 19 months.

This week we did mostly Easter-themed activities.  We also spent a lot of time out and about because my oldest was on Spring Break.  We had a great week, but it was mostly "fun school" rather than "tot school." :)

Here's what we did:
-We made an Easter egg garland using marble painting
-The boys played in our Easter Sensory  Box
 I left the "Rotten Egg" game on our trays, but changed the letter to E.
 The boys made Easter "bouquets" by putting eggs on a stick (from the Dollar Tree) into a the holes of a shaker.
 Of course we had to dye Easter eggs (though I was not brave enough to let J participate this year).
 I LOVE the look on K's face when he saw what the first egg looked like when it came out of the dye - so glad my hubby captured that!

Out and About
 We spent a lot of time at the park - the older two boys love the tire swing!
 J likes driving the "boat."
 We went to a mini amusement park in our area that's made specifically for little kids.  Here are all three of my boys getting ready to ride the carousel.
 We also took the boys to an indoor playplace - think McDonald's playland times 10, minus the food.  They had an absolute blast and got lots of energy out!  This is me taking J down the big slide.
 My wonderful parents came to visit and set up a little Easter egg hunt for my kiddos while they were here.
And I have to include a pic of my handsome little men in their Easter clothes!  Happy Easter, everyone!  Be sure to check 1+1+1=1 to see what other tots are doing!

Tot School

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Garland

 We don't really have any Easter decorations, so I thought it'd be fun to make one of our own.  I decided to make an Easter garland by marble painting some eggs.
 I cut out some cardstock egg shapes with my handy-dandy Cricut.  Then I taped them to the bottom of a shallow box (that I've been saving for months for a project such as this) and put some dollops of paint in the bottom.  After that, I let K drop in the marbles.
 He tilted the box from side to side and watched the marbles spread the paint around.
I always love how marble painting projects turn out.  The boys thought it was pretty cool, too.  After the eggs dried, I laminated them (in case we want to save the garland for next year), punched two holes in the top of each one, and laced some ribbon through the holes.  Then we hung our garland up to enjoy through Easter.

E is for Easter Egg

 Here is our letter craft this week:  E is for Easter egg!
 I cut out some egg shapes in pastel colors using my Cricut, then let the boys decorate the eggs with paint.  I love how K sticks his tongue out when he paints.
 My oldest painted a happy face on one of his (using a q-tip).  Q-tips worked great to paint dots on the eggs.
Their lovely Easter eggs, all ready to be glued to the letter E!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tot School: Dinosaurs Part 2

K is 40 months and J is 19 months.
 The last couple of weeks, we've continued our dinosaur theme (next week we'll be switching to an Easter theme). 
 We played "Find the Rotten Egg," focusing on the letter D and learning its sound.
 We made Dinosaur fossils using Crayola Model Magic.

 The boys made dinosaurs out of play-doh (well, K made things that more closely resembled rocks, and J just wanted to eat the play-doh ... but A's turned out really well!)
 I printed off and laminated a dinosaur shape matching activity from here. To make it more interesting, I laid out all the dinosaurs and buried the shapes in a bowl of rice.  The boys dug around in the rice until they found a shape, then they'd match it to the correct dinosaur.  Rice is messy, but my boys sure had fun with it.
Here is K making a match.  It has been great to see how excited K has gotten about dinosaurs.  He talks about them all the time now, and his new favorite TV show is Dino Dan.  This has definitely been a fun theme!
Tot School

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter Sensory Box

 Here is our Easter Sensory Box!  I dyed rice for the first time to use as the filler, and I love how it turned out.  To dye it, I put rice into 4 large ziploc bags (I put about 4 cups in each bag), and then added about 2 tsp. rubbing alcohol and 4-5 drops of food coloring to each.  Then I shook the bags and squeezed/smooshed them (real technical, huh?) from the outside to get the coloring all over the rice.  After it was all colored, I poured the rice onto cookie sheets covered with paper towels to dry.  It dried within a few hours.  I kept it pretty simple, just added some porcupine balls, Easter eggs, and small bunnies I got through Oriental Trading Company.
I was a little worried about rice getting everywhere, so I brought in our kiddie pool from the garage and had the kids play with it in there.  This works SO well.  I always give the kids some plastic bowls and measuring cups to use for scooping/dumping.
I also got these cute little chicks from Oriental Trading and hid them inside the eggs.  The boys love them!  K named them all, and A kept covering them up because he said they were cold.  It was really sweet.  I can tell we'll be having a lot of fun with this box over the next couple of weeks!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dinosaur Fossils

 My boys have been dinosaur OBSESSED lately, so they were ecstatic when I told them we were going to make our own "fossils."  I bought 2 small packs of Crayola Model Magic for this project.  We'd never used it before, and I discovered that it's pretty awesome.  It's nice and soft, and not nearly as messy as Play-doh.
 They took small pieces of the Model Magic, flattened them out somewhat, and then pressed plastic dinosaurs into them.
My oldest, A, made several "fossils" and then set them aside to dry out.  K, however, played with his clump of Model Magic for about an hour!  He did not really care about having a finished product, he just wanted to play. He went back to it last night and this morning as well.  That is fine with me!  He also came up with the idea to make dinosaur footprints in the Model Magic, which you can see in the first picture.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Find the Rotten Egg" Game

K and I played this fun, simple game today. To play the game, you first choose a letter. I chose "D" since our theme has been dinosaurs lately. I filled some plastic Easter eggs with small objects and pictures that begin with the letter D. In one of the eggs, I put something that did NOT begin with D. I told K it was his job to "find the rotten egg." (The rotten egg is the one whose object doesn't begin with D). K liked opening the eggs and seeing what was inside, and he quickly figured out which one was the rotten egg!
Here are the objects I used. A dinosaur, dog, Dora, Daddy, a domino with Diego on it (double whammy!), dice, and a duck. Obviously, the penguin was the "rotten egg." :)
I think I will add this to our tot tray shelves, and each day change the "rotten egg" object. Each week, I will switch to a different letter and change the objects completely. Hopefully this will help K with his letters and sounds!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tot School: Dinosaurs

K is 40 months and J is 19 months.
My 6 year-old is learning about dinosaurs at school right now (and is very excited about it), so I thought it'd be fun for us to have the same theme at home.  Turns out K and J are big fans of dinosaurs, too!
We spent some time working on our Dinosaur Tot Trays - you can see all of them here.
I picked up this Make It! Dinosaurs game at TJ Maxx for $5 at the beginning of the week.  K didn't really like playing the game by the rules (he didn't quite have the patience) but he LOVED building the 3D dinosaurs.  All 3 of my boys had a lot of fun with this during the week.
The boys played and made dinosaur scenes with our Dinosaur Sensory Box.
We got the Do-a-Dot markers out and K did a letter D page.  
Both boys "painted" a dino picture using the do-a-dots as well.  J loved it!
Out and About
We didn't get to a lot of the things I planned because after weeks of rain, we finally had gorgeous weather!  A couple of days it got up to 80 degrees!  So we spent a lot of time at the park...

And took a trip to the zoo ...
And even broke out our water table for the first time this year!
I still have a lot of dino-related plans so we'll be sticking with this theme next week as well.
Make sure you check out 1+1+1=1 to see what other tots have been up to!

Tot School

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tot Trays: Dinosaurs

Here is what's on our trays this week:
Dinosaur counters with colored cardstock paper for color matching.
Head & Tail Dinosaur puzzles from the the 1+1+1=1 Dinosaur Tot Pack.  I attached magnets to the back and put them on a cookie sheet.  My kids like these types of puzzles way better when they have magnets - I think it's less frustrating because the pieces don't slide around.
Dinosaur bottle cap letter match page and bottle caps from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
D is for Diosaur magnet page with magnets, also from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

And some action shots:
 K matching the heads to the tails.
 J doing the magnet page.
 K sorting the dinosaur counters.  I spread the papers out onto the floor and told them we needed to help the dinosaurs find their "home."  Then I showed him how to walk them over to their matching colored paper.  I've found that adding in some pretend play keeps K's interest much longer!
 He sorted them by color, and then grouped them by dinosaur type.
J's favorite thing was putting the dinosaurs back in their container (while he sang the "Clean Up" song - it was so cute!) which did not make K too happy because he wasn't done with his sorting. :)

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