Tot School: Weeks 2 and 3!

Good morning, friends!

Wow, what a week it has been! I feel terrible I haven’t had as many posts this week — we’ve been in Tax “Hell” — having to itemize receipts is exhausting.  But, the good news is, we are DONE — and now, I can get back to my normal life, minus all the extra math! 🙂

Speaking of math…… TOT SCHOOL!  Even though we’ve been up to our elbows in tax stuff, we still made time for my new favorite activity with our littlest friends.  Ever since we started this, it has just made my heart SO happy, and it’s so exciting to see how much they have learned ALREADY.  These kids, man.. they blow my mind!

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Week Two of Tot School was at our house — it was so fun to see Ella have her friends over to play with her toys!  And, Raux was there, too — another bonus, as he got to participate in the fun!

For Week Two, we focused on continuing the lesson of colors.  We started the first morning off with a “rainbow of snacks,” which consisted of strawberries, cheese cubes, animal crackers, grapes, blueberries, and raisins.  By the end of the day, the only real food that was consumed were the animal crackers and strawberries — but hey, it looked pretty!

We also had fun with our Do-A-Dot markers!  We practiced our colors as we dotted a rainbow, calling out each color before we dotted on paper.

After markers, we took a dance break into the living room, where we played with bandanas of different colors.  I placed all the bandanas in a pile, and asked the kids to give me a certain color.  It was fun watching them all run over to get the correct color first.

We also played “Find the Match!” — a game Ella and I created using a cute color/shape puzzle game she got for Christmas.  We mixed all the pieces together, and I would hold up a piece of the puzzle and say, “Find the Match!”  The kids would all search through the pieces until they found the correct one.

On day two, I made Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispie treats.  These were so delicious, and were GONE in a matter of hours.  Gone so quick, in fact, I didn’t even get a picture of them! It was … sort of educational?  We did ask each little one if they could pick out the colors in each.  I do think we (the adults) ate majority of them though.. haha!

We practiced our Do-A-Dot rainbows again, and we played a game using colored pom poms and the “rainbow” bowls I used for snacks on day one.  The kids were to fill the bowl with the correct color pom pom, while shouting what color they had before placing it in the bowl.  Not all the littles were interested in this game, but Noah and Quinn seemed to enjoy it. 🙂

We finished the second day with more bandana fun, as well as playing with an electronic fishbowl color match game, attempting to match the correct color fish with whatever the fishbowl instructed them to drop in.  This entertained them for a while — but of course, as toddlers do, they eventually decided ENOUGH learning, and retreated to Ella’s room to play with toys the rest of the day.

Oh, and while the babes played, Mommas did THIS — which you can read about in my Body Back: Week 5 recap here.

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In Week Three, we decided to “shape” it up into a lesson all about.. you guessed it.. SHAPES.  We decided to only have one day for Tot School this week, so I wanted to make the most of it!

We started the morning with a brief review of colors by doing the bandana game.  I was impressed with how quickly they picked it up — way to go Mommas for continuing the color testing throughout the week!  After our color review, we played with a shape sorter, calling out which shapes we had in our hands before putting them in the right slot in the sorter.  Even Baby Cora got in on the fun with this game!

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Then, we retreated to the kitchen table, where we practiced our Do-A-Dots by coloring in Circles, Hearts, and Stars.  Of course, we tested their colors with this too, which was a double win for us Mommas.  The little ones really like coloring with these markers — I’m so happy we made the purchase for TS.  Even though they aren’t quite “perfect,” they truly are perfect in their own way.  And, the more we practice, the better they will get at actually filling in the whole circle with the dot markers.

After coloring, we had a dance party break, where we practiced our jumps and marches while dancing to some music.  Then, we all sat around the kitchen table to cut out cookie dough shapes for our afternoon treat!  The kids, of course, LOVED this — almost as much as they loved eating the cookies once they were baked. 🙂

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After talking with the Momma group, we’ve decided to cut Tot School back to just one day a week — for now 🙂  Even though we only have one day a week with our friends for “school,” Ella and I have been practicing everyday.  She has become SO fast with her colors and shapes now, as well as recognizing the alphabet (out of order, too!) and can pick out numbers 1-10 (we are working on 11-20).  We also have a match game that matches cartoon pictures of body parts to their word.  Obviously, she is too little to know the words yet — but I will give her the correct match for her to piece them together and she repeats the word after I say it.  We also point to the correct body part, for recognition.  Her favorites to say: Shoulder, Toes, Tongue, Teeth, and Muscles — which she flexes her own muscles when she says it.  She’s adorable.

Tot School has seriously become one of my favorite things in life right now.  Watching these little ones learn and interact with each other just makes my heart SO happy.  I can’t wait for this week’s lesson: All About SPRING — where we will spend time outside and will plant our own flower to take home!  And yes, there will be MANY pics!

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