Week 4 of Tot School was SO MUCH FUN!! We had planned to do a whole lesson about Spring, but one of our littles wasn’t able to join this week — so instead, we focused our time on learning more about ABCs and 123s! This way, we could save the fun plans for Spring until we had all of our babes present. 🙂
I’ve had a few people message me on FB about our weekly lesson plans — so I’ve decided to create a cute graphic for each week, listing out the different activities we do. This way, you can use the graphic as a guideline, and delve more into the blog post about details of what each activity entailed. It is SO exciting to hear all the positive feedback about our littles and our mommy “dream-come-true” Tot School — as well as inspiring to hear that many of you are interested in starting your own Tot School! Just more proof (like we needed any?) that Moms are SO AMAZING and SUPERHEROES. 🙂
We started off this week with a review of our colors using our bandanas. We tried two approaches to this: we asked them to pick out certain colors from a pile (ie. “Where is the PINK bandana?”), as well as held up a color and asked them to name it (ie. “What color bandana is THIS?”). The girls were SO fast at doing this — I think it’s safe to say colors are officially MASTERED — which means, this mommy needs to find a “color” themed badge for our little Explorers’ sashes! We will more than likely continue to keep a color testing activity in each lesson, just to keep it fresh!
After colors, we practiced our number skills by using flashcards to name off which number was on each card. The numbers ranged from 1-25. Most of the girls had 1-10 down, but 11-25 was a challenge. This is great to know, as I can now cater future lessons to develop those number skills. Lilly Belle brought her abacus with her for this class, which the girls loved playing with (and naming off the colors), although they didn’t quite get the purpose of using it. We showed them that you can move each piece one at a time to count “1….2….3…” but they would end up moving 5 pieces at a time or more. But, they are learning — and that’s all that matters! This was the first class that we really introduced numbers, so it’s amazing to see how far along they already are (kudos to you Mommas for at home teaching!!).
After number flashcards, we retreated to the kitchen for “painting” with our Do-A-Dot markers! On top of our usual “dot” a letter or shape (in this case, we dotted the letters A, B, and C), I threw in a new activity of “find the correct letter and dot!” I found these cute worksheets on Pinterest (swoon!), so we did these sheets for the letters A, B, and C. This was fun to watch — I think the girls had anticipated the activity to be the same as it has been for the past few weeks, but throwing this activity in switched it up a bit — and they seemed to have fun! I’m definitely going to have to do more practice of these at home with Ella Grey — she gets “dot-happy” and wants to just dot EVERYTHING. Another lesson in mommy patience and understanding. 🙂
After we used our dot markers, I introduced a pasting activity — where the girls had to match the correct shape/object next to the letter it started with. I simply cut these shapes out by hand, but I’m sure you can find ones to print online. We did “A is for Apple, B is for Bee, and C is for Cat.” This was nice to do, also, because it was something the Mommas could take home and hang on their fridge. We did this in our house, and it’s cute/helpful — as Ella will walk past it pretty much daily and say “APPLE — CAT — A — B — C!” Constant exposure and practice!
I managed to find a hidden gem recently at our local Target, where they sell letter and number shaped chocolate “animal” crackers — PERFECT for our little Tots! We used these “cookies” after our pasting activity to recite our letters and numbers, and attempt to spell our names (which proved to be a bit more difficult — not enough Ls and Es for this group!). Best part for them? They could eat it — and boy, did they!
We finished up our day of ABCs and 123s by putting together a big Alphabet puzzle. This puzzle was awesome because it has uppercase and lowercase letters — something I know Ella Grey needs to work on, and the other littles too!
It warmed my heart watching the three girls put this together — and as they found the letters, they were naming off the color too. I’d say that’s a double win .. 1 for Mommas, and 1 for Tot School.
Tot School is such a beautiful experience, and the learning goes beyond the time that we are with our friends once a week. Ella has picked up SO much in the past 4 weeks — even those moments when you don’t think you littles are paying attention or understanding — THEY ARE! She gets SO excited about learning — instead of grabbing the TV remote, she will grab her flashcards. Instead of constantly playing with toys, she wants to play with her puzzles. And, I think being around the other little ones is helping her develop her language skills even more.
Best. Idea. Ever. 🙂