Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tot School

Tot School

Little Bean is 46 months and Miss O is 31 months.
This week in Tot School:

Little Bean strung some buttons on pipe cleaner. He was (and always is) really into this activity. He just loves all the shiny buttons!

He also worked with Tangrams. I caught him doing this while waiting for me to put Miss O down for her nap.

And here he is doing the mystery bag game again. This was the best $5 I ever spent on Craigslist.

Little Bean spent a lot of time with his Thomas lapbook this week. I realized I need to remake it because the pages are just not holding up. I went ahead and laminated everything and am almost done with the "new and improved" Thomas lapbook which I am certain will last until the next millennium! ;)
And here he is with the little game I made him again. He asked for this several times this week.
Miss O asked to sort, so I pulled out my puffball stash and she did that for a while:



She also played with this alphabet puzzle for a while. I was excited she chose this, because she doesn't know her letters yet and this puzzle is a really fun way to practice letter recognition.

She did pop beads one day, which are great for her fine-motor skills and helping with pre-writing by strengthening her grip:

Here she is with her Veggie Tales lapbook, which is also being re-done. She didn't ask for this too much though.


Miss O tried the mystery bag too:

I introduced these Geo Boards to them this week as well. Little Bean absolutely loved these, but Miss O got frustrated pretty quickly and moved on to something else:


Grandma did this alphabet puzzle with the both of them:

Here they are checking out the new library books:

Grandma brought over this matching/memory game:

So that was our week. I wanted to say a word about the "Tot School" supplies we use because I know from the pictures you can tell we have a wide variety of learning toys and games. In fact, what you see in these posts is what Little Bean and Miss O play with on a daily basis. I don't have separate "school" toys and "play" toys. I allow them full access to their "school" toys each day because those are the only kind of toys (for the most part) that we purchase (we do have some more imaginative toys as well, like a play kitchen, dolls, cars, etc). The only toys they don't have full access to are the one with small parts or that they need supervision to play with.

I have three basic ways that I acquire their toys. First, I make many of their toys and games. I like to put together simple practical life activities, sorting and matching games, and other easy to make toys. Second, I utilize thrift stores, Craigslist and discount stores like Ross or Big Lots. The animal matching game from last week was a thrift store find, as are the Tinker Toys and the felt. The alphabet puzzle and the tangrams came from Ross, and the mystery bag I found on Craigslist. I just love thrifting, and I get many of our toys from second hand stores. Lastly, I do buy new, but only sparingly. Some toys are valuable enough to me that I will buy new. The pop beads and most of our puzzles I bought new, and believe they have been well worth it.

How do you acquire your Tot School supplies, and do you have them out all the time or only for "school" time?

1 comment:

Ginny said...

Hi, I am a grandmother. I have one of those "mystery bags" as you call it. I like that name. I bring it out for the grandchildren and they love it. I have even taken it to church for them to do to keep them quiet during our service. I also have the tangrams and the rubber band game. Another game you may want to get in the future is Auditctive which is a sound bingo game. It might be too advance for your littlest one. I am going to play with my five year old granddaughter while she is here this week. Then I am going to have her find sounds and record them to make up a game herself. I'll let you know how it turns out. I am Ginny from TeachingGenerations.blogspot.com.

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