Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apples and Farm con't

Tot School

Munchky is currently 28 months
T-Rex is 11 months

This week we continued our farm and apples theme as there was so many things to do.  We also went to the playground a lot as we had beautiful mid-70's weather.  Not for long!.  

Munchky enjoyed playing with his farm tot pack games.  Heads and Tails was his favorite.  He didn't really get it 2 weeks ago, but I used the ABC's on the farm cards to show him how the animals looked "whole", then he got the idea that he needed to put the heads and tails together.  He also enjoys the "regular" animal matching.  Click here for the farm tot pack printables. 

Munchky also helped mom make a pumpkin walnut cake.  He is becoming quite the baker. 

He started to slip off the chair while we were doing this, I caught him and he says "you OK? Be careful".  It's funny when they use your words.

Munchky is also getting slightly better letting T-Rex share his books (as long as he keeps his distance).  We are still working on this.  Hopefully one day I will be able to read to T-Rex without Munchky snatching the book away.
 T-rex was able to get in some uniterrpted puzzle time when Munchky was napping. 

T-Rex loved playing with big brothers farm and we tried practicing the sounds animals make.

Munchky thew his stuffed animals out of their basket, got in and started singing "Row, row, row your boat"

Notes on Organization
I'm starting to get more organized.  I haven't started using tot trays yet with Munchky as he (not to mention T-Rex) would just dump all of them out.  I'm currently using a bookcase.  The lower two shelves have toys, board books and puzzles, that I'm rotating on a weekly basis for Munchky and T-Rex.  The next shelf up has an organizer with the printable games (matching, counting, etc..) that I have for that week, plus Munchky's books we're reading. Munchky can reach these but not T-Rex.  The top three shelves have our art supplies, play-doh, manipulatives, and other toys. I get these out individually when we use them.  If muchky doesn't want to do what I picked out, I put it away and put something else together.  Usually he will tell me what he wants.  

For organizing our printable "games", after I have printed, laminated them, and cut them out.  I put them in "pouches". I take a #10 envelope, seal it, then cut it half, which makes two pouches to store the pieces. I then glue or tape a picture to the front..  In case of bigger pieces, I used a "used" greeting card envelope, I tape it opening, and cut the top off to make the pouch.  When we are not using them I put them in a pocket file folder and store.  When we are using them, I arrange them in the organizer for Munchky to get out when he wants. 

Next week: Leaves, Nuts & Pumpkins

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apples! Apples! Apples!

 We kicked off apple week with a field trip to Klackle Orchards in Greenville, MI.  Muchky and T-Rex had a blast fighting over riding the mini tractors, petting the farm animals, and riding in the Pumpkin carriage to pick apples and pumpkins.  I was amazed that Munchky actually bit into an apple, he loves grapes and won't eat other fruits anymore.  T-Rex, as his name implies, will eat anything. 

Ths week  we used the apple lesson plan from 2Teaching Mommies found here.  Unfortunately Daddy took the memory card to the office to download the field trip pictures and didn't bring it back for a couple of days.

Our first apple activity was to make an apple pie.  Yum!  Munchky was excited to help me (especially b/c it involves shaking cinnamon).  I used an apple/peeler/corer/slicer.  If you don't know what that is click here. I love it, even more Munchky loved it.  I was worried that he would upset to watch the apple "fall apart",  but he was absolutely fascinated.  He got in on the action by turning the handle.

We also worked on matching the uppercase letters to the lowercase ones (see apple lessons) and  talked about the seasons using the apple tree paper plate craft and the Baby Monet DVD.

We also broke out the fingerpaints for the 1st time to do apple prints.

We ended the week with a visit from  Meme, Uncle Roger and Aunt Sophie. The boys enjoyed being doted on.  They also ended up with some goodies: balloons, light up footballs and a latches board.  Last night munchky was showing T-Rex how it worked.  I can tell the boys are going to get a lot of fun out of this in the future.

Teeny-Tot School
T-Rex is loving his nesting cups and buckets.  He loves putting a golf ball in the small cup and trying to get it out with his fingers, then gives up and dumps it out.  He is having fun with the simpler shape sorters, he's mastered the circle, but the others leave him perplexed.
 Of course banging blocks together is always fun,  throw them in the crate and its a game.
 Checking out the crate from all the angles.

  Even though he's been walking (Dad says like King Louis from Jungle Book) for awhile, T-rex still loves to push (and ride in) his walker wagon.

To check out what everyone else is doing go to 1+1+1=1.

Tools We Used This Week

Books We Read This Week

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Week of Tot School

I am very excited to have completed my first week of tot school.  I was looking for something to structure my day better with my 27 mo. old  (and to get away from Baby Einstein - his absolute favorite).  I knew I didn't want curriculum since he is way too young but I needed guidance. (and frankly to get me away from planning the entire 12 years of homeschool curriculum before he could recite his ABC's). I was so glad that I stumbled across Carissa's site on Tot School.  She and other moms offered a wealth of information and resources.  If you are curious, please visit her site  and her blog

I have been in the planning stages (and still going through them) for the past couple of weeks.  I got our den somewhat cleaned out to make way for our temporary tot school / play room until I get the basement cleaned out. ( We moved into this house from out of state about 10 months ago w/ an 18 mo. old and a 1 mo. old - needless to say it is piled high with boxes and orphaned items - Ugh!)

The Farm

For our first unit we learned about the Farm.  Most of the resources I used were from  Two Teaching Mommies.   (Thanks!) and a farm tot book from 1+1+1=1.

We kicked off Tot School with a trip to a farm (our friends, the R's who have some buffalo, a cow and a horse.  
T-Rex eyeballing Peaches the Horse

Munchk feeding hay to Cody the Cow
Munchk getting hay for the buffalo
"You want me to give this to THEM?"
"Here goes" 
Giving grain to Peaches
Time for some grain - he's got a big tongue!
T-Rex inspecting Cody's food
Taking a drive to inspect the fence line and see the neighbor's donkey.
T-Rex insists that he can steer too.

We started off the week slow.  Most of my goals right now are to work on Munchky's motor skills and following directions (horror of horrors).  He already knows his numbers and counts up to 10, somewhat up to 20 he skips a couple of them (randomly), his uppercase letters, shapes, colors, animals.  Most of this has come from books (he loves them!) and dare I say Baby Einstein (really loves that).  Know I want him to work on exploring these concepts hands on. 

The lesson plan from 2Teaching Mommies has numerous activities in three days,  we divided this up to about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour each day, (while T-rex is sleeping!) 

His first intro to scissors.  Which he thought were pretty cool.  I don't expect him to be able to use this any time soon, just wanted him to get the feel of them.  He promptly stabbed the R is for Rooster paper we were working on.  Which was also his first intro to glue.  I got purple disappearing glue sticks (big mistake).  He got very upset when I showed him how to stick paper and the googly eye to it.  How dare I cover up his beautiful purple lines!.  He was even more upset when the purple lines disappeared.  This was remedied by getting out his purple crayon.  I have to admit that when he was napping I glued the feet, beak and googly eye back on the Rooster. Who doesn't like googly eyes?

By far his favorite activity of the week.  Cutting out fall shapes from play-doh.  He asked to do this every day.
Lastly we worked on "how many spots on the cow".  The idea is to roll the dice count the number of dots and put the same number of pom-poms on the cow.  He enjoyed counting but didn't care to match the numbers,  he just kept on putting all the pom-poms on the cow and counting.  Oh well.  He also enjoyed throwing the Pom-poms around the room.  And finally counting them into their box.
One of his favorite toys- the shape sorter, he has just recently begun to master this one. He is working on differentiating b/w the pentagon, hexagon, and octagon.  (actually I am too)

The boys absolute favorite activity - raiding mom's baking pans to make music.  Vocab word of the day: cacophony

Another fave Melissa and Doug toy - pound a ball.  Using the spoon, b/c he broke the hammer many moons ago.  It's also a great way for moms to relieve stress.  I have confiscated this toy from the living room (after searching a long time for the balls) to the shelves in our tot room.  It's been a week and I still have all four balls!

Making the letter F for farm out of playdoh and then stamping it.
Another favorite Munchky activity.  - Making french toast, he is quite liberal with the cinnamon.  
Putting grain into the silo (I thought I had popcorn to put in but no such luck) so we used dried beans for our grain.  This is an excellent transfer activity (and one I actually thought of myself!)  b/c it involves not only transfering from one spot to another and dropping it in but also getting the spoon in the opening and then dropping it in.  With that being said it is a bit more difficult.  This is Munchky's most difficult task right now as he won't eat anything requiring a spoon right now by himself.  (which is entirely my fault,  he wasn't a spoon grabber as a baby, so I kept right on feeding him (no mess!) but now he will rarely even try on his own.  He didn't do too well with this -  but happily he didn't get frustrated and we cheered for every grain he got in.  Mom put some in too, and he was very excited when he opened the door and all the grain poured out.  Then of course he had a fun time throwing it around.

We also worked on some of the Farm Tot pack, and making a shape tractor.  (thankfully he got over putting stuff on the glue).  That's it for our first week.  I gladly welcome any suggestions or comments.  Please check out what other moms are doing over at 1plus1plus1equals1.

Next week - apples