Monday, March 7, 2011

Back at Tot School

 Munchky is 33 months

T-Rex is 16 months

I'm finally back to posting tot school. I'm very excited to have our school/play room (almost) finished. I'll post more on that later. We've gotten back into the groove with a D is for Dinosaur week. Things didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped as we were battling some sickness and this is the first time I've tried to do Tot school at the same time with both boys. That being said, we had a fun week.

The favorite activity of the week: the Dino Sensory Bin.

This was played with every day.  Suprisingly, T-Rex who loves to transfer things between different containers, didn't do that with the sensory bin.  He just loved letting the rice slip through his fingers (and throwing it) and finding and "eating" the dino "egg".  Munchky, however loved digging with the different scoops and transferring to containers including his dino mask.

Munchky also loved to the dino count and matching the numbers to the dino cards.  You can find this and other dino activities at Confessions of a Homeschool.

T-Rex worked on his motor skills by dropping clothespins into a milk jug (cut a hole on the side to get pins out) and putting straws into the holes of a dishwasher basket.  He enjoyed these tasks immensely and loved waving the basket around after to watch the straws fly out.  The only bad thing is that he has figured out how to completely disassemble the clothes pins, spring and all.  So now I have put the springs aside and he plays with the wood pieces.
We broke out the do-a-dot markers for the first time.  Munchky LOVED these.  He just tried them out on blank paper.  T-Rex wanted to get in on the action too,  but he just wanted to paint his hands.  The funnest part was when T-Rex saw the markers lined up and decided to help by handing them to his brother.  Each time Munchky said thank-you and soon his hands were full of markers that he didn't know what to do with.  This exercise in brotherly love didn't last long though as soon a yelling and shoving episode took place.

We tried a little sorting with tongs, but Munchky absolutely refuses to sort.  I don't know why he never wants to do this, he knows his shapes and colors but does not like to separate them.  However this was a first using tongs (I got some big ones from the Dollar tree) he loved picking up the shapes and putting them in the bowls and wanted to do this every day.  Rex was just as happy putting the shapes in the bowls with his hands.  And of course they ended up throwing them at each other across the table.
We also started on some pre-writing activities.  I thought munchky would love this, since he is always at his easel trying to draw squares, triangles, letters, etc.  They rarely look like they should (although one time he drew a really good hexagon (he was so excited)).  So I thought he would like to trace.  But he wasn't too interested and didn't put any real effort into it.  Also i found dry-erase markers don't erase too well from laminated sheets-washable markers work better.  I got these pre-writing sheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

We had some dinosaur imaginative play.  The boys loved knocking down blocks with their dinos and attacking playing with each other saying "Roar".  Munchky who hates hats loved to put on this dinosaur hat I got at the Dollar Tree.  This is my favorite pic of the week - a trumpet playing dino!

Playing with the dino puzzle.

T-Rex spontaneously lining up his blocks on top of the cabinet.  This is the first time he's lined things up.

One of Munchky's favorite activites - Reading!.  Love this book by Kevin Lewis -  "Dinosaur Dinosaur",  Munchky hardly looked at the other dino books we got.  he just wanted to read this one over and over.  We really like all of Kevin Lewis' books.  They have a great rhythmic quality and great rhymes and illustrations. I might have to buy this one and add it to our collection.

Munchky had no interest in doing size or pattern sequencing, sorting, matching upper and lower case letters, or even demonstrating counting (given a number, putting said number of manipulatives with it).  He can tell me all of this information but does not want to seem to apply it in practice.  Does anyone have any suggestions to deal with this.  I'm not worried or anything  b/c we are not at preschool age and he knows a lot and loves to learn things - I just thought that he would love to show it in a fun game like way. 

If your interested in what other moms are doing for tot school please visit 1+1+1=1.  If you want to know more about what tot school is about, read this.


  1. Great theme and activities! We don't have a lot of dinosaur items but I'll be on the lookout to get some going. I'm just amazed at how much little ones learn between 1.5 and 3 years old. Look forward your weekly adventures! PS: let me know if you can get you're tot packs to PDF without messing up formatting.

  2. Love the theme and activities! It's so cool how it all comes together. I have to get some do-a-dot markers, they look so fun. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Trumpet playing dino = so cute! You'll get the hang of "schooling" both boys! You had an awesome week with a super fun theme!

  4. Liz, the best way to get do-a-dot markers is to buy them from Michaels using their' 40% off coupon in the Sunday paper. That way they're not so expensive. I have to say though that my guys love them, I'm not sure how long they last but it would seem awhile, and if the sponges dry out, you can wet them, the paint inside is still good, unlike markers.