Monday, March 14, 2011

Dinos con't

Munchky is 33 months

T-Rex is 16 months

We continued with our dinosaur theme this week as I was not quite done with the music unit I planned. 

Last week I asked for suggestions on how to get Munchky more engaged in sorting activities.  A friend suggested using M&M's.  As I still had lots of M&M's left from Christmas, I thought I'd give it a try.

I took a muffin tin, cut out circles of corresponding colors and put them in the cups.  As my construction paper pack didn't have any brown, I thought "excellent we can eat the brown M&M's!
So I modeled this for Munchky, telling him to match the M&M's to the right color and eat the brown ones.   So he proceeded to dig right in to the M&M's and eat them all!.  So I took a handful and asked him where I should put each one, he showed me where to correctly put them while stuffing his face.  After a four or five times of me asking him and him showing me, he says "NO!" Translation: "Leave me alone Mom, I'm too busy eating my M&M's to worry about where to put yours."    He did not sort out any for himself...Oh well.  T-Rex also enjoyed this M&M activity - dumping his bowl of M&M's and eating them..he showed no interest in putting them in any cup of the tin.....just in his mouth and on the floor.

However, later in the day, while I was working with T-Rex,  Munchky on his own picked up the Play-doh, putting the colors back in the correct containers with the correct lids.  So he is into "real time" matching,  I'll have to see if I can come up with some "real situations" to sort.  Maybe laundry.   Love the look on T-Rex's face as he is sneaking up to knock down Munchky's tower.

T-rex inspired by the tower decided to do some stacking on his own with Munchky's shapes.  He is really getting quite good at stacking.  As these were not cubes, he  turned each one the correct way so that they could be stacked. 

T-rex really likes to try to stack just about anything,  this time he topped off his creation with Woody's hat.. ("Where Woody hat?" is a constant refrain in our house as Woody is always losing it)
This week was also T-Rex's first intro to Play-doh.  He didn't really want to play with it too much and looked a little repulsed by it.  It maybe b/c the first thing he tried to do with it was of course - taste it! Here he is wondering if the yellow is as yucky as the blue was.
With Munchky I introduced some symbols ($, +, =) while we worked with the play-doh.  As always, M really enjoys cutting out shapes with the play-doh.

T-rex was able to get a hold of the dino mask from his brother (or from his brother's insistence that Mommy wear it (sorry no pictures of that!)) this week..   (notice the M&M remnants)

The boys came up with some "motor skills"  games of their own this week.  First Munchky wanted to have this colander with a handle on it that I picked up at the Dollar tree.  After banging it and swinging it around, he found a ball, put it in, threw the ball up into the air and tried to catch it (not to successful), then he gave the colander to Mommy to see if she could catch it (a little bit more successful) then he put the ball in and tried to swirl it around without the ball flying out.  He did suprisingly good at that.  It is amazing the stuff they do come up with on their own.  

While Munchky was doing this, T-Rex got the mixing bowl that the colander was in and started to collect items from around the room.  He wasn't very successful at this, b/c everything fell out once he was on the move, but it didn't deter him.  Love this picture... he looks like he is posing for a magazine.

This week, there was great improvement in Munchky's efforts with the pre-writing sheets.  It may have to do with the fact that I got Crayola's new washable dry erase crayons.  He saw them sitting on the counter, got them out and wanted to color.  I told him that they were special crayons, not for use with our coloring books,etc but needed to be used on our "special" papers (laminated sheets).  Since they are a bit more expensive then regular crayons, I didn't want them to be wasted.  So right away, he asked for the "special" papers, I got our dino pre-writing sheets from Confessions of a homeschooler - and he took off.  he tried hard to follow the lines (though he would often go over them over and over again - like scribbling).  Every day he asked to use his "special crayons and paper".  This was also the first time that T-Rex showed any real interest in coloring and he tried to help his brother out.

For those who may be thinking about trying them out.  I found them very easy to wipe off of the sheets using a dry paper towel (unlike the markers) or the included "mitt".  If your child presses down real hard, you might have to go over it a couple of times.  I really like them and they are pretty sturdy.  We have not tried them on our dry erase board yet, so I don't know how they do there.

Some misc. activities:
Balloon volley.  Munchky loved hitting and chasing this "dying' helium balloon.  Actually this is getting to be a common our local coffee shop gives out balloons to the kids.  So almost daily he says "we go Jackson Coffee..I get get coffee?"  All right.....twist my arm. LOL  PS: It is very difficult to get good shots of this activity.

T-Rex loves my teapot and is always wanting it to take the lid on and off again.  Anything for this cute smile.

We did a bit more dino activities this week...but my batteries died.  We did dino finger painting.  T-Rex did not particularly care for fingerpaints. I laminated Munchky's for use in a counting exercise where you add clothespin "spines" onto the dino to match the number you pick.  Again Munchky did not care really to do this.  He only wants to add the number he wants....just keep going.  But this did work on his motor skills in operating the clothespin...something we really haven't done before. To see these and other dino activities in action visit hart to hart.

Last week I mentioned he had no interest in doing this upper and lower case matching game from 1+1+1=1.  This week I changed it up a bit.  I put away the uppercase letters, got a Scattergories alphabet die, had him roll it and then find the lowercase letter to match.  This worked a little better..but he lost interest after a few letters.

We did a dino shape patterns also found on 1+1+1=1.  Munchky did enjoy this because it involved glue. ( we glued the shapes to the dino picture)

I thought that each week I'd mention something about our schoolroom/organization that I have found helpful.  

 The first thing is our book ledges.  I love, love, love them!.  Who ever would have thought something so simple could make such a difference.  The boys were always tearing the books down from the bookcases...they all come down in a heap...or dumping the book basket over.  When I saw these ledges on others' blogs, I knew I had to give them a try in our schoolroom.  Low and behold one book comes down at a time (b/c they can see and easily take the one they want) and they even put them back without a gripe.  I arranged mine so Munchky's was higher out of T-rex's reach and T-rex's underneath.  My plan was to put the more vulnerable paper books up and keep the board books down.  It has worked like a charm.  I got these from Ikea (I painted mine to match the trim), but you could make your own or even use rain gutters!.  Now I'm saving up to get some for the living room and the boys' room.

Pointing to the book he wants from Munchky's wonder Mommy hardly put any books on his shelf!

Here, he is upset b/c Mommy is taking a picture of him instead of putting him on her lap and reading the book.  GRRR..... He is very impatient. 

To see what Carissa and the other tot school moms are doing this week visit  1+1+1=1.

To learn more about Tot School visit here..


  1. We did the Muffin Tin sorting with buttons today! Oh yes, and I love you book shelves!

  2. Love your posts. Thanks for the inspirations. : )