Adventures in Tot Schooling

Halloween – Week 1

This is a great time of year! I feel like from now until the New Year there are so many holidays and events that lend themselves to great themes for tot school! So many fun themes and art projects to do, I’m hoping my plans for each week practically write themselves!

Halloween was not that big of an event for me growing up, but I’m all for the fun part of it! We grabbed a bunch of books from the library last week about Halloween and Day of the Dead. I picked up a toddler book about the history of Halloween, and it perfectly explains why I think Halloween is a creepy holiday. Though I live in the US, I grew up in England. Halloween is based on a druid holiday where fires were lit to stop the spirits of the dead coming back to haunt the living. My in-laws celebrate Day of the Dead and I think it’s the creepiest thing ever – going to hang out at a graveyard. The Day of the Dead book we borrowed explains why they don’t see it as creepy. Tot School provides learning for the entire family!

Anytime Activity

This week, I created a jack o’ lantern felt face activity. I cut out an orange felt pumpkin, and glued a green stem and leaf on top. I then cut out about three¬† sets of face pieces from black felt, and set them up for Munchkin. After I introduced this to her for the first time, I told her I was going to the kitchen and she told me “I stay and do this, Mummy!”

Sensory Bin

Lots of things in the bin this week:- mini plastic pumpkins
– orange squares
– yelllow, orange, black, green, brown pom-poms
– Halloween erasers
– ghost finger puppet
– scoop and containers for sorting
– foam cat and hat shapes
– pumpkin bag and bucket

Tot Trays

Glitter and Glue

We tried glitter once, a long time ago, and ended up with a big mess. With the success of our salt tray last week, I thought Munchkin might be better able to control her glitter shaking – and I was right! We worked on this a couple of times, and while it was hard for her to be patient enough to put down the glue, then shake the glitter, then tip the excess back into the container, she was much more excited about it the second time around.

Halloween Foam Stickers

I saved the template from my felt pumpkin and provided Halloween foam stickers to decorate with. These stickers are pretty tough to get the backing off of – but that’s what you get from the dollar store!

Halloween Dot Markers

These printouts are from the 3Dinosaurs Halloween dot marker pack. Munchkin really likes dotting over all the writing, in addition to filling the entirety of each circle. She also had lots of fun stacking the three lids on top of each other, and screwing the lids onto the wrong colour marker. She would look at me as she put the yellow lid on the purple marker and then tell me the marker was the yellow one, with a twinkle in her eye!

Pumpkin Patch Counting

I snagged this printable from Spark & Pook, but luckily I had little plastic pumpkins from Target, so that we didn’t have to count with candy! Munchkin was SO excited over this, and loved picking up each pumpkin and counting out where it went on the number line. I would guess that she knows about half of the numbers 1-10 by sight, and then the others we had to count from the beginning to get to the right number. The first time we did this, we hadn’t explored the bin yet and she was thrilled when I told her there were more for her to play with there.

Halloween Cutting

A simple tray of cutting strips and scissors from the 3Dinosaurs Halloween tot pack. Munchkin’s scissor proficiency keeps improving. She is holding both the paper and scissors herself, and kept telling me, “Mummy, Skye cut all the way across.”

Boo! Ghost Potato Printing

For this tray, I placed some white paint on a plastic paint, and cut half a potato into a ghost shape. Munchkin tried this once, wasn’t sure about it, then went back later and covered the page. We also did some finger/thumb prints to turn into more ghosts with a Sharpie later on. This was fun, but she wasn’t thrilled about getting paint on her hands. I got to make a sheet of ghosts too!

 Halloween Painting

I picked up a pack of Mickey Mouse images with paints at the dollar store, and pulled one out for Munchkin. She was so excited to see Mickey, but then proceeded to paint the entire paper black! She had water to wash out her brush so that she could change colours – and she washed her brush frequently, but almost every time she picked black. On several occasions she seriously considered other colours. A few times she did actually get yellow, red, or green, but then went back and painted over it in black! When she’d painted everything she could, she said “Mummy do it! too hard for Skye” so we turned the paper around so that she could reach the other side and finish her project.

Halloween Matching

Matching is always a hit around here – more printables from 3dinosaurs.com.

We also had a friend and her family over on Saturday morning and the kids got to do several more Halloween crafts together. We met up with them again on Sunday for a Day of the Dead festival and ran into a couple of Munchkin’s school friends. This was a really fun week. We will be focusing on Halloween again next week, and I have several more things for us to do!

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