Adventures in Tot Schooling

Rudoplph the Red Nosed Reindeer

We are feeling so Christmassy around here – since our trip to watch the Nutcracker over the weekend, Munchkin has wanted to listen to the music non-stop, and is excited for all our crafts. She’s also excited to open her advent calendar and eat the chocolate every morning after breakfast…but then so am I!

This week, our theme is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I reserved a few Rudolph books from the library, and we’ve been singing the song around the house. I also printed a little Rudolph book from that’s been sitting out all week.

Anytime Activity

Grandma sent Munchkin home with a Minnie Mouse ice-skating wind up music box last week. I hid it away over the weekend, and it’s out for her to look at all week this week. Munchkin loves it! She hasn’t quite worked out how to wind up the music box yet – the key is quite stiff – but I thought that, along with the reindeer book mentioned above made two good, different, things to look at.

Sensory Bin

The bin this week is full of Christmas items. Lots of pom-poms as a base, then little foam presents from the dollar store, Christmas erasers, a couple of jingle bell bracelets, a Christmas tin, a couple of little gift bags, and a little bear ornament. When Munchkin discovered her bin she spent a lot of time hunting through for all the erasers and lining up all the little presents.

Tot Trays

The past few weeks we seem to have fewer trays that stay out over multiple days, and more and more one time craft trays – this is awesome, but sometimes hard to think of enough things to do!

Snowflake Resist Art

I saw this idea on, but I just drew my snowflakes with a wax crayon instead of getting the glue gun out. Worked just the same. We both had fun helping each other coat the entire sheet of cardstock in watery blue paint and then sprinkling salt on. They look great, and I think we will turn them into cards for her teachers later in the week.

Shadow Matching

This a part of a printable pack from RoyalBaloo. I printed out the shadow base and also a set of image matching cards and a set of shadow matching cards. Munchkin happily worked through both. Matching the image to it’s shadow proved a bit trickier for her than the usual image matching we do, and it was nice to see her have to stop and think about some of the images. She did great!

Rudolph Nose Colour Matching

I quickly made up this printable from a Google Image search, changing the colours of Rudolph’s noses to match some of our pom poms. Munchkin named all the colours and matched quickly. I intended for us to do this tray a couple of times throughout the week, but we ended up gluing the noses on second time through, and it’ll go up on the art wall instead!

Reindeer Cutting

This a part of a printable pack from RoyalBaloo. Munchkin loves cutting now. She is very precise about where she wants to cut – right down the middle of the image, but not right down the grey line!

Reindeer Counting/Feeding

I found my lettuce printables, and modified this idea from Instead of a tissue box, I adapted this to fit a theme we’ve used a couple of times before, and we turned the counting and feeding into a game. Munchkin and I turned all the lettuce cards face down. She turned one over at a time, and had to feed Rudolph that number of yummy pom-pom treats. The first time through she turned the card over, named the number, and I counted the pom-poms for her, but after that she began counting the poms herself. She likes to grab two or three at a time – she can sight count up to 3 – but she can’t add yet, so our challenge is getting her to slow down and count out one at a time for the larger numbers.

Father Christmas Figure

I must have purchased this in the sales last year. It’s a huge cardboard Father Christmas, with stickers for the body parts. We put it together quickly, and it’s now hanging on the back of our front door. It’s as big as Munchkin!

Ornament Decorating

This is another pick-up from last year – little wooden ornaments with markers and tiny pom poms to decorate. Munchkin coloured two, while I took care of the third. When it came to gluing the pom-poms on, she insisted on squeezing glue herself. I was actually really impressed – she was very precise with the sizes of her little dots of glue on the ornaments, and the pom-poms on top. She was very particular about where the poms should go too – most covered buttons, noses or eyes. She also chose to make a long line of glue and put poms as the trim of the snowman’s hat. That feels like a big change to me – she’s really starting to think about where she wants to put things, and how they should look.

Playdough Ornaments

We pulled out the playdough and cookie cutters, and decorated some Christmas shapes – Munchkin did her best to roll out the dough, but she did cut shapes herself. I rolled lots of little balls for her to top the shapes with. We left the playdough out for a couple of days to see what would happen – playdough doesn’t dry out like it did when I was little!

Pinecone Tree Fine Motor Work

This tray consisted of a sparkly pipe cleaner, and some pony beads. Munchkin had to thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner – we took turns, but she wasn’t very exited about this. Once the pipe cleaner had a good amount of beads, we wound it around a pine cone to make a little decorated tree. Munchkin didn’t particularly love this craft, but she does like looking at the result!

Colour Clipping

I pulled this busy bag out on a whim, and it was a great hit! Munchkin can now squeeze the pegs, so while she still needed me to hold the disc, she was able to clip the pegs onto the card all by herself. She was so excited! The orange and red pegs are really close together in colour, so that presented a small challenge – if Munchkin picked up the orange peg first, she thought it was red and had to look again with the red peg for comparison.

Reindeer Footprint Cards

This was a tray just for fun – although I wasn’t sure how Munchkin would react to having her foot painted. When I first suggested it, she thought it was a good idea, later she decided we should do handprints, but when it came time to paint, she pulled her own sock off! I intended to just make one footprint card (Munchkin asked to make a reindeer card for Daddy), but she loved having her foot painted, so we made two more for her grandparents! The paint wasn’t too thick, so by the time we cleaned up the paint she was able to stick on red pom-pom noses and googly eyes to complete the craft all at once.

We had a good week this week! Not everything got on the art wall because we made cards and ornaments, so two photos of our art work this week:




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