Adventures in Tot Schooling

Carnival of the Animals

A few weeks ago I read Living Montessori Now’s music appreciation lesson for Carnival of the Animals. Munchkin loves music, especially the music from The Nutcracker, and the Cinderella ballet music so I thought this would be a great unit for her. We got this book from the library, with verses and a CD, and it’s pretty much on all the time for the past week. To go along with the theme, I picked a few animal activities. As the week went on, Munchkin requested “number trays” one day, and “writing trays” another, so I did my best to pull a few things together for her, as requested. I thought a series of music related themes would be nice, but she has requested sea lion trays for next week, so I shall be working on those!

Sensory Bin

For the first time in a long time, I made up a sensory bin. Rocks, corn, and packing paper for the base. I’ve been clearing out, and found my old collection of pottery animals, so they were included in a little dish. Munchkin played with them a little, putting them to bed and making them eat corn, but she really didn’t play with this as much as I thought she would.

Tot Trays

Birthday Card Decorating

It’s Daddy’s birthday this weekend, so Munchkin had a card to make, glue, write and decorate. I dotted out the words for her, and she was thrilled to write all the words on the card, both inside and out. We mostly managed to work through with me prompting where to start forming the letters.

Elephant and Lion Decorating

I’ve had these foam animals forever, and thought it was time we used them up. I provided foam shapes and glue. As I’ve seen from teaching preschool art classes, three year old’s LOVE pouring glue everywhere!

Cutting Strips

I printed a few strips from 3dinosaurs zoo pack. Munchkin was really accurate on these this week. As she cut them, we then put them back together like puzzle pieces.

Animal Flash Cards

We looked at a couple of these, but Munchkin wasn’t very interested. I learnt something though – did you know that male lions sleep about 20 hours a day??

Animal Stamping

I pulled our animal stamps out from our stamping set, and let Munchkin make some pictures.

Stencils and Insets

When Munchkin asked for writing trays, I wanted to provide more than just tracing or copy work. I managed to cut a few stencils and insets from thick cardboard and these were a big hit. She did really well with the stencils, and needs more work on the insets. We had a lot of fun making and colouring pictures.

Writing Station

For the last week or so, I’ve provided a permanent writing station, changing the pens/pencils/paper/notebooks and decorative elements out every few days. For the most part, I provide a little notebook, some stickers, and some different pens or pencils. Munchkin is then free to doodle as she pleases. However when she asked for writing trays, I hunted for a font with guidance (which inspired me to write this font summary post) that she could work with independently, and provided a name practice task. This proved really popular, and she’s been practicing her name multiple times a day.

In addition to these trays, we also worked on a sticker book, and some number tasks. I didn’t get any pictures of those, but she stuck the corresponding number of pom poms onto number cards, and matched number flash cards to numbered envelopes.

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