Adventures in Tot Schooling

Sea Lions

Well, I thought I had a great week planned! Munchkin requested a sea lion week, and I obliged, but we just didn’t get much done. I feel like our setup needs changing, and the start of the school year is a good time to do so. At the moment, when it’s time for us to work together, I pull out the 4-6 trays I’ve put together for the day, and we look at them. Munchkin wants to zoom through and experience each one for about 30 seconds each, and then sometimes goes back to one she’s already used, and sometimes doesn’t. We really aren’t concentrating on any one thing lately. I ‘ve felt for a while that we’re drowning in clutter in our house, and read the Marie Kondo book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While I’m not really following her method, I’ve cleared out a TON of stuff and have created a new space for shelves, so some changes are afoot soon. However, here’s what I presented and what we worked on for our Sea Lion week.

Tot Trays

Pre-Writing Tray

Memorizing the Moments did an S is for Sea Lion week a couple of years ago, and created some great printables! I used her pre-writing one (here, under ‘S’), and asked Munchkin to help the baby get to it’s mummy. She really liked this, and did some really accurate writing.

Number Cards

Another printable from Memorizing the Moments, I printed some number clip cards (here, under ‘S’), and decided to use them on a baking sheet with magnetic numbers. This is the first time I’ve presented the task this way. The card with 10 sea lions was a little confusing, since I had to use a ‘1’ and a ‘0’ magnet, but Munchkin did ok.

Sea Lion Addition

I created a quick addition printable. We rolled two dice, counted the dots and put fish in the answer box to answer the question, “How many fish will the sea lion eat?” We actually pulled this tray out over the weekend, and played it as a game with Munchkin, Daddy, and I all taking turns. She really liked this one.

Sewing Tray

As part of my decluttering efforts, I came across my old plastic canvas and plastic canvas wools. I haven’t used these since I was little, but I thought Munchkin might be able to get started with some sewing. I think these are what my mum used to help me learn to sew. I provided a needle and one wool knotted to the corner of the canvas. When Munchkin used up the blue wool, we added purple. She understood what to do, and, as would be expected, she needs to work on always pulling the wool all the way through the canvas before beginning the next stitch.

Go Fish

Since sea lions eat fish, I pulled out our Go Fish busy bag, and we had fun taking turns fishing, and challenging each other to pick up a particular fish during out turns.

Sea Lion Painting

After pre-school on Wednesday, Munchkin found a nice leaf and wanted to bring it home to paint with. I printed out a sea lion outline and provided some paint blobs for her. She dabbed the leaf in the paint blobs and mixed it all up, then did one huge print on the sea lion and declared herself done!

Writing Prompt

Using the ABCPrintArrowDotted font from my Fabulous Free Fonts for Preschoolers post, I printed out “Sea Lion” a few times on a piece of paper, and then cut the paper down into writing strips. This task stayed out all week on Munchkin’s kitchen table, and she had the opportunity to trace and write “sea lion” whenever she wished. We did work on it together several times, and I was able to prompt her on correct letter formation. She herself noticed when she wrote the “a” incorrectly (line first, then curve), but then noted that she knew how to write an “o” and traced the circle in the right direction – she’s had a tendancy to trace it clockwise, rather than anti-clockwise.

Baby Trays

Little Sister has had a couple of great items of her own this week. I made her an object permanence box, and she’s had a good time exploring that – even getting the ball in the hole once all by herself. One morning we all headed to the park, and Munchkin helped me collect some mini fir cones and other seed pods which we put into class jam jars, along with Munchkin’s acorn collection. These then became great jars for Little Sis to experience. I particularly liked that the bottom of the jar magnified what was inside slightly. Of course Munchkin used these items too.

Here’s Munchkin’s art wall:

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