Adventures in Tot Schooling


This week, many of our activities are square themed. Munchkin is 19 months old.

Our plan for the week is as follows:

Art/Craft Table Time I Table Time II
Monday toilet roll stamping threading square buttons alphabet puzzle
Tuesday gluing and sticking squares square printables nuts and bolts
Friday animal blocks naming cutting strips into squares spooning glass beads


Anytime tray: magnetic Mr. Potato Head

Sensory bin: wooden blocks, square buttons, square containers, square books, Rubik’s cube, square panda picture.


Since it was such a gorgeous sunny day, we went out to play in the morning and saved tot-school for the afternoon! After nap, we explored the square (more cube) bin. Munchkin liked looking at the Panda picture (and learnt a new word), helped me stack a huge big tower of blocks (though it fell down before we could see what was taller, Munch or the tower), and enjoyed putting the square buttons into containers and shaking them. Barnacle and Puppy came to play too!

Next we took a look at the Mr. Potato Head tray – inspiration here. Munchkin initially just wanted to see Mummy making potato faces, but she did point out where I should put the eyes, mouth, etc. Later in the day, I caught her doing this all by herself.

We started our “school” for the day with buttons and pipe cleaners. This was supposed to be square buttons, but I ran out, so we used all shapes! Munch immediately pulled out a triangle and named it. She threaded several buttons while I held the pipe cleaner, but wasn’t able to thread them while holding herself. She also enjoyed shaking the buttons in their tray and hearing the noise they made.

I then pulled out her alphabet puzzle. She LOVED this puzzle when we first got it, and had a good time with it again today. We poked out lots of pieces (the dots of the ‘i’ and ‘j’ being her favourite pieces!), and identified ‘r’, ‘w’ and a few other letters. Before our “school”, she had been colouring, and Peter Rabbit had come out to see out Peter Rabbit colouring book. Peter had helped to colour, and now also helped to push out letter, pick up pieces, and even put them back in!

At this point, Munchkin asked to paint (how convenient, since this was on our plan for the day!), however Grandma was coming to visit, so we waited until she arrived. Like our heart painting a few weeks ago, I squished a loo roll tube into a square, and also provided an unsquished tube for square and circle stamping. This was lots of fun! We also fingerpainted, and then painted on the tray and I took a print when we were all done. It was great to include Grandma in our art time!


We had too much fun with a playdate and swimming today, so tot-school happened while dinner was cooking! First I pulled out the nuts and bolts. Munchkin immediately started wearing the nuts on her fingers like rings. We also screwed and unscrewed the nuts. She did get the hang of turning the nuts on the bolts, but not enough to get one all the way on her off by herself yet. I put two bolts connected together with the same nut, and that was pretty interesting too!

Next we worked on gluing squares. I certainly see improvement from last week – today Munch was  making patches of glue on her base paper, and then sticking squares onto the glue. This happened once or twice, anyway! She also enjoyed putting the cap on and off of the glue stick. We talked about the colours of the squares, and the fish pattern that was on a couple of squares.

Since she got a little too focused on the cap of the glue stick, I switched our activity to square printables, from here, and Munchkin had a great time with her dot markers. I whisked the caps away before she noticed them, so this was a pretty focused activity. She was working on her second sheet when I popped out to the kitchen to stir dinner, I came back and she’d grabbed the third sheet and was working away! After these were all completed, we worked with the nuts and bolts for a few more minutes until dinner was ready. As soon as we sat down to dinner, Munch insisted that her new art be hung up on her art wall – which is across from the dining table – so of course I obliged!

Throughout the day, the alphabet puzzle got a lot of play again, and we were making Mr. Potato Head faces when Daddy got home – so he joined in the fun!


Our block work actually happened on Thursday. Munchkin requested her blocks cart as a toy – and it just happened to already be arranged so that the animal sides were showing. As she named an animal, we took it out of the cart and built a tower…eventually (also using some of the items from her bin) the tower was taller than she is! And then it got knocked down…we did this a couple of times.

Actually on Friday, we started out with scooping and transferring glass beads between glass bowls. Munch saw this exact activity, set up the exact same way, at a pre-school we visited a couple of weeks ago – she jumped right in, but was sad when she could only complete the task once. This time, she completed it about three times straight through before starting to play. We counted the beads as they ‘plinked’ into the bowl, and enjoyed the sound they made. We also poured between the two bowls.

Next, we worked on cutting strips. Last week, Munchkin cut play-doh, so I wanted to try paper. The scissors she’s using have a little spring to help them open back up. We got her hand into the scissors correctly, and she did managed to do some cutting with my hand over hers. She did very well. Once we were done, she asked for glue – what a great extension activity (should have colour sorted too!), and we created a shape collage. Munchkin liked to dip her square in the glue, dot the glue on the paper four or five times, then stick the square down.


2 Responses to Squares

  1. The idea to put the glue in a bowl is great! I’ll be using that this week! Thanks!

  2. Vanessa says:

    I love the square theme. Thanks for the idea!

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