Adventures in Tot Schooling

Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Time for a fun theme! Every time she sees a tea set, Munchkin wants to play, so this week we’ve got a teddy bear/tea party theme going!

Our plan for the week is as follows:

Art/Craft Table Time I Table Time II
Monday bear painting with brushes heads and tails matching water transfer with sponge
Tuesday bear stickers and stamps 1 to 3 number matching bear emotions cards
Friday play-doh with bear stamps/cutters bear dot markers bear size sorting


Anytime tray: magnetic fishing

Sensory bin: stuffed bears, Sylvanian bears, tea set, picnic blanket


This morning we started with magnetic fishing. We received this set in a busy bag swap a few weeks ago. At the time, Munchkin wasn’t interested, but today we fished three times in a row, picked the fish she was going to get, caught the fish, moved it to our tray, and counted it. We came back to this a few times during the day.

After lunch, I suggested we take a look at the bin. It was quite the hit! We set up all the bears, looked at all the pieces of the tea set (one she hadn’t seen before), poured and drank tea, and fed the bears with spoons. We played forĀ  quite a while, and she was totally smitten. After nap, we played again. Unfortunately, later in the day she toddled up to me with a broken cup (fixable), and later threw the teapot at the floor…so the tea set got put away and an old metal one replaced it. She wasn’t so thrilled once her every day tea set came out. We’ll see how this pans out for the rest of the week.

For our other activities, Monday felt a bit cooped up and not like a “school” day. I tried a couple of heads and tail cards (also received at the busy bag swap). We matched a duck and a fish…and that was about it. I will pull these out again later in the week.

After this, I suggested “paint?” and usually that would send Munchkin running for the table. Today it still took 5 minutes and some thinking about it. Eventually, she decided that painting sounded like fun. This was the first time we’ve used paintbrushes at home, and it went well. She quickly painted three bears. It was a little confusing that the red brush went into brown paint when the other brushes matched the paint color, but she soon got over that.

The hit of the day was transferring water between dishes with a sponge. In the past, this activity has been ok, but today it kept Munch occupied for a good 10 minutes. She squeezed with one hand, then two hands, and we went back and forth many times. She stayed focused and on task and we had fun with this.

After this ran it’s course, she asked for “bubbles” so we also had some water bead play. And I think we must have read about 100 books today (ok, not quite) – good thing we went to the library last week!


On Tuesday we worked on some numbers, using magnets to help us count. Munchkin was totally into this, and we worked through numbers 1-3 about 4 times. Each time we started with only the ‘one’ strip on the tray, added a magnet, touched it, and counted it. Then we added the ‘two’ strip, counted the magnets as they were put down, then touched and counted each magnet again, and then we repeated with three. Munch could repeat the numbers after me, but is not counting alone yet. We did this a week or so ago with glass beads, and magnets provided a nice change and kept the interest level up.

Much later in the day, we sat down to make some teddy bear sticker and stamping art. Munchkin was so into the stamping I never brought out the stickers. We found that this worked best if I inked the stamp, and then handed it to her, and we rotated a few stamps. For the first time, Munchkin really got good images onto the paper, and made some great pictures.

After the stamping, we quickly looked at some teddy bear emotion cards. I found the images on Amazon, part of a deck of cards, but five basic emotion images had been uploaded…so I printed them! We named the emotions, used the signs for the emotions we knew, and then I looked up the signs for the two we didn’t. Munch mostly asked me to sign “angry” and “scared” – and thought the “angry” sign was really funny.

We also saw some fishing today, and the teddy tea party box came out to play a couple of times. Looks like we are over the tea set switch!


Today we started out with dot marker art. I gave Munchkin her markers, went to grab something, came back and she was already on her second sheet! Today she had fun lining up the markers and talking about the colours. This made her really happy!

We had some play-doh fun too, making all sorts of bear shapes. We have two bear cookie cutters, and had two stamps out. One of the bear stamps had some silver ink leftover from earlier in the week, and it was fun to see the sparkles on the dough. We lined the bears up by size, and Munch correctly identified the smallest and largest bears. We also make lines of stamped bears, and cut bears out with a waffle pattern on their bodies.

After the dough, I did show her three different sized bear cut outs. These just don’t seem to entertain her. She sorted them once, and was then done. However, when I added the dot marker art to her art wall, she did insist on the bears being posted on the wall too.

Later in the morning we set up a tea party, and had a round of fishing. Both the tray and box have been very popular all week long!


2 Responses to Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

  1. What a fun week! I have never done a busy bag swap, but keep meaning to. The games you got are so cute!

  2. Yuliya says:

    You have so many fantastic activities! Your daughter is very lucky to be able to learn in such a fun way! I’ll be pinning so many of these :)

    Our kids are about the same age, too. My son is 18 months old! He loves transferring water, too! We got out some plastic bowls/cups and he had a blast pouring from bowl to cup to bowl, etc.

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