Adventures in Tot Schooling

Maps, Maps, Maps

We had such a great week! The last couple of times we’ve been at my mum’s house, Munchkin has been really interested in the London A-Z map book. We’ve been finding places that Paddington Bear visits, and showing her other landmarks, but since we live in California, it doesn’t mean all that much to us. Last week, she really wanted to bring the book home. Instead, my mum gave her a book of maps of our county. She wasn’t very happy about getting that book at the time, but she has been so engaged in all our activities all week. It’s been a lot of fun, and I feel so lucky to be able to do all these things with her.

Our Country Street Guide

This map is quite a few years out of date, but it did the job! As we looked through the book, Munchkin circled places she knew as we found them – houses of friends and family, parks, preschools, museums, etc, and I wrote the places we labeled on sticky tabs and Munchkin stuck them on the pages. She loved this and we did it three or four times through the week – I started to have trouble coming up with places she knew!

Journaling

I gathered together several maps of places Munchkin knows well – a museum, a theme park, etc, and a map of the US. I paired it with a notebook and pencil. I wasn’t really sure what we would do from there, but thought we’d see where this tray took us. Munchkin “wrote” about the places on the map. We also ended up drawing more detailed maps – for instance, when looking a the map of the children’s museum, each room is outlined. We ended up drawing pictures of some of her favourite rooms with all the furniture placement.

USA Puzzle

I picked this puzzle up at the dollar store a while ago when Munchkin was very into puzzles. I mis-read the number of pieces, which seemed like too many, so I never got it out. I didn’t have any expectations this week, I thought 60 pieces was still going to be too many, but we powered through this super quick and all in one go! I pointed out California, and she was interested in Hawaii, since one of her friends from school has just been there on vacation.

Making Maps

Now this was the hit of the week. My inspiration came from Pinterest, but I had the brainwave to print out logos for her pre-school, shops she knows, and places we visit. She LOVED this. We made 4 or 5 separate maps through the week. The first logo she saw was the one for her pre-school, and there was  a huge smile on her face! She was thrilled! The first day we did this, she was so into it, she showed her dad, and made a map with him after dinner! I cut out roads, shaped to be made into buildings, green areas for parks, and blue for rivers and lakes. Along with that, I provided logos, and a glue stick – she had a great time arranging everything and gluing it down.

My Place in the World

This activity was another Pinterest find, but I made some changes. Rather than circles, I provided (in order) a person, a cutout of a house, a cutout of our city, a cutout of our state, a cutout of our continent, and blue circle for the earth, with green land masses to glue down. We worked through the items from most specific to most general, with Munchkin decorating as she went. We looked at the sizes and noted that she was smallest while the Earth was the biggest thing we had.

Find It! USA

Mid-week, I remembered that Muchkin received Find It! USA for Christmas. We haven’t had it out. We put the puzzle together (so she did two USA puzzles this week). It comes with chips, each chip has a state name on the back, and an image relating to the state on the front (so the Texas chip has The Alamo on the front). We did a few of the chips, and Munchkin seems to be interested in Texas (she knows that she visited Texas when she was a baby).

Landforms

Munchkin was powering through everything so enthusiastically, I had to come up with more! With inspiration from here, we worked on land forms. She was so excited to see that we were going to pour water, she didn’t really want to look at the land form cards (from here), but we did start with the cards, and matched up the cards with land and water as opposites. I then asked her to pick one pair. We started out by covering the land part of the card with playdough – we did one card of the pair each. Once the playdough was on the card, I helped her transfer it to little mason jars – then came the find part! Munchkin got to turn our water blue, then pour it into the jars. We worked through two pairs of land forms in this way.

What a great week we had together!

Little Sister

Little Sister is big into colouring, and often signs that she wants to colour after meals. It’s super sweet when the two girls colour together. We’ve had a bin of dried macaroni and some scooping tools out for a couple of weeks, but I’m a bit sick of cleaning it up, so I put it away and pulled together a red bin. Little Sister loves the bell!

Here are the art walls:

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