Adventures in Tot Schooling

First Set of Shelves

Around here, we mostly refer to Little Sister by her name (obviously)…or her nickname, which is Cheese/Cheeseball/Cheesy/Cheesy McCheeserson/The Cheese – you get the idea. Muchkin actually picked her nickname. Daddy called Munchkin “Meatball,” and so when Little Sister was a very little baby, we were discussing nicknames and Munchkin suggested Cheeseball. It stuck. And since Little Sister isn’t a very good screename, I’ll start referring her as Cheese. What’s extra funny is that we’re (well, the three girls anyway) vegan..and don’t even eat meat or cheese!

Cheese is now 18 months old, and seems to FINALLY have dropped her second nap of the day and in the last week or so has mostly taken one long nap a day while still sleeping well all night. Previously if Cheese had to take one nap, it wouldn’t be very long, and she’d reward me by waking up at 5am the next day. Now that she’s awake all morning, she needs some things to do! For now, since we are in “summer” mode, and not doing anything planned with Munchkin, I’ve set up some Montessori inspired trays for Cheese. We’ve also had a revamp of the top of the shelves for Munchkin.

Cheese’s set up:

IMG_6858Top Row: pegs onto a glass rim, water pouring, animal/image matching, Munchkin & Daddy’s Lego Project
Bottom Row: pom-pom tong transfer, dried bean pouring, button colour matching, open/close containers

Cheese is a great nickname for her. She’s also very much into neatness order. I didn’t really show her the process of taking a tray, performing a work, then cleaning up and putting the tray away but she just does it naturally. She will happily stand at the shelves and pour water between the two little white jugs, she will pull the bean pouring out into the floor, and likes toting around the animals. She can match all the animals, but not always all at the same time.

She is interested in the peg work, though she cannot do it yet. The other trays – buttons, pom pom transfer, and open close containers have been more ignored – they were all out before hand, so perhaps need changing out.

Here are some close-ups of the trays and Cheese working on them:

In addition to these trays, which are always available, we’ve actually had time to do some things while Munchkin is at preschool. Cheese has had fun using dot markers, rubber stamping for the first time, and playing with water beads for the first time.

As mentioned above, I haven’t been planning anything specific for Munchkin, just going with whatever seems to fit at the time. We have been reading a ton this summer – we’re (I’m reading to her) reading Matilda (by Roald Dahl) and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (by C S Lewis) for the second time, and have started George’s Marvelous Medicine (by Roald Dahl) and Prince Caspian (by C S Lewis).

The top of our shelves are Munchkin’s, and currently dedicated to Frozen collage items. The white metal set of trays contains lots of paper, envelopes and stickers. The pink drawers are new and contain scissors, glue, markers, sequins, yarn, popsicle sticks and other collage materials. Munchkin also has Frozen puzzles and art items from her birthday. Munchkin absolutely LOVES her collage materials, and makes multiple letters, collages, and other items daily. Munchkin and I will get back into planned activities in a week or two. She also has access to Cheese’s items, and likes pouring the beans and water back and fourth.

Here are our latest art walls:

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