Adventures in Tot Schooling

Red Week

Cheese had her own, personal, first planned theme week this week. I started the same way as with Munchkin, with a red themed week. This time, however, I presented things a little differently. With Munchkin, I pulled out three or so trays at a time, we sat at the table and worked through them. For Cheese, I decided I would try a more child-led approach. I’ve been lining all our options for the day up on our dining room bench. I’ve moved our little table into the living room from the kitchen and am having her select one tray at a time. She can choose either from the themed options presented, or from the options that are always out on our open shelves, which are behind the dining table. I think that this new approach will help build concentration over time, and will also allow for more movement and wiggles in the mean time.

Red Collage

This one jumped the gun a bit! The girls needed something to do, and wanted an art project. For Cheese alone, I might have paired down the art supplies a bit, but since both girls were involved, I pulled out all the red items I could find for a red collage project! We had sticky jewels, a red dot marks (which the had to share!), red markers, red pencils, red crayons, and red water color paint with two paint brushes. The girls had a great time, and were occupied for a long time!

Red Cutting Strips

Over the weekend, Cheese had been trying her hardest to get at her big sisters scissors. Cheese also does really well with some training scissors I got at the Dollar Store. Based on this, I made some simple cutting strips on red paper. Of course they were completely ignored during our first morning together. I even set them out on our open shelving so that she could access them all the time. They’ve been completely ignored! Free access to scissors! Totally ignored! Our second morning together she did do a little bit of snipping, but not much!


Nuts and Bolts

This is not a red activity, but one we haven’t had out yet. Cheese was mostly frustrated by these, but did select them several times when we were working together. I also placed these on our open shelves so that they were available all the time, but I did not see them used much. These are four short, chubby bolts and matching nuts that are all the same size and totally interchangeable. I’m isolating the skill of screwing a nut on a bolt, not a size comparison task.

Red Water Transfer

Water play is always a hit around here! Water transfer was always popular, but perhaps not easy when Munchkin started out, because I didn’t have great droppers. This zig-zag dropper is awesome, and so easy to use! Cheese had a great time. She also loved cleaning up any stray drips! This activity was out one of our two mornings working together, and she kept going back to it. Sadly for her, this is not one of the activities that was out without my supervision (she does have clear water pouring available at all times though.)

Spooning Red Glass Gems

This was the most popular tray of the week. It’s been out all the time, and I keep seeing it being used around the house. I provided two small glass mason jars, some red glass gems, and a teaspoon. Cheese loved spooning them back and forth, spooning them into her hand, spooning them into my hand…this is just a great activity for her right now.

Stamping on Red Paper

I think Cheese has used stamps before, but this time I isolated just a few stamps I thought she’d recognise and like (and she did! A fish! Stars! A ball!). She went back and forth to this activity a few times. We had it out both mornings we worked together, but I didn’t leave it out the rest of the time. I think I probably could have…maybe in a few weeks.


Cheese had asked to paint, and was thrilled (on Monday) to paint with red paint. Big sister, Munchkin, painted with blue and purple paint on Tuesday (and Cheese saw the finished paper), and so later in the week, by request, she had to have blue paint! She loved this. It was great to isolate one colour, and just the skill of painting with a brush.

Cheese also selected a colour matching activity from her open shelves, and water pouring too.

And that was our first proper week of activities! Here are the last couple of art walls:

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