Adventures in Tot Schooling

New Toy Week!

After the birthday comes…playing with all the new toys! Munchkin was fortunate to receive some great learning toys for her birthday, so our theme for the week will be focusing on each new toy in turn, and highlighting it’s activity before it enters the regular toy rotation. Equally important, we will be crafting thank you cards for the wonderful gifts.

Our plan for the week is as follows:

Art/Craft Table Time I Table Time II
Monday thank you cards – gluing dog puzzles shape/size sorter
Tuesday thank you cards – stickers birthday shadow match/dot markers teddy bear puzzle
Thursday thank you cards pooh puzzles clock


Anytime tray: dog popsicle stick colour matching

Sensory bin: two piece puzzles



Munchkin switched it up on me from the get go today! She was up and asking for her alphabet puzzle even before breakfast! I knew she’d been asking about it, and I debated putting it out for her anytime work, but changed my mind. She got her puzzle anyway – and so worth it! The first thing she said to meĀ  was “m for mummy!” while holding up the m! We tried to find d for daddy, but didn’t get too far. We always easily find o and w, but today she was identifying i, j, q and e in addition to other letters she usually picks out. I think she’s probably up to being able to recognise and nameĀ  about 10-12 of her letters. If she’s stuck on a letter, and I sign it, she knows all of them – except x and s are usually both considered as x.

When it was time to sit down and start our official tot school time, Munchkin wanted matching! We didn’t really work on the birthday matching last week, so I still had it prepped for later in the week…but since I hadn’t pulled our trays out, I did a quick switch-a-roo! This is the first time I left the matching sheet whole, rather than cutting into two. She did just fine with it. Matched everything once, and moved on to the dry erase matching.

Next, I had prepared some construction paper folded into little cards, and saved the tissue paper from her gift bags. Munchkin used the glue stick to glue and stick pieces of the tissue to the front of her cards. We made two cards today…we have a few more to go tomorrow!

Finally, at the table we worked with one of her gifts – a Melissa & Doug Shape/Size/Colour sorter. It’s pretty cool! We actually worked through this pretty thoroughly the day she got it, and she had no problems ordering the pieces by size. Today I helper her sort the inner shapes by size, and compared them to their different shaped counterparts. We also built towers…and, of course, knocked them down!

We worked on her “bin” once she was finished sitting at the table. This is another gift – a set of self-correcting two piece puzzles. One side of the puzzle shows an animal, and the other side has the same animal hiding in the scenery. Grandma worked on these with her last week, and said she flew through them – and she did the same today! She had no problem being handed an animal and picking out the matching scenery piece, even when presented with quite a few pieces at once.

Munchkin was really happy to see the puppy colour sorter out again. She did this by herself several times throughout the day. As I was making dinner, I heard her putting all the puppies in, clapping and saying “Yaaaay!” over and over.


We split out Tuesday activities out over Tuesday and Wednesday this week. On Tuesday Munchkin worked on adding stickers to some thank you cards:

On Wednesday, we spent a lot of time playing with a bear puzzle she got for her birthday. Mama, Papa, and Baby Bear each have five faces, five shirts, and five pants/shoes to choose from, which can be slotted into their respective bear reliefs to make outfits. This toy is a hit! We talked about the emotions the bears were showing, and got them all dressed in their pajamas for bed. I didn’t take any photos of this.


Today I presented our three trays (though I had an extra activity or two snuck in) and Munch picked shadow matching first. We’ve only shadow matched once before, but after I demonstrated the first match, she sped through the others, and had to do it again to show Daddy when he walked in the room.

Next, we worked on a box of Pooh puzzles. Two puzzles had 6 pieces, and the other two had 9. The pieces were really stiff, and so it helped keep frustration at bay because it was already a given that I was going to be helping. We worked through all 4 puzzles, which I didn’t expect. I tried to give lots of cues to help her pick the right piece to work with next, rather than just handing them over. We talked about finding more of Pooh, or finding Piglet’s nose. This worked quite well.

Next, we looked at a shape sorting clock gift. Munchkin jumped right in, putting shapes in their holes, but didn’t want to finish this task. We also made a couple of times with the clock hands – snack time and bedtime! Finally, we worked on a quick do-a-dot left over from birthday week. Later in the day she also finished coloring all the thank you cards. Now I just have to write on them and get them in the mail!

Not much for the art wall this week as it was all thank you cards.

One Response to New Toy Week!

  1. Yuliya says:

    What fun activities! Your daughter is so smart – you’re doing a fantastic job with these activities, and are always such an inspiration! My son’s birthday is coming up in September, and you are really getting me excited about making some birthday themed activities for him.

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