Adventures in Tot Schooling


Our activities this week all follow a summery theme. I’m finding it tough to keep us in a routine over the summer, as my work schedule is so unpredictable. Do I really want to say roll on Fall? I also need to get some serious lesson planning in moving forward. Lesson planning helps when the actual days are unpredictable!

Our plan for the week is as follows:

Art/Craft Table Time I Table Time II
Monday ice painting 6-9 piece puzzles yellow and blue pom pom sort
Tuesday ice excavating summer matching counting with links
Thursday summer sticker scene summer cutting practice number mail


Anytime tray: flowers and styrofoam

Sensory bin: blue and clear glass marbles, leaves, sea creatures, magnifying glass, scoop, frog legs, tongs.



We started out with our trays today. Munchkin wanted to dive right into ice painting, but the ice needed a minute to warm up. She very agreeably agreed to start with “ice cream scooping” and was tickled that we were using her old baby spoons and her yoghurt dishes! I demonstrated transferring the first pom pom of each colour, and she was off on her way! It was hard to remember to switch spoons for the different colour pom-poms, but that’s not a big deal. She sorted correctly – except for when she put the pom in the wrong dish on purpose, smirked and said “Nooo” and then corrected herself. She really seemed to enjoy this, but only wanted to to the tray once. We did scoop all the poms back to their starting container, but she wouldn’t sort again.

Next, the ice was ready! Munch painted dots and lines on the paper, and then I showed her how to make stars. Every time she switched colour, she insisted on sliding each little wand back into it’s original hole. I thought these painted remarkably well!

Finally, we worked on some puzzles we didn’t officially get to last week. Munch worked through the first two dog puzzles, then asked for her Pooh Bear puzzles, so we did a couple of those too.

Of the items that are out all the time, the flowers and styrofoam have been following us all over the house! We’ve counted the flowers, and Munchkin has become really good at stabbing them into the block. She really enjoys this. Munchkin can also now easily lift her bin, so that’s moved around a bit too. She loves looking at the glass marbles. We’ve been through and named most of the sea creatures (she insists that the sting ray is a leaf), and pulled a frog leg apart! I think she likes this bin. It would be good to fill it with water later in the week, and let her play with it that way.


I slacked and did not have the ice excavating prepared. So we worked with the ice paints again, and added some stickers. They didn’t work quite as well as Monday (we couldn’t stamp stars anymore) but they still painted really prettily. We let the water dry, and then came back for some stickers.

In between ice painting and stickers, we worked on number/pattern links. Munchkin wasn’t too interested in this today, so we only got through a couple of cards. A pattern, and the number 4.

Lastly, we worked on some summer matching – this was a hit (Surprise! She loves her matching!). We also pulled the “Which is different?” page from the tot pack, and worked on this. She got the first row right away, because the pattern was same, same, different. The other two rows were a little harder. We pulled the matching cards to help us, and she figured out row 2, but could not get row 3. I just learnt the ASL for “same” so we got to incorporate our “same” and “different” signs.


What a fun morning! Munchkin saw cookie cutters as I was tidying up, and asked for play dough – so we rolled dough and cut shapes. We have two bear cutters, so we made a baby bear, and mummy bear, and another mummy bear – rolled out a bit more to turn it into a daddy bear! This was early, so no pictures of this. However, we then moved right along to our trays:

First, Munchkin picked the tray with all the cards. These were 1-5 number cards from different flashcard packs we own, and 5 envelopes, labeled one for each number. She really enjoyed looking at each card (especially the Mickey Mouse ones), either figuring out or being told the number, and then slotting it into the right envelope. After a few cards, she was putting the cards in by herself. We came back to this activity again after the other trays, and I’ll be saving these envelopes to use again!

Next, we used some summer cutting strips from the summer tot pack – we haven’t worked with scissors for a while. We worked hand over hand, and Munchkin was really receptive to my help. I helped with the first strips, but by the last one, she was making cuts by herself! We talked about hand placement, and she was so impressed with herself after she made her first cuts!

Last, I had printed a beach scene and pulled out lots of beach-y stickers. This is the first time we done any directed sticker work, and it was really fun. As soon as I put the paper down, I showed Munchkin the sand, the sea and the sky. While showing her the sticker sheets, I told her that planes and birds go in the air, dolphins swim in the water, and that dogs and toys go on the beach. First, she wanted to put the sun in the sky, then planes in the sky. Next, I suggested a parrot sit in one of the trees. She then put penguins sitting in a tree on a little island. Totally makes sense, since she’s seen birds flying and we watch the birds in our tree outside. Exactly one dolphin got to swim in the water, and then she added a dog and a ball, and then filled in the rest of the beach activity. We talked about the picture she made, and almost got a little narrative together. I do want to do similar activities again. She was given some sticker activity books a few weeks ago – perhaps there are activities in those that she can do.

We seemed to get a lot of other great things in today too – she worked on puzzles by herself, and lots of building of Duplo.

Here’s our finished art wall for the week:


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