Adventures in Tot Schooling

Everything Goes: In The Air

Munchkin has really been enjoying a book called Everything Goes: In the Air by Brian Briggs. I was trying to decide between a Goodnight Moon based tot-school or a transportation themed tot-school this week, but my friend and I went to the dollar store on Sunday night and I found a little wooden train to paint – decision made!

Since we tend to bring the same trays out 2-3 times per week now, a tot tray list seems to make more sense than a table. I will still be rotating one activity per week that is out all the time, and a sensory bin if I’ve made one.

Anytime Activity:

-uppercase letters foam puzzle from the dollar store

Sensory Bin:

– printable, laminated road system from PickleBums (I printed two sets)
– assorted metal cars and trucks
– assorted wooden trees, buildings, people from a set we have

Tot Trays

Hot Air Balloon Sun Catcher Kit

We received this kit as a party favour some months back, and I’d been saving it for just the right occasion. The Everything Goes book contains a whole page on hot air balloons, and Munchkin seems to be taken with them. In fact, she squeezed this activity out of me early! On Sunday, she’d been looking at the book – specifically the balloon page, and kept repeating “wow, balloons” just like the book says. She then begged to paint just I was about to start cooking dinner. Daddy and Munchkin got to do this craft together. Since I’d saved the kit too long, the paint had dried up, but we improvised and used fabric paint instead. Turns out she decided to paint the back of the plastic. When it was dry, I just covered the back with a piece of sticky-back plastic so that we could still see the balloon outline.

Wooden Train Painting

When I presented the trays on Tuesday, Munchkin was SO eager to get working on this cute little train – also from the dollar store. We used some acrylic paint I had from another project and she painted away for almost 30 minutes. Towards the end of her painting time she actually got really detailed and made sure she covered the entire wheels. We talked about the parts of the train we could see – and when she painted the middle blue we talked about how that was the same colour as Thomas the Tank Engine – she’s currently obsessed. I plan to modge-podge over this when dry so that the paint doesn’t flake off.

Tot Notebook

It’s been a while since I pulled out Munchkin’s tot notebook. This week I inserted some pages from various printable sets: a little pilot pack, and this transportation pack. Munchkin was excited to see her dry erase crayons, and wanted to work on this all by herself while I cleaned up the train.

Pilot/Plane Sorting

For this tray, printed from the little pilot pack, the goal was to sort pictures of pilots onto one side of the table, and pictures of planes to the other side. Munchkin could identify which was which, but didn’t want to actually place anything on the paper. On Thursday I added a glue stick, and this made all the difference!

Dot Marker Arts

I printed some great transportation dot marker sheets, and Munchkin had a lot of fun with them. She was very precise, trying to colour in the whole of each circle. At one point she commented “blue to match blue” when using the blue dot marker on the blue train cab.

Straw and Pipe Cleaner Threading

I saw this great activity over on Yulia’s blog, and knew we had to give it a go! I provided a few pipe cleaners (the sparkly gold one got all the attention), and two different sizes of straw (boba, and regular). I showed Munchkin how to insert the pipe cleaner into the larger straw, and then pull it out the other end. She loved this, and moved on to the thinner straws all by herself. This kept her occupied for a good 5 minutes! This is great fine motor work! She had to figure out that it was easier if she held the end of the pipe cleaner closest to the straw, rather than having the end flap all over the place.


Who doesn’t love stickers? I picked up a pack of Disney Planes stickers at the dollar store too. These were stiff cardboard stickers, so it was really tricky to get the backing off. Mostly I had to start peeling, and Munchkin finished up. However, she did really enjoy looking at the planes. Most of them were “angry” but we did manage to find one that was “happy.”

Toilet Tube Train

Our Thursday art project was painting toilet roll tubes, with the intention of making a train. We got the tubes painted (and I was very impressed with myself for coming up with salad tongs as a mess free holder!) but haven’t made the train yet. This was the first time we’ve done a directed art project – I let munchkin pick which colour to paint each tube, but wouldn’t let her mix and match colours. She was very agreeable.

Here’s our art wall:




One Response to Everything Goes: In The Air

  1. So fun to see how your daughter is using my Transportation Do-a-Dot Printables. Thanks for sharing a link. I always get a kick out of seeing the ways different kids like to use my activities in such different ways! Glad she enjoyed them!

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