Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tot School ~ Little Sweetie ~ 13 months

Tot School
Little Sweetie is 13 months

While we do a lot, again, I don't have many pictures. I need to get my little camera and sit it next to me while I work with Little Sweetie.  I've been using Rick's SLR camera and while it's wonderful, it's big and a complete baby magnet! 

Here are the hightlighted things I had out for her this week
- Ball and basket ~ HUGE Hit. She really loves ball and is getting good at throwing!
- Laugh and Learn Piggy Bank - This is still one of her favorite toys. She can do all of it herself and plays with it often.
- Bowl, spoon and cup - She's getting good at feeding herself at meal time and enjoyed the pretend practice.
- Blue Bristle Blocks - Wasn't interested in playing with the few in the basket. She likes the big tub.
- Stacking Cups - She loves to play these with Turbo and by herself. She understands the nesting and tries to stack them.
- Baby Touch & feel books - this girl loves her books and will happily sit there while I read book after book.
We played ball a lot this week. Rolling, dunking, and a little bit of keep-a-way by Turbo.

Hanging out with Brother working on food matching. This climbing business is new to me as she is really very daring!

Family Calendar Time.  Little Sweetie really has the cruising down and goes after what she wants!

She is so excited when Turbo builds something for her to knock down.

This girl is into her ACCESSORIES!  She especially loves to use Turbo's (clean) underware as a bracelet.

Or a Hat.

Big smiles for her brother

Going after the chalk

Working together

Working on a drawing
Other Posts This week
~ See what Turbo did doing during Preschool Time
~ Check out our Calendar Time for this year

Head over to 1+1+1=1 to see what others are doing with their Tots!
Tot School

Friday, September 24, 2010

Learning about Apples ~ week 2

In the spirit of my approach for this year, we're taking our time with each theme, repeating activities throughout the week when we find ourselves ahead of schedule.  It's actually working out great right now. Last week was Apples Week 1  We had a great time and are both excited about more preschool days.

After breakfast each day, we do our Calendar Time.

We did a lot of apple learning outside this week.

Apple Toss & Catch: First we played catch with the apples. He's great at throwing and has good aim. He's improving on his catching skills.   Since I was playing, no pictures.

Ready, Aim, Fire ~ He tried to roll the apples into the circles. Very challenging!

Apple Races ~ We raced our apples down the driveway. We learned which ones roll the fastest (more small and round, the faster) and why some wobbled all around (very knobby/less round)

Feed Me ~ The bucket is hungry and we needed to fill it up with as many apples, while tossing from behind  on a line.

Apple Fractions Puzzle: We grabbed a bucket, our apples, some sidewalk chalk and a knife.   I showed him 1 whole apple, cut into half and apple, then into fourth and finally into eighth.  Then gave him the pieces and he got to reassemble the apple into a whole again.  He liked this.

Apple Fractions Hopscotch
He played hopscotch while dropping the apple pieces in the correct 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 section.

He got to stomp on the final apple ~ loved that!

Hide & Seek - Hot and Cold Game:  I hid an apple in the Family Room. Turbo would try to find it and I would say " colder, warmer, or hot" depending on how close he was to the apple. He LOVED this game. It took a couple times for him to really get it and process it all and now he asks for it most days.

Board Game ~ Hi-Ho-Cherry-O ~ Closest thing to the theme I have. It is a big success. Something he can play easily and enjoys.  One afternoon he took it into his room and played it by himself. Did I mention Lil Sweetie was napping? Oh yea, 20 minutes by myself! You bet I love this game.

Patterning: He laced red, green and yellow apples (faceted beads) onto a pipecleaner.  It made a bracelet and he wore it for a nanosecond. 

Counting ~ I used Confessions of a Homeschoolers Apple Counting sheets for Turbo to count the seeds from our apples.  I only asked for two sheets - low numbers and higher numbers, just to see if he has the concept and to work on simple addition. We took the seeds from 6 and slid them down to 7 to realize we needed to add one more.  I still think Math is a boarderline concept for him right now and need to think of more fun, hands on math activities.

Pre-Writing ~ Costco FINALLY has the Kumon books back! I seriously looked most weeks for months and months. Of course I bought all the ages 2-6 books   We're starting with My First Book of Tracing.  I want to assess Turbo and see if I can get him to slow down a bit and really focus on his pencil holding and writing form before moving on....we'll see.

Tons more Playdough/Pie making play ~ he continues to ask for this every day.

His imagination is in overdrive these days. Which says a lot for an already imaginative boy.  He was doing a lot of cooking on his own. He would say the funniest things to himself ~ "just gonna pop this in the oven for a few minutes" 

Cutting and Gluing ~ Confessions of a Homeschooler's cutting practice and cut/glue Apples onto a tree activity.

Books ~ We continue to read "Apple Pie Tree" by Zoe Hall. We talk about the seasons, lifecycle of the trees and apples.

Well, that's the bulk of our Week 2 activities.

I'm linking up to Preschool Corner over at Homeschool Creations

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Calendar Time

Here's our calendar routine for this preschool year.  While we have a large home, we have very limited wall space.  So it had to be compact and easy to put away.

It's simple and has the key pieces. Most importantly it is quick!

 The background is a white foam board. The colored pocket holders came in a pack of 10 from the dollar store. The small one is just a larger one trimmed. 

The calendar frame is printed on 11x17 paper. I created it in MS Word.
The month and number pieces are from Childcareland in their free printables section.
We attach the numbers with tape. At the beginning of the next month, I'll put up another calendar frame.

First thing we do is Pledge of Allegiance. Yep, we say it every time. Turbo has learned to be still and respectful during the pledge - as I take this very seriously.  The great printable came from Homeschool Creations.

Everything else below are printables from Carisa at 1+1+1=1. I printed them out, laminated, cut and attached velcro dots where needed. 
Weather - Turbo LOVES this part.  He runs over to the door to check if there are clouds and picks the right card and puts it on the velcro dot.  (see main board picture). Then we sing the song.

The Date - This is when we put the new calendar number on the calendar. Then we sing all the songs that follow.

Months of the Year -

 Days of the Week

Every Week

That's it! Short, sweet and space saving!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

We just studied apples and now we're studying trees. (note, I'm posting a week behind in my preschool posts)  In effort to take our learning outside, we went for a nature walk at one of our city's reserves.  This isn't my thing, so the main reason we went is because I believe my kids need the experience of nature. Often to my chagrin.

On our walk, Turbo sees some large green rocks stacked and decides to climb them.  Already I'm wondering what creature/bug/spider is hiding in there. I start asking him to get down and see he's not looking and is about to put his hand in some god-only-knows what kind of animal poo.
Little. oblong. poos!!!!  maybe rat, squirrel.....EWWWWWW.

No calm Mommy here. I'm squealing: "Ewwww, Stop, Don't touch anything. "  Turbo is looking worried about what went wrong.  I show him that it's animal poo. After a few moments, he says "You know Mommy, it looks like seeds... Apple Seeds, yep, that's what it looks like".  

Honestly, I was so busy washing his hands and emptying my bottle of purell on them, that it didn't register until later.  Then we both got a great laugh.

Head over to Tiny Talk Tuesday for more great laughs!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tot School ~ Little Sweetie!

Tot School
Little Sweetie ~ 13 months

I think this might be my first real Tot School post for Lil' Sweetie.  I'm not structured in my approach with her. We're just playing together and having fun. Alas, since we're playing together, I'm not taking many pictures. 

I'll start with her 'trays'.  They're not really trays, just pieces of felt that designate an area for the highlighted weekly toys.   We have little cars and a paper tube; Leapfrog Magnet letters; a chunky puzzle; pompoms and a tall container; spoon and bowl; nesting/stacking cups.

The things on the bottom shelf were a smash hit!  The things on the top were mostly unloved. The puzzle got some playtime, but not much.  I rotated their placement throughout the week, but it didn't help much.
These are all the pictures I took of her tray play.  Be assured we played with those stacking cups more times than I can count!


The thing she wants the most is Turbo's car. Just to make it interesting around here, Turbo is ultra-possessive of this car. Can you hear the crying from our house every day?  It's worth it to see her very excited face while playing with it.  (we're working on the sharing thing, I hear it can take awhile HA! any tips?)
She played with Playdough for the first time (*blush* didn't even think to give it to her earlier) You can see she really loved it. It is the perfect thing to occupy them both while I'm making dinner. 

We also did a lot of outside playing.  We're outside everyday ~ in our yard and often to a park.

Playing toss with brother.  She LOVES to play ball. 
Intently listening to the directions on how to play toss & catch.

Yep, I know it's not Christmas, but I found this in a box of old things I had for Turbo and had to squish her in it while I still could.  Her legs are bent and the back couldn't zipper all the way  - but doesn't she look cute?  The photo op went quickly down hill. 

Playing with the very old camera. She was able to get the strap on and off as well as crawl with it around her neck. (closely supervised). She really likes to do the things she sees her brother doing! Although it would be nice if she would emulate the walking sometime soon!

Tot School playing really helps ensure I get that focused time with Lil'Sweetie every day ~ Just for her and totally at her level.  I love the joy of just playing with her!!

Head over to 1+1+1=1 to see what others are doing with their Tots!
Tot School

Friday, September 17, 2010

Learning about Apples ~ week 1

Turbo likes to be intrigued. He is very curious and if I can excite that part of him…then we’re sure to have some fun. Part of that is, anticipation.  I had this Five Senses chart out when he woke up. He immediately wanted to know what it was, what it said and what we were doing with it.  I casually said it was for our preschool and he’d find out after Breakfast.  That piqued his curiosity!

Then it was time to get started!  We started with calendar time, post on that coming soon.  Then I grabbed a closed brown paper bag, hiding an apple (another point of anticipation), and went to the 5 senses chart.  

We reviewed the 5 senses and then Turbo got to stick his hand in the bag and guess what was in there. I was a little surprised that he easily guessed apple!  We first went through the 5 senses with the apple whole (reminding him not to bite it yet about 10 times). When we got to Taste, he said "Mommy, I have to bite it now" with a huge smile.  We went through all 5 senses twice, once before tasting (responses above the line) and once after (responses below). This was a very interesting exercise. I learned about him and was really proud of his thoughfulness.

General Learning ~ Apple Types;  Similarities / Differences & Parts
As he was eating his prize, we did some General Apple education. He examined several types: Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Braeburn.  We talked about the similarities - apples, have the same parts, grow from seeds, grow on trees, etc. Then the differences of outside appearance and inside taste.  Finally, we cut open and examined the insides and learned all the parts.  It was reinforced throughout the week with a little felt apple puzzle.

He grouped apples by type, color and size. This was really easy for him. Next time we'll do graphing along with it.

Taste Test ~ Of course we had to taste and compare all these different apples. I didn't get a picture for some reason. Maybe because we both LOVED this part of the day.  My favorite continues to be the Granny Smith and Braeburn. Turbos were "all of them".

Sequencing ~ Sequenced the eating of an apple. Very, very difficult for Turbo. We did it together and he was happy it was over.  We should have used real apples and taken bites out of each of them. It would have given it more meaning ~ but I didn't think of it until just now.  Sadly, I can't remember right now where I got the sequencing cards. I will update my post when I find it.  Found the cards at

He colored in the "I like Apples" booklet. After we're done with apples, I'll make a little lapbook for us to review and remember this fun theme.

Apple Prints

A wonderful blogger over at Counting Coconuts has some great Playdough ideas! She also did Fall this month and did Cinnamon Playdough with little apples and let her little one make apple pies. It was a HUGE hit over here. 

We read Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall ~ love her books  & 10 Red Apples by Pat Hutchins  We did this pocket chart activity for 10 Red Apples.  We start with 10 apples on the tree. When we got to 7, Turbo announced he was almost done. When we got to 5, he looked at me and said - "I get it. Can I be done now?" Uh, ok.  We won't be doing these types of counting activities again.  Cute activity ~ just not a good fit.

 Spoon Transferring Apples

That's the bulk of what we did on this short week.   Stay Tuned for week 2!

I'm linking up to Preschool Corner. Check it out for more great Preschool Ideas!