Monday, October 06, 2014

Tot School- D is for Duck

Summer is 26 months old.

Summer is loving her 'cool' time!  It's been a good way for us to spend some quality time together and she's so eager to participate, reminding me occasionally if our normal routine gets off track.


Our focus this week was D is for Duck and a bird theme.  Here's her setup...

Top: Rice Sensory Bin, Books, Themed Animals
Top Left to Right: Stacking cups, Pom pom transfer to colored containers, Alphabet letter match
Bottom Left to Right:  Shape match to go along with sensory bin, Bristle blocks, Tot School Printables with dot markers

She started off the beginning of the week using her hands to transfer the pom poms into the matching colored containers.


Towards the end of the week, I added some tongs.  She mostly played with them...


Then, she figured it out.



Building towers with her stacking cups...


The rice bin was a fun experience!  She added in her yellow ducks and played for awhile.

I love the bright, bold color of the rice.  Here's how we made it!  

Bright Rice words

Then, she wanted her stacking cups for pouring.


I hid a few shape cutouts in the rice bin for her to search for and match with another set on her tray.  She wasn't too interested in that idea.


And, she wanted to paint during art time...ALOT!  My oldest is currently using Home Art Studio: First Grade.  You can read more about the curriculum here.


Looking for Summer's previous weeks of Tot School?

A is for Apple
B is for Ball
C is for Cat

Items We Used This Week

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tot School- C is for Cat

Summer is 26 months old.

This week was a turning point with Summer in regards to the Tot School Printables.  Up to this point, she's shown some interest, but hasn't been overly enthusiastic.  The past two weeks, she would say "no" to most pages I introduced and we would then move on to another activity.  Not a big deal, but a little disappointing.  However, this week she was all for them!

I started off by introducing her to the pet cards.  I cut them apart and spread them out.  We worked on finding the animals she knew, then played a few games to learn a few of the ones she didn't know.  She loved this activity and asked to do it again...a lot!

She was also into the shadow matching.  Another activity she asked to do several times.

This week's color focus was blue...which she has down pretty well.  I gave her a blue dot marker to use in locating the cats.  She quickly dabbed them and was ready to move on!

She liked the coloring sheet and had a little help from Abby.

She used her stuffed kittens to find a few shapes.

I didn't prepare any trays for Summer this time around, but she had a lot of fun playing with this zoo playset we were reviewing.

 And, we read The Three Little Kittens book quite a bit this week.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset Review & Giveaway

Interactive toys are always a hit around our house!  My girls love the lights and fun music which can keep them entertained for quite a while.  They are especially attracted to animals.  As a parent, I prefer toys that combine fun and education.  VTech makes that easy with the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset!

Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Playset, information and additional playset giveaway item were provided courtesy of VTech, in exchange for my honest opinion.  You can review my full disclosure policy at the bottom of the page.


The VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is bright and inviting with colorful tracks that can be configured or connected to other Go! Go! Smart Animals or Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets, sold separately. This encourages your child's creativity and allows them to create something unique.  The playset includes a SmartPoint rhino who takes your child on a tour through the zoo responding to seven SmartPoint locations with different phrases, music and fun sounds.


Your child can strengthen their motor skills with eight manipulative features including a turning gate, spinning water tank and sliding elevator, which my kids love!


The zoo also features an electronic entrance that teaches animal names, animal traits, letter, colors, plays music and lights up.


The target age range for the playset is ages 1-5 and retails for $39.99, but my 6 year old has equally as much fun as my 2 year old.  She loves manipulating the tracks and forming her own creative routes.  Assembly of the playset is quick and easy, allowing kids to play within minutes of opening the box.  Always a plus!  My girls have played with the zoo every day upon arrival (over a month ago) which doesn't happen often.  My 6 month old joins in periodically for playtime and I don't have to worry with small pieces or sharp corners.  She can easily grasp the large objects and enjoys the sounds and lights of the different objects. The zoo playset is fun and engaging allowing them to use their imagination, which I highly encourage.



As a bonus, one of my readers will have a chance to win a Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset, courtesy of VTech!  It's simple just enter below for your chance to win.  There are several ways to earn an entry, you can choose one or all!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tot School: B is for Ball

Summer is 25.5 months.

For our second week of Tot School Printables, we focused on B is for Ball.  I love having an item of focus to help Summer with her growing vocabulary.  She picked up on the weekly word rather quickly again!  However, she wasn't as interested in the printables this time around.  

To build her interest, I looked for new ways to incorporate the printables.  For this particular activity, I thought she might enjoy painting....and she did!


I also cut the coloring sheet apart and she surprised me by coloring each ball in one sitting.


One of her favorite activities was this shape and color sorting activity!


We played several different ways.  At first, she would pick up a shape and I would say for instance,  "Where does the green star go?"  As she became more familiar with the shapes and colors, I would ask her to choose a certain colored shape.  Eventually, she wanted to sort each shape by color and then dump the remaining shapes into the correct space.


She played with playdough...


Looked through her favorite book quite a bit...


And, she finger painted...



She played with several balls I rounded up from around the house.  She loved playing catch, kicking and rolling them.


My favorite part of the whole week was going for a nice walk together on a crisp evening.  


Kaitlyn joined in a few times, as well.  Summer had a bit of fun rolling the ball to her.




Sunday, September 07, 2014

Tot School: A is for Apple

Summer is 25 months old.

We are officially back in school and Summer is beginning Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1.  Each week, she will be exposed to a letter, color, vocabulary item and theme related to the vocabulary item.  I am really excited to see where this takes us.  We started with letter "a" focusing on the word apple, the color red and fruit as a theme.

She loves puzzles!  This was her favorite activity this week.  We identified different fruits, the colors and some basic shapes. 

We used this sheet to locate some of her favorite fruits.  First, she would point to the fruit I called out. Then, she would point and I would name the fruit she pointed to.

 Transferring pom poms into several different fruit shaped ice cube trays...


We have been working to help build Summer's vocabulary.  She has come a long way in the last few months and picked up on our vocabulary word, apple, surprisingly fast.  We were so proud of her!  Abby, her older sister, loved helping out with the printable activities.  She helped Summer locate the Letter A and also taught her the letter sound. 

I made this cute little felt apple tree for one of her activities.  You can read more about the materials needed and how to make it here.

For this activity, we used foam fruit shapes that were purchased from the dollar store several years ago.   A few shapes (watermelon and strawberry) have small holes to represent seeds.  One day, my oldest daughter was playing and decided to use these plastic stir sticks to make birthday candles.  It was a great idea and a perfect activity for Summer.

We then used the same foam shapes for water play.  She loved this!

She's also been busy doing some modeling on the side for Aunt Meg's shop.

And, her little sister, Kaitlyn, turned 6 months old this week.  She's been busy rolling around and is in the early stages of crawling.  She joins us from time to time during school, but mainly just as an onlooker.

Some Items We Used

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