Tot School: More Christmas

We have had a wonderful Tot School couple of Christmas weeks. John learned how to stamp and color with crayons without eating them!  He is also really getting the hang of making creations with his Lego Duplos — thanks to his huge garage sale collections as well as some Christmas gifts from grandma!  So proud of my boy.

We use this schedule – I love to add things as we go throughout the week, to prove to myself that we are learning through play! Homeschool Creations’ great Preschool Schedule. We also I have decided to have six tot trays out for the week and I try to be intentional with activities  that correlate with each of these four categories: Language, Sensory, Mathematics, Practical Life.  We also have a Craft of the Week every Friday!

Our Tot Schedule:

I will add a pic when I get my camera back from my sister :/

Trays:

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Our Tot Trays are out on our shelf all week.  John can play with them at any time, but sometimes I’ll take one out intentionally for us to play together.  A candy cane lacing card, tonging red and green legos into an ice cube tray, a red and green sensory bin pompom magnets with Nativity pages, stacking tower, and Lauri pegs and shapes sorter.

Our Activities:

Language

Our book for the week was Silent Night, a beautiful book based on the song; we sang this together and he fell asleep to it on Christmas Eve (= heaven).  John loves reading about the Christmas story and we have many that we have read throughout this month (and the rest of the year!)  We make sure to read this at least 3 times a day for Five Days in a Row.

The  mini book of the week came from 1plus1plus1equals1 again. I eat my vegetables! (under Letter D).  He really does love vegetables and we’ve never had a problem with him eating them, so this book has been fun.

IMG_5038We did more coloring this week.  This week with crayons — especially since he is understanding (finally!) not to eat them.

IMG_5041And we also learned how to stamp.  Here he is stamping some barn animals onto his Nativity page from Just Color! by Carisa.

 

Sensory

Our trays were pretty senory-oriented (above), along with daily fun in the snow!!!
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IMG_5098We also made gluten-free play-dough and this boy played at the table for TWO HOURS!

Mathematics

IMG_5034Legos were the block of choice this week.  I couldn’t believe how well he has learned to fit these together.  He made towers, more skid loaders, and baked them in the oven (i.e. underneath the couch).
IMG_5076Here’s John with his Lauri shape and color sorter.

IMG_5092And here is John playing with some Discovery Toys that my aunt bought for her grandson. Here are Sam and John playing together.

Practical Life

IMG_5035We did some more cooking this week.  Both with real and his fake food.  He loves to wear his apron that his aunt bought for him.

IMG_5123And he loved helping to make our gluten-free Christmas pumpkin pie!

I have to remember that every moment is a teaching moment!

Craft of the Week:

We made this adorable popsicle stick, paper, and felt baby Jesus.  We found this at Crafty Mama Blog.

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**I plan on beginning 1plus1plus1equals1’s Tot School ABC’s at the start of the new year.  My son already knows some of his capital letters and gets excited when he sees them in books, so I think he’ll be ready!  I’m going to couple this with Songs for Saplings cd and Carisa’s coordinating ABC Bible Verses.  We (okay, I) are [am] so excited!

Tot School

Montessori Monday

Our Advent Calendar

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This is the first Christmas where my son is actually present and excited about activities. I saw a lot of ideas for different Advent calendars and I became overwhelmed. I wanted to keep it simple. I came upon this idea from Martha Stewart with 24 cute little socks; this looked doable and not too difficult. It got me thinking about what I could make on the cheap, and with supplies I already had at home.

I already had in my scrapbook box: 25 round, white tags, green and red stickers, twine, mini clothespins.

I went to Micheal’s, in search of socks or boxes or something that would work.  And I found these cute little red bags (which came in a pack of 25 for $2.99).
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I filled each stocking with these adorable bible verses from Happy Home Fairy — they read through the Gospel of Luke. I also bought some cute, Christmas stickers, one per day.
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I clipped them up on three strings of twine to give it a textured look on our wall behind the couch.   I could have added more to the envelopes and there are so many awesome Advent calendar ideas out there — including fun or religious activities you can do with your child every day, but all that would have been too much. My son is only 2, but next year, I’ll include a small craft/activity idea in each bag.  I’m just so happy that I was able to get anything done!
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Merry Christmas!

Tot School: Christmas

We have had a wonderful Tot School week. This week was the first time that John was tracing lines! And he didn’t throw his crayons or markers during coloring time! (This is real progress.) This was exciting because we got to use many of the Christmas-themed printables that I have printed and laminated.

We use this schedule – I love to add things as we go throughout the week, to prove to myself that we are learning through play! Homeschool Creations’ great Preschool Schedule. We also I have decided to have six tot trays out for the week and I try to be intentional with activities  that correlate with each of these four categories: Language, Sensory, Mathematics, Practical Life.  We also have a Craft of the Week every Friday!

Our Tot Schedule:

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Trays:

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Our Tot Trays are out on our shelf all week.  John can play with them at any time, but sometimes I’ll take one out intentionally for us to play together.  We played with a Dressing Joey, sorting and sizing Nativity printables, more pom pom magnets and Christmas pages, a Rainbow busy bag activity, separating red and green blocks, and a red sensory bin.

Our Activities:

Language

clifford IMG_4877Our book for the week was Clifford’s First Christmas.  John loved watching Clifford the puppy help put up a Christmas tree and have a visit from Santa.  (I have Before Five in a Row, and have been working through it with the books we already own in our very extensive children’s home library.  During holidays and seasons, I like to choose my own books that I think he will enjoy reading five days in a row.)  We also make sure to stop and read at least three times a day.

IMG_4954John loves singing Christmas songs, and he felt extra special when reading from these printables. Also, we kept Animals with Baby Jesus from 1plus1plus1equals1 out for the  mini book of the week.  He loves this little book!  We are keeping this in a cute little red Christmas box that his friend brought over for him, the same as last week.

IMG_4951Here he is tracing pre-writing lines!  This is part of a wonderful Nativity pack. He also enjoyed working on a simple puzzle of Jesus in a manger. This was harder for him, but it was his first try!

And he loved coloring some nativity pages that I printed out, from various websites, too. (I had no idea he KNOWS brown, black, and pink, but he used the right names when asking for these crayons!)

Sensory

IMG_4929My mom gave Ezra the Little People Nativity set for his birthday.  He loved playing with this, even before this Christmas season.  And then she just out did herself, by bringing over another nativity set, this time a real-to-life version that I enjoyed when I was younger!  They are made of hard plastic, made in Italy, and are so real-life and beautifully made!  John loved them and lined them up in the stable.  Here he is with both of his nativities :)

Mathematics

IMG_4955IMG_4978These MegaBlocks were out all week.  He loves making bridges and “skid loaders” :)  And this week I saw him creating patterns with the colors and sizes!  This was all one his own; I couldn’t be more proud!

Practical Life

IMG_4956John loves to help out with making dinner.  He is usually “cooking” with me, right at the counter.  One night, he spooned the broccoli into the pot.  He loved this and felt so important!  I hope to find a practical activity like this for him to really be a helper every night.  (Though sometimes it tries my patience, when he is spilling food, etc.!  I have to remember that every moment is a teaching moment!)

Craft of the Week:

We made a tissue paper Christmas tree.
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**I plan on beginning 1plus1plus1equals1’s Tot School ABC’s at the start of the new year.  My son already knows some of his capital letters and gets excited when he sees them in books, so I think he’ll be ready!  I’m going to couple this with Songs for Saplings cd and Carisa’s coordinating ABC Bible Verses.  We (okay, I) are [am] so excited!

Tot School

Montessori Monday

Two things (I can’t live without) (right now)

These amazing Land’s End Starfish tops. So comfy (my husband says frumpy but blah), so warm, impeccably made — I could literally live in these shirts.424049_A712_FF_EGH

And The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats. This has quickly become my favorite Christmas song. The words are so quaint and honest and Gospel-centered. And Mr. Keats is my absolute favorite children’s author. The two combined is simply a masterpiece.thelittledrummerboy

I played my drum for Him
Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum

I played my best for Him
Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum
Rum, pa, pum, pum, rum, pa, pum, pum

Then He smiled at me
Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum

Me and my drum