This year I am so excited to be starting tot school for the second time with my sweet little Aubrey! She is 2 1/2 now and loved our Baby Bins last year, but is SO ready for more than one bin/activity a day. I won’t be blogging about our themes each week, as we will be repeating the same Tot School activities I did 2 years ago with Madelynn, but I will sharing our activities on Instagram and I will be adding some new themes throughout the year. I will be sure to pop in with our new activities and ideas as those themes come up!
Our first NEW theme this year is About Me.
The Skin You Live InBy Michael Tyler
Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book All About You By Judy Hindley
The Feelings BookBy Todd Parr
Me and My Family TreeBy Joan Sweeney
The Family BookBy Todd Parr
Tear and Stick Names:
Aubrey started all about me week focusing on her own name. She is still working on recognizing all of the letters in her name, so for some fine motor practice she worked on tearing paper and gluing it in the letter outlines. This was much more challenging than I thought it would be so I ended up ripping a lot of the pieces smaller for her while she worked on picking up and gluing them one at a time. Lots of new skills went into this activity!
Roll and Paint Body:
Next we worked on identifying the parts of our body. I printed a body outlines and color and body part dice. Aubrey rolled the two dice, then used watercolor paints to make that body part the correct color.
Emotion Play Dough Mats:
This week we also learned about our emotions with this play dough mat. Aubrey used the pictures at the top as models to create lots of different emotions and use new vocabulary to describe how her person was feeling.
Shape Family Puppets:
Finally we learned about our families, so we created the members of our family as shape puppets! Aubrey used foam sticker shapes to create people by sticking them onto a craft stick. I helped her use markers to draw a face and details and glue to add yarn, buttons, etc. for hair and other details.
Build a Home:
Another family activity we did was building houses for our families. We started with family counters and build a little family. Then Aubrey used fine motor tweezers to grab blocks and build each family a house. This was great for strengthening her grasp as the blocks were a bit slippery and tough to hold on to.
Sort the Hands:
I love gross motor activities for this age because they always seems to keep Aubrey interested for longer periods of time. After reading The Skin You Live InBy Michael Tyler, I printed hands in different colors, dumped them on the floor and labeled a few baskets. We took turns running back and forth with one hand at a time and dropping it in the right basket. Super easy set up and her big sister even joined in too!
Color Hokey Pokey:
Next to practice our body parts, we played the hokey pokey. To switch it up a bit I tied a different colored rainbow scarf on each part of the body (hand, foot, tummy, and head.) Then I played the hokey pokey song and instead of saying “right hand, left hand, etc.” I said “orange hand, red hand, etc.” This made it easier to identify parts, and added a little extra fun for Aubrey as she waved the scarves around.
Feelings Face Hop:
We brought our next gross motor game outside to practice identifying feelings. I drew faces with different emotions on the ground with sidewalk chalk. Then I called out an emotion for Aubrey to run to. When she got ther she had to act out that emotion. After playing that way for a while I had her hop from face to face and name each emotion along the way.
Color Family Trip:
This color family trip activity was such a fun way to practice sorting by color and identifying family members all while getting some energy out. Using washi tape in rainbow colors, I created roads on the floor with a mixture of straight and zig zag lines. Then I taped a matching colored house at the end of each color road and filled a bin with colored family counters. Aubrey had to find all of the family members of one color, load them into a toy truck, then follow that color road to deliver them to the correct house.
Race and Wipe Name:
For one more name activity we played this race and wipe game. I wrote the letters in Aubrey’s name on our sliding glass window with dry erase markers. (i started with just 2 letters multiple times, then we worked up to more.) Aubrey stood back a few feet, and I namecall out a letter. With an eraser in hand, run to the window to erase the letter, then run back.
All About Me Snacks:
Pancake Faces – First make a batch of large circle shaped pancakes. (Use a store bought mix, or your own favorite recipe.) Fill a small tray or cupcake tin with cut up bananas, strawberries, blueberries, clementines, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, etc. Use pieces to create pancake faces.
All About Me Cookie – Make a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough or use store bought mix/ready made dough. Roll out dough on floured surface ¼ to ½ inch thick. Cut into people with cookie cutters. Bake, cool completely, and decorate with frosting, sprinkles, choc chips, jelly, and candy eyes.
Feelings Toast – Toast a slice of bread. Spread with peanut butter. Add candy eyes and chocolate chips. Put jelly in a decorator bag or Ziploc with a small corner cut off. Use jelly to create mouths, eyebrows, etc. to show different feelings.
Build My Name Sensory Bin:
Build a Body Sensory Bin:
In this bin: red water beads, my body puzzles and mats
Name the Feelings Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Eggspressions playset, white beans
My Family Sensory Bin:
In this bin: shredded paper, family photos, family name cards
Build a Family Sensory Bin:
Then check out all of our Tot School themes here: