Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tot Spot

We've had a crazy couple of weeks... or more.  J's school boxes haven't been changed in a while.  But here's what's been in them...
An alphabet puzzle.  She recognizes her letter, as well as though of her siblings and parents.  And she's begun to say the pictures that are under the letters, so it's helping her vocabulary and speech as well (which I totally hadn't counted on, but greatly appreciate).

This wasn't in her boxes, but N was using salt to write her spelling words in one day and J wanted a turn to draw and play.  She loved it!  We now have a bag of used salt to pull out and play with!

J had a box with self-inking stamps.  They weren't used as much as I thought they would be...

She also had some beads (you can see them in the box in the pictures).  They were probably her favorite activity.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tot Spot... for Last Week

In one box "J" had our velcro sticks (craft sticks with velcro dots on the ends).  At first she wasn't sure what to do with them, but after a little guidance, she had fun!  Triangle was her favorite shape to make...

I picked up this shape puzzle at Target's dollar spot a while back.  I knew it would be on the easy side for her, but put it anyway so that we could work on some speech ("J" doesn't talk much.  She has a speech therapist that comes every other week to work/play with her).

A while back I saw these cute clips at IKEA.  I should have bought two sets!  "J"s task was to clip them onto the bowl.  She loved it when I first introduced it, but only pulled it out herself once.

"J" loves beads and stringing!  We've used these spools (thank you, DI!) many times and every time she loves them just as much.
"J"s last box had a paper doll.  This was definitely her favorite box of the week!  She would dress the doll up and then take her on outings all over the house!
Here's "J"s box all packed.  At the end of school, we pack it up and put it up on a high shelf.  She has four smaller boxes, her pencil box and a white board (and this week she had a puzzle, because it was incredibly flat and fit in!).

On Monday's I try to sit with her and show her what is in each of her boxes (one at a time), and how she can use them (but of course she's welcome to come up with her own ideas!).  During the week, at school time, she chooses a box, does the activity, then puts the pieces back in the box and chooses a different box.  (REALITY CHECK: that only happens about half the time.  The other half, she has boxes scattered all over our table and I have to remind her to clean them up before she can choose a different box.)

This is her pencil box.  She has a bingo marker (the orange lidded container), a dry erase marker, crayons, scissors and playdough.  The dry erase marker is for "drawing" on her white board, and also for different activities that I've laminated.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tot Spot

I've renamed this weekly feature.  "Tot Tuesday" was so limiting... okay, okay!  It was very much misnamed!  "Tot Spot" is much more... flexible.  :)

So this week, "J" hasn't been much interested in school.  She starts with us, but doesn't last much longer than 10 minutes.  That's okay.  At least she knows the option is there for her.  Here are a couple of activities in her box this week:

This one was her favorite (as in, she spent 9 out of her 10 minutes doing this activity).  She first put the tees into the triangle, then balanced the marbles on top.  She was a bit distracting to "N" and "A" when the marbles went rolling all over...

This is the activity that took up the remaining minute of her interest in "doing school".  Stacking cubes on top of each other.  

Not pictured, but also in her box this week, she had an animal bingo game, but instead of playing it right, I had her match the cards to the pictures on the bingo mat.  Her other activity was gluing foam shapes and letters onto paper.  She did actually like that one, but I didn't get any pictures of it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tot Tuesday?

Maybe I should title this post "Tot Sunday".  At least it's here, right?
One of #3's boxes this week had pipe-cleaners, shoelaces and yarn, along with a canister of beads and a bowl.  I showed her how to pour a small amount of beads into the bowl, then then thread the beads from the bowl onto the item of her choosing.  The first day she really enjoyed stringing the beads.  After that, she enjoyed pouring the beads into the bowl, then back into the canister.  Over and over.  Very carefully.  Works for me!

Another box had a number puzzle in.  After the first day she didn't choose this box again.  I can understand why.  The pieces don't fit really well.  I haven't liked it since the first time I used it (with #2).  I think I'll yard sale this puzzle...

This activity wasn't in her boxes, but was one that we did together.  #3 can sort by colors like a champ, so this time we did it by shape.  When we came to a shape that didn't have a place, I would ask her what we should do with them.  She would then designate a spot.  She thoroughly enjoyed this activity.  We'll probably see it again in the near future...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tot Tuesday Beginnings

I have a goal to post what "J" is doing, so that when "S" gets to be the age she is now, I don't have to figure it out all over again.  So, this hasn't been all we've done, but it's a start...
Clothes pins on a cup.  These were mini-clothespins, so they came apart more easily.  She like the activity, though.

I put a bunch of containers with lids in one of her boxes.  She loved it!  It was her #1 choice all week.

Jenga blocks.  She sorted, stacked and built.  Not a favorite, but it was chosen a few times during the week.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Transferring Water...

with medicine droppers.  The kidlets had been carrying them around, playing all morning.  When J went to down to nap, I set up a quick activity for transferring water, adding food coloring for fun.
When the kidlets started mixing colors, we expanded a bit to allow for more color mixing and not so much fighting, as well as maintaining a true container for each color.  They had a great time and only stopped because J was waking up and I didn't want her to get involved this time.  When we do it outside (next Spring/Summer) she will love it!

These ice cube trays (from the Target $ spot) were a great size, having lots of holes for a lot of color mixing.  The only down side was that because of the colored bottoms, they were hard to see what color had really been mixed.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sidewalk Paint

I saw this idea over at Shannon's Tot School and, since our girls have had similar interests in the past, thought I'd give it a try.  

I mixed up a double batch (2 cups water, 2 1/2 cups cornstarch, and a few drops of dish soap), then separated it into the our craft muffin tin.  Using our 8 colors of food coloring, I was able to make 12 different colors for the kiddos to paint with (one I left white).

It was so pretty!  I found some of my less favored paint brushes and let the kiddos have at it.

"A" told me this was a fish and the spots above it were the bubbles.  I love that he's started to create and not just scribble!

"N", who I thought would love this, since she loves all things art (as long as it's open-ended), lasted 10 minutes (maybe).  Not a big hit with her.

However, "J" loved it!  We were outside for well over an hour and she was constantly painting - though not always the sidewalk!  After washing she had some color left on her legs, but it only lasted a day or two.  And most importantly, she had fun!

Overall, we will definitely do this again, if only for "J"!  And maybe next time I'll bring out some paper.  The texture of the paint when it dried was chalky and that would be fun to feel and rub into paper.

I'm not sure how it washed off.  We went out of town the next day and apparently it rained A LOT during the 5 days we were gone.  What I do know, is that there was no sign of paint on the sidewalk (or children's legs) when we got home.