Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tot School (December 6th 2009)

Tot School
B will be 27 months old this week.

We've had a couple of weeks off from structured schooling--the first intentionally because of the holiday and the second necessitated by family illness. I'm always amazed at how much learning still goes on here at times like these, though. I'm planning a couple of posts to highlight what N and K are doing, but here are a few of the things B has been up to (please pardon the weird pink streaks in the photos--I do believe it's time for a new camera):

"ORANGUTAN" TONGS. This is really just motor skills practice using different types of tongs, but B calls them "orangutan tongs" after a fabulous book of tongue-twisting poems that we love. Here he is using the tongs to move dice of different sizes from one container to another. We have also used them with small blocks and pom-poms, and we plan to use them with other objects in the future. This is an activity we keep in one of his "workboxes" (more on that in another post) so he can get it out whenever he likes.

POPPING BUBBLE WRAP. We had some sheets of large bubble wrap that were a part of K's jellyfish costume for Halloween (patterned after this one). When I was taking the costume apart, all three older kids begged for a popping party! As you can see in the above photo, B was more interested in popping individual bubbles by hand, while N and K were all about jumping and stomping. At some point, B became entranced by this little guy:

"I see a snake, Mommy!" he said excitedly. We explained that it was a worm, then spent some quality time observing its journey back to the lawn. I LOVE how my children teach me to stop and seize the moment!

LIFE SKILLS: CLEANING THE BATHROOM. I've been working with K and N for a couple of years now on learning to do housecleaning chores, and B is beginning to show interest in helping. I have assigned him to help me clean the master bathroom for the past couple of weeks, and he has enjoyed it immensely. I gave him his own little spray bottle of water and a sponge, and let him wipe down whatever he wanted to. His favorites seemed to be the tub and the shower door, as shown above. He did get a bit wet in the process, but he was completely engaged in the task for quite a long time, so it was definitely worth it!

MAKING MARSHMALLOWS. My husband J has become quite adventurous in the kitchen over the past couple of years. A while ago, he attempted making homemade marshmallows. (Seriously!) They didn't turn out like he hoped at that point, but he always meant to keep experimenting with them. Today he found a different recipe, and even I (who am not particularly fond of marshmallows) had to admit that these turned out very well. All three older kids got into the final stage of rolling the sticky cubes in powdered sugar. B was especially happy to help, and he loved J's instructions: "Take one out, drop it in, shake it up, then put it in." B repeated them over and over (with an occasional "put it in" ending up in his mouth instead of the intended container, of course!). I'm impressed at how quickly he picks up patterns of that kind.

As always, I have more to post than I have time for! I'll save some of the other activities for next time. In the meantime, find lots more Tot School ideas here.


Lil' Ms. P said...

My son loves to dust with a feather duster. I should introduce him the the sponge and he can practice wiping down the tub. Sometimes I just don't think of those everyday life lessons that he could be learning.

Susan said...

Like the previous poster my daughter loves to dust with the feather duster. I should try a sponge out too!

sbswtp said...

My daughter loves to sweep and vacuum...totally going to try the sponge... Great other activities too!!! :)

Tarasine said...

Thanks for the comments! I'm glad my idea could be useful for others. It's also good to know someone out there is reading!