Chalkboard Hearts

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tot School

This weeks Tot School was Great!! We were outside a lot enjoying the weather and summer temperatures, to bad it has been freezing this week. We have been working on our outside play space a lot this Spring and finally things are coming together. We have our sandbox up and running and the Stumps one of my families donated are a huge hit.

We have also been practicing for our Spring Program, where our parents can see what has been happening at Tot School since Christmas. We had a cute Christmas Program that the parents loved, so I decided to do one for Spring too.

Here are some outside shots of the kids climbing, jumping, and exercising both those large muscle groups and their little minds. They had to concentrate because some of the stumps were a little wobbly. Some of the kids decided to crawl on them, sit on them, and my braver ones jumped or walked from on to the other.

Here one of my 3yr 1m girls was very brave, especially with flip-flops, and trying to walk to each one. She eventually crawled the end of the way, but I was proud of her for trying.

We got the water/sensory table out. We like to bring a lot of our work outside, but I always kept it to sensory table, balls, catch etc... but after reading Carisa's blog @ 1+1+1=1 I have started to take out puzzles, tray work, and mostly work that can't blow away. The kids love it and it provides a whole nother dimension to their work.

Here is a shot of the sandbox being used. We have kids in there from 24m to 38m. They really love it and since I have added the tree blocks, cars, trucks, and the ability to access water... the sandbox has taken on a life of it's own. Many great worlds are made up and played out in there and much discussion goes on.

Here 24m old takes out tray of water colors. She has gotten very competent at taking the work out, setting it up, and putting away. The actual "doing" of the work isn't really important to her right now. She enjoys it, but will do one or two strokes of the brush and then say, "Cween up, right Shell" I think she likes that best :)

Our magnetic "Paper" dolls from Melissa & Doug were a huge hit this week. I bought the ballerina a long time ago on clearance at TJ Maxx, but couldn't find another one. I felt there should be two so the kids could play together or alone (but the dolls would have someone to dress up for). I found the princess (huge hit with the girls) at a little country store in Boone, NC for $8.99. I grabbed it up wishing there were more.

We also did some traditional learning trays... color sorting & counting.

Here a 3yr 4m old tries to put the number blocks and pegs in correct order, she couldn't find the self correcting paper (which is a large narrow paper with the correct boxes for the blocks, the kids put the block on the corolating box by matching the number on the block to the number on the paper... but we couldn't find the paper... must scout out my 8yr olds room) We fixed it together, but I forgot to take a picture of the corrected work... Sorry :)

Another popular work was this Brio Construction Set I picked up at a consignment sale. The kids love it and the boys (3y 5m, 2y 4m, 3y & 4y) played with just that for one whole work period... about an hour.

Here a 3y 7m is using the painting tray. I found a variation of this on Laura's blog, My Montessori Journey. The kids have the ability to do painting whenever they want. I provide 2 colors to use, and everything they need is on the tray. They again enjoy cleaning the little paint pots and brushes at the end almost as much as the painting itself. I found these brushes at the education store near my home... I thought they looked fun and the kids love them.
We also did bubbles outside, practiced our Spring songs and stories for the Spring Program, cooked special goodies for snack, and had our circle time... Oh and our "butterfly" came out of it's cacoon finally:

We were very excited to see that our butterfly came out of it's cocoon on Wednesday. One of the kids found him stuck to the side of his habitat and started yelling that he hatched... It was very cute. We watched him for a few hours then brought the habitat outside and set it up so he could fly away when he was ready. We checked on him on Thursday and he had flown away. We talked about how he got out, what he was doing, what bushes he may have visited, and what he may be doing right now. It was a great impromptu lesson... we all loved it!!!


  1. I love what you did with the longs. I have a ton on longs just stacked in my back yard from trees we cut 1 1/2 years ago. I will be showing my husband what you did so we can do the same. thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh, wow! I just want to come be a kid in your classroom!!
    I love everything you did this week! Especially the outside makeover. I need to do the same!