This week the boys and I began a new adventure into “Tot School.” I can’t claim the concept as my own. In fact there are many wonderful moms who have already embarked on this adventure with their own tots.
Check out these blogs to find out more information. Then jump down below the slideshow to learn more about what we did this week.
You can find links on each of these pages for other blogs and webpages with ideas, helps, tips, and printables to help you with your own “tot school” along with information on what exactly “tot school” actually is.
This week we started out with a simple experiment. I was actually surprised by how well the first day went.
We had some leftover noodles in our pantry. It wasn’t really enough to use in any of my recipes. So I brought it out, poured it on a cookie sheet (from the dollar store and used for magnet play). I also grabbed a few plastic cups from the cabinet (leftover from a party).
At first we tried some sorting. But that didn’t go over well. Next we moved on to simply filling the cups. S thought it was great fun to fill up the cup, shake it, and watch all the noodles come flying out. Once all the noodles were on the floor he would fill it up again and start all over again. He loved the sound of the noodles being shaken in the cup, and the magic of them flying through the air.
After he was starting to get tired of the cup I handed him the empty bag. Like the cup he found great joy in filling the bag with a few noodle, shaking, listening to the noise, and watching the noodles fly.
Meanwhile, T tried to assist. He grabbed himself a cup. Squeezed it to listen to the noise it made. He touched the various different noodles. Then he tried to drink out of the cup. While S found fun in the game for almost an hour, T lost interest pretty quickly and because he was tired and cranky, went upstairs to bed.
The next day I introduced glue and finger paints to S. I put both boys up to the table. I gave T a paper to play with (which he ripped up and crinkled) and showed S how to take the noodles and glue them on to the paper.
He tried but wasn’t at all interested. So I moved to finger paint. This too did not interest him. He was concerned about the fact that his fingers were dirty and wanted them cleaned off, then he was concerned about his seatbelt not being fastened all the way.
Before long I gave up and decided that a snack and story time was a better option. So armed with some Gerber puffs we got through two books. The first was “The Story of Jesus,” which was given to us by a dear friend for Christmas. The boys love looking at the pictures in this book. It is a longer story though so we don’t usually actually read through it. But this time we read every word as well as looked at every picture.
Next we moved on to the wonderful Eric Carle story “Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?” This was, apparently, a hilarious story. S just kept laughing and laughing and laughing at each different animal. Even T was interested in the pictures and the story. We’ll have to check out the library for the original or any other version of the story that we can find for another day.
Yesterday we sneaked in some school time after our church Valentine’s Day. While we were in the dinner (which was wonderful, by the way! Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who prepared it!) God unleashed some snow upon our little town of Dover. We had received some earlier in the day but it had melted before S and I had a chance to bundle up and venture out.
Since S was still bundled up all nice and warm we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
We weren’t out there long but hand in hand we explored in the snow. We experienced what it was like to walk on the snow covered grass. We touched the cold, wet snow and felt what it was like between our fingers. We stuck our tongues out and caught snowflakes. We tilted our heads to the sky and marveled in the snow gently coming down.
Tot school does not have to be real school. It is intentional learning and exploration through every day items. It is taking time to spend with your child in helping them to grow in their interests.
For me, it is as much about learning what my child likes, and watching the wheels in his brain work, as it is for his benefit. Together we are exploring the world in which we live. And although I am tailoring things primarily for S right now, I intend to bring T along for the ride as much as possible. Hopefully, the three of us will grow together and strengthen our relationships with one another and also with God.
Do you do any form of “tot school”?