(Petra just turned 32 months! and Jasper is 21 months)
Today we concluded our second week of letter B activities. And we seemed to be busier than normal at tot school activities…I’m not too sure why. There are some things I have come to realize about the children in the last few weeks. I’m still trying to figure out how best to make this work with each of them, and also how to tailor activities to children that are just 10.5 months apart. It sure is easier now that Jasper doesn’t put everything in his mouth! Here are some things I’m learning:
1) Petra does not like to color and generally does not like art work. She does like to paint. I’m wondering if this will change as she gets older. She is so good at verbal and memory skills that I feel like most of the things she would prefer to do would revolve around talking, memorizing, and listening. I hope this means she will be good at foreign language in the future.
2) Jasper prefers to stay active with the toys and tot school activities. So I’m trying to incorporate more learning through toys. He is really good at identifying letters, and colors. He is also excellent at letter sounds. But generally he prefers things that involve motor skills. He likes to figure out how things work, watch, and act. He is OK with coloring, but would prefer other activities. He is not the least bit interested in any letter tracing with his finger, pencil or anything of the sort – which is fine because he is super young.
Since we started our letter B activities at the beach, I brought out some shells for this week’s activities. We stacked them, put them in rows and counted them, made shapes from them, and then made some letters. Both the children loved this activity.
We worked on some puzzle skills. This is the letter Match-It puzzle that is really awesome – only the correct pieces will fit together. Jasper worked on letters C and D, while Petra worked on letters A and B. Jasper had his done first.
And the children spent a few minutes working on this Brown Bear, Brown Bear puzzle that you can find from Carisa with 1+1+1=1 HERE along with several other Brown Bear, Brown Bear activities.
Jasper spent about 20 minutes a day on this toy. Just stacking and playing. He was quite mesmerized for several days! One day he stacked all the circle peices in a large stack – see photo below. One night I had to drag him away for dinner only with the promise he could play more after. Sure enough, he spent another 10-15 minutes with it after dinner.
And here he is reading one of his favorite books – Big Farm Machines.I think he was trying to talk Petra into reading the book to him here.
We worked on some dot art for Letter B and some tracing. But we didn’t spend a whole lot of time tracing this weekend. Petra didn’t seem very interested and I wasn’t going to push it. She has loads of time to learn to write her letters. When she doesn’t find it fun, then it goes away. We also spend time talking about words that start with B. This is the one letter Petra is fairly good at remembering what starts with this letter – she can usually recall a few words. But I don’t think she hears the sound and indentifies the word usually. There was one time this week when I was cutting basil for dinner and she said basil starts with “b” – so maybe she is starting to understand listening for beginning sounds.
I tried some water painting – neither of the children liked it. They kept asking for real paints.
We played with play dough. And made a mess. But what made a bigger mess was this almond pulp the children pulled out of the fridge and decided to play with. (now that they can get in the refrigerator by themselves) Once it was out, I figured why not, I’ll have to throw it away anyways. So they played, and it was gross to me, but that had fun.
And we picked up a new toy for Jasper that he just loves. This is the Mega Bloks Tiny N Tuff Buidlables City. We picked it up from Ross for just $13.99. (it’s listed for $28.95 on Amazon)
We also spent quite a bit of time with books this week. We continued reading some of the Jane Mocure letter books for D and E – because Petra kept asking for them. She especially enjoyed the “ed” book with word blends. But some of the “B” books we read were:
All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander. The artwork in this book is incredible and it is just a joy to read and look at. The children are always asking about all the different animals on each page.
Good Night, Sweet Butterflies by Dawn Bently.
And of course we had to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle.
If you would like to learn more about Tot School, GO HERE.