If I've said it once, I've said it dozen of times, and I'll say it again: Tot School can be as scheduled or as flexible as you want it to be. Some thrive on schedules and some feel too confined with schedules. There are advantages to both schedules and being flexible and you just have to find that happy, functional place for both you and your toddler. Schedules and routines are good for anyone, no matter your age. However, I wouldn't want anyone to feel like a failure as their child's teacher if things don't always go as planned. It might be Thursday before you ever get around to doing some structured activities with your toddler and THAT'S OK. Who says you can't keep the fun going through the weekend? What's important is that you decide what's best for your family. It might mean that you don't have any school related stuff on the weekends. Maybe it means you reserve the fun crafts and art activities for the weekend. You can have Tot School 3 days a week, 5 days a week, or a little bit every day of the week. It's up to you and I hope that produces a sigh of relief :-)
I have to say that this week has been one of my favorite weeks so far in the alphabet. There are just so many cute ideas for activities involving fish and frogs.
It's no surprise that we had to include Goldfish crackers for snack this week. It was truly a lovely coincidence that the grocery store with a lot of exported goods started selling them again. I've kept an eye out for them on the shelves for the past several weeks to no avail. You can imagine my excitement when I saw those delicious, cheesy fish on the shelf just in time for this week. The grocery store even had the colored Goldfish crackers, which meant we were able to play this goldfish color sorting game:
Little Man had a lot of fun sorting his goldfish into the right bowl. However, it IS a little hard to distinguish between the yellow and the orange, even for ME. Even so, Little Man did a great job and enjoyed snacking on the fish as he played. You can go visit Celebrate Every Day with Me to get your free downloadable copy of this game!
One last book that fits in nicely with this week is because a tiny frog is purposely hidden on each page for your child to try and find (while also learning lots of other vocabulary words).
To make the little frogs on a log, I used 3 toilet paper rolls (only because I didn't have a paper towel roll) and 3 sheets of 8x11 colored card stock paper (green, brown, and blue). I also printed out the frogs onto the sheet of green card stock paper. I turned the brown sheet of card stock horizontally and measured out 5 strips, each 2.5" in width (DON'T CUT THE STRIPS OUT YET). For the water, I kept the sheet of blue card stock in the vertical position and measured a strip 1" in width and cut it to be the length of the paper. Then, I turned it horizontally and hand-drew some waves. I cut out the strip of waves and glued it right-side up onto the bottom of the pre-measured brown strips. Next, I cut the strips out. At this point, you can either go ahead and glue the frogs onto the top of the brown strips (same side as the waves, also right-side up) or wait until you've wrapped them around the roll. To secure my strips around the "log", I simply stapled the ends together.
Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Five green and speckled frogs sitting on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs -- YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green, speckled frogs.
Finally, Little Man had fun fishing for shapes and colors. I cut out 18 fish from 6 different colors and added a shape (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, star, heart) to each one of the fish. I'm thinking about adding pictures for different vocabulary words to the other side of each fish. That way, he can learn 1 of 3 things each time he goes fishing--colors, shapes, and words.
Obviously, you put whatever you want onto the fish's body, depending on what you want your child to learn. This could even be an activity for older kids who are learning to add and subtract, read sight words, etc.
One activity we didn't end up doing, but I hope to still try out with Little Man really soon, is painting on aluminum foil. In case you end up having time, here's the link I found that has some helpful tips for this art project.
Did you catch that awesome new fish tattoo Little Man got on his arm?
This is the best picture I got of it. As you can tell, it was already getting rubbed off before I could even snap a photo :-)
Links to Tot School Lessons by Letter:
I'd love for you to follow along!
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