Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tot Trays - Memorial Day

I know I'm a little late posting this, but here goes!!  We are still in "vacation mode" at our house!  We had such a fabulous time in Florida, but it's awfully nice to get back into some sort of routine! 

Here are our tot trays for this week.  I decided to go with a Memorial Day theme since I snagged all this neat stuff at the dollar store! 

Sorting colored stars

Tonging red pom poms
Sweet Girl has gotten so much better at tonging the pom poms!  These larger tongs help a lot!  She's so proud of herself when she is able to do it independently!

Spooning mini stars
Here she will work on spooning, as well as counting.  My goal is to try to get her to put two stars per slot.  We'll see how it goes....

Linking block patterns

Pushing star toothpicks into styrofoam
The umbrellas were a huge hit during our beach themed week so I know she will enjoy this one!!

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Tot School

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beach Crafts - Part II

I am probably sitting on a sandy beach enjoying a nice fruity drink while you are reading this post!!  I doubt we will do much crafting while at the beach so I thought I would share some of our old "beachy" crafts.  Just click on the link below each picture to be taken to the original post which has more detailed directions!!

(This craft is from NTFFC)

(This craft is from Totally Tots)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flashcard Fun

We have tons of flashcards in our house.  Sweet Girl loves looking through them, but I HATE how much of a mess they make.  And my neat-freak self HATES sorting all the cards back into the right set!  Most of our busy boxes have a pack of flashcards in them and it can be days before I finally find all the cards and get them back in order!!!

See what a mess they make....
And that's only two boxes of flashcards!!

Here's my solution!! 


Now, she can easily look through all the cards without making a huge mess.  Plus, by using book rings, we can easily take them out to do a matching game or a sorting game.

And I love that the ABC cards stay in alphabetical order!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tot Trays - Beach Part II (Traveling Style)

We are leaving tomorrow for Florida!!  Yay!!  When we went to visit my family a few weeks ago, I packed up some of our tray materials and took them with us!  They were perfect for a little learning fun!!

So...this week, I'm packing up these fun items to take with us!  They are all beach themed and are so perfect for our trip!!  (And....fyi...the things are only on the trays for picture purposes...I'm only taking "the goods").

Ocean flashcards
I picked these up in the dollar section of Target last year.  They are actual pictures of undersea creatures.  And they have facts about each creature on the back.  We'll look through these together and talk about all the different ocean animals!!  They are perfect for language development!!

Beach object patterning
Click here for this printable

Fish counting
I cut out three little fishbowls and labeled them with numbers and corresponding x's on both sides.  We'll use this for a simple counting activity.  I also packed some extra paper so Sweet Girl can play with the stickers as well.

Beach stamp matching
I found these super cute little beach stamps at the dollar store.  Stamping is always fun!!

Beach sticker activity book
This is just a little book that has several pages of beach related stickers, as well as a beach scene.  The stickers are great because they are removable, so we can do this several times.  We'll probably play with this one on the ride down so we can talk about all the fun things we plan to do while we are at the beach!!

Click here to see our other beach themed trays!!

Okay...off the pack for me and two cute kiddos!!  I have some posts saved up so you'll see me a few more times between now and the week after next!!  I should be back up and running two weeks from now!!

Tot School

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beach Crafts - Week in Review

We are getting so excited for our upcoming trip!!  Sweet Girl loved all of her beach themed activities this week, especially the ocean sensory bin!!  And to top off our week, we did some amazing beach themed crafts!  Once we got started, we just couldn't stop!  Sweet Girl kept yelling out all different things to make and we just kept creating!  Get comfy....this is a long, but fun post!!

Here's our weekly wrap-up!!

Sand starfish
I cut out a starfish shape and Sweet Girl covered it with glue.  Then she used a spoon to sprinkle sand all over our starfish.  Crafting fun and fine motor work all in one!!

Paper plate turtle
This is by far Sweet Girl's favorite craft, maybe ever!!  She loved making this turtle and we actually ended up making two other ones so this one would have some "friends".  I saw the idea here and it was super easy to make!  First, she painted the plate using our green and blue Do-A-Dot markers.  Then we added some arms, legs, a tail and a head to our turtle.  Finally, Sweet Girl added the googly eye and drew a little mouth for Mr. Turtle!!  Too cute!

Allie from NTFFC did this craft with her son last week.  It is completely mess free, but tons of fun.  We used our dot stickers and some jewels since that's what we had on hand, but you could use just about anything!Check out NTFFC for her easy tutorial.

Sand dollars
I LOVE sand dollars!  They totally take me back to my childhood where we used to walk out in the ocean and feel with our feet for them.  I was always too scared to dive down and grab them, so I always yelled for my brother to go get them.  And I completely remember the smell of the chlorine as we bleached them in the sun.  Ah....childhood memories.  Okay....anyway....these sand dollars were also very easy to make.  I just cut out round circles from some cardstock and drew some lines on them using glue.  Then Sweet Girl used a spoon to sprinkle wheat germ on them (I used wheat germ because I thought it was a good "earthy" color, but you could use just about anything...sand, cous cous, lentils, dirt).

Paper plate crab
Pretty similar to our paper plate turtle above!  Also a very easy craft!  Sweet Girl painted our paper plate and pinchers red.  Once they dried we added some pipe cleaner legs, the pinchers, googly and a mouth.  Sweet Girl is dying to catch a crab at the beach!

And here are our letter K crafts from this week:

Kite blow painting
This was way harder than I expected!  I watered down some of our paint and then Sweet Girl used a dropper to drop some paint onto the kite and the kite bows.  Then we "tried" to blow the paint across the paper using a straw.  It took quite a bit of effort to get the paint to move across the paper and I ended up doing most of the work.  It would be a great craft for an older child.  We used construction paper so maybe it would work better on cardstock or poster board or something.  I found the idea over at Making Learning Fun.

And we did this "K is for kangaroo" from Totally Tots, but blogger won't let me upload the picture for some reason.....grrr!!!
Thanks for reading!!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Beach Printables

I received several requests for the seashell counting cards on our beach themed tot trays this week so I thought I would share the cards, as well as another beach themed printable I created.

Click here for the seashell counting cards
I only made numbers 1-6 since we typically work on either 1-3 or 1-5.  I'm happy to make numbers 7-10 if anyone is interested!!

Click here for these beach patterning strips
I'll be sharing these with out beach themed trays for next week.  Be sure to print out two copies and cut up the second copy to use as your pattern pieces.

(As with all my printables...feel free to use for your own personal use only.)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ABC Fun - Letter K

We had a lot of fun learning letter J last week!  Sweet Girl's favorite part was "jumping over the J's" and now we do that almost every time we're outside playing with chalk!!

I've planned lots of fun things for letter K this week! 

Alphabet Sensory Bin
First up is our letter K sensory bin.  I couldn't find too many letter K objects other than a key and a koala so I printed off some objects/things that begin with the letter K and added them to our bin.  We always use our bin first so we can talk about the letter and it's sound!

Making letter K/k with play-doh
This is from Homeschool Creations.

Counting keys
I drew several large keys and gathered up all our extra keys for this simple counting activity.

Kite pattern
And since our week is all about the beach, I thought this kite pattern would fit perfectly!!  This is from letter K over at COAH!

Kicking "K"
I love to find ways to make learning interactive and fun!  Since jumping over "J" was so much fun last week, I decided to do "kicking the K" this week.  The big inflatable balls are a huge hit at our house so I know Sweet Girl will love this one!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ocean Sensory Bin

I am SOOOO excited to share our sensory bin for this month!!  It's an ocean themed bin and I had such a great time putting it together!  The weather here has been fabulous so we will be playing with this on our deck!

Here's what I put in our bin:

Blue aquarium rocks
Plastic aquarium plants (I got all three pictured for $1.00)
Pack of plastic fish from the dollar store
Coins (for buried treasure)

Then I filled the whole thing up with water!!  I also included a little bucket and a small fishing net so Sweet Girl can "go fishing"!

I just love it!!  (Does anyone else re-live your childhood through your children????)

Sweet Girl really loves it too!!

Linking to ABC and 123

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tot Trays - Beach Theme

We're headed to Florida next week so our trays this week are all out THE BEACH!! 

Pouring sand
Pouring is always a favorite at our house!!

Counting seashells
I made these number cards which have the number as well as the correct number of seashells to help Sweet Girl with simple counting.

Tonging "sea urchins"
I got these little spiky rubber balls in the party section at Target months ago.  They "kinda" remind me of sea urchins so I thought these would be fun!!

Pushing umbrellas into styrofoam
I saw this neat idea over at Counting Coconuts!!  What a great fine motor activity since you have to open up the umbrellas and then press them (with a little force) into the styrofoam.

Spooning glass beads

Ocean animal matching
This is from the awesome "J is for Jellyfish" printable from Carisa over at 1+1+1=1.  I printed out two copies and cut out the ocean animals from one copy.  For this activity, I'll have Sweet Girl glue the animal onto the correct match (using a glue stick).  I'll also use this as a language activity by talking about the different ocean animals.

Fish pattern

And I'm trying something new this week....I typically put out half of our trays at the beginning of the week and the other half around Wednesday or so (unless Sweet Girl spies the trays first and wants them all....).  Sweet Girl loves her "plates", as she calls them, but gets so excited about what's on the other plates that I usually can't get her to complete one tray without looking at all of them first.

This week I'm doing this....
After I took all the pictures for you guys, I stacked the trays and cups and packed all the contents into individual snack size plastic bags.  Then I put all the contents into one sandwich size zip-loc bag.  My plan this week is to pull out an activity and put it on the tray, show Sweet Girl how to complete it and then leave it out for her to play with it as she pleases.  I'm hoping this will allow us to focus on one activity and work through the trays together.  We'll see!!! 

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see our OCEAN SENSORY BIN!!  It's so cool!!

Tot School

Friday, May 6, 2011

Toddler crafts - Week in Review

Happy Friday everyone!!  Here's a wrap-up of our crafts from this week.  We weren't as crafty as normal since the weather was nicer and we were able to play outdoors more!!

We had a lot of fun making this little castle!  And of course, it just had to pink!!  This is from No Time For Flashcards.  I cut out the pieces from sticky-back foam and Sweet Girl "assembled" her castle.

Princess wand
This was a craft we did several months ago, but it got pulled back out for this week's princess fun!  Click here to see the original post and how we made our wand.

Sweet Girl requested to make a spider so that's just what we did!!  I didn't have any paper plates handy so I just cut out my spider body from a piece of paper.  The legs are taped on the back side so it actually gives it a little "lift".  This is ALSO from No Time For Flashcards...can you tell I LOVE that site!!

J is for.....jellyfish
We are doing a beach/ocean theme next week, so these were perfect for our alphabet craft this week!!  Dada even got in on the fun and made one too!!  And yep...you guessed...this is from No Time for Flashcards.

This from the Now I Know My ABC's series over at Totally Tots.  They have super cute alphabet crafts.

What did you make this week???

Linking to Preschool Corner

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