Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Traveling Tot School

Having a brother 8 years older than her means that “M” spends a LOT of time at sports practice and games, cub scout meetings, spelling bees, allergy appointments and a host of other places we take “J”. In order to preserve her sanity and mine, I have some small traveling Tot School items I keep in my purse at all times. These get brought out only when we are out and about, and I do try to rotate them to keep them interesting. (And, I must say I am blessed that “M” is a very patient child.)

First, I always keep a small book in my purse. This happens to be Theodore Mouse Goes to Sea, a golden book, but I have very small copies of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. I buy smaller sized books of a few favorites specifically to fit within my purse.

Second is the I Spy bag. We have two of these that I change out for some variety. If you haven’t seen these, they are easy to find on Etsy or to make on your own. They are fabric bags that have a viewing window in the front. They are filled with either small pony beads or rice (the greener option) and 20 small objects. A tag listing those objects is attached. The kids have to look through the rice/beads to find the objects. This is a great game for doctor’s offices and other places you have to be still and quiet. “M” loves looking for the giraffe in both bags.

Third, I have six color bags I made for "M". These are a piece of 8.5 x 11 felt folded over into an envelope. I stitched them with colored embroidery floss and added a button to close. They are filled with 6 colored items that match the bag colors. These are a great way to work on colors. I usually try to include one on our tot trays and one in my purse and periodically change out the items to keep them "new". This week's happens to be blue.

Fourth, the Crayon Roll. I absolutely love this idea! It holds 12 crayons (either small or the larger ones) and rolls into a small pouch. This way the crayons are not coming loose or making a mess in your purse or getting broken, and you always have them! I try to include some paper, but the backs of envelopes, receipts, or other scrap paper can always be found for some on-the-go drawing.

Finally, I have a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag that has colored construction paper squares (I cut them 4x6 or so) and a variety of stickers. Not only does “M” enjoy putting the stickers onto the paper, but it is a great way to work on her fine motor skills.

I also have a variety of non-running games that we play. Patty cake, tick-tock, itsy bitsy spider, five little mice all work well while “M” is sitting on my lap.

That is our traveling Tot School! Don't forget to see what others are doing in their Tot School!

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