Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tot School June 7-13 2009

We had a lot of nature study this week, beginning with our texture touch walk on Sunday, playing at several different parks throughout the week, swimming at the community center, and ending with our trip to the Farmer's Market on Saturday.

I plan to do several different nature walks with the kids this summer, focusing on different elements each time. This week was our touch/texture walk. Besides discussing how everything we encountered felt (smooth, rough, bumpy, cool, etc.) we made nature bangle bracelets, and did texture rubbings with the items we collected on our walk.

Trays for this week included: gluing foam shapes onto construction paper (M used up the whole bucket of foam shapes on the first day so we moved to gluing squares of paper later in the week); a 2-part color matching puzzle that involved matching two different items of the same color; flower arranging (we used a real glass vase but substituted silk flowers), clipping mini clothespins onto canning jar lids. This was too hard for M to do on her own, although she did get better at opening the clips as the week went on.

Bean pouring (which turned into bean scooping when M asked to add her mini ladle and sorting tray); and finally the texture balloons from Chasing Cheerios. The balloons are filled with rice, dried beans, cornstarch, and lentils and there are two balloons for each texture. The goal is to squeeze them and match the same textures. M loved this game, and we did it all week. M also played her color matching game using the painted craft sticks. She matches them with no problems, but she loves this game so I get it down whenever she requests it. We are still working on learning the names of the colors - so far yellow and white are the only ones she gets correct every time. For a craft project this week we made paper plate masks. M wanted to be a kitty cat (I cut out the pieces -she colored and chose where to put them).
We also worked on a music appreciation lesson for J that included listening to works by Frederic Mendelsohn. Turns out M LOVES classical music, and she has been asking for "songs" all week.

M also started her first counting this week. She knows how to count 1 to 12, but this was the first week she started counting objects with a one-to-one recognition. Here she is cutting flower shapes out of white playdough and counting as she does them.

M loved baking cookies with J this week, her first official baking project.
We had a very rainy end to the week, and ended up doing a lot of unplanned art projects. We did free art using dot painters, and lots of painting work. The kids did Puddle painting, which involved folding a piece of paper in half and putting puddles of paint inside and then refolding it and using a window scraper to smoosh the paint around. We also did painting with water (not my kid's favorite activity - too restrictive for them).

Some of our Montessori work this week in addition to our trays included practicing snapping using a variety of clothing items (here it's a cloth diaper) and doing open and close activities with jar lids. She easily distinguishes which lid fits which jar (all different sized lids) and is getting better at getting them on and off. Of course, she then added the pasta she was stringing on pipe cleaners into the jars and turned them into maracas.

Finally, here is M playing with her animal magnets on her cookie sheet. The magnets are from an Animals Magnet Magic book, but she prefers just free playing with them on the sheets.That was our week in Tot School. Don't forget to check out what other's are doing this week at Carisa's Tot School blog!


  1. I like the idea of the touch/texture walk. We went on a listening walk last week and my boys loved it, so we will have to try the texture walk next. I also like the puddle painting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You have great ideas. I especially like the texture walk.

  3. Thank you! The texture walk idea came from a great book called Science Play for 2 to 6 year olds.

    We will definitely need to try a sound walk, too!

  4. We love using the Montessori Method at our daycare, the kids love the independence of it. We also love doing the rubbings of what we collect on our nature walks!! What great fun you all seem to have!!!

  5. I love the idea of sensory walks!! Your week looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love the idea of the clothes pins on the canning lids. And the texture balloons from Chasing Cheerios is on my list of "to-dos".

  7. This looks like a great week. It's impressive that your daughter can count to 12 already - really early for this age. Your puddle painting looks like a lot of fun!


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