Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tot School - Ice Cream

This week was busy with lot's of outside-the-home activities, but we still managed to do a bit of Tot School. Since we are still in triple digits here, this seemed like a good week to focus on ice cream! (Sorry some of the pictures are fuzzy, our camera is not focusing right lately.)

Theme Activities:
We are starting to work more with M's felt board. This week we did ice cream cones and scoops to go along with Shel Silverstein's Eighteen Flavors poem and a few other related rhymes. M also played with her felt people and clothes.

Simple matching has become too easy for M, so we are beginning to work on some AB patterns. I cut construction paper cones and scoops out, and printed the simpler of the pattern cards from Making Learning Fun. This is something we plan to do more of with future themes.

We did a counting tray where I had strips of paper with a numeral 0-5 on them and then white pompom "scoops". M had to place the correct number of pompoms to match each card. She really enjoyed this one!

We also did a cone and scoop color-matching tray. This was was pretty easy for M, so we will probably just sort into groups for colors from now on.

And of course, what is ice cream week without a little eating!

We are not afraid to risk a little mess around here, as this week's sensory activity proves. I gave M a variety of scoops, spoons and bowls and a tub of vanilla ice cream to play with. She had a great time scooping and playing with the ice cream, and surprisingly ate only a little of it. This fun lasted until well after the ice cream melted.

Arts & Crafts:
We did several crafts this week, and J joined us. For all of these photos, M is on the left and J on the right. The first focused on shapes (circles and triangles) to make ice cream cones.

The second project used puffy paint. We combined 1 c flour, 1 c salt and 1 c water with pink food coloring. I put it into an old honey squeeze jar we had. They squeezed out the paint, and then smeared it around with paint brushes. Very fun!

Finally, we cut ice cream scoops out using our hands (with the fingers together) and made cones with them. M loves any craft that involves tracing her hands or feet.

Non-Theme Activities:
We like to do some free art every week along with our planned crafts. This week we used watercolors to paint.

M also did a scoop and transfer tray using Cheerios. She loved using this particular scoop and was very careful with her transferring, although a few still spilled.

We also played with lots of blocks this week. M has stacking and nesting blocks, screw & bolt building blocks, alphabet blocks and duplos in her collection, and they all got used this week.

I finally got around to making pipe cleaner letters. I still plan to do Montessori sandpaper letters, but these are also a nice multi-sensory tool. They have been on several Tot School blogs, but the first place I saw them was when Melissa over at Chasing Cheerios made them last year. I used foam for the backing and hot-glued the pipe cleaners on. (J helped me cut them, so they are not perfectly square, but he loved making something for his sister.)

I didn't get a picture of it, but T and M worked on opposites a lot this week by doing charades and acting them out with her toys.

That was our week in Tot School. Next week's theme is Ladybugs! You can see what else we have done in Tot School here. You can also see what others have done in Tot School this week at 1+1+1=1.


  1. Man oh Man! I just love reading your blog! What great ideas. I love all of the ice cream stuff. I am usually not organized enough to plan a theme...but I love what you did. I also love the pipe cleaner letters. What activities to you have planned to do with them?

  2. Another fabulous week!! Seriously, I wish we could get together and share things (well, actually.... I wish we could get together so Maddie could USE all the amazing things you make! Ha!). I love the ice cream theme and the scoops are such a cute idea for the felt board. I really need to get back into the felt board; I've made tons of pieces for it, but always forget about it. Anyway, love all the activities (and I'D love to play with vanilla ice cream!). :)

  3. Thanks, Cathy. We lay them out on the floor and she has to pick up the proper letter (or throw a mini bean bag on it) when I call them out. We pick one letter and then go on a hunt for things that begin with that letter. We also put paper over them and do letter rubbings with crayons or we trace them with our fingers to learn how to form the letters. Eventually we will use them to spell words, and I plan to make a lowercase set so we can do matching games with them. Also, I plan to give her pipe cleaners and let her practice bending them the same way they are on the cards to practice forming letters.

  4. I love all of your ice cream activities.

  5. I really enjoy your blog each week. You have some of the most creative ideas. Thanks for the inspirations.

  6. There are so many good ideas here. I love the patterning idea with the ice cream scoops and the pom pom counting idea too. And yay for you for letting her play with ice cream - wow!! Such a great sensory experience! Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  7. Those ideas are so awesome - I really liked pipecleaner letters. Not so much for letters' sake - we are kind of over that already, but to show my daughter creative possibilities. Thanks for sharing!


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