This week we seem to have been making up for all the NOT going anywhere leading up to our trip to visit my family. We were on the go every day, including the weekend. There were actually two days that the kids were home, but I was not. Needless to say, you’d think it would have been difficult to get many Tot School activities in (and explains the lack of posts this week). But somehow I managed. Yea, me!
This week my friend and I were both not ready to host a Tot Time, but we didn’t want to go another week without getting together, so we decided to meet at a library story time. I’ve taken my kids to story time in our city’s library many times, but this time we met in a library I’ve never been to. I must say, I loved the story time. Singing, stories, and interactive play for the kids. What’s not to love?! We actually loved it so much, we’ve decided to reschedule our Tot Time so that we can go to story time every Tuesday. We’ll be moving Tot Time to Thursdays.
For Christmas I asked for a family membership to the Museum of Nature and Science. They have a great Children’s Museum. I got to take the kids on Wednesday when they had a story and craft planned. I will say I wasn’t all that impressed with the story time aspect. The “teacher” for it is the same one that taught our Scribbles and Dribbles class a year and a half ago, and we weren’t too fond of her then either. She didn’t keep the kids’ interest and she got very distracted when other people from the museum walked into the area. After reading the story the kids were able to go to a craft room and make a snowflake. I will say I was a little less twitchy than I would have been at home. But I also kept trying to remind myself “It will all wash, it will all wash…” 😉
After the craft was over I let the kids explore the areas of the museum they were interested in. Which became somewhat difficult when Kyla didn’t want to leave the water table, but Lucas was ready to go elsewhere. Thankfully he was content to play where I could see both of them. I do have to admit that I (briefly) lost each kid at least once, but thankfully it wasn’t difficult to locate them quickly. Next time I will not bring my camera. But I’m glad I got a few pics in this time!
The neat thing about the membership is that it also gets us in over 250 other museums across the nation! I know we won’t be hitting all of them (obviously), but N and I are already talking about planning a spring/summer trip to visit other children’s museums and I’m hoping to meet my dad and his wife at a museum out their direction. I can’t wait!
I read a lot of blogs. More than I should, probably, but they give me ideas of what to work on with my kids and activities to use for our Tot Time. I’ve downloaded lots of printables, but rarely use them because I didn’t think my kids were ready. But after watching Kyla with her crayons lately, I decided to give them some tracing activities to try. I put the paper inside a sheet protector and gave them dry erase crayons so that we could reuse the worksheets over and over. They both did better than I thought, though Kyla seems to think she needs help. I started simply placing my hand over hers and letting her do the actual movement. Not sure if that’s helping her or hurting her, though. I don’t know how to give her the confidence she needs to try on her own.
I’ve been trying to move out of my comfort zone and let the kids do more messy things. I decided to get out the watercolors. I wanted to do a watercolor resist snowflake painting with them, but it didn’t really work. They only wanted to paint on the masking tape and not around it, which defeated the purpose. So instead I just let them paint however they wanted on plain paper.
Next, I decided to cut out the pieces that make a snowman and let the kids build their own. What they came up with doesn’t really resemble a snowman, but I wanted it to be their interpretation and did my best to not tell them where things should go. I simply put glue on the back of each piece and let them place it where they wanted. Here were the end results:
Letters K and L
When we finished making the snowmen I asked them if they wanted to put their names on the papers so we would know which snowman they each made. Of course, they said yes, but wanted me to write it. I tried to get them to write the first letters of their names, but they really didn’t know how (even though they can recognize the letters with ease). So I decided to find and print a letter writing practice sheet for each of them as well as print a do-a-dot page for each letter. They both did well tracing the letters, though Lucas was not nearly as interested as Kyla was.
Of course, when we switched to the do-a-dot page and I had them place smarties in each circle, Lucas became MUCH more interested! 😉
While they placed the smarties I talked to them about the sounds the letters make and other words that begin with the same letters. Right now they only connect to the letters because they are the beginnings of their own names. As a matter of fact, when they spot a K or L they will say “K, Kyla!” or “L, Lucas!” That’s actually how they identify almost all of the letters they know. The ones they remember best are the ones that we’ve tied to the name of a person they love. One of my goals for the coming months is to help them make other connections and emphasize the sound of the letters.
After they ate the smarties I decided to try out the Bendaroos that MIL got for the kids for Christmas by having them use the bendaroos to “trace” the letters. Once again, Kyla felt like she couldn’t do it herself and needed my help. So I placed the straight piece and told her she had to do the other. Lucas did his on his own. However, when he started trying to eat them, I quickly put them away.
Yes, it seems like we did an awful lot this week. Though to be honest, a lot of it took place all in one morning because they only stayed interested for a few minutes before I had to try something else to keep their attention.
We’ve got another full week ahead of us, and will be getting back into Tot Time on Thursday (Winter theme at our house!). I can’t wait to see what the kids pick up on next!
I’m linking up to Tot School. To see more activities for little ones, visit Tot School.