tot school - 16 months

This week was kind of crazy, what with Ethan being so sick. He was still fairly interested in tot school despite not feeling well. If anything, tot school was a nice distraction this week from all that had been going on.


From Top:
1. Dyed Pasta Stringing - I had dyed a whole bunch of pasta to keep on hand for fun activities and crafts. Since we're still working on colors and color matching, I thought using these for a stringing activity would be a fun idea. As it would turn out, this was Ethan's favorite activity this week. I used a pipe cleaner to string the pasta with, figuring it'd be less flimsy than a shoelace to make it easier for Ethan. He did need some help occasionally with me holding up the pipe cleaner while he pushed the pasta onto the end, but soon he was doing it on his own in no time. It was neat seeing the patterns he'd make with the pasta. In the beginning, he just strung them however -- opting for whichever color pasta he picked up first. Towards the end, he'd put them on by color, so that was fun to see. He loved this activity!
2. Homemade Shape Sorter - I had an old box and decided to try out a tutorial I saw online for making your own homemade shape sorter. I wrapped the box in brown shipping paper (which I also had on hand), cut out shapes using an x-acto knife and painted the pieces different colors. I cut a rectangular shape in the back for Ethan to be able to pull the shapes out. This was up there as one of his favorites for the week. He just wanted to play it again and again and again. We spent a lot of time with this one this week. My shapes aren't perfect -- I'm no artist, after all! -- but Ethan got the hang of it and figured out which shapes go where. He was a pro at this by the end of the week.
3. Sorting & Organizing - Last week I had put some poms and pouch lids into a yogurt cup and had Ethan use a spoon to transfer them to different slots in an ice cube tray. The small space of the ice cube tray and the yogurt cup were hard for him, especially as he tried to maneuver a spoon. I had gotten this chip and dip tray for $0.50 at a local dollar store and thought it would be perfect as a more spaced out option of last week's activity. I think Ethan was burned out on this from last week because he didn't really take too much of an interest in it, other than throwing the poms and pouch lids onto the floor. He would use his fingers to place the poms into the scoop and the flip them into the tray compartments but mostly he ignored this one or played by his own rules -- which means hiding the poms and pouch lids all over the house, of course.
4. Frogs - Ethan has a pet frog named Cohen and so I thought this activity would be cute. I had gotten a package of these little frogs for a dollar at Wal-Mart in their goodie bag aisle and painted them. I laminated a sheet with multi-colored lilly pads on a pond and the point was to match the frogs to the matching lilly pad. Well, Ethan hated this activity. He loved the frogs and enjoyed playing with them on their own (one day he even brought them into his room to show them to Cohen!) but he hated the lilly pad picture. He sat and played with the frogs here and there, but that was about it for this one.
5. Felt Board - Oh, the felt board of DOOM. I had made this maybe about 3-4 months ago now and Ethan hated it. Every once in a while I pull it out to see if his opinion on it changed, but apparently it still hasn't. Apparently he still hates the sight of his felt board. This time, he didn't scream at it until I hid it, but he had no interest in it. It didn't matter how long I sat there showing him how the pieces went onto the board -- he didn't want a thing to do with the felt board...so away it goes for another few months!


This week, we had three fun art projects. One was a rainbow using do-a-dot markers, which are slowly becoming Ethan's favorite art tools. Next, we traced his feet and handprints to make both a turkey (Ethan LOVED putting on the eyes!) and a Thanksgiving wreath.


This week we read (...and re-read, and re-read, and re-read...) the following books, all selected by Ethan:

1. Chip Wants A Dog by William Wegman
2. Llama Llama Wakey Wake by Anna Dewdney
3. Chamelia by Ethan Long
4. Corduroy by Don Freeman
5. The Story Of Thanksgiving by Nancy J. Skarmeas
6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
7. Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
8. Muddypaws by Moira Butterfield
9. Elmo Says by Sarah Albee
10. Look Look by Peter Linenthal
11. Where's Spot? by Eric Hill
12. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
13. Little Spider by Chronicle Books
14. A Fly Went By by Mark McClintock
15. How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
16. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
17. Willy The Wandering Kitten by Crescent Books
18. If You Give A Cat A Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
19. Maisy At The Farm by Lucy Cousins
20. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
21. Blowin' In The Wind by Bob Dylan
22. Bert and the Missing Mop Mix-Up by Sarah Roberts

Tot School Montessori Monday


  1. Great read aloud choices...I have half those books in my classroom library!

    1. Awesome!!! Ethan loves reading. I want to start taking him to the library to check out books and get some variety. He's really into books about animals these days!

  2. Tot school - great idea! I am going to have to try out a couple of these - I have a feeling the pasta stringing one could be a winner with my son at the moment.

    1. I can't wait to hear how your son likes it! If you click the Tot School tab on the right of my blog, we did another stringing activity a few weeks ago with cut up toilet paper rolls. He liked that one, but he loved the pasta so much more!

  3. Stringing noodles is always so fun. I will definitely have to do this with my littlest ones. I think even my six year old will love to do this.

    1. Totally fun! I was thinking of taking some of the dyed pastas to glue them to popsicle stick picture frames, too!

  4. Hi Lindsay, I just read your post over @ Aleisha's blog!! Wow...it was so beautiful and touching. I was teary-eyed as I read your story. These past few years have taught me the same lesson - you can't truly plan anything in life. It is amazing the beauty that can come from that lesson. Thank you for sharing. You and your family are beautiful. Your photos are stunning.
    Sending love xo

    1. Hi Maria! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment -- it means a lot to me! It's true, isn't it? You can't plan anything and once you sit back and accept that, it's great to watch the beauty unfold. <3 Thank you so much for your kind words!


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