tot school - letter j - 24 months

Somewhere towards the end of the second week of J Week, I thought it would be a good idea to completely redo our tot school classroom. In my head, this massive transition would only take two days and then it'd be ready to go. A week later, the room is still in shambles and Ethan twists my heart into pieces when he sighs upon seeing his tot school classroom furniture in the hallway. "No more tot school? Ethan more tot school." I've been promising him each morning that I'm working on it and no matter what, I'm getting things set up again this weekend. We miss our tot school time dearly. What's worse is that J week was awesome and yet I barely have any (decent) pictures of our activities. (I don't even have any pictures of one of the jellyfish Ethan made from pipecleaners, clay and a clear plastic ball ornament!) I think my head was elsewhere, what with getting the room situated, that I completely forgot to document our adventures with the letter J and that just adds to all my guilt. (This should have been G week.) Regardless, take my word for it that J week was awesome and Ethan has a new love for jellyfish which will probably just make it a little harder for me to keep him out of the ocean when the lifeguards have the purple flags flying.

The Letter J Color Matching activity was a huge success! I made this using some paint swatches and it gave Ethan could practice at matching shades -- some of which were pretty similar. He had trouble opening the clothespins and placing them onto the J, though he had no trouble matching the colors to one another. At first he was just frustrated and would lay the clothespin on top of the corresponding color, but eventually he just kept trying. The closest he came was slipping the clothespins on backwards, but he was so proud of himself and did a great job with this activity.


The jar activity was one that I borrowed (with love!) from Nicole at The Kavanaugh Report. I collected some jars in varying sizes and Ethan's job was to match the lids with the correct jar. Some of them were a little tricky but eventually he figured this one out. Regardless of how much I'm fairly certain he had each lid memorized at the end, he couldn't get enough of playing with this activity!


Oh, the jellybean pouring activity! For the first few days, Ethan had no idea the jellybeans were edible and this activity was fantastic. Towards the second week, I let him sample one and it was all downhill from there. The next morning, we woke up to Ethan in his bathroom trying to brush his teeth. I had no idea what he was thinking at the time (I later realized it's because I told him jellybeans had a lot of sugar and he had to go brush his teeth after he was done sampling) but it turns out he'd helped himself into tot school before we woke up and ate...all of the jellybeans. That wasn't a very good day. But before all of the jellybeans fell victim to a hungry toddler with a restricted sugar intake, he absolutely loved this activity. He's really into pouring right now so I set up a few different size cups and he could do pour the jellybeans from one cup into the other. He really nailed this activity and wasn't spilling any by the end of our tot school time. (In fact, his job is to feed the cats and this has been generally less messy since, too. Success!)


The J tracing activity was a little bit of a bust. I'd printed a J and laminated it so Ethan was able to trace it repeatedly with dry erase marker. He loved coloring on the laminated page with dry erase marker and erasing it and starting over, but he didn't really want to follow the whole "tracing the letter" thing. I'll try again next week.


The J magnet board was a big success this time, like usual. Ethan loves the magnet board! I had put on Jordan from New Found Glory (his favorite band, of course) as a surprise and he cracked up each time he got to that one. He had trouble with "jeans" not being "pants," but eventually got the hang of it towards the end.


The Jellyfish water bead activity was another one I borrowed from The Kavanaugh Report (the J printout comes from Making Learning Fun). I gave Ethan a spoon and some tongs to try to pick up the water beads with those, but he mostly stuck with his fingers.


This week, we made a jellyfish out of hair gel. First, Ethan crinkled up some strips of colored construction paper to make it's tentacles.

After that, he helped me fill a ziplock bag with hair gel we picked up at the dollar store.

Next, he helped me glue on the tentacles to the bag.

The end result was a super cute and fun to squish jellyfish!


Tot School Montessori MondayI Can Teach My Child

No Time For Flash CardsFor the Kids Friday


  1. Love all the activities, especially the hair gel jellyfish! Can't wait to see the new room!

    1. Thank you so much! That was a fun one to make.

  2. GREAT ideas!!! this post is just what I needed as I try to figure out some unit themes and lesson plans

  3. Hahahahah! The story about the jellybeans is hilarious! I told my Husband and we got a good laugh out of it. He is adorable. :)

  4. Wow, these trays awesome. I did a tot tray with my toddler that used real jellybeans. It went fine until big brother showed him that the jellybeans were edible. After that I just replaced the jellybeans with dry beans and the activity was great again. I can't wait to see more of your tot school ideas.

    1. Haha! Those jellybeans are just irresistible, I guess! Replacing them with real beans would have been a smart move!

  5. I love the jelly fish!I think ribbons made out plastic bad will be fantastic!I need to try it with my preschoolers!!

    1. That's an AWESOME idea, and also such a great way to reuse plastic bags!

  6. Once I saw in internet a jellyfish in bottle, but yours is much better!!!

    1. Ooh, the jellyfish in a bottle sounds cool!

  7. Awesome! I love that magnet board - I need to do that for Henry!

    1. He LOVES it! I try to do a magnet board at least with every new letter we're learning. I always think he's going to get bored with it, but it's always one of his favorite activities!

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