Our letter P "week" became two weeks long. Just like how over the summer it got to be too much swapping curriculum weekly due to an overload of outside of the home activities, I'm thinking we'll have to follow suit through the holidays as well. Ethan's had some kind of Halloween party almost every single day and with the weather finally so gorgeous out, we've been spending a lot more time outside. The two week thing is working best for us again right now and since we'll be doing a lot of traveling in November, it just makes the most sense right now. The fun thing is, we are a few weeks into our group tot school co-op and it's going better. The kids minus Ethan are adjusting well to some semblance of routine. I feel like it just keeps getting better every week. My hardest thing is controlling Ethan who is just so excited his friends are over that he runs around like a maniac trying to shift the focus onto himself and whatever mess he's making for the sake of laughs, but I know that'll come eventually. And he really loves having his buddies over to play with. There is definite improvement as each week goes on.
This week we had some fun letter P tot trays set up:
POTATO SIZE MATCHING
This one was a pretty big hit. Worth all of the looks I got at the grocery store trying to size up potatoes. The tray had corresponding construction paper squares glued on so the kids could match the sizes from big to small. Or they could flip the tray and do small to big. Or they could take the potatoes off the tray and onto their workspace and arrange them on their own. There were a lot of neat ways to do this tray! Towards the end, Ethan loved arranging them himself without the aid of the construction paper.
I set out some postcards, pens and postage. The kids got to write out a message and stick on the stamp. Ethan wrote out a couple of these and I just wrote a tiny disclaimer that we were learning about postcards in tot school before sending them off to various relatives and friends. This one wasn't as big of a hit. I don't think everyone used this one in our co-op, either.
LETTER P BUTTON ACTIVITY
Totally the least used tray this week. I had some leftover felt and some leftover buttons, so I thought this might be fun. Toddlers always manage to prove me wrong! The point of this tray was to work on buttoning skills in the felt P.
PIRATE TREASURE MAP
This one was a hit. I made a pirate's treasure map filled with different words that begin with P and also some that don't. I also put some pennies on the tray and the point was to place the pennies on the words that start with P. I'm not sure Ethan grasped the concept of this tray but it excited him anytime he saw it. He just liked spreading the pennies around and "makin' treasure like pirates!"
This tray was just for fun so the kids could use their imagination and put together their ultimate pizza. I hadn't even intended to use P items as the toppings (pepperoni and pineapple) so when I threw in mushrooms (because Ethan likes them), I totally threw off the P theme. Oh, well! Ethan had a blast making his own pizzas and it was cool to watch him do, because he totally organized his toppings in some neat ways. Sometimes he did them in a pattern (pepperoni, mushroom, pineapple and repeat) and other times he layered them in a row.
POPSICLE SHAPE SORTING
This was Ethan's favorite tray this week. Each popsicle had a shape pasted onto it and there was a set of corresponding shapes on the tray as well. The kids enjoyed matching the shapes together. Ethan still has a little bit of difficulty with square versus rectangle in terms of verbally identifying, but this tray was great practice and a lot of fun!
LETTER P SENSORY BIN
The sensory bin was a huge hit this week! I included a lot of fun P items (penguins, pumpkins) as well as a lot of open-ended play items (paper clips, pasta, pipecleaners). Ethan had a lot of fun building and constructing by linking the paper clips or pushing the pasta onto the pipecleaners.
LETTER P FELT BOARD
As usual, Ethan was totally "meh" about the felt board. As indifferent as he is to it, he refuses to let me take Jordan (from New Found Glory) off the board. He's been hanging out since our toddler geography unit. None of the kids seem all too interested in the felt wall, I have to say.
As a fun craft, I cut a pear out of card stock. I gave Ethan some glue and some shredded green construction paper. He got to go to town gluing the scraps of paper onto the pear until it was covered. We glued on a brown stem and he was super proud of the outcome! (He's in the cheesy fake smile stage and I am loving it!)
In our tot school co-op, we always try to do a themed lunch or snack. Heather from And Then My Name Was Mama had the great idea to do pita pockets for P week! The kids loved stuffing their pita pockets with hummus -- and cucumbers, too!
We also set out sauce, cheese and individual crusts and let the kids go to town making their own pizzas! It was super cute to watch them, especially as they shoveled handfuls of cheese in their mouths between spreading the sauce!
For the second week of P week, I set up a pudding making station. We did chia pudding because it's the easiest to whip up and then put away overnight. I got little baby food jars, sterilized them and set them out on individual placemats with pre-measured little containers of the ingredients. The ingredients are actually in jello shot containers which I didn't even know was a thing (goes to show how "cool" I've always been) but I felt totally silly buying them along with some baby food jars, but it worked! There were two little containers of milk per child (I usually use almond milk, but one of the kiddos has a nut allergy -- any milk works!), one of chia seeds, one with honey and one with some chocolate chips. The kids just throw all of the ingredients in the jar, close it, shake it, and set it in the 'fridge overnight. The end result is something like tapioca pudding with some yummy chocolate chips added, too.
PAINTING PICTURE FRAMES
I set out some popsicle stick picture frames, paint and dyed pasta that one of our tot school co-op mommies made and the kids were able to decorate their frames as they pleased. This somehow turned into mass chaos around the time Ethan decided to act like he's never painted before in his life because it made his friends laugh, but they still got some cute picture frames in the end!
One of our tot school co-op mommies dyed the most beautiful, awesome pasta I've ever seen (so many shapes and colors!) and the first week of our P unit, the kids got to go nuts gluing and making beautiful pasta creations!
With Halloween around the corner, the kids had a blast painting their pumpkins!
THE SPOOKY SPIDER
I know, neither "spooky" nor "spider" begin with P, but I had to share this craft with you. It was super creative fine motor fun and the kids had a blast making their spiders! Heather was the brainchild of this one -- go check out the tutorial!
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