Letter U week was a fun one, surprisingly. A lot of the trays were huge misses, but the ones that Ethan enjoyed, he really enjoyed. I realized last week that I rarely (okay, like, never) share our coordinating art projects that we do during the week, so I wanted to make an attempt to do that this week as well! Better late than never, right?
THIS WEEK IN TOT SCHOOL...
U DRY ERASE TRACING
Ethan loves the new, thicker Melissa & Doug dry erase markers we got (as opposed to the thin ones we had been using) so this tray got more use this week than in the past. (Printable from Twisty Noodle.)
SHADE & COLOR MATCHING UMBRELLAS
For this one, I used some paint swatches glued to a box with holes poked in them. Ethan got to match the umbrellas to the correct color swatches, and getting them in the holes was great fine motor practice as well. I wanted to use varying shades of each color for this instead of just straightforward color matching and Ethan did a great job! This was one of his favorite trays this week.
LETTER RECOGNITION - YOUR NAME
LETTER U MAGNET BOARD
Oh, our poor magnet board was so sad and pathetic this week! He did this once and then asked where all of the other pictures were.
UMBRELLA & RAINDROPS COUNTING AND NUMBER RECOGNITION
For this tray, I had pictures of umbrellas each labeled 1-10. There were also cards with raindrops on them (1-10 as well). Ethan's job was to count the raindrops and match them up with the properly numbered umbrella. He was really into this tray and working hard at it, though it was the most time consuming for him. Because of the amount of time it took for him to complete this tray, he didn't go for it as often as some of the others. He was always really excited to finish it and so proud of himself!
I remember when Nicole at The Kavanaugh Report did their U week, she also did some activities with the word you. That was fresh in my mind as I tried to plan our week and was frantically running out of letter U activities. For this one, I printed out some photos of Ethan and then made some cards of different items in the pictures of him -- shirt he was wearing, his helmet, the Ergo carrier he was sitting in. Ethan got to observe the pictures and figure out which coordinating item went with what photo. This tray was a huge hit this week and definitely one of his favorites. Toddlers love looking at pictures of themselves!
UNICORN FINE MOTOR RING ACTIVITY
Oh, this unicorn. It belonged to my sister. When I went to retrieve it, we both noticed the horn had fallen off. We snapped a pencil in half, painted it pink and hot glued it back to the poor unicorn's head. The end result was a little less than glamorous, but Ethan didn't notice and was pretty stoked about this unicorn. I cut some tiny pieces of pipe cleaner to make little rings, and Ethan got to put the rings down the horn of the unicorn.
LETTER U LACING
As usual, Ethan didn't want anything to do with the lacing activities. He did it once, probably just to humor me, but that was about it. For this one, I had painted on the letter Uu onto one of the lacing hearts from the Target dollar spot set.
UNDERWATER ANIMALS DISCOVERY BIN
For our discovery bin this week, I used some TOOB underwater animals, filled the bin with water and let Ethan go to work playing with them. He already knew what 95% of the underwater animals we had were, but this was still his favorite activity hands down. The only way I got dinner prepared every night this week was by letting him go sit in tot school and play with the underwater animals. He loved making them swim, talk to one another and "look for things to eat, like bananas."
(It was also fun to use a straw to blow bubbles in the ocean for the underwater animals, like the 'bubble blower' in Grandpa's fish tank.)
As for our art wall this week, we did a lot of fun art projects. Every week, I print out a handful of Twisty Noodle coloring pages:
These are reserved for when I need to get things done, like make lunch or dinner, and Ethan is able to sit and color or paint them. It's great to have these on hand! Otherwise, the bulk of Ethan's art is all just free painting or coloring (he's on a marker kick, lately). It's so much fun seeing him come up with creative things to draw (he recently drew a picture of Narwhals eating donuts!). Since he's really into glue lately, I gave him a gluestick, a transparency sheet and a handful of paint swatch rectangles and he made a "beautiful rainbow." For the most part, there are never any rules during art time other than to just be creative.
It's always a good time painting bubblewrap and this is one of Ethan's favorite things to do. Painting bubblewrap can take him a very long time, because he has to make sure each bubble is painted in properly.
He also painted an umbrella which he was super proud of.
Because all of this talk of umbrellas paired with the fact it has been nonstop rain in Florida, we decided to make a rain cloud. I cut out the cloud shape and sealed it all shut except for the top. Ethan used a funnel to pour some rice into the cloud. Once the rice was in, we sealed the rest of the cloud and let it dry. On a transparency sheet, we used blue glue and blue glitter to make raindrops.
From there, we attached the transparency sheet behind the rain cloud for an accurate portrayal of our weather. Ethan loved this activity!
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