tot school - letters h, i, j - 34 months

I must admit I didn't have high hopes for this past week in tot school. I procrastinated until Easter Sunday to do any planning whatsoever and it showed. The only thing open was Walgreens and that was my best shot at finding what I needed (and failing). Surprisingly, Ethan really enjoyed tot school last week. He was really into all of the trays and had a blast doing them. They all really kept his attention for the duration of the week and I think he may even be sad to see them go tomorrow! Just goes to show you, you can never hold any expectations when it comes to toddlers. Plus, he woke up the Monday after Easter with a bad cold that really started messing with his breathing (he's asthmatic) so we spent a whole lot of time indoors and in tot school.

Speaking of tot school, the older Ethan gets the more he's accepted the room as his little sanctuary. He has started seeking more independence: asking to go into our tot school room, closing the door (which is glass, so he's allowed) and helping himself to his art mediums and materials and going to work. If I try to enter, he'll sometimes ask for some alone time. I can hear him babbling and talking out loud to himself ("this is 4, this is 5...") as he "works" and I love it! Of course, by the end of the week it also looks like a bomb detonated in the tot school classroom. There is glitter, construction paper scraps, odds and ends from my (at one point neat and organized) shelving unit all over the place. It's getting harder to keep the space clean and organized but, it's sort of worth it, watching Ethan really make it his. This is also where I say kudos and endless thanks to the greatest husband in the world for sweeping, vacuuming and mopping our classroom floor while I sit here on my butt and write this post in order to get it up on Sunday.

Anyway, this past week was another recap of the alphabet on our second run through, this time with letters H, I and J.


This was a favorite! I helped myself to one of these rounded sponges from my dad's garage and cut little slits in it where I stuck little leftover pink and red hearts from our Valentine's Day unit. I included a paper with red and pink hearts as well as tweezers and Ethan got to use the tweezers to pick up the hearts and place them in the correct spot.


The tracing trays have really taken off in popularity lately. Ethan has been loving practicing tracing and trying to write his letters. I recently found some Crayola dry erase markers in fun colors and having these fun colors really upped his interest in these trays, too.


The ice magic tray was Ethan's favorite "science 'periment." I put a bowl of ice (that I filled fresh whenever we went into tot school) covered in baking soda. I laid a few more pieces of crushed ice over the baking soda to sort of disguise it. In a cup, I mixed some vinegar and green food coloring and then gave him a medicine dropper to put the vinegar into the ice. For an almost three year old, nothing is as fun as baking soda and vinegar. This was probably his most favorite tray ever.


Ethan usually despises any and all felt activities so I was surprised how much he loved this one. Then again, it's ice cream, so what's not to love? Ethan got to build his ice cream cone with as many scoops as he wanted and then count them out, identify the numbers on the accompanying cards and place them on the corresponding scoops. He totally nailed this one and really, really enjoyed it! I was surprised by how he was content to keep repeating this tray.


This one was pretty much a bust (that's what I get for procrastinating). I took a picture of our home and cut it into pieces for Ethan to put together. If I was smart, I would have adhered it to cardstock so the pieces wouldn't flip up and bend. Missed opportunity. Ethan did this one once or twice but wound up frustrated with the pieces that kept bending and then refused to even entertain the idea of doing it again.


This is the one activity I had planned out and, of course, forgot to buy juice prior to Easter Sunday. This was the only juice Walgreens had. I'm one of those parents everyone loves to pick on who doesn't let their kid drink juice so aside from squeezing our own oranges to make juice, this was Ethan's first experience with juice. He's been really into practical life activities lately and helping me around the kitchen so I thought a pouring activity would be fun. Since the jug of juice was heavy, I helped him pour it into one jar and then he had fun transferring it between the jars for a while. He curiously took a sip and that was it -- from then on, he drank as much as he poured! But, you know, two days of juice (before mommy "magically" made it disappear...) won't kill anyone and if it helped him feel better then, you know, worth it.


We've been using our magnet board to break apart words, identify letters and what sounds they make and sounding out words. He's started to develop a huge interest in wanting to know what words are whenever we go anywhere and there are signs (going to the zoo has turned into a major "okay, let's sound it out..." lesson!). He's been really into the magnet board for this reason but last week it was a bit of a flop. I'm wondering if it's because he didn't feel good.


Tot School Montessori MondayI Can Teach My Child

No Time For Flash CardsFor the Kids Friday


  1. Such creative ideas. Thank you for sharing! I particularly like the ice cream game.

  2. I love the vinegar activity! We have something similar planned this week, actually :) Great ideas!

  3. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

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