Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Beginnings of "Tot School"

Since Jabin turned 2 years old, I have been very interested in starting some kind of educational program with him. I've looked online at some ideas, but there are so many ideas it was easy to feel overwhelmed. I found one site, though, that had a lot of good ideas that I am hoping to start implementing to some degree.

I will be making "trays" with different activities that he will play with for set periods of time (10-20 minutes) depending on his interest level. Each of the trays will have a different theme. Themes would be things like pouring, spoons, matching, sorting, beads, strings, stacking, stickers, cutting, gluing, etc. Activities would be pouring beans, rice, etc. from different containers into other containers; using different sized spoons to move rice, beans from different containers to others; stacking blocks, lining them up; using play dough and cookie cutters; gluing papers, etc.

Another idea that I liked is making "sensory boxes." These are boxes that are filled with different things to explore and find. For instance, I may make a wood-themed box, filled with bark, grass, plants, acorns, plastic forest animals; or a dinosaur-themed box filled with beans or sand with plastic dinosaurs, rocks, and other things that could go along with that. They can be filled with anything that you have around the house, for instance, cotton balls, rice, beans, then put other little things in the box to find and play with. At the time of using the sensory box, I could also read books that would go along with the theme.

My goal is to have three planned activities each day, Monday-Friday. (Of course, some days I may not be able to when I have other plans or unexpected changes in plans, which is almost expected lately. :) ) These activities would include using a tray activity, sensory box, reading together, playing/working outside, working in the garden, bath time play, going to the park, or coloring, etc. Later this year, it may include learning some letter sounds and numbers. For now, though, I just want to enjoy life together with him and let him explore the world by experiencing different things and learning how things work.
(Jabin playing, and trying to eat, his first sensory box.)

For more information on sensory boxes and learning tray ideas go to: