Friday, October 9, 2009

Tot School, Week 1: Airplanes, Apples, the Letter A & a Trip to Antarctica!

Breck is 40.5 months
Rowan is 16 months

(be warned: this is a loooooong post!)

This was our first week of Tot School!!!
And all of us - Breck, Rowan and I - thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! It was a challenge getting the kids (ie: Breck) to agree to start with school on the first day, after our rough morning, but he finally agreed and he took to it like a fish in water!

We had school for approximately one hour each on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
(Breck goes to preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays)

The themes for the week were:

The Letter A,






Letter "A" chart
I drew an "A" on a large piece of paper and had a handful of other cut outs that start with "A".

Breck counted the legs on one of the ants in his picture - he counted all by himself from 1-8 without missing a number!
...normally four is nowhere to be found.
(he counted their antennae along with the legs)

Then he grabbed his magnifying glass and inspected the ants

after the ant fun was over, he glued his "A" pictures onto his chart.

Practice writing the letter A
& A coloring page
Breck did a fantastic job of tracing both the upper and lower case As!

and he colored it.
He and Rowan also colored an airplane page, but that didn't take very long.

then Breck grabbed the airplane puzzle and worked on it.
To my surprise, he calmly started putting it together, thinking it through when a piece wouldn't fit in the spot he tried.

Meanwhile, Rowan played us some puzzle-putting-together music!

And after a little bit, he had it put together all by himself!!!

I had also planned for him to paint his papier mache plane today, but he wanted nothing to do with that, so at this point I let the kids do some free play.

They dug out the pompom sorting activity

and the shape sorter

and they worked on some more puzzles.



This day was very sporadic.
Breck wanted to watch cartoons and only cartoons.
So we compromised - he got to pick which activity he wanted to do, from 3-4 activities I had selected. After each activity, he was allowed to watch his Manners DVD or Baby Einstein DVDs.

Here's what we managed to get accomplished:

Airplane puzzle

Paint a papier mache airplane
I am so glad I decided to do the papier mache part myself. I think it's a bit more difficult than Breck would have cared to deal with. So, he was in charge of painting!

Blue must be his favorite color, because nearly every time we start painting, the first colors he picks are all blues. the airplane is mostly blue!

He started out very carefully with the paintbrush and then slowly moved onto finger painting, and really dove in when I told him that was OK!

After he was done and the airplane was dry, I went in and added some details, such as the B on the rudder, and painted the wheels and windows.

Attempts at drawing As
Rowan obviously isn't going to be drawing As, so she stacked marker caps. And Breck was more interested in coloring his hands.

But Breck kind of made a lowercase A on accident!!!
(see it there on the right?)

Autumn Collage
On Wednesday we went on a very long walk and found a nature trail really close to our house that we didn't even knew existed, so we walked through there collecting leaves and other nature things, talking about their different colors, shapes and sizes, as we went.

We used those items to make a rather large Autumn collage:



Rowan slept through most of Tot School today - with the exception of our trip.

Visit to Antarctica!!!
I got the idea of a far away trip from No Time For Flashcards.
But I decided to make it a lot more work for myself step it up a notch and make some to-scale and not-to-scale animals that you'd find in Antarctica!
A while ago, we made the kids their own passports.

Did you know that emperor penguins grow to be 4 feet tall???

Below are a few highlights from our trip, but for the full post, go here!

Aboard the airplane

staring at penguins

and swimming with a whale!

A is for Alligator
We also got this craft from No Time for Flashcards.

Breck likes to use glue...

and he was pretty proud of the final product!

after making the alligator, Breck worked on using scissors,
something he really has trouble doing...mainly because he does it two-handed!

Spelling-Fun Puzzle
Breck loves this puzzle and does a really good job with it.
There are several pieces that have a three letter word and a picture of that word on it, then the child finds the letters and puts them in the correct order.

Apple Sequencing Game
Breck likes this game, but it doesn't take him any time before he has all the apples lined up biggest to smallest.
We also counted the apples.
I think next time we'll work on addition and subtraction using them.

Zooming the Airplane
This wasn't part of the planned activities, but this little airplane logged a lot of miles! It was in the toy room, then in the kitchen, then the basement, and then back in the toy room!

Here it's taking off,

flying around the room,

and a near collision with a silo.


Books of the Week

Title: Berenstain's A Book
Author: Stan & Jan Berenstain


Title: El Avion
Author: Giovanna Mantegazza

This book is all in Spanish, and none of us speak Spanish, so we just looked at the pictures. ;)


  1. Your trip to Antarctica looks like a blast!! Your penguin is awesome. I bet they just loved it!


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