Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tot School - Blue and Sea Animals

Tot School - Week 6 - Theme: Blue & Sea Animals
Owen & Eli: 19 months old
This week's theme was blue and ocean animals and the boys had a great time with some of the new activities that we tried. I think I want to incorporate more of the 'traditional' tot school activities next week, with more intentionality on fine/gross motor skills, but for now, these things will have to do!

We started the week with a bean and blue sensory tub. I added buttons, Easter eggs, pompoms, shovels and bean and gave the boys lots of blue containers for pouring. They wanted to play with this all the time, but not necessarily how I wanted them to play. I thought it would be fun to have a scavenger hunt for the blue items to put them into the blue muffin cups, but they just wanted to shovel piles of beans into the cups. Oh well, at least they had a lot of practice with transferring!

We had a couple fun snacks this week to tie into the theme: blueberry pancakes and blueberry banana parfaits, berry blue jello and shark shaped crackers, just to name a few.

I printed out some magnet pages from Making Learning Fun - the blue horse from Brown Bear, Brown Bear and the Whale and Octopus from the Ocean themes. We used blue do-a-dots, crayons and play-doh to fill in the circles, and we used flattened marbles on the white circles too. They have a hard time with the marbles because they want them to 'click' into place like a puzzle piece, which they don't do. Maybe velcro might be a better option because they can stick the pieces where they belong.

The weather was perfect this week for playing outside! I filled a giant Tupperware container with water and added lots of blue food coloring and smaller Tupperware pieces and they had a blast pouring and splashing.

I found a package of Sea Animal sponge pellets at the Dollar Store, the same kind that we played with as kids that dissolve into an animal shaped sponge. They really liked making the animals swim in the 'ocean' and we worked on color identification once they were all fully formed. I had to laugh when two of the 18 'sea animals' turned into a rabbit and a horse. I'm not sure how those slipped through!

A week of studying ocean animals isn't complete without watching Finding Nemo and going to the aquarium! They love Nemo, they were terrified at the aquarium... even by the clown fish! If they weren't in the stroller, they were clinging to us for dear life, so it was a bit of a challenge to get a good picture.
Overall it was a great week! We had friends visiting this weekend, so our learning time was less focused than it could have been, but by the end of the week they were able to identify certain animals and I think they are starting to be able to tell the difference between blue and green (from last week).

Next week is red, and I'm looking for ideas involving red items - from flowers to fire engines, send them along if you have any!

To see what other Tot Schoolers are doing this week, check out 1+1+1=1


Becky said...

Soooooo impressive, Bethie! I don't know how you have the energy to do all this. I'm sure the boys will get A+ marks in "Blue" and "Ocean" themes compared to other squirts their age!

Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

We are headed to the aquarium this weekend! Sophie really likes it. At first she clung for dear life too, but now she loves looking at the fish and jellies.

What a fun time they must have had with the blue water!

Fun Frugal Mommy said...

I love the sensory tub. I do sensory activities with my daughter, but I hate cleaning up the mess. I love that you put a cookie tray underneath the tub. Why didn't I think of that!! BTW I am now following your blog. : )

sbswtp said...

How funny about the sea animals :) What a great idea though!!!

Lana said...

I love the idea of filling a bit plastic storage tub with water / food coloring! Why didn't I think of that? :)

Anonymous said...

What a fun week! I love fruit parfait I think my son would love that!

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

Hi! I love your website. I host a link up party called TOT TUESDAYS every Tuesday where people share their recipes, crafts and activities for toddlers. I’ve also currently got a giveaway for a Mother Earth scarf at the moment. I hope you’ll stop by:

Chelsea said...

I love the colored water idea, will have to try that in a few weeks when we are visiting family in the US (we are in New Zealand where it's winter now! and don't really wanna try it inside haha) Thanks!