Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tot School - The Letter R

~James is 31 months~

In addition to our usual fun, we focused on the letter R this week.

Art & Music:
We had fun making this rainbow R out of tissue paper. James has gotten much better with his gluing skills (i.e. he doesn't pour half the bottle on the paper anymore!).

I was thrilled to the gills to walk into our art class last week and find out we were going to learn how to make felt! It was a really interesting lesson (though I think James might disagree). We made a small square piece, but I'm thinking a little kid or kitty ran off with it because I can't find it now. :(

Earlier in the week we made a rainstick! This was an art & music lesson all in one. I can't remember where I found the tutorial to make this, but it wasn't very good anyway. The directions were really vague and I had to wing it quite a bit. As a result, the instrument doesn't sound very authentic, but we had lots of fun making it and that's what counts, right? Process, not product.

We danced to Bob Marley and James sang about his two kitties. :)

Letters & Numbers:

We read this book from our AlphaTales series and James worked on his R drawer from our alphabet box (rhino, rock, ring, ruler, rocket, rabbit & ribbon).

We had so much fun with these number bean bags. We played catch with them while calling out numbers, we tapped on them with rhythm sticks, we even played hide and seek with them. I left them out for James to enjoy throughout the week and one afternoon I was pleasantly surprised to see he had done this:
Notice how the numbers are arranged in sets - 8 and 18, 5 and 15. I thought that was pretty cool!

I found these cute acorn calendar thingys (my technical term) and James had fun sticking them in the pockets. It was a great way to encourage number sequencing.

Science & Nature:

We took a trip to the Royal Naval Dockyard one day. We had a wonderful time, just me and my boy. We watched the dolphins, shopped, and walked around enjoying the sites. James was ecstatic to find a rooster and a kitty wandering around.

On our way home from the Dockyard, we saw this beautiful rainbow. Honestly, it was the most vibrant I've ever seen. It was such a treat to see one of these this week considering our featured letter and the rainbow craft we'd already done.

Like his daddy, James is really into space & astronomy. We watched the launchings of the Saturn 5 and Apollo 11 rockets on YouTube. James was using his little toy rocket to mimic what he was seeing. It was SO cute!

Practical Life:

We made rainbow rice! James had fun shaking the baggies to mix the colors. After it dried, I put together this pouring work for him, which he LOVED!

Spooning rocks. Another favorite this week. Don't you just love that little ladle? So tiny! James did a fantastic job and, to my surprise, had the patience to scoop out every last rock in the bowl.

Grace & Courtesy:
We've been noticing a lot more role playing in James' world lately. For example, the other day I spied him serving food to his teddy bear and he was saying, "Is that good, Teddy?" Another time he was talking to his (fake) gecko, and showing it something out the window. I guess whatever he was showing him was a bit scary because James said, "No worries gecko, James right here". Melts my heart, that little guy.

Other activities:
James picked out this coconut at the grocery store and it made for a fun sensory lesson. He wasn't thrilled about its hairy exterior, but thought the sound of sloshing milk inside was pretty neat. And when I asked him what it smelled like he casually replied, "cookies". :) Cracking open this puppy wasn't at all easy. I had no luck with the more refined methods, so I finally decided to open it up the old fashioned way - by throwing it against the driveway. James thought this was the BEST!

We collected red items for the I Spy book I'm going to make (idea from 1+1+1=1).

Click the link button to the left to see what others are doing with their children.


Paul said...

Looks like you had another busy week!

Karen said...

Wow!! James have a very busy and great week!! Congrats!! I love your activities!! nice.... We also working with r this week!!! (but in Spanish!!)

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Mari-Ann - you are so amazing - so is James! I love those number bean bags and how he grouped them is so neat - what a little thinker! I love all the practical life things you do with him, and that rainbow R is so pretty. What a fun mom you are!

Our Little Family said...

So happy to have found your blog! What amazing activities and an amazing little man! I have tons of rainbow rice and since Maddie is napping, i think I'll set up a pouring activity similar to yours.

Cassie said...

It is so cool that you guys made a rainstick. And I love the Bob Marley kid's CD! My son likes the bird song.

The Activity Mom said...

Love your number bean bags! Great activities!

The girl who painted trees said...

You did amazing things this week. I love the number beanbags. Did you make them? Thanks for some great ideas!

sbswtp said...

What a fun busy week!!! I really like the rainbow rain stick...and the way he did the rainbow R. Excellent :)

Tilly said...

James is so cute and so smart! He is so lucky to have you for a mommy:) You always do such great things with him. Are you a teacher by profession? I am working on being more creative with Luke.
Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful things on your blog!

Jo Shabo said...

Love the beanbags- I am getting ready to do these with numbers and make some for the alphabet too! The tissue paper R craft is cute too - so colorful! Great week!

DB said...

Aaaah, a man after my own heart - gettin down with Bob!
How do you make rainbow rice? It looks awesome!

Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

I enjoy reading your post each week. You have great ideas that I am filing away for when Sophie gets a little bit older. I also wanted to know how to make rainbow rice?

Counting Coconuts said...

Thank you for all the kind words - you guys keep me going!

Rainbow rice is easy peasy to make: simply separate a cup or so of rice (depends on how much you want to make) into separate Ziploc baggies. Then use food coloring to dye each baggie of rice. Add a drop of rubbing alcohol and then shake away! (This is the part James enjoys most!) Finally, empty the baggies onto paper towels and let dry for an hour or so. Mix it all together and voila! you have rainbow rice! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow that rainbow is beautiful! Looks like a great week. I love your rainbow R!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

You rock! My kids would love to have you as a mom! Linked to at


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