Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tot School - The Letter T

~James is 30 months old~

Art & Music:
I thought of two letter T crafts and since I couldn't decide which to do, we did both! As usual, I cut everything out and, with a little guidance, James glued it all together. He did a great job lining everything up - he's such a little perfectionist. :)

There are lots of musical instruments that start with the letter T. (trombone, trumpet, tambourine, triangle, tuba) The New York Philharmonic website has an AWESOME kid's section where you can click on an instrument to read about it and hear how it sounds. Lots of other games and activities on there, too. Check it out!

Have you ever heard of the Putumayo music series? If not, I highly recommend it. They're children's music CDs filled with cultural music from all over the world. Click here for more info. We have French Playground and I recently bought Asian Dreamland - we LOVE them and have them playing in our car all the time.

Letters & Numbers:
I made an alphabet box a few months ago and kept forgetting to use it! I finally pulled it out the other day. This is our T drawer. James really enjoyed this activity. He named the objects over and over, and in doing so increased his vocabulary and cemented the T sound into his brain! :)

We practiced more letter sounds. I like to rotate our puzzles to keep them fresh and interesting to James. This week I pulled out this Melissa & Doug sea life puzzle. James really, really likes this puzzle and played with it several times daily. So, I took his lead and came up with a few learning activites to use with the pieces.

This alphabet train is great and, as usual, James found a new way to play with it. He had no interest in putting it together, but instead preferred to walk on top of it, calling out the letters as he stepped on them. :)

We read lots of books - click here to see our picks for the week.

We played with this Shut The Box game. James doesn't understand how to actually play the game, but I'm a big believer in exposing little minds to lots of things. They take in so much more than we realize. James played with this game many times throughout the week. It reinforced counting and number sequencing.

T is for time - we played with this big clock. James had fun making the hands point in different directions.

Science & Nature:
My favorite thing we did this week was to go on a nature walk and collect colorful items. I've seen this activity on several blogs. You take an empty egg carton and color code the bottoms of the cups. Then you go for a walk and try to find something in nature for each color. We are very blessed to live around so much beauty! James loved this activity and carried the egg carton all around the neighborhood. :)

An impromptu lesson inspired by Mr. James himself. Well, he and his sea life puzzle pieces. He was asking me what a whale sounds like, so I went on You Tube and found a video. Of course that led to him asking what ALL the other creatures sounded like, so more videos followed. This was a lot of fun for both of us!

I put together this tree matching activity in honor of our letter of the week. I simply found photos of trees online, printed and cut them out. I found trees that were very different looking (maple, palm, Christmas, apple & Joshua). This was a great way to increase James' vocabulary, too.

Our lime tree bore a whopping 3 fruits this year! They don't look too pretty, but they tasted yummy! James had fun exploring the fruit - he also shook it, smelled it, touched it, tasted it - a great sensory lesson.

Practical Life:
I made a cute lil button turkey (same concept as the button snake I made). James did a great job with this. He's come a long way with buttoning. (ps: I love that chunky little hand in the pic!) Click here for my tutorial on how to make one yourself.

Spooning couscous. I'm planning to do more of these kinds of PL activities in the future as I found lots of new materials to use - I'm so excited!

Other activities:
I made this tomato sequencing activity so James could practice size discrimination. He did pretty well, but we'll work with it a little more.

Since it's a new month it's time for a new sensory tub! See my post here for details. James was sooo excited to see this and it kept him happily occupied for a good 30 minutes. In the pic above he's saying, "soft" while petting the chenille coil. :)

Finally, we talked about triangles - we counted their sides, colored pictures, and put together the train puzzle from these Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks.

To see what others are doing with their children, click on the buttons below.


sbswtp said...

What a fantastic week!!! The button turkeys are super cute! And I'm going to look into those CD's.

Mozi Esme said...

What a whole lot of Ts! I love the train and tree Ts! And the T instruments - I've been doing songs related to the letters and have been trying to incorporate more classical/variety - this looks like a good way to do it!

Clarissa said...

I always love all your science and nature activities. :) Such a good way of getting little ones outside

Basia - United Teaching said...

I love the colour coded nature hunt and the gorgeous button turkey. Looks like you had a fantastic week.

Cara said...

You always seem to be very organized with all of your activities! I'd love to know more about your planning process and when you prep everything you do. :) Our activities this week were such a mishmash. I love all the T activities! I've had my eye on that egg carton color-collecting activity too....yours turned out great! Love the button turkey too!

RockerMom said...

I love the turkey buttoning activity. How creative! Thanks for sharing.

Jen said...

Busy busy superwoman! You did so many great things this week, how do you come up with all these ideas?
James is learning so much from you, he's lucky to have you Mar. And he's lucky to live on an island with a lime tree of his very own LOL!!

The Activity Mom said...

Love the button turkey.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Oh my goodness, you just have the BEST ideas!! I love the train and tree Ts (we'll be using those for our ABC book, I'm sure!) and he did such a great job with gluing the pieces together! I also love the tomato size sorting and your alphabet box. I want to make something similar, but where do you find all the small items (for cheap!)? I'm off to check out the post about your sensory tub. :)

Jeanette said...

Great activities!
I really like the train and tree Ts.
I want to get a Shut the Box game. Maybe we will get one this year for Christmas.

Counting Coconuts said...

Thanks very much for your comments!
Cara, I'm so glad my email was helpful to you!
Nicole, I've been collecting little things for years now, but Montessori N Such has some you can buy for a fairly reasonable price. Here's the link:

Susana said...

Oh my goodness! You guys did so much! I am blown away at all of your fun learning activities.

Where did you get your big clock?

I love what you did with the egg carton too.

Paul said...

i've got a regular teacher for a wife, i am so proud!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

What an awesome week. I like how balanced your approach is - you touch on everything. Science, practical skills, manipulatives - James is a lucky boy to have mommy like you.

Counting Coconuts said...

You guys are really sweet, thanks for your kind words.

Susana, I found the clock at a local teacher's supply store for $2. No brand on it... sorry.

yogamama said...

I'm hosting a link-up of Letter T crafts today and found yours. I would love it if you would link up!


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