Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tot School - The Letter M

We hung out with the letter M this week - here's what we did:Art & Music:
We made a mosaic M and painted an M using marbles. James threw me for a loop on both of these projects. I wasn't expecting him to stay focused on putting the little squares of paper on the mosaic grid, yet he did. And then I thought he'd love the marble painting, but nope - he only wanted to play with the marbles. :)

We checked out an art exhibit featuring various masks - it was really neat!

James and I rocked out with his big box of music instruments. Here he is shaking the maracas on his head. Such a funny little guy; always making me laugh!

Letters & Numbers:
One day James asked me to write numbers on sheets of paper so he could jump on them. :) Seriously, he came up with this "game" all on his own. I was so impressed! He jumped around *shouting* out each number as he landed on it.

I had prepared a mitten number sequencing activity, but James though he'd use them to practice his tearing skills instead. :(

We read the Alphatales book, Monkey's Miserable Monday, as well as On The Moon, by Anna Milbourne, and Magic Thinks Big, by Elisha Cooper (such a cute read - cat lovers will appreciate this book).

James spent a lot of time with the M drawer from our alphabet box. The objects are: millipede, monkey, milk, mouse, and moose.

Also on the shelves were the Melissa & Doug See & Spell puzzles. LOVE these.

Science & Nature:
I pulled out our space flashcards and found several that begin with the letter M: Moon, Mars, Mercury, Meteor, and Milky Way. These cards are awesome - very real looking and on the back there are lots of facts about each photo. James would turn the cards over and pretend to read. :)

James can find and name a good handful of the US states, so we added to this by finding all the M states: Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and, our favorite, Minnesota. :)

Of course I had to do a little something extra for my home state, so we read this awesome book: V is for Viking, A Minnesota Alphabet. This book is part of a series that has a book for each US state. While hunting for this link for where to purchase this series, I ran across this site too - it looks to be an amazing resource for anyone teaching older children about the US.

Other activities:
James really enjoyed his M themed muffin tin meal which included: melon, milk, marshmallow, meat, macaroni & mango.

This winter playscene was a big hit - James played with it nearly every day!

These pattern blocks are really fun!

I made a "mommy puzzle" for James to put together. He really liked this and on more than one occasion I found him carrying around my smile. :) Such a sweetie!

Of course we did lots of Montessori activities, too - we had a lesson on magnetic vs. non-magnetic items, James poured macaroni, spooned Mung beans, and helped me make muffins. These activities, as well as several others, can be found in tomorrow's Montessori Monday post.

I'll be holding off on letters for the next couple of weeks while we focus on Valentines! Yay for hearts and all things red and pink!

Visit Carisa's blog to see what others are doing with their children.


Jo Shabo said...

He has AMAZING tearing skills, Mari-ann!! LOL
I love Melissa and Doug spelling- we got that for Christmas! The picture of Mommy was so sweet-- I think that is cute that he carried around your smile... precious.

Jen said...

I'm glad you're back! Your blog is my main source of ideas for things to do with Aiden. As always, you've given me plenty of new ones thanks to this post.
Your mosaic M is brilliant... how creative you (always) are!
Love little James jumping and playing the maracas on his head. :)
Oh and that photo of you in the puzzle is GORGEOUS! You look so tan and relaxed.

The Activity Mom said...

What a bunch of GREAT activities!

Angela said...

Looks like ya'll had a lot of fun. Love, Love, Love the Mommy Puzzle. Glad you are back.

sbswtp said...

What a fantastic M week!!! We also like our Melissa and Doug see and spell puzzle. I really liked your "mommy" puzzle..and Im so sorry about the mitten casualty... It looked like a good project!!! Have a great week!

Willow said...

I love the puzzle you made of yourself. My girls would love that! Great activities!!

Ms Muffin said...

I like that big "mommy puzzle"! Did you order it or did you make it yourself? It looks really great!

Sippy Cup Central said...

I love what you did with the letter M, thanks for all those great ideas, I'll have to look back and start at A.

Sheryll said...

Can I ask how you made the Mommy puzzle? Is it just cardstock or did you glue it to something to make it more puzzle-like? Thanks.

Mama to 5 said...

very cute! I like the mommy puzzle! We got the Melissa & Doug letter spelling puzzle too for Christmas! Great selection of educational activities! :)

Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

I totally want to know how you did the Mommy Puzzle! I know Sophie would love something like that. What an awesome week.

Theresa Mezo said...

as always.. LOVE all of your activities! :)
I love your Mommy puzzle too!

Adriana said...

Tons of great ideas in this post! We will definitely make the mosaic "M", jumping numbers (very clever idea from your son), and the Mommy puzzle! Thanks for sharing!

Elise said...

I really like the mosaic and marble painting James did with the letter M - such fun ideas. We have not really done very much with the alphabet yet, but I love seeing these creative ideas.

I love that James made up the number game all by himself. I can imagine him having such a ball jumping onto the numbers. Nothing like a bit of physical activity while getting a bit of maths done.

I need to make an alphabet box. Your M box is wonderful.

I am so impressed with James' Geography skills - what a clever young man he is.

The mummy puzzle is awesome.

I had to read your post several times to let all the fantastic ideas sink in. I love coming by here!

Counting Coconuts said...

Thank you for all your sweet comments, ladies!! I just posted about the mommy puzzle. :)

Our Little Family said...

Oh Mari-Ann, as always, another totally inspiring week!! I'm REALLY tempted to start doing letter of the week themes, like you and James do. I think Maddie would really like it, especially as she's had heightened interest in letters and pretending to write.

Love the mommy puzzle, too! You are gorgeous!!!


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