Monday, January 18, 2010

Tot School - The Letter N

~James is 34 months~

Art & Music:
James had a blast making our N craft, and kept saying: "Numbers begin with N!"

We jumped, waddled, twirled and danced at Kindermusik this week. We also listened to Native American music. We've had this CD in our collection for a while now - I love it and listen to it whenever I want/need to relax. :)

Letters & Numbers:
As always, we read lots of books, but read our Alphatales N book, The Nicest Newt several times this week. We also received this month's Animal Babies magazine and I was excited to see this N is for nuthatch flashcard on the back!

Thanks to Susan, I found out about this awesome site, Making Learning Fun, that has loads of free print outs. The N is for nest and N is for nine pages fit right into our theme. James used flat marbles to cover each dot. Excellent fine motor activity.

Once in a blue you'll find a good deal in Bermuda and such was the case when I stumbled upon a set of number and letter playdoh molds. James spent sooo much time playing with these this week!

I'm pretty pleased about this activity. It's all homemade (including the little drawstring bag!) and entirely thought up by yours truly! Hooray for original ideas! :) I posted about the cute little Le Hoots here.
I created this with the intent of it being a quantifying activity, which has proven to be just the right amount of challenging for James. Well. He blew me away when he began adding and subtracting the owls!! He set all four owls on the branches, placed the number 4 counter beside the tree, then proceeded to say, "4 owls take away 1 owl, now 3 owls!" and he continued on this way until there were no owls left on the tree. Then went the other direction and added them individually back onto the tree. I literally sat there with my jaw open the entire time, not making a peep out of fear of distracting his train of thought. Maybe a lot of 2 year olds do this, but I was just shocked and, of course, very proud!!

Science & Nature:
Lots of outdoor fun was had this week since it was the first week in oh, say, SIX where it hasn't rained

Saturday was a mommy day (knitting class, then hair appt.), so my boys spent the whole day together. They were seaside by 845am! James kicked the soccer ball around the beach and up on the dunes and later they went to the playground. These chickens aren't chicken at all - they'll come right up to you to pose for a photo op.

We went for our usual nature walk and found lots of pretty treasures in our yard and on the beach. That glass bottle we found washed up on the shore and the giant pods are from our tree.

We also counted all the nests around our house. Clearly the birds have declared our house the Hilton For Birds because we counted 6 nests!!

I was inspired by this post and decided to make a nest of our own. James had LOTS of fun doing this. (You'll see in the 4th picture the nest is still drying in the bowl.) I'm noticing more and more each day that James' attention span and ability to focus is increasing. It's great because we can actually get into our projects now.

I was tempted to do a little lesson on Neptune, but decided to hold off for our big space/solar system theme we'll be doing in the spring.

How many of you have heard of a narwhal? I didn't know about it until a few years ago. It's not one of those creatures you hear about too often. But it IS one of the coolest creatures God made!! I was surprised to find this narwhal figurine at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute as well as the alphabet card from this beautiful flashcard set. James really likes comparing things, so he spent a long time exploring the narwhal and matching its various features to the flashcard. We also watched this National Geographic clip to learn more about them. Fascinating creatures, really.
** I just remembered this: when James saw the narwhal figurine for the first time he smiled, pointed at it and said, "Hey! You swim in the ocean!" as though he were trying to recall where he last saw it. And then did a little dance. :)

Other activities:
James is c-r-a-z-y about Finding Nemo. (It's one of few movies he's allowed to watch) Good friends of ours gave James this awesome Nemo activity book - it's a storybook with a removable I Spy tube. Throughout the story the child is encouraged to look for various characters in the tube. James loves loves loves it!

I also made a Finding Nemo Tot Book after seeing it on Carisa's blog. I actually made this last fall and forgot all about it. This is such a great little book because it incorporates many learning aspects: numbers, letters, counting, matching. Carisa has loads of Tot Book ideas - check them out here.

We also sorted nuts and worked with nuts and bolts, but they fall under my Montessori lessons and as I mentioned last week, all of our Montessori/Practical Life activities will be posted on Mondays (Tuesday this week) so I can link up to Nicole's blog. :)

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


Montessori Moments said...

What a wonderful post! Many lovely ideas (as usual).
"Belle" should be getting her first Animal Baby Magazine in the mail anytime. She got a subscription for Christmas! I'm excited!

Anonymous said...

Great week Mari-Ann! I love all of the activities you and James got into.. Sammy and I kinda had an off week.. We did a few things but I think I will carry over our letter and post it all together.. hehe in case you were wondering!

I love your nest! Such a fun idea!

sbswtp said...

I love the N projects!!! What a great week :) and I love the Owl tree :)

Paul said...

busy, busy , busy.. awesome job!

Theresa Mezo said...

I love your owl tree, and homemade nest!
Chickens on the beach?.. now I think I have seen it all! :)

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Another great week, Mari-Ann... honestly I can't believe you do all of this and so much Montessori too... how do you fit it all in?!

I love the Making Learning Fun website, we use it ALL the time! :) So many great things there!

Your little owl activity is lovely to look at and how awesome that James started counting and subtracting like it was no big deal! I love being surprised by things like that! He is sure a sharp little guy!!

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Loved the N project.

Susan-Chasing Marcus said...

Such great ideas. The nest idea is too clever. Thanks for the shout out too! MLF has some great printable that are free and grouped by theme together making for some easy ideas. Your owl tree is the cutest!

Jen said...

Um NOOO not all 2 year old can add and subtract!! Wow - James is a superstar! No doubt it's because of all your hard work. He is getting such a head start because of you.
The owl activity is so sweet, you can tell you put a lot of love into making it. I'd never heard of a narwahl before, sounds very interesting!! I'm always learning something new from you .:)

Counting Coconuts said...

Thank you, ladies!
Theresa, the crazy chickens were actually at the playground. :) BUT I do believe I've seen them at the beach, too. They are everywhere here!
Nicole, I keep meaning to create a post about how I organize all my Tot School and Montessori plans each week. In short it takes A LOT of organization!
Thanks, Jen - you're so sweet. :)

Missy said...

I am a preschool teacher who is really enjoying your blog!

Thanks so much for the great ideas!


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