In all the years that we have homeschooled, I have never 'tot schooled' - until now! If you are reading this, this is my first EVER tot school post, but hopefully only the first of MANY :)
Buddy Boy is 31 months (2 1/2 yrs) old
I managed to get Buddy Boy to be still for some first day of school pictures. In the second picture, he is 'showing me how old he is'!
As of this point, Buddy Boy knows many of his letter sounds, and names, thanks to Leap Frog Letters videos (this one in particular), due to the fact that he watched the video almost DAILY last year. He does not have shapes or numbers mastered, although he can count verbally, he does not associate numbers with amounts. He does not have a good recognition of color names, although he can sometimes match up the colors without the vocabulary. With that in mind, that's where we started.
Week 1: RED WEEK
As I said before, I have never attempted anything like this, so a few weeks ago, I scoured through my stash (which takes up way too much room anyway) for anything red, and shoved it all in a basket to do with what I could. Out of that, I was able to make five trays and one stuffed sensory basket (note to self: get a bigger basket soon!)
Here are the trays for this color:
And our sensory basket....
The contents are:
RED apple and RED handled knife to cut it (Melissa and Doug Cutting Food crate)
RED magnetic numbers - dollar store/Walmart find
RED pom-pom balls - Walmart
Two RED fire trucks - one from Target Dollar Spot, one from a wooden knobbed puzzle
RED bear family counters (similar to these)
RED balloon - dollar store cut-out
RED stretchy key chain - Target Dollar Spot
RED freezable ice cubes - strawberries, squares, and diamonds - Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot
RED trapezoid - from a chunky shapes puzzle
RED small elephant cookie cutter
RED box (shown full of poms) - Dollar Tree
RED scoops - Betty Crocker measuring spoons
RED mini-saxophone - found online in a mass bundle of mini objects from an Etsy shop, although I couldn't tell you where now!
RED Christmas bells
RED/white erasers - Target Dollar Spot
RED things book - printed from ABC teach for free, colored, laminated, ribbon bound with (you guessed it!) RED ribbon
These were Buddy Boy's favorites from the sensory bin. The red Christmas bells, otherwise known as the 'ding dings', and the sports ball erasers. He rolled the erasers, threw them into the sensory basket as a game, and even played catch with me with the erasers, while I took the opportunity to add in sorting and identify the differences of 'red ball' and 'red stripes' with each one, through talking to him.
Now that you have seen what I offered, I'll show you some pictures I was able to sneak in without trying to be too much of a distraction to him working (and before my camera battery decided to die!)
The first tray he chose was a pouring work, pouring red beads (cut off a bead necklace that we got from a local parade at Christmas time). He really enjoyed this tray - I'm not sure if it was because he really likes to pour, or if he just did so well because it was the first tray of the morning.
The next tray was a beginning pattern tray. I had four red foam hand shapes and four red foam star shapes on the tray (both from the Target Dollar Spot). I used a lot of vocabulary with this tray, making sure to point out the RED hands and RED stars, and alternating them. He enjoyed it - once. It just wasn't enough to keep his attention at the moment.
He moved straight on to the sensory basket, and STAYED there for atleast 20 minutes, maybe a little longer! He LOVED it, to say the least. I already mentioned the different ways that we played with the items.
At one point he decided it really would be a great idea to just dump it on his work mat. If you look to the right, you can see how I lined up each ball eraser as he played toss with me.
One-To-One Correspondence/Fine Motor Skills
He has used trays like this before, so it was nothing new, but still fun!
This tray had quantity/symbol/written word cards from Montessori Print Shop Free Downloads and red unifix blocks. The point was to place one red block on top of each red dot. We did NOT use this for counting - my focus was simply on the color red, and the cards just so happened to have red dots. I only used the first five cards (numbers 1-5).
If you don't see a picture of him doing a particular tray that I set out, it's because he was either 1. Not interested in it long enough to get a picture - towards the end of our time together he was wearing out and ready to be finished, which means he didn't stick with a tray for very long, or 2. My phone had already died before I could get a good picture!
These trays were all completed in an area outside of the school room. There were other Montessori works he did in the school room, which will be added in to our end of the week post, but these trays were placed on both levels of our coffee table, and specified as Buddy Boy's school trays. The plan is to keep them out until lunch time, then put them away daily on the top of our shelves in the school room and only have them out for the morning hours.
Today was his first day, and for never having done tot school before, he did really well. I think we spent a total time of about an hour, maybe more, doing his trays together. I should have made a point of checking the time tomorrow to see how long he stayed busy. I am planning on doing a new color weekly, but if he still seems to be enjoying the trays on Friday, and not getting bored, or if he has not yet mastered the color red visually, I may leave them out another week to see how he does.