About Me

I'm a teacher turned stay at home mama. I love finding things to make and do!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Group Tot School!!

We had our first group tot school today! I found the idea over at The Shafer Family.
(though I couldn't imagine taking in 20 families at a time!!!) 
We had five pairs of kids and mamas.  It was perfect.  I went with a farm theme.  We had five outside activities and five inside activities.  Here are they are!
Sensory Bin: find the pairs of teeny tiny animals and put them into the basket
(Inspired by Playing House in Maryland .)

Decorate a plastic cup and plant flower seeds
(this station also came with a take-home sheet for kids to track the progress of their plant and keep track of how many days they water it and keep it in the sun.  From Homemade Preschool .)

Egg Sorting:
Kids balance an egg onto a spoon and walk across the grass to the two bins.  They choose which bin their egg goes in, big or small.

Cow Roll and Color:
Roll the die, count the dots and color the corresponding spot.  From Making Learning Fun .)

Do-A-Dot page:
Kids cover each dot with a Do-A-Dot marker.  From Making Learning Fun.)

Animal Matching:
Sort animals by number of feet.  Match animal figurines to picture cards, letter cards and word cards.  (this is something I made on my own)

Puzzles and song:
I had a few puzzles that went along with the "Five Little Ducks" song.

Feed the Pig game:
Choose a card, read the number and feed the pig that number of kernels.  From Our Country Road .)

Seed sorting:
Observe seeds with magnifying glass.  Sort into three bowls.  Found at PreKinders .)

Cutting wooden fruits, vegetables and bread:
(Melissa and Doug set)

We even had toys (inside and outside) for the little siblings!

We ended our tot school with an Old McDonald song where each child was able to pull an animal from a paper bag.  You can find that printable here.  We also had a snack that one of our friends provided.

I was really pleased with how smoothly it went.  The kids were very engaged, and everyone was very respectful of the materials and put each tray back the way they found it.   The kids and Mamas seemed to enjoy themselves.  A even enjoyed playing with the materials after everyone was gone.  An additional perk is that I now have tot trays for the week!  We're looking forward to the next group tot school!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I've added these three Kumon workbooks to A's school drawers.  You can get the books anywhere.  We were lucky enough to score a bunch from Costco a few months back.  She's never been much for coloring, so she has zero pencil grip, and I've also really wanted to work on her scissor skills.  I brought these out and made a big deal of it.  We do one page from each book every day.  She always asks for more.  

The sticker pages and maze pages stay inside the books, but the cutting pages are ripped out so it is easier to handle while cutting.  When she finishes a cutting page, she takes it to the front door and clips it onto a magnet clip so Daddy can see it when he comes home.  I'm so glad she's enjoying it and I can already see improvement.  Hopefully that pencil grip will begin to improve too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Animal stamps

I found these My First Crayola Stampers
at the store a few weeks ago and thought I'd give them a try.  They are self-inking stampers, so there is no mess with additional ink pads.  I did think the actual image would be a bit larger, considering the size of the animals.  We first tried them on a blank sheet of paper, but A wanted a bit more direction.  I folded a piece of paper and then traced on the folds to make a grid.  A then placed a stamp in each square.  When this page was filled, she asked for a new one!  These are pretty cute and a nice little addition to our art stash. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tot trays are baaaack!

After almost eight months adjusting to life with two kiddos, we are FINALLY back to having tot trays!  A has been asking for "school" for so long.  Here are the drawers I quickly put together for her during naptime today.
Tutti Frutti sensory bin:
-ice cream scoop
-ice cream bowls and spoons
-pom poms
(she pretends to make sundaes from her favorite frozen yogurt place, Tutti Frutti)

Wooden cylinder puzzle: I just got this from a consignment store.  It's originally from Pottery Barn Kids.  You can complete the puzzle by color and height.  The cylinders also fit inside each other and you can stack them.


Addition puzzles: A points to each picture as she counts.  

Children's Bibles:
here and here

Transferring water: 
-colored water in a bowl
-eye dropper
-sponge (for spills)
-non-slip bathtub tread
These items will be placed on a tray.  A will use the eye dropper and transfer colored water onto each single suction cup.  (I've since added another tread)


Care Bears toys: I have a huge bin of these toys.  I chose to only put a few items here so she doesn't get too overwhelmed with so many choices.


This is what her school drawers look like.  The drawers are located on the main level in a corner that is easily accessible to her, but tucked away enough so that Little Sister doesn't get into them.

I'm so excited to finally be getting back into the swing of "school" (just in time for summer, ha!)  I just know A is happy and very excited and that makes me happy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tutti Frutti!

In January, we made an ice cream sensory bin for a friend as a birthday gift.  I was sure to purchase enough materials to make another one for A.  I've been cleaning and decluttering and this week A discovered the little ice cream cups and spoons and asked me how to play "this game."  So I threw together the bin and it really didn't need an explanation.  She scooped the pom poms into the ice cream dishes.  I thought it was cute she was putting only green ones in the green bowl and pink ones in the pink bowl.  She was so excited to be making "Tutti Frutti's" (our favorite frozen yogurt place)

 To make your own you need:
-plastic shoebox/bin
-different colors and sizes of pom poms
-ice cream or cookie scoop
-bowls and spoons
-ice cube tray (optional...we didn't use one)

I got the idea for the sensory bin from
here and here.
The ice cream cups and spoons are from Amazon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday!

Three years ago, my life changed forever.  My sweet daughter was born and we began this stay-at-home journey together.  It's been hard...really, really hard at times.  But it has also been so rewarding and fun and I wouldn't trade this time for anything.  She's my special girl and I love her to pieces!