Monday, June 28, 2010

Afternoon madness…help please


I have got to find a solution to our afternoon madness. Monkey is 4.25, and Alligator is 17 months today.  Our mornings are pretty much figured out, we work on trays or go on an outing. But I am always home in time for lunch with hubby at 12, and for nap around 1. Alligator takes a nap till about 3ish, and Monkey spends time in his room while I get a rest or get a few things done (ok, so yeah, I mainly rest).


But from about 3 till 5:30 or 6 is the longest part of our day. Both boys are up and I just don’t know what to do with ourselves. I need some sort of afternoon routine, but I am not sure what it should be. We spend the summer evenings in the pool once DH gets home. That is enough pool time for me. It is too hot to spend time outside. Alligator is a little cranky, Monkey is exhausted because he refuses to nap.

Do any of you have an afternoon routine that you wouldn’t mind sharing. I would love to hear it.

I got a great idea to break out a can of biscuit dough this afternoon and let the boys go at it, but it only lasted about 10 min. It took me longer to clean up after it than they played with it.

Suggestions please!

If you want to comment that would be great, or if you want to post a link to a blog post you have written about it that would be great too.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Young Toddler Activity—Sitting in my High chair song.


Since my last post was about a high chair game, I thought I would post about a high chair song.

A few years ago when Monkey was about 18 months old, I took him to a Mommy and Me type class. They taught us this song. I haven’t tried it with Alligator yet but I will.



Sitting in my high chair, my chair, high chair

Sitting in my high chair, banging with my spoon

Bring on the jelly, bring on the bread

won’t somebody get this baby fed.


Sitting in my high chair, my chair, high chair

Sitting in my high chair, banging with my spoon

Bring on the carrots, bring on the peas

won’t somebody feed this baby please


(as you sing, pat and or clap to the beat, or better yet give your child and you a spoon)


I also noticed that 1 verse of this song is in the book “Wonderplay"  Click on the book to find it on Amazon.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Young Toddler Activity- high chair drop and retrieve

I am trying to come up with some new activities for Alligator, who will be  months on Monday. Here is one I learned about from one of my many activity books.


Materials: tape, string or ribbon, toys, highchair


1. Attach the string or ribbon to the high chair with tape.


Be careful and mindful that this could be a strangulation hazard, so be conscious of how much string you use.

2. Tie some small toys to the string.



1. Seat your child in the seat.

2. Show him or her the toys.

3. Show him or her how to toss them overboard.

4. Show him or her how to pull them back up.


In Action:

Here is Alligator playing with Elmo and a truck. He hasn’t quite learned to retrieve it yet, but he enjoyed having the toys to play with.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Preschool Corner 6-20-10


Please click the link above to see what others are doing for preschool.

Monkey is 4 years and 3 months old.

One thing mommy realized this week is that I planned way too much. I had plans for 6 trays for 5 days. I should have planned for only 4 days and maybe only 5 trays. We’ll finish up these themes next week, and then I’ll take this info into account next week.


We have been working on the color black.

This is all the things Monkey could find that are black


This was a cut and glue activity. He had to sort the objects that were black, from the ones that were not black. (printable from Kid’s Soup) Here is one side of his paper.

IMG_3309 IMG_3312

He painted with black to make an ant. His brother got in on the painting as well. We have yet to finish the ant.


Monkey dotted red paint (for apples) onto a paper with a giant Aa on it. He used a cork to make the circles.

Letter A


We also made an airplane out of a toilet paper roll. Printable again from Kid’s Soup. I must say I did most of the work, but he had fun playing with it.


Other Things we did, that I have no pictures of….

We spent every morning at the park. Where Monkey loved riding his bike.

Monkey did a connect the dots to make an A. We used an apple printable that had numbers on each apple, and he placed that many star stickers on the apple.

We spent a ton of time in the pool.

Tot-school – June 20th 2010


Alligator is 16 months.


To view what other’s are doing for Tot-school please click the link above.


This week was my first week to really plan tot-school for Alligator. See my planning post here.


Language Development


We worked with his U-play mat.


He found my pen that I keep notes on our “sessions” with.


And then he decided to add to my notes.


IMG_3303 IMG_3306

He finger painted and added to it with a crayon.

IMG_3314 IMG_3315

He painted with with black paint. He also did a tremendous amount of coloring, as usual.



We sang and played the drums this week. Alex realized he could make the drum go by kissing it.

Other toys

IMG_3290 IMG_3294

He got really good at placing the balls in the spots.


He enjoyed his fisher-price farm.


He loved the handles on this bucket.

All in all we had a very busy week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday's Quote of the week

Monkey is in the back of the car and he says: "Excuse me means MOVE in Spanish"

Gotta love it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Be forewarned!

Tonight, before dinner, I was in the kitchen cooking. Monkey was being quiet so I went into the playroom to see what he was up to. He very excitedly said “Go away mom, don’t look”. Well, I could tell he was into stickers, but I wasn’t worried so I said ok.

He comes into the kitchen a few minutes later like this:


Side view:


We all have a good laugh, and think he is so cute and funny.


he goes to take them off, and realizes it hurts….poor little guy. We decided to go swimming in the pool to let the water wash them off. He was hysterical, until we got in the pool. Thank goodness, once they were wet they came completely off, no more tears.

So as cute as he was, I do not recommend this!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tot planning

I have posted so much today…I promise I’m finished….maybe :)

I finally came up with a planning sheet for Alligator that I think will work nicely.  And I even figured out how to publish it as a pdf, so it keeps the formatting. I tell you…I’m learning!

planning page Alex

Click the image to print it for yourself.


Sound bin- we are working with alligator on the b sound, for speech. So these are objects that begin with the b sound. But in the future they might be other sounds.

U-play, those are the cards I want to use for working with him. Read my post here about the U-play mat and cards.

Other Speech activities- Those would be things we are working on for speech. Like the word Up, or drinking from a certain sippy.

Art activities- Alligator is my artist.  So these might include coloring sheets, or play-doh, paint projects…that sort of thing.

Toys to set out- Things to put on our shelves for Alligator to play with.

Games/songs ideas- these would be a certain song I want to sing with him, or a little game to play that maybe doesn’t fit in any of the other categories.

I hope this helps someone else out! I sure am excited!

Preschool Corner 6-11-10


This was a short week for us. Monkey went out of town with Daddy for a few days. So it was just me and Alligator. If you’d like to read about Alligator’s week, check here.

This is the last week of our informal preschool. I have a new plan for next week and am very excited. To read about my struggles and our plans click the link.

Monkey made a giant marble tower and had a “ball” (lol) rolling the marbles down it.



We had outside water play.



We read “Jump,Frog, Jump”.


We counted the number of legs our toys had and sorted them. He even sorted himself.


He broke the chalk colored with chalk with his brother.


He also swam in the pool, but I have no pictures of that.

All in all it was a busy week. Can’t wait for next week!

To see what others are doing visit Homeschool Creations' linky.

Tot-school 6-13-10


This week in tot-school has been really fun. Monkey has been away with Daddy for part of the week, so Alligator and I have had a great time together. Although we miss Monkey and Daddy, we have had fun together. It is special to have some one on one time.

Alligator is 16 months.

****Before I begin, let me say that I bought this product with my own money. I am not paid by the company, nor was I given this by the company to review.

As many of you know, Alligator is in speech therapy to help with actual speech, but also with comprehension and gesturing. So, I found this product online while I was searching for toddler speech games.


It is called U-play this way every day. It is a giant U shaped mat with lots of cards. You get 2 of each card and the cards come in all sorts of categories.  To buy the whole set will cost you just under 90 dollars. It comes with an instruction manual which tells you how to use it.

I have to say I am thrilled with the product, and Alligator is too.


As you can see, the U has pockets for putting the cards in. We are working on animals so far. On this particular day we were focusing on duck. Alligator loves to have one card for each hand, so it is nice that it comes with 2 of each.  I place one card in the holder in the U, and gave him one for beginning matching.


We also put the duck, and the 2 duck cards in and out of our bus. He loved doing that. According to our ST, matching toys to pictures is a good skill.  He also enjoyed handing them back to me. 


He said “du” for duck, and by the end he pretty much said “cu” for quack. Which is very impressive.  In previous days I was using the cow and he said “nooo” for moo….all of this is such a huge improvement for a little guy who said nothing but “a-da” 2 months ago. And words had no meaning…so we are so blessed!

I like this because it doesn’t require me to make a whole bunch of stuff. Yes, you could make the cards yourself, print and laminate, but this is so much easier. There are flash cards on the market that are cheaper, but this one you get 2 of each which I love too, because Alligator likes to have a card in each hand.  The mat is good because eventually he can use it to look for the think you name, and to match pictures. It makes it so he doesn’t push them all around.


The other thing we did this week was our 4 dollar xylophone that we got from our local consignment shop. I have been keeping it in the kitchen, so he can play with it while I get his food ready. And that way it is new and fun while I’m in there.


Tot-school will link up on Sunday. So I will edit the post so it links back to the current 1+1+1=1 blog linky then. For now, just check out her site, if you haven’t already.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How do I refresh?


I decided to join in this blog linky. Click the image above to see how others refresh.


Summer is our busiest time. I do “home school” but not in the traditional sense. My oldest son goes to preschool during the school year. My youngest is home with me all the time. If I didn’t do mommy school with my boys, I don’t know what they would do. I guess they would watch TV all day.


So I am really gearing up for school to begin next week for both boys. I actually really enjoy schooling both boys, and that is very refreshing for me! I am just not ready to make the commitment to home school them completely.


So after my post last night, and a few helpful comments. I decided on a course of action.

I will have 6 trays. Each with a specific curriculum area. Here is my planning sheet. I downloaded it to scribd, but it took away some formatting, so it isn’t as pretty.

planning page Jack


As you can see I have 6 trays, one for a letter activity, puzzle, math, color, story and activity and other. I have never really used a planning sheet before. So this is new for me, and seems like it will be very helpful. I was able to plan a whole week of activities in less than an hour.

1. I am starting with the letter A. I decided to go ahead through the alphabet and focus more on  beginning sounds than letter recognition since Monkey already knows his letters and their sounds, we are now going to focus more on the words that begin with A.

2. Puzzle, I am going to rotate through our puzzles, and maybe some printable ones. Monkey needs practice putting a whole puzzle together that makes a picture.

3. Is math, some of these activities will go with the letter or color. Like a connect the dots page, or a count out the apples. That sort of thing.

4. Color. Monkey knows his colors, however he struggles with black, white, brown, gray, pink, and purple. So we will focus on that for now, not sure what we will do after that. Next week we are focusing on Black.

5. Is a story and an activity. We will read a different book each day and do an activity with it. Maybe pointing at all the A’s, or counting things in the book, or finding black things in the pictures.

6. is other, one day we are going on an ant hunt, another we will play with play-doh and make letters then just free play, we will also have a day where we play with our colored rice.


I am so excited about our plans! Can’t wait to post pics of how it is going!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Preschool Dilemma

What to do? What to do?

I have been struggling for a while trying to decide what to do for my boys.

Monkey is 4, and during the school year attends preschool. In the fall he will go everyday, half-day, and one full day a week. He absolutely loves doing trays with me (click link to learn more about tot-trays at 1+1+1=1.) We started a little over a year and a half ago, and he loves it.  I am just not sure where to go from here. He loves doing work sheets, cutting, gluing, matching and that sort of thing. Not so keen on writing or coloring. He knows all his letters and their sounds, his numbers, his shapes, most of his colors…


I am just conflicted about what to do with him. What program to follow, or what to do? I would really like to find something I could follow, because although I have plenty of resources I don’t have to time to plan plan plan. But, nothing quite fits. So here lies my struggle. I will keep you posted as I find a solution, if anyone has any great ideas I would definitely appreciate them.


My thoughts are to do 6 trays a day.

1. Monkey needs to work on his puzzle skills. So I should have one tray that is a puzzle.  I could rotate it out every day or so, so he has a new one to work on.

2. I need to have one tray that works on a color. He needs to work on black, white, brown, purple, gray, and pink. So that would be an activity a day. I have a book that I could probably draw activities from for that.

3. I guess we need a math tray. He can count to 12ish. But he has trouble with one-to-one correspondence. So I need to have some type of math tray. I will have to look and see what I can find.

4. I love the activities from Confessions of a homeschooler, for her letter of the week. So I could have one tray a day that focuses on the letter of the week.

5 and 6. I just am not sure. And then, all of this looks like a lot of work, which I really didn’t want. Ugh….

I’ll keep the ideas coming…please help if you read this!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tot-school- 6-6-10

This is our first tot-school post in a long while.

Currently Alligator is 16 months. He is my little miracle. On a very exciting note, he just started walking as of 6-6-10, yesterday. We are so thrilled! He will take 3-5 steps in a row! Can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

Places to go-----

One of our favorite places to visit is Bounce-n-play. I try and take the kids once a week, but it is an hour drive to get there, so it takes a big effort. Alligator has a great time, he loves the bouncy things. He bounces on his knees, it is so cute. He also loves the giant slides!


There is a special area with toys, and climbing things just for the under 3 crowd.


Inside the under 3 area they a little ball area which all three of my boys love (husband included).




This is where I store Alligator's trays. The bottom to shelves are his. On the bottom shelf in the blue bucket is our sound basket. Alligator is working on making the B sound with his speech therapist. So that bucket has all sorts of toys in it that begin with the B sound. I am not actually teaching him letters, just trying to get him to practice making that sound. So it has a bear, boy, blocks, book, bird, bugs, and a sheep that says “baaaaa”.


For Alex’s trays I have six set out. One of them is 3 pegs and a rectangle.


It is from this set. Which I got on sale for $8. Hoot!


Also in the above picture, I have a shoe box with 2 holes in it. It is for parking a car in, and trying to get out. This was pretty much a bust, he had no interest.

He has a 3 piece puzzle which he enjoys. It is similar to the one below, but not the same. He likes taking the pieces out, and he can put the circle piece back in place.



Other fun stuff


This is actually one of Monkey’s trays which was little magnets.Alligator really enjoyed pulling the magnets on and off the board. They are little, so I was very very very carefully watching him with them. I was amazed his little fingers were strong enough.




And then we have my colorer. Alligator is our artist. He chooses coloring over anything else. Here he is at our art table, coloring away.



To see what others are up to visit Carissa’s Totschool posts at 1+1+1=1.