Hi everyone! Its time for another Tot School update! Truth be told, we've been kind of slacking off on Tot School lately. Diana is home from work until after Christmas, and with both her and Jimmy around the house, Pufferfish hasn't been particularly interested in doing things! But we have managed to squeeze in a few Christmas-y activities.
We were in a Christmas card exchange with families from Pufferfish's playgroup, so we spent one day making lots of Christmas cards! I found gift tags at the Dollar Store, and we glued those onto the cards as decorations!
With the rest of the unused gift tags, I made a Christmas-themed Go Fish/Memory game. I glued the tags onto index cards, wrote Merry Christmas on the back of each card, and laminated them with clear contact paper. I taught Pufferfish how to play (somewhat simplified versions of) Go Fish and Memory. She is actually very good at them! For Go Fish, I let her keep her cards laid out in plain sight, so I can help her out a little. She loves it! The other night we played for about an hour, while Diana and Jimmy were taking Little Bear to the doctor! Little Bear later played it with us too.
The cards are kind of hard to shuffle because they're so thick, so the girls invented a new method of shuffling!
We checked out the book, The Mitten, from the library. I found a printable activity that involved being able to put the animals into a paper mitten as you tell the story. I changed it a little by making a mitten out of fun foam (because, as you know, I use that stuff for everything!) and laced two mitten shapes together. I cut out the animals and laminated them with clear contact paper (yep, another item I use for everything!) Pufferfish and Little Bear divided up the animals between them. As I read the story, they put the animals into the mitten! At the very end, when the bear sneezes, we dumped all of the animals from the mitten, and I threw it in the air and let the girls catch it, the way the boy in the story catches it! Pufferfish was particularly amused by this story because the little boy's name is NIcki (She kept pointing to the boy and saying, "That's you?" and I had to keep trying to explain, no, its a little boy whose name is also Nicki!) and because the grandmother is called Baba, which is Pufferfish's word for bottle. ("Boy has a baba? Where is baba?")
We played a game called the Present Game, which I read about in a magazine somewhere. The idea is to practice choosing and receiving presents graciously. To play the game, you need a gift bag or gift box. (I got a fancy gift box from CVS, because it was only three bucks and I figured I can store stuff in it later!)To play the game, everyone takes turns being the giver and the receiver. The giver has to go "shopping" around the house, and pick out a present for the receiver. He then puts it in the bag or box, and gives it to the receiver. The receiver is supposed to say, "Thank you!" and say something nice about the gift. Little Bear and Rafael played this for a little while, but Pufferfish is the one who enjoys it the most! Plus, it kills a lot of time when you play it with her, if you choose good presents. I try to pick out toys that she hasn't played with for a while, because then she gets interested in the toy and plays with it for a few minutes, and when she starts to get bored I can just get the Present Game going again!
I bought a package of Christmas erasers from the Dollar Store, and Pufferfish and I practiced sorting them into different cups of a muffin tin. She was very good at this! She also liked stacking the erasers up like blocks and then knocking them down again!
Finally, I had to petsit for my mom last night, so in my hours of boredom and lonesomeness, I made some file folder games for Little Bear and Pufferfish! I've become obsessed with the file folder game concept, because there is so much you can do with them... I am already envisioning how i can take Little Bear's reading theme words from school and turn them into file folder games for her to practice with! In the mean time, I made about six last night. Here are a few...
Little Bear is learning simple addition and subtraction in school. I made this game that involves solving the problem on the butterfly, and finding the flower with the right answer on it. The flowers have velcro on them and can be stuck right onto the butterflies!
Little Bear also mixes up her d's and b's a lot, so I made this Christmas-themed file folder for her. The "ornaments" all start with either a d or a b. Little Bear will have to stick the "d" ornaments on the "d" tree, and the "b" ornaments on the "b" tree!
I also made a few for Pufferfish, but for some reason I can't find the pictures of them! One is acolor matching game where Pufferfish will have to match a colored candy cane to the same color of stocking. Another is a counting game, where she'll have to put the correct number of snowflakes next to a snowman with a number on it's stomach.
So... that does seem like a lot, when I look back on it! I guess I don't feel too bad after all. But, lest you think I am too nice of an auntie, here is an incriminating photo for you...
Oh well, nobody's perfect, right?