Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tot School

Tot School
(23 months)
"Tot School" has been a challenge for me with my second.  I have found it difficult to manage time focused just on things for him.  Frequently, the times I have tried to set my older one working and then do something with my little guy, he wants to do whatever big brother is doing, and big brother thinks the tot item looks interesting and jumps in to sort of take over.  It has been fun to watch my little guy enjoying the school stuff big brother does and to try to participate and mimic the same thing, but I also really want to do some things that are focused just on him and his level of development.  Over the course of the past few weeks, I've tried a few things, and I'm trying to really focus on more.

One thing I tried while brother was occupied with something in another room was a bit of color sorting using the laundry baskets.  Zeke loves to push the laundry baskets around the house lately, especially after filling them with random things.  One happens to be blue and one green, so I gathered a bunch of blue and green toys and tried to sit down and work on some sorting with him.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of great pictures, as he was enjoying some minimally clothed time near the heater! :)
He had fun dumping the toys in, but he mainly wanted to dump them all in one basket together.  I think it would have been a bit easier with two more contrasting colors, like red for one of them or something.

I have been trying to be more intentional about doing sensory bins, which both of the boys actually love.  I'm trying to gear them toward Ezekiel and get him rolling with them and then allow Isaiah to jump in and enjoy as well, and that seems to be a good plan for us at the moment.
Here is the sensory bin I did for Valentine's Day.  I dyed some of the local puffed rice and some stale noodles red for the base and added some fun foam heart shapes a friend sent us in a package.  Then, I put in pairs of animals (one small and one big).  I got the idea from reading Hug by Jez Alborough a lot lately, as Ezekiel is loving it.  I thought I would have him try to match up the animals for their hugs.

 At first, he just liked digging out the animals and wasn't interested in matching them, and then when I tried to connect to the book (which we had just read several times before using the bin) and asked him to help them find their hugs, he decided to give them hugs himself!

I decided to add a layer of cotton balls the second day, as my base wasn't very deep, so that it would add a bit more of a search for the animals, and I added a few new pairs of animals.
 Big brother jumped in and was having a great time helping little one find the pairs.

We are almost to Ezekiel's second birthday, so I decided to make our theme for a couple weeks centered around his main love these days--transportation!  Anything with wheels and motors, especially big trucks and buses, totally capture him.  I'll post a separate post on this theme, but here is one activity I did with him.  He is on the verge of learning his colors and seems to really want to say the words and label the colors correctly, so I just laid out a foam sheet of each of these 5 colors and one car/truck of each color.  He actually did pretty well with matching them up on the corresponding mat and seemed to really have fun with it.

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