Tuesday, March 5, 2013


With my little man's birthday at the end of February (as I mentioned in the last post), I decided to center a couple weeks around a transportation theme and focus the majority of the activities for him and his level and try to add a few elements for Isaiah that were more at his level.  Sometimes I forget how much Isaiah still enjoys and needs a lot of his time to be centered around play as well, so it actually turned out to be a good couple of weeks for both of the boys!
We use Raising Rock Stars Preschool curriculum as one of our main sources, which focused on a letter of the week, and our letter for the first week was "A," so I had the boys use toy trucks and cars to make a letter "A" on the floor.  

 Ezekiel has been really interested in colors and color words and was at the early stages of learning to identify the colors, so I made colors a big focus of our first transportation week.  We read A Red Train a lot, which is a current favorite of his.
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Then I set out some foam sheets in 5 basic colors and had cars or trucks (one for each of the colors, to start with) in the bin, and we worked together to match them.  For Isaiah, I had him match the color words that I had put on post-it notes to put on the foam mats as we worked.
 I also had a "parking lot" game that I had printed and laminated in the past that I pulled out.  It had twelve colors on it, but we just did the top row of 6 basic colors. (The printable set has other options, but I already had these laminated and ready from the past.)  I had them place the pages on top of the magnetic white boards we have, and I had them use pom poms I had attached to mini magnets for marking the cards.   I put the color words (written in the correct color) in one of our photo cubes that we use as dice.  The boys didn't really work out taking turns rolling the dice and playing it as a game, but Ezekiel loved putting the pom poms on the cars, and I helped him try to match up the correct color of pom pom on that color of car, and he did several correctly on his own.

This was obviously really easy for Isaiah, and though he had fun with it, he was flying through it and getting a bit impatient, so the second time we played it a few days later, I pulled out some letter magnets and had him mark the cars with the correct beginning sound for the color, and he seemed pleased with himself to be able to do that well.

We colored the bulldozer color cards from the Big Machines Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1.  I printed Isaiah's set in black and white to make him use the actual words to identify the colors.  Zeke mostly just scribbles and didn't match colors, but he loves to use crayons or markers and any excuse to see bulldozers is great for him!

 I also had some of the parts from the Transportation Preschool Pack from Homeschool Creations, and I've had one set of the vocabulary cards on a ring for Zeke for awhile.  I took them off the ring and made another set and hid both sets in a bin of colored rice.  The boys found them and made matches (mostly Isaiah, though Ezekiel did get excited about some matches he got with a bit of assistance).  Ezekiel loves to put things in our tabletop chart, so even though that wasn't a part of the plan, I let him just put the cards in the chart.

 On the first day, I started our sensory bin with just a bag of beans I had in the cupboard and some trucks, mostly construction vehicles.  We did a lot of play time for this theme.  We had lots of time just to play with blocks, with our sensory bin, with playdough, and of course, always with trucks and big machines!

I posted this in my post about our bin, but seriously, you have to make some chocolate playdough!  It smells so great and is a recipe that yielded the perfect playdough texture.  Cocoa powder is expensive here.  There is some local stuff, but it is just not at all the same for actual baking, so I had a bag here that I was wondering what to do with so that I didn't waste it, and it worked perfectly for this!

We had some puzzle time.

One of the things that I spent quite a bit of time preparing, and I am so glad that I did was a transportation alphabet set.  There actually was a great set of Road Transport Alphabet Cards that would be a good set just as it is.  Since it is British, though, there were several of the words or photos that didn't seem like they would have a lot of meaning to my boys either in their home context of America or here in Nepal.  Plus, I really wanted to have as many as possible be actual vehicles (as opposed to signs or transportation terms), so I decided to edit them a bit.  I took a few photos and found a few other images and sized them to put onto the cards before I laminated them.  Some letters were quite a challenge to complete!  I did take a couple photos just of the completed set, but I wanted them to be more than just something to look at (even though Ezekiel absolutely loved them even just at that level).  So, I printed off a few additional pictures for some letters and had him tape them by those letters to add to our set.  He LOVED this activity.  Isaiah actually did as well, and they have both talked about the pictures and letters quite a lot!  Ezekiel will get up from the table and just start jabbering and singing and pointing to the pictures and letters.

  I was really excited about this art project that I found on Pinterest to make a Touch and Feel Dump Truck!  We even went on a quest together to find some sand paper for it.  The boys enjoyed it, though I think they weren't quite as excited as I was, and I had to help Zeke attach his pieces, but he enjoyed the coloring, and I think we'll enjoy looking it and feeling it over and over again.

We also got some wonderful books in birthday packages for Ezekiel in time to use with our theme, in addition to a few favorites we already had, so we read lots of lots of books (highlights posted below), which is a thrill to finally see Ezekiel enjoying books so much!

Tot School

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  1. I love your parking lot ideas and your sensory bins :) And thanks for the link to those Road ABCs -- my son would absolutely looove those! I will be copying that idea :)

  2. What a great week! I love the letter making with the cars. I hope you don't mind that I pinned it.

    1. Of course, go ahead! My boys had fun with it, so I'm glad if other little ones do, too.

  3. Great theme for letter A :) I will try some of these things with my Little one.

    1. Thanks! Sometimes I debate because I would tend to want to make everything coordinate, so if the theme is transportation, we do letter "T." But, we would end up doing the same letters a lot, I think, and I am the only one who seems to need it to all fit together neatly. The boys don't mind at all having the RRSP letter of the week and then the theme stuff not necessarily connected. It's fun when we can pull something together, though, to connect the two, like with our "A"!

  4. My boys would love to make letters with cars, trucks, trains, train tracks! I have done masking tape roads in the shape of letters before, but not this one!
    Pinned it for future use. Thanks!

  5. I love the idea of placing the cars on the letter. This is a great idea, I will just have to figure out a way to switch it up for my girl. She has two cars, but they are larger and I can't think of any letters she could make with them other than "I."
    It looks like you had a great time with your boys this week!
    Leah @ simplehomeblessing.com