Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tot School- Week of Jan 11th

Lil'man is 25 months
Tot School
This week we continued looking at the whole alphabet.  I was hoping to start letter specific activities, but our printer is out of ink and I was shocked by how expensive the ink has gotten.  It would be cheaper for us to buy a new printer than buy ink cartridges!

Our first day of Tot School, Ethan played with his Fisher-Price Animal Zoo.  This isn't just a Tot School toy.  However, he usually just plays with the animals and not the mat.  When you press a letter on the mat it will say the letter and animal or you can set it to make the animal sound.  We of course had it set to the letter names.  Lil'man correctly matched all animals to their letters.
Another Christmas gift, that I was very excited about was Leap Frog's Tag Junior.  The best way for me to describe it is a book on tape without the tape.  Besides reading the text it ask questions and each book has other bonus features, such as instrument sounds in our ABC Animal Orchestra book.  (Side Note: I got the ABC book for FREE in July before I even knew about Tag Junior, thanks to Freebies 4 Mom. As of December it was still available. Check out what you have to do at Freebies 4 Mom. Can't beat saving $10!!)
I also pulled out an infant book, Little Scholastic Colors.  You know the ones with one word under a picture.  I had Lil'man read them to me.  At first he wasn't going for it, but with a little encouragement and prompting he soon caught on and told me all about what was on the pages.
Our second day of Tot School seemed to be a little more challenging for him.  The first activity wasn't so bad, but the spoon I picked wasn't the best.  In the activity below, I hid Letter Tiles in rice. (I got the Letter Tiles at Walmart years ago for under $5 when I was still teaching.) Lil'man had to find the hidden letters and name it.  Of course he gave the letter sound as well. Unfortunately, the spoon wasn't big enough to hold the square tiles and the rice.  When he would shake the spoon to try to get rid of the rice the tile would fall off too.  So, he ended up just picking the tiles out with his fingers.
Finally, the hardest activity for him this week was tweezing.  I just used eye brow tweezers and I think they were a little small for his hand.  He has never done tweezing activities, so I think he might have been better if I had tweezers that were easier to grasp.  He ended up just poking at the pom poms, instead of pinching them. So, I have a few questions for you ladies.  How did you introduce tweezing to your child?  How old was your kiddo when you introduced them? What type of tweezers did you use?  Where did you get them?  Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated.  :)
Well, that was our 2 days of Tot School.  Thanks for stopping by and don't miss out on what other tots did this week! Visit 1+1+1=1.


  1. Very nice! I love your variety! :)

  2. Seriously, printer ink is ridiculously expensive!!! Great activities - I love that Animal Zoo. I've been thinking about doing a tweezing activity also, but maybe trying kitchen tongs. Though they may actually be too big!

  3. I hear you on the printer ink-especially color. Last fall I went and got a new cartridge-not cheap-and then came home and printed half of the stuff I wanted to print and was already out of ink. So, we hardly ever use printables now. Cheaper to find a good workbook and laminate it (laminator still coming). I just signed up for a free book. Great tip! Looks like a really fun week.

  4. Ohhh, we have that Fisher Price animal mat, but I think it got shuffled to the garage. She plays with the animals ALL the time, but didn't have interest in the mat and I'd forgotten about it. I'll have to get it back out (add some new batteries probably!) and see how it goes over.

    As far as tweezing... Maddie used tongs WAY earlier than she used tweezers. Gosh, I'm trying to think when she "mastered" tweezers though... Hmm. I DO know that the plastic tweezers I picked up at the teacher supply store (they were a dollar) are a WHOLE lot easier than the real, metal tweezers. I did a lot of hand-over-hand with her and she finally just picked it up. They ARE really good to strengthen those finger muscles though.

    Not much help, huh?! Sorry!

  5. Fun week!!! I totally have to agree with you on the ink annoying... I pretty much laminate everything now so that it is reusable. (And the lamination sheets are WAY cheaper then the ink cartridges).

  6. Great week!
    We also got a Tag Junior (& FREE book) for Christmas, I think I am more excited about it than my son is! :)
    We are going to start tweezing too! I am thinking of finding some kitchen tongs.. my little guy would get too frustrated with metal tweezers.
    Thanks for all the great pictures & ideas!

  7. As far as printer ink goes, we always just have our cartridges refilled instead of buying new ones, and that's pretty cheap to do. You can take them to Staples or Target or WalMart, any store that sells printers will refill cartridges.

  8. Agreed with printer ink. I cover most of our stuff with clear contact paper and it works great.

  9. It must have been a lets start using tweezers/tongs week. We did too with about the same results. I plan to try again this week and we will see how it goes. I will check back to see if you get any good ideas. I used tongs that were part of a kids kitchen set at IKEA. I think it was about 3.50 for the entire set of kitchen utensils.

  10. I really like the letter tiles in rice idea! Printer ink--this past week my husband tried for the first time to refill our cartridges rather than buying new ones. After a long process and a bit of a mess, he finally succeeded, and it works great (and much cheaper)! He is quite sure he can do it more easily next time, since he now knows how. On the tweezers, I've been wondering the same thing. My kids have toy plastic tongs in their kitchen stuff, so I think I'll try that first.

  11. We have had good luck starting with bamboo toast tongs. They were about $2 at Bed Bath and Beyond. I had her start with cotton balls and mini marshmallows. HTH!

  12. The same muscles are used I think if you use clothespins rather than tweezers.... and if not, the concept is the same and probably a lot safer. For things like pompoms and letter tiles, they work fine and are really cheap!


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