Go on a leaf walk

We don’t have a significant fall presence where we live, but some trees do drop their leaves. I needed leaves for a craft project for her tot school. Pumpkin was very excited when I told her we had to go find leaves for school. I got to explain to her that we are in the season of fall, why leaves fall off the tree, and that different trees have different leaves. I also taught her to only pick up leaves off the ground and not from the tree.

We took the stroller since Buddy came with us. We put the leaves in the bottom of the stroller basket. She lasted about 75 minutes. We have a rather large block, and she made it about 3/4 of the way around. I let her ride in the stroller and had Buddy walk the last bit home.

Once we got home I pressed the leaves in a box under some wood so I could use them for school. There are some great ideas for crafts with leaves at Spoonful.



Tot School Week 3 – V & 2

Week 3 – We are now in week 3 of Tot School. Pumpkin is almost 3 and her attention span for school seems to be right around 2 hours. But she talks about it all the time. If I mention school she wants to do it NOW even if it’s not prepped yet. She prefers her school music over her other playlists so I’ve made a new playlist of all her school favorites (Spotify Playlist Tot School Keepers). Since we were talking about V and the number 2, I had her hold up two fingers and how they look like a V. Throughout school, we’d high 2!

Volcano: (The Activity Idea Place) We made your traditional baking soda and vinegar volcano, but I loved The Activity Idea Place’s suggestion of molding playdough around a cup and adding red food coloring. Pumpkin LOVED this! We did three rounds of baking soda and she helped scoop the baking soda into the cup. I poured a small amount of vinegar into a cup that she could then pour into the volcano.

Massager that vibrates: (Preschool Express) I turned on the massager so she could feel the vibration. Pumpkin had short interest in it, but we gave each other a back massage. We left it plugged in and Buddy found it later and was fascinated 🙂

Velcrow Song Cube: (The Activity Idea Place) – I didn’t have a nice square box, so I cut and refolded a purple (violet) tissue box into a cube and covered the tissue slot and white bottom with purple paper. If you already have a square box, this is a lot simpler. I cut very small pieces of velcrow and stuck them to each side of the cube. I cut out 6 triangles (V theme) from violet paper and wrote 6 songs she likes to sing. I put the triangles on contact paper for durability and added the other part of velcrow. She helped put the velcrow pieces on the cube and then we tossed it. We’d sing whatever song came up.

V Activity Sheet (Kidzone) – I tried to explain in this activity sheet that the V-Van wants to go pick up his V friends. We said the names of the pictures and discussed if they made the V sound. Pumpkin didn’t really understand concept of drawing a line from the van to the V words, but kept telling me the dog and cup couldn’t get on the V-Van; they had to wait. I’ll take it as a success 🙂

Vacuum: (Toddler Approved) I thought this idea from Toddler Approved was genius! Pumpkin loved this! I wrote V’s and 2 on scraps of paper and “made a mess” all over the floor. Pumpkin had to go vacuum up the mess. We found it best to use the vacuum without any of the attachments and she had the best control without the extender; should would get right down over the papers. I found I needed to crumple the paper a little so that it would get sucked up as opposed to just sucked onto the vacuum.

Violet Craft: (Counting Coconuts) Pumpkin enjoys gluing and this was a cute craft from Counting Coconuts. I cut out the letter V, 5 flowers, and some stems. Since the stems were thin I helped put the glue on and she stuck them to the paper. Then we added the V and flowers.

Guess the Vegetable: (Kids’ Pages – Vegetables 1 and Vegetables 2) We went through the flashcards and named the veggies. She wasn’t really into it, but later on during tot school she picked up a few of the new ones and told me their names. When we went shopping later that week, I pointed out some of the new veggies in the produce section and let her hold and touch them.

V Printables: (1+1+1=1) I just printed out pages 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
  Page 1 – I used this page for snack and cut 4 sticks of cheese to make V’s. She really liked that; “I eat the V!”
  Page 2 – I put this in her binder of photo sleeves for dry erase markers
  Page 3 – I Wrote the words and she placed V letters on them. Then she colored with violet colored pencil
  Page 6 – I Put this page in her binder of photo sleeves and she colored all the V’s with dry erase
  Page 7 – I put this in her binder of photo sleeves for dry erase makers and she’s beginning to start to draw the line from one side to the other which was great since she didn’t want to draw lines on the V activity sheet.

Snack: We shared some Vanilla Yogurt with 2 spoons!

2 coloring sheet w/ 2 violets: (www.worksheetfun.com) She colored the two violets with purple colored pencil

Cotton Ball carry: I gave her two large soup spoons and set up a bowl on a chair on the other side of the room. I sat down with a bowl full of cotton balls and put one cotton ball on each spoon. She had to carry the cotton balls on the spoon over to the bowl without dropping them. It was a fun activity to focus on body control trying to keep both spoons flat.

How many?: A very short activity but I asked her many hands, feet, eyes, spoons she had.

Spotify Playlist Tot School V & 2
ABC – Jackson 5
Zero to Ten – Teacher Kiel
ABC – Dora
One, Two Buckle My Shoe – The Kiboomers
Yodeling Veternanrian of the Alps – Veggie Tunes
Just the Two of Us – Will Smith
The Four Seasons – Spring – Camerata Antonio Lucio
Violin for Kids Jog – Music for Children
The Animals Went In Two by Two – Songs for Kids
One Potato, Two Potato – Baby Genius
The Dance of the Cucember – Veggie Tales
The Four Seasons – Summer
Vegetables – The Beach Boys
A Bicycle Built for Two – Baby Genius
Veggie Tales Theme Song
V – Very, Very Special Letter – Big Bird
Letter V Song – Have Fun Teaching

Tot School Week 2 – P & 1

Week 2 – Pumpkin was definitely more into school this week. Even asked for her school music. I set out a Pink Purse, Pencils, Playdough, Pennies, Panda Bear, Pooh Bear and some “P” books.

She dressed the part and wore Pink Princess Pajamas for school!

P Printables: (1+1+1=1) I printed pages 1, 2, 3, and 7.
I started with page 3 to color with colored pencils. I wrote the names of the “P” words on the paper and had her set tiles/blocks/magnet letters on each picture. We don’t color with colored pencils much so she colored for over 30 minutes!
I put pages 1, 2, 7 in photo sleeves in her binder. She played with this for about 5 minutes.
P. 1 & 2: Dry Erase markers for coloring. I also had purple playdough to roll into snakes and make the letter P!
P. 7: Dry Erase coloring and practice drawing lines from left to right
Hot Potato: (Preschool Express) I filled part of a nylon with uncooked rice and tied it off. I folded back any extra nylon and made a potato! We used Buddy’s activity table which plays really short songs. I tried explaining how you can’t hold on to a hot potato so we need to toss it back and forth. Pumpkin and I made popcorn for a snack and whoever didn’t have the potato at the end got a bite of a snack! She kind of got it, but we still had fun eating the popcorn. About 8 minutes of play.
Penny Activity Letter P: (Tot School)  (3 min 1 time) I put pennies in a bowl and she put them on the bubbles to make the letter P. She only did it once and wanted to move on.
Ping Pong: (Preschool Express) (you could use a purple or pink ball too) We blew ping pong balls across the table. We used 3 and each time she or I finished, we took a bite of popcorn. You can even set up goals with lids or circle cutouts. This lasted about 4 minutes.
Pancakes with sight words: (Playdough to Plato via Pinterest) I brought over our fry pan for her to flip “pancakes” (construction paper circles) with a spatula (works on wrist twisting). I had written sight words on them to practice beginning reading (the, a, it, is, you, in) and have her eat popcorn if she said the correct word after flipping, but she had a hard time flipping and gave up. So we moved on. Later that week I set them on our padded ottoman and found a kiddie spatula in her play kitchen and she could flip them much better. She wasn’t really into repeating the words though; she just liked flipping them.
“P” Books: (didn’t want to read books) Peter Pan, Pig a Pancake, Winnie the Pooh, Polite as a Princess
Number 1 Printable: (Math 4 Children +) She colored the number 1 for about 4 minutes. You could also put it in a protective sleeve for dry erase marker.
Number 1 practice: This was a very short activity, but I had her hand me one of things: pencil, ping pong ball, penny, popcorn, etc
Hop on 1 foot (work on coordination): She didn’t even want to try this so we moved on. I got as far as: “You have 2 feet, can you stand on just one?
Activity – you have 2 feet, can you stand on just one? Can you hop on one? Practice coordination.
Spotify playlist – Tot School P & 1 (the playlist is searchable in Spotify, which has changed since my original intention of updating the list): Pumpkin was much more interested in the songs this week and hearing the P words
ABC – Jackson 5
The Letter P – ABCMouse.com
Zero to Ten – Teacher Kiel
Panda-Mondium – Kids – Female
Bananas in Pajamas – Various Artists (Kids TV Themes)
P – My Favorite Letter P – Anything People
The Pizza Hut Song – Marcia Louis
ABC (The Alphabet Song) – Dora
Popcorn – Popcorn
One – Three Dog Night
The Letter P – Storybots
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – The Kiboomers
The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
The Princess and the Pea (Story) – Stories for Kids


Record a playlist of books

Pumpkin LOVES books. She would have me read the same book over and over some days. It gets a little hard to do that when you have a baby that also wants your attention and wants to tear the paper pages. Or when it takes 13 minutes to read her favorite book (currently Bread and Jam for Frances)

So I found a recording app called Pocket WavePad Sound editor. I’ve used the app and Itunes to create a playlist of her favorite books!

When recording, I used her xylophone to create a “ding” at the end of each set of pages so she’d know to turn the page. We have a Me Reader by Disney, which she loves already, and understands the concept of the “ding.” After recording I “save as” an MP3. This allows me to add Artwork (book cover) in itunes so she can choose the book by it’s cover since she can’t read. The app has directions for transferring the files into itunes, or sometimes I will email the file to myself so I don’t have to hook up my phone (my computer can’t always detect my phone). Once the audio files are in iTunes, if you right click the file and choose “Get Info” you can add the Artwork. If you Google search the title of the book, you can find the cover under Images, or you can take a photo of the book cover and use that. If there isn’t a tab for artwork then you imported a file format that doesn’t support artwork. I’ve found MP3s work great. Then you can create a playlist and add all the books!

Now Pumpkin can scroll through and listen to her favorite books over and over! It’s great in the car when we’re driving, or I’m making dinner, or even if I’m in the same room but need to give Buddy some attention. We’ve even had Daddy read a few so that he can read her books while he’s at work 🙂