How have we been doing Tot School for 30 weeks?! Seems like just yesterday I was super anxious about starting this journey and attempting to draw pajamas on red paper and figure out exactly how to tackle Tot School. We have come a long way learning about colors, shapes, holidays, seasons, and animals, and I am still constantly amazed at how much Grace has learned and grown over the past 30 weeks. Seems only fitting our theme for our 30th week of Tot School is Heart Shapes, as this Mama’s heart is so unbelievably full! Here’s all the fun we had this past week.
We started off the week with 2 books, Circle Rolls by Barbara Kanninen (our favorite book for learning about shapes) and My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall. We have been a big fan of Michael Hall books for our Tot School curriculum and really enjoyed each title we’ve read by this author and this book is no different. We have been fortunate to find his books at our local library in the past but this time I ordered our book from Amazon as our library did not have a copy. I am so glad we can add this book to our collection. In addition to every animal in this book being made from heart shapes, this book is very colorful, and introduces feelings. There is so much to learn from this gem of a book! We read our books for each week daily, but My Heart is Like a Zoo was read far more than just once a day.
We switched up our usual shape videos this week and enjoyed dancing along with shapes including a heart on PinkFong’s YouTube channel. Yes the people behind Baby Shark actually have lots of great shape videos too, and Grace loved dancing along to their videos! To go along with our introduction to feelings from our book of the week, we also enjoyed watching Story Bots’ Emotions videos on YouTube as well!
Our activities for the week started off with a heart themed sensory bin full of all things heart related from around the house and Grace’s toy collection. This bin stayed out all week long for Grace to explore. Her tea pot is by far her favorite item in this bin, and Grace loved pressing the heart button to brew more tea, so much so it probably could be considered an activity in its self!
Our next activity for the week was heart stamping. We’ve done this type of painting for each of our shape themed weeks and each of these paintings will be placed in her binder that also holds her color Ziplock paintings from our past color themed weeks for future reference. I just placed a piece of cardboard down to protect our surface, placed a piece of white card stock on top (I prefer card stock for its thickness with paint), then set out purple Crayola Kid’s Paint poured onto a paper plate. Grace was already grabbing items to stamp with when I pulled her up to the table. We first attempted using some heart shaped saucers from her sensory bin, but unfortunately they didn’t work out so great, so I grabbed a sponge and cut it into a heart shape for Grace to use.
After she was finished stamping the card stock I moved it away to dry before hanging it on the refrigerator to view all week long. Grace as usual kept right on stamping the card board I had down under her painting until she signed “all done!”
We have used this next activity many many times for a good while now and our heart themed week was the perfect time to showcase this super easy budget friendly busy activity. I snagged a heart shaped candy mold on clearance a long time ago and I also keep/hoard all those little twist caps from Grace’s yummy veggie pouches. I just place the heart shaped candy mold on the kitchen island, add in various colors of caps into the hearts, then place a container beside the mold for her to pull the caps out and sort into the bin. This activity is not only great for fine motor skills, but really helped Grace with her pincer grasp when we first starting doing this months ago! We have also used a regular muffin tin, and instead of twist caps we have used cotton balls and pom poms too! The possibilities are endless with this activity, and keeps Grace occupied while I’m cooking or preparing meals. She likes to put her own spin on this activity too by stacking the caps and making towers, and also sorting by colors.
We exercised our gross motor skills for our next heart themed activity and enjoyed some amazing cooler weather (Fall starts next week Y’all)! I drew a large heart shaped path with sidewalk chalk on our back patio and let Grace “hop” to each heart. While she can’t exactly hop/jump yet she has been trying really hard to accomplish jumping and this activity was perfect practice! We could also continue working on color recognition with this activity as I could ask Grace to show me a certain color heart on the patio. In addition to picking “her” flowers (you can see her holding them pictured above) and exploring the backyard, Grace came back to her hearts to “hop” the whole time we played outside. I do believe she enjoyed our “Heart Hop”!
Our next activity for our heart themed week was based on one of our books of the week: My Heart is Like a Zoo. This activity included extra prep for Mommy, but the only supplies needed were felt scraps, scissors, and a sharpie in addition to a felt board we have used in the past. All the animals in the book are made from hearts and I chose four to recreate out of felt for Grace to play with on her felt board: a lion, frog, rabbit, and owl. All the pieces are separate so Grace had to figure out (with a little help from Mommy) how to put each animal together. I had our book with us to show Grace the pictures for reference as well. This seemed to be the perfect ending to our heart themed week and really connected one of our books to our theme.
Mostly Grace just made her own little animals and would piece all sorts of different hearts together. I chose the animals I did based on color and animals she could recognize. She roared for the lion, yelled “bunny” for the rabbit, tried to hop like the frog, and “whooed” for the owl. I could ask her to point out specific colors or hand me specific colored hearts and she would do that as well. She loved on the bunny and carried around an assortment of the felt pieces for the rest of the night, so I’d say she enjoyed this activity!
Our 30th week of Tot School has come to an end and we had so much fun learning about heart shapes this week! 💗 Now on to some new beginnings with a little Tot School Re-Boot starting next week!
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷