Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tot School Tuesday - 16 months

Tot School

Summer is in full swing in the Dallas household which means that a lot of our Tot School activities are being done outside and at various, fun locations.

To start the week off we went to the splash pad. A good friend of ours just recently introduced us to the splash pad and Makenzie just loves it! I love to see her interacting with the other kids and establishing her independence, obviously the water activities are a lot of fun too!

Makenzie has also been going to MyGym for a few months now. I can totally see an improvement in her gross motor skills as well as her confidence. One of her favorite activities seems to be the steps. She can now walk independently up and down, which is a big improvement for her. I need to take my point-and-shoot camera into MyGym sometime but for now this is all I have.

For some fine motor practice I modified the spaghetti and shaker activity by switching out the spaghetti with pipe cleaners. If you remember from my first Tot School post, my smarty pants girl decided that instead of sticking the whole piece of spaghetti in the jar she would break them into small pieces. Of course this still worked on her fine motor skills but made the activity a lot easier. With the pipe cleaners Makenzie was forced to stay focused as she tried to put that long piece into the small hole.

Our big activity this week was soap mud!

When I saw this posted on The Imagination Tree, I knew I had to make it. For the next few weeks we're going to be working with ocean animals in preparation for our trip to Sea World. My goal is to frontload the ocean vocabulary so that Makenzie will have a better understand of what she is experiencing at Sea World. The set of ocean animals I bought is way bigger than I hoped but they're making do.

I tried to get Makenzie involved in making the mud (directions here) but she wanted nothing to do with it. Then when I set it outside to play, she still wanted nothing to do with it. This girl literally HATES to have her hands dirty. I sat with her for 10 minutes playing in the mud, covering myself in it, trying everything I could to get her to play. When I hid the sea animals in the mud and asked her to find them, she just looked at me and laughed and then looked at my hands and of course said, "Uh-oh, mess." Finally it dawned on me, maybe if I brought out a bowl of water and she saw that she could wash her hands whenever she wanted then she'd be okay with it. Praise the Lord it worked. It sounds like such a small thing but I was seriously praying that she'd play with it. I don't want her fear of dirty hands and feet to interfere with her explorations and learning experiences.

As you can, see she was eventually fully immersed in the mud and I couldn't have been happier! The mud is super easy and cheap to make but it does make quite a mess since it's just soap and toilet paper but they do end up smelling so clean afterward. Heh.

To keep with our theme we have also been reading one of Makenzie's favorite books:
Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea

I had put this book away for awhile so that we could move on to other books. She was so excited when I brought it back out. She can fill in some of the words herself. It's a fun book with rhymes and introductions to quite a few different sea animals.

Finally, this week we played with two apps. One of them is the "Wheels on the Bus" app. Makenzie loves this app and sings along with it the best she can.

The other app that we both love but is sadly no longer available, is an app called Baby's First Words. I apparently didn't take a picture of Makenzie playing with this one but she loves it! Basically it just shows a real life picture of an object or animal and says it's name aloud. Makenzie loves to try repeat what the lady is saying but the best part is that she knows most of the animal sounds. It's so fun to watch her make the noise for all of the animals. I was also able to use the app to make my own set of cards so I made cards with all of the ocean animals she will encounter at Sea World. I hope that there is something out there like this because it really is a great app. Anyway, that was our Tot School this week. Don't forget to check out 1+1+1=1 for more awesome Tot School ideas!

1 comment:

  1. your cutie seems to be having a blast while making a mess. :)