Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tot School Tuesday - 16.5 months

Tot School


 This is the last week of our Ocean Theme. We really didn't do many new activities related to the ocean this week but we continued with some of the activities that we had previously done.

This week at at MyGym was Pirate Week and the adventure for this week was an ocean themed play tent. So fitting!
It was so great to see Makenzie interact with the activity and name many of the stuffed animals that were on the floor to play with.

This week I also started to emphasize more household responsibilities. I bought a watering can at the Dollar Tree and Makenzie waters our plants with me.
I just have to note that those play shorts were on the Target sale rack for $1.12. I was so excited. Unfortunately they only had one pair in her size (the rest were too small) but I'll take what I can get. :)

Makenzie has also been eating all of her meals at her new table. After she eats I give her a wet paper towel and she wipes down her table.
Usually most of the mess is still there after she's done but it does give her a sense of responsibility. In this picture she decided to put a piece of watermelon in her mouth while she was cleaning, I guess she wasn't finished with that piece. Also, I read once that it is important to not redo a task that a child does because they will get the impression that it's pointless to do it or, to do it well, if Mom is just going to do it again anyway. Of course I can't leave her table a mess but I don't wash it off myself until she is distracted doing something else.

Also, this week I introduced chalk for the first time.
We just had a pest control guy come out and spray for ants so I haven't been able to hose down the mess from the soap mud, which is in the background. I really wanted to spray down the whole patio and use the chalk on the water but I didn't want to wash away the ant spray so instead I just filled a pitcher with water and poured it in a small area. Makenzie still enjoyed it like that. I love the vibrancy of the chalk when it's wet and it's a lot easier for Makenzie to color with.

This weekend we took another trip to the beach and Makenzie made some real progress. She loved the water as always and she didn't completely freak out when her feet were sandy. She still wouldn't play in it but we're making progress!
She also willingly got her hands dirty for the pudding painting activity. If you missed this activity you can see it here.
My favorite part of the pudding painting was that Makenzie really enjoyed smelling the different puddings. It was the first activity that her sense of smell was really involved.

Finally, I learned the biggest lesson this week: Don't underestimate your child's ability. I remember when Makenzie started to roll over at 2 months, people didn't believe me. It wasn't that she was super baby but instead that I gave her the tummy time she needed and assisted her in rolling over, finally at 2 months old she rolled over all by herself and continued to do so, all the time. I've been seeing a lot of color sorting activities on various blogs but I just didn't think Makenzie was ready for that yet, I was very wrong. This week I decided to give it a try but didn't expect that she'd do much with it.

I demonstrated how to sort a few blocks and then put them back in the bowl and handed them to her. She was so cute repeating how I had demonstrated for her, saying, "hmmmm..." and then putting the shape on the proper color. I was so surprised that she did it! She can sort red, yellow, orange, blue and green but I only hand her three colors at a time so that she isn't overwhelmed. We have done this every day and she gets excited every time I get it out. The moral of this story is, try things, challenge your little ones. The worst that could happen is that he/she isn't ready for it and you put it away and try again in a month or so.

So that was our Tot School week. Next we're going to be working on colors, or a color. I haven't fully planned yet but I'm looking forward to switching themes. Thanks for following along with us! Don't forget to check out the 1+1+1=1 blog for more great Tot School ideas for all ages!

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