Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tot School Week 2: Teddy Bears, Piggy Bank, and Treasure Box

Tot School

Sissy and I went to STORY-TIME at the library this week. We listened to a lot of charmingly-presented stories (by our amazingly creative story-time lady) about bears. She sent home little BEAR books for them to color and these little bear finger puppets for them to decorate.
We checked out a TEDDY BEAR book. This was a cute book that uses real teddy bears as the illustrations. And it is a very interactive, learning book, with questions that require the reader to count, think about adjectives and opposites such as top and bottom, and teaches them little bear facts.
Since my brain seems to only work thematically, I printed off this BEAR SIZE SEQUENCING activity from CHILDCARELAND. They match up the colors (which we discussed and are trying to nail down - she almost knows her colors, but she still gets some of them mixed up) of a small bear and a large bear. Then she also matched up the reverse colored bear pairs and set them on top of the others. We alternated picking up which bear was larger - then which bear was smaller.
I also printed off this Bear Shape/Color Matching Game from Childcareland. We're also working on learning shape names as she doesn't know all of them yet. She's left these games out on her table for a couple of days, and she plays with them on her own now. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I could hear her using them as paper dolls, making them talk. I could hear her saying something about "Papa Bear."
We did several BIRDS and NESTS activities this week for Muffin Tin Monday and stART. If you missed those, here is our NEST-THEMED muffin tin, and here are our NEST PROJECTS.

Tornado read The Best Nest to his brother and sister. His reading confidence has shot up a lot the past few weeks. He is so proud to be reading bigger, longer books. He comes into the kitchen while I'm cooking or cleaning, and he reads a book aloud to me.
My Aunt Patsy has sent the kids so many fabulous gifts in the mail for their birthdays. This Melissa & Doug porcelain piggy bank was one gift Sissy received for her 2nd birthday, and for some reason, we never got around to decorating it. She was thrilled when I got it out for her. Thank you, Great Aunt Patsy!
She worked so hard and for so long painting her pig, and when it dried, she decorated it with the stickers provided.
I bought this cardboard box at The Container Store for $3.99 and let the kids decorate it. This is going to be their TREASURE BOX. Previously, their "treasures" we use for special rewards were haphazardly spilling out of a plastic bag in the closet. We want to get more serious about the reward system for positive reinforcement. (We're still doing our CRAFT STICKS for t.v./computer time, also.) If they make it the whole day without arguing with Mom and Dad or going to time-out, etc., they get to pick out something from the TREASURE BOX. That doesn't mean their behavior has to be perfect. For example, they are fighting, and I ask them to stop and apologize to one another. If they say, "Yes, ma'am," and improve in that moment, it is stricken from the record. It's the talking back and refusing to stop bad behavior that is overwhelming us right now. (For the record, Tornado has been the only Treasure Box recipient this week.) We're working on it...
The kids worked on their box for a good 45 minutes. It was a good group activity. Sissy was enchanted by the container of jewels I presented to her. They used a Q-tip and glue squirted on a lid for the jewels. (I save margarine and Whole Foods to-go container lids for paint and glue, thanks to a tip from Annette.)

Inside the box: things from the dollar store like fun pens, markers, stickers, coloring books; books I've bought in bargain bins; organic fruit roll-ups; Matchbox cars; and felt food for Sissy's kitchen set.

Up next week: We're starting our Princess Unit tomorrow!

For more little tot ideas, visit 1 + 1 + 1= 1!


Anonymous said...

What a great project. It's great that they worked on it together! Good luck with the talking back. We have it here too. I had to double check to make sure my 5 y.o.'s teacher knew who we were taking about when she told me he was so respectful and never talked back to her.

sbswtp said...

What a fantastic week!!! I love the idea of the treasure box :) Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Love the treasure box! The bear theme looks like a lot of fun! My brain definitely thinks thematically also!

Fiona said...

love all those teddy bear things. That paint your own piggy bank is a great idea

Kimberly said...

We start Tot School next week. Micah is so ready!

Monica said...

Oh, lots of good activities...but I love the picture of your children reading together! What a beautiful shot.