I was a little disappointed Sunday night when I put the trays out for this week. I didn't have much time to prepare because we went away for Thanksgiving. The trays seem to be working out well this week despite the shortage of time for preparation. Here is a slide show presenting our trays for this week. Most things can be linked to through the Resources/ Printables Tab.

My son is 34 mos and we are currently reading Bear Snores On so there is a bit of a Bear theme. Visit us again on Sunday to see what we did this week.

I can't wait to see what is in your workboxes or on your trays. Be sure to link up at Workbox Wednesday!

This was a short week for us like for most. We did tot school as usual on Monday and Tuesday then we headed to the happiest place on earth, Grandma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving. We spent more time this week on crafts which was nice. We completed three turkey crafts. A Toilet paper tube turkey, a foam turkey craft from Joann's and a hand print turkey.
We had time to do several activities in addition to all the crafts even though we only had two days. I had made Thanksgiving lap books for both kids so we spent some time working on them. Here Little man is completing some puzzles from the Thanksgiving pack at Momma's Monkeys.

Then we completed the shadow puzzle. I can not remember which site I downloaded this from and I can not find the original file on my computer :( I am usually really good about linking to each site. SO I apologize that I don't have a link here. Thanks Dawn for letting me know they came from you at Mamas Monkeys

We sorted turkeys by size.

I brought out the feeling pumpkins and poem again to get one last use out of them. We discussed the feelings and talk a little about when we feel each emotion and we practiced making different faces. These graphics and the poem can be found at Super Simple Learning.

We did some pre writing practice from  Little Man likes these trace mazes. He likes to make the objects take the "Crazy" path to get to their destination. The Pilgrim and Turkey Maze sheets came from a A Heart For Home and  2 Teaching Mommies.

Since Little Man knows his colors I gave him a coloring sheet and asked him to color each turkey a certain color and let him find the corresponding crayon. He is not a big fan of coloring yet. I call him my minimalist. I found this on A Heart For Home site. There are quite a few free/ cute printables here.

We have not worked on cutting and glueing skills at all yet. So this week we did a cutting sheet which I found at   (This was only our second time trying one of these). I think I got this sheet from Counting Coconuts.

I found this Fall/ Thanksgiving counting sheet at Whole Child Curriculum  I cut all the numbers out for Little Man and he used a glue stick to place them in the corresponding spot. I found he was a minimalist with the glue as well- lol but he got them all in the correct spot. He was amazed that a 6 is a 9 when you turn it over and he then wanted to turn all the numbers upside down to see if they made another number as well.
We completed the Do A DOt sheets T is for Turkey and P is for Pilgrim from Making Learning fun.

I found a cute Trukey COunting book on childcareland.com. After we counted the Turkeys My Little Man put on the corresponding sticker number and colored the turkeys.

This week I enticed him into the ABC leaf matching game by setting it all up and starting to make a match myself. After the first match he joined in and we finished up all the matches together. (Matching Upper and lower case letters.

I made a turkey counting game. I made little round turkeys and placed a number on each one. Then I set out a bowl of feathers for Little man to place on the turkeys. My daughter jumped right in the day I made the activity and completed it in no time. The Little Man was not so interested the first day. He did complete the activity the second day.

More pre writing sheets. These are from 2 Teaching Mommies.

Time for a break. Here Mom was tickling him.

When sister came home and had to do homework, Little Man asked for his homework so I gave him a DO-A-Dot sheet and a bingo marker. This came from Making Learning Fun.

We had a really fun week, making turkeys and visiting with the Grandparents. Be sure to check out 1+1+1=1, preschool corner and the TGIF Linky Party to see what others are doing this week. I've added a Follow me on twitter button if you'd like to follow our journey.
This was our fourth week of tot school and I noticed a few things this week. 1- My son anticipates tot school and looks forward to it (he asks when he wakes up "Can we do tot school". 2- His attention span has grown- minimally but still some growth 3- His pencil grip has improved and thus so has his ability to trace lines (still needs work in this area but vast improvement- I remember reading and commenting on this on someone else's blog. 4- the routine is more established and it is getting easier.

I am enjoying this time with the Little Man so much. I have really been reevaluating my decision to put the Little Miss in Jr. Kindergarten this year and am contemplating taking her out and having her join us. (Am I up to the task yet?)

So here is what we did this week. What amazes me is how many activities we got through even though we really only had "tot school" TWO days this week.
I revamped our fall sensory bin a bit (see post 11/16) so it did get some play this week. I ended up using the beans that used to be in it for a second tub where I hid bottle caps and later glass stones with the letters T-U-R-K-E-Y and Little Man had to find them and recreate the word. The beans and some silk leaves made the perfect filler for hiding the letters.

We reused the Fall Clip counting activity because little man is still struggling with the clips so this is good fine motor practice as well as counting.  This activity is from the Fall pack at Homeschool Creations. We did a DO-A-Dot page from Making learning fun with the sparkly pom pom magnets (one of little man's favorites). I also introduced the Turkey Hunt from Making Learning fun. This was a fun way to review shapes. Both Little Man and the Little Miss enjoyed lifting the haystacks (cups) to find the matching turkeys. Little man has really mastered the basic shapes and a few more. Sometimes I feel these shape reviews are too easy for him. I am debating between moving on to solids or more advanced 2d shapes. (I'm having the same issue with colors being to easy-- any ideas or suggestions?)

We had a couple fine motor skills activities this week. I made a cute felt turkey (See post 11/13)  for Little Man to practice buttoning. I originally saw this idea on My Montessori. This was really challenging so I will keep this on our tray for the next couple weeks for more practice. I also put out a bowl of marbles with a couple different shaped spoons and a couple bottles with different sized openings. In the picture you see Little Man trying to scoop the marbles into the bottle with the spoon but after a few minutes he decided to try just putting them in with his hands. I tried to convince him to go back to to using the spoon but he just wanted to pour them in with his hands then shake the bottle to hear the loud noise. I got this Idea from The Snail's Trail blog.

Our focus story this week was Turkey Trouble, we also read about Thanksgiving. The Turkey Trouble story was a big hit.  To stay with the theme of the story I made a hand puppet from Childcareland and a Old McDonald Felt Board activity. (See post on 11/ 14)
He did quite a few of the pre writing sheets which is how I noticed his lines are much better this week. He really likes the CARS one from the Preschool CARS pack at 1+1+1=1. We the fall leaves one from the Fall pack at Homeschool Creations as well.

We did a little more with math this week. In addition to the Turkey Shape Hunt activity and the Fall Clip counting we worked on tallest and which one is different as well. We used the Thanksgiving pack from Our Little Monkeys.

As you can see we had a really full week. Next week we will mostly be doing thanksgiving crafts so I'll share a few of those. I really love visiting all the blogs and seeing what others are doing. I hope my blog helps inspire a few of you as well. Be sure to check out 1+1+1=1, preschool corner and the TGIF Linky Party to see what others are doing this week. I've added a Follow me on twitter button if you'd like to follow our journey.

I just purchased theses cute trays. The Christmas tree tray came from Oriental Trading for $2.99. The green one I found at our local 99Cent Only store here in southern California. They had lavender and this green. They are the hard acrylic type plastic. Both were a good deal so I thought I would share.
We tried a few new activities this week as well as a few old ones. I also switched out most of our fall sensory bin as well. I took out the beans and rice and added some fall themes foam beads from oriental trading. I bought some wood chips at the 99cent store and threw in some tongs (also from the 99 cent store). We kept the pupmkin ice tray, scarecrows (dollar tree), foilage, leaves (Joann's and Dollar Tree), and milkshake straws. Also in I collected some tiny little pinecone looking things at a local park and added them in there as well. There are two chenille pipe cleaners that I twirled around my finger to make curly thrown in for variety.

I made the button turkey project I saw on My Montessori Journey. I saw another one similar somewhere else but can't remember the site now. I though this was such a cute idea for practical life skills (practicing buttons) as well as a color matching activity.

I added marbles to a bowl and paired it up with some spoons and bottles and voila a fine motor activity. My Little Man kept trying to put the marbles into the bottles with his hands because it was easier than using the spoons- lol. I tried two types of spoons and bottles with different sized openings. I got this idea from a Snail's Trail blog.

I kept the fall clip counting activity found at from last week because Little Man is having so much trouble with the clips I thought he could use more practice. We also have the silk leaves with the Capital and lower case letters on them (Teach Mama)for matching but Little Man has shown zero interest and has declined to work when them when I offer them up.  I kept the leaf counting game with the milk caps from last week as well.

I made a 5 Little Turkeys hand puppet I saw on Childcareland.com There is a video and patterns there. I used this at my Preschool Co-op today as well.  I also made a really cute Old McDonald set for the felt board that we used today see my post from 11/14.

My daughter's favorite this week is Turkey Shape hunt from Making Learning Fun. You hide the turkeys under the "haystacks" and the child draws a card and tries to find the corresponding turkey. It is essentially a memory game with a fun twist. In the group shot it wasn't completed yet so the cups are right side up, not painted and stuffed with all the turkeys. There is another picture of the Little Man playing the game.

The last tray was a dot marker turkey page from Making Learning Fun that we filled in with pom poms that I stuck magnets to. Unfortunately I can not find the exact sheet on the site (I tried to find it for my CO-op last night) but if you dig around in the Turkey/ Thanksgiving section you might find it along with several others.

I can't wait to see what is in your workboxes or on your trays. Be sure to link up at Workbox Wednesday!
I really wanted to do some felt board activities with my little man and I wanted to have something I could use at my Preschool Co-op this week. I decided to do Old McDonald.  (I know it is Thanksgiving but I already made a felt turkey activity see post 11/13/11 and a glove activity with turkey and magnets)  I looked on line and decided I just didn't want to spend the money to buy a felt board when I could make one and I didn't want to spend a lot for the felt pieces either.  So I did some investigating on line and finally decided to use iron on transfer paper and my own felt. I went on to google and selected some free use clipart for the characters, put them into a word doc and printed on to the iron on transfer paper from my Epson ink jet printer. The set is adorable and EXACTLY what I wanted. I'll put the word docs under printables and resources in case you want to make your own. Easy and cheap!!

I made my felt board out of a foam core presentation board we had lying around and a piece of left over felt from my days in the classroom. Added a little duck tape and Voila a pretty nice felt board.
I saw this idea at My Montessori and thought it was so cute I had to make one myself. I can't wait to put it on our trays for this week for my Little Man to work with. I made the button holes a little big to make it easier for him to get the feathers on since his fine motor skills are not well developed yet. I free handed the pattern/ shapes. I also doubled up the felt to make it a little sturdier (Little Man is quite tough on things) and I sewed the buttons on really well since they will have to endure quite a bit of pulling and tugging. I chose to sew everything for the same reason. I think sewing the edges of all the pieces gives it a nice finished look as well. The whole thing took me about four or five hours to complete (over two nights). I am not a sewer and it is all hand stitched. I'll post pics of Little Man using it in my weekly blog at the end of the week.
This week I wanted to finish up our "L" activities and to supplement I added in some Disney Cars activities since my little man loves CARS. We really had a full week filled with MANY activities as you will see. He kept asking for to do tot school activities through out the day. (We do a formal hour of activities in the morning). I have gained so much confidence in constructing and choosing activities. I find the problem is that there are so many good ideas out there. I've started a Pinerest account to keep track of all the great ideas. You can follow me on Pinerest by clicking the button on the sidebar.

Rather than list all the activities we did take a look at the slide show. I'll try to link to all printables or original posts on the Resources/ printables tab of my site. You can also click on most of the pictures and they will link you to the original sites as well.

If you want specific information on our tray activities for this week check out my Workbox Wednesday post for 11/9/11.

I am contemplating switching from a letter of the week centered curriculum to a book/ story centered curriculum which would still allow for plenty of alphabet activities but would give us a story theme each week. I think Jake would really enjoy that.

I love visiting all the blogs and seeing what others are doing. I hope my blog helps inspire a few of you as well. Be sure to check out 1+1+1=1, preschool corner and the TGIF Linky Party to see what others are doing this week. I've added a Follow me on twitter button if you'd like to follow our journey.
   Since we do tot school I use trays rather than actual workboxes but here is what we have for this week.  We are using Block Buddies which can be purchased here and are currently on sale. These are like tangrams in that you try to reconstuct the picture on the card, there are four levels of difficulty. We also have been working with our E-Z as ABC puzzle (We purchased ours at the KIDSPACE children's museum in Pasadena a couple year's ago). I like it because after the child matches the capital and lowercase letter they can flip over the mini puzzle and see the picture of something that starts with that letter or vice versa.
    I'm working with a CARS theme this week so I saw this idea on another blog All Things Children,  and decided to make my own road/ parking lot to review colors and color matching. I used Little Man's CARS vehicles to add to the theme. I forgot brown and he immediately asked me "Where does Mater park?"  LOL. I made this a 12 x 12 size because my printer can do that. You can modify the size if you download the my word file.
   Little Man is really enjoying his CARS tot book and Preschool Pages (You can find them at 1+1+1=1). He asks to read it almost everyday. He likes that he can "read" it himself. The Fun ABC cards I downloaded from 1+1+1=1 also.
     Finally, I used some fall leaves and put them in a cars pail from the 99 cent store and some cars cups also purchased at the 99 cent store. The chopsticks were purchased for Christmas last year, I'm not sure where.  Enjoy.
Check out what others are doing at...
Workbox Wednesday
Well this was week 2 for our tot school. I planned several "L" activities for the week but got derailed by Halloween and some other obligations. We still managed to fit in quite a few activities even though we didn't get through everything. I will carry over the "L" for leaf and combine with our Fall theme next week.

Monday was Halloween so the Little Man and I went to watch Sister's Halloween parade and then we headed over to the park for a Halloween celebration for the little ones.

On Tuesday my daughter stayed home from Jr. Kindergarten and joined us during tot school.  The most exciting part of our day was when I brought out our new fall sensory bin.  We actually did quite a lot today. We read a veggie tales book, then moved to counting. The Little Man used the Fall clip activity from Home School Creations and Samantha did a leaf clip activity from 2teachingmommies. We did some Do A Dot sheets with buttons as well.  Then the kids started sorting the buttons by size and later by color.

We put some fun ABC cards from 1+1+1=1 into the slit on top of a Truvia box. Then Samantha found some Sesame activity cards she got in a Halloween goodie bag at school and started using the buttons to complete the activities on the cards. I gave her the Halloween magnets and some beginning sound sheets from 1+1+1=1 and let her work on those.

We went on a nature walk and collected leaves for our Leaf collages, then constructed the collages which I really liked. Tuesday was a very busy day!

What is in the sensory bin?  A pumpkin ice cube tray, chop sticks, a measuring spoon, tongs, two pine cones, two scarecrows some pumpkin stem,  I found at the dollar tree, a stem of fall flowers I found at Joann's for 0.89 a pumpkin and leaf cookie cutter, a bowl of the pumpkin spice play doh from last week, three jars of fall colored rice, silk leaves, an assortment of buttons in fall/ nature colors. a pack of fall shaped buttons from Joann's (Pumpkins, corn on the cob and an acorn), Kidney beans, red beans and black beans as filler. Two pipe cleaners I twisted into curly q's, three milkshake straws in fall colors, the pasta necklaces from last week and some window clings.
Wednesday is our Preschool Co-op with the MOMS Club. We worked with our Leaf shadow file folder game from File Folder Fun before leaving for the CO-op. This week's host mom had some great activities for the kiddos. After we picked sister up from school She and the Little Man did "homework" and then played with the sensory bin again.
Thursday we go to our Mommy and Me Preschool class at the Adult Center. Friday sister joined us again. We started with  then we read Llama Llama Red Pajamas, explored our "L" box, played "Hide the L" then worked on a few printables and trays. Some inspiration came from The Preschool Corner
I  link up at Preschool Corner and 1+1+1=1.  Check the links to see what other families are doing this week.
Thank you for visiting and I hope to hear from you soon!
Tot School