Tot School has been a hit or miss lately in our home, but a few of the activities I planned for our green/St. Patrick's Day lesson were well-received. It's so difficult to get little people to focus, so my advice to moms new to Tot School is to just go with it!
I didn't spend a lot of time or money putting together the following activities, so I wasn't as disappointed when the babies threw everything on the floor and ran away to play hide from Mommy. (5 Tips for Tot School on a Budget) I just tried again after a little while and again for the next several days, and finally, they became interested. Corbin and Lynley are 16.5 months old. Here's what we did:
Green Sensory Tray- All items on this tray, and the tray itself, are from the Dollar Tree, with the exception of a few of the babies' existing toys. (I wish I had a better photo, but those turned out lime green!) They played with the objects on this tray for several minutes. Corbin really liked the green cups, and we had fun learning how to put the pom pom balls into the cup. Lynley really enjoyed that activity too. They mostly just took the toys off of the tray and threw them on the floor, but this was a good lesson in picking up and putting away. Items on the tray included: toy balls, measuring spoons, linking rings, tissue paper, foam shamrock shapes, round sponges, rubber frogs, pom pom balls of all sizes, cups, and MegaBlocks.
Counting Beads (Fine Motor Skills)- This activity was by far the favorite for both babies. I filled a green container with several glass beads and let the babies shake it around and drop it to hear all of the noise it makes. Corbin liked playing, "I see you" through the jar. Lynley was more interested when I took the lid off. We dumped the beads out, and I showed her how to put them back in the container, counting along the way. It took a few tries, and a few "no, no's" from me about putting the beads in her mouth, but once she got the hang of it, she did this over and over for 30 minutes straight! Corbin joined her, but was more interested in the container lid. He learned how to twist the lid on after sis filled the jar with the beads. Then he learned how to twist it off, so she could fill it again. They also enjoyed rubbing the beads together in their hands and listening to the scratching sound the glass made.
Leprechaun Magnet Puzzle- This was one of the activities that fell flat the first day. I picked up two metal cookie trays from the Dollar Tree along with a package of St. Patrick's Day themed magnets. This was a puzzle set for the refrigerator. I first put the picture of the leprechaun together on one tray for them to see. Then I scattered the pieces a bit and started putting them together on the other tray while encouraging Corbin and Lynley to help. They placed a few pieces, but they would rather eat the magnets or try sliding around on the trays on our wood floors. Needless to say, I had to end that activity! We tried the magnets again another day, and Lynley enjoyed trying to figure out where the pieces went. Corbin took every magnet off that she placed and ran away with it trying to either eat it or squeeze it to death... BOYS!
Toddler Shamrock Art- The last activity we tried was an arts and crafts lesson. All the details on how to do this mess-free art are in my previous post here.
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