Friday, January 7, 2011

Tot School- Winter Theme

Tot School
30 months

I am due to have the baby next Friday and wasn't sure if I was going to make it so I decided to post some activities we are doing and will be doing this month a little early.

How Many Buttons?
Little Sweets loved playing in the snow so I tried to come up with some fun snowmen activities.  This activity is fun and easy to make.  I drew a picture of a snowman and made a number spinner.  The spinner was simple to make. I printed off a picture of a circle cut into fifths, wrote numbers in each piece, laminated the circle, poked a hole in the middle placed a metal clasp in the center, and attached a paper clip to the clasp.  To play the game we took turns spinning the spinner, identifying the number the spinner landed on, and counting out the correct number of buttons.    This is a great game for Little Sweets, she can count to twelve, but is still having trouble identifying some numbers.  I am glad I made the spinner because I plan to use it with other activities too.

This activity reinforces counting, one-to-one correspondence, and number recognition 

Button Sort
  This activity happened by accident.  Little Sweets wanted to look at the buttons so I handed her the bag and she dumped them all on the floor.  I should have known it was going to happen.  Instead of having her simply pick them up I grabbed a cupcake tin and she sorted the buttons by color.  I wouldn't suggest doing this activity around little ones because it is definitely a choking hazard. 

This activity reinforces sorting, fine motor skills, color discrimination and identification.

Mitten Lacing
I've been trying to come up with fun activities to reinforce fine motor skills so I decided to make my own lacing card.  I thought a mitten would be fun for winter.  I cut out a picture of a mitten from construction paper and laminated it.  Then I used a hole puncher to poke holes in it.  I tied
a shoe lace to the end of the mitten.  I've seen lacing cards at education stores, but if you have your own laminator and hole puncher I wouldn't waste the money. 

 I don't have any pictures of Little Sweets because this was the first time we attempted this type of activity and she was on my lap the whole time.  She struggled with it at first, but I am sure her skills will improve over time. 

This activity reinforces fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. 

Big and Little Sort
This activity was a little too simple for Little Sweets she was finished with it in a matter of seconds. I printed out two different sized snowmen and had Little Sweets sort them by size.

This activity reinforces the concept of sorting. 

Snowman File Folder Game
I found this activity here.  I  printed off the game and laminated the pieces.  The object of the game was to match the color snowman with the color word written on the snowman.  I printed it out in color since Little Sweets is just learning to identify colors and color words.  You can also print out the color words in black and white if you are focusing on learning to identify color words. 

Little Sweets enjoyed matching the snowmen.  We also talked about the color words as she matched the snowmen. She would say the color and then she would try to identify the letter the color word started with.  She did a great job. 
This activity reinforces the concepts of matching, color identification, and color word identification. 

Shape Snowman
I wanted Little Sweets to make a paper snowman so I found a pattern on this website.  This is a fun craft to teach about shapes.  I cut out the shapes, but if your child is older they could cut them out themselves.  Then I told Little Sweets to find a specific shape, like the big circle.  She would find the shape show me and then put glue on it.  Then she glued it to the page.  I had to show her where to glue the shapes she is still working on learning position words.  She really enjoyed this activity.

This activity can be used to teach about shapes, following directions, fine motor skills (cutting), and using position words. 

Five Snowmen Song and Activity
This was a song I would sing when I was teaching.  Five children would come up and pretend to be a snowman and act out the words.  I only have one child so instead I improvised.  We put five snowmen on our white board.  ( I used the laminated ones from the file folder game).  Then we sang the song and took one away when it melted in the song.  Then Little Sweets would count and tell me how many snowmen were left.  I also used this activity as an opportunity to teach about colors.  We would say each had a colored had instead of silly hat.  Then I would tell her which snowman melted by the color on his hat.  She had to find the right snowman with the right colored hat.  This is an activity I think we will be doing over and over again.

Here is a link to the song

This activity reinforces the concepts of, counting, subtraction, and color recognition. 

Mitten Bingo
We haven't had time to do this activity, but will do it later this month.  I printed out pictures of colored mittens and laminated the pictures.  Then I made a spinner. Each player takes a bingo card.  When it is there turn the spin the spinner.  If the spinner lands on a mitten color they have then they get to put a chip on that mitten.  The first to cover up all their mittens wins.  If you have older children who are learning there color words you could write all the color words in black and have them read the colors.  I used thematching colors since Little Sweets is just learning to identify colors. 

This activity reinforces the concepts of color identification, color word identification, and taking turns. 

Playing in the Snow
  We don't get much snow in South Carolina so this was a treat for daddy and Little Sweets. 

For more great tot posts go here.


  1. GREAT week! Love that you made your own spinner! Thanks for the links that you shared too! Kerri

  2. What a great week! You have so many great snow/snowman activities. I love the "How Many Buttons?" activity. I think the girls would have a blast.

  3. You have a good mix of activities. My daughter is 32 months and she too can count but is having difficulty recognizing the numbers. I like your button spin game and will give it a try. Thanks for sharing (saw you on tot school)

  4. This post has so many wonderful ideas and has inspired me in my Tot School planning this month. I've featured you here:

    I hope you'll stop by and grab a featured button. Have a great day!

  5. Hey, just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog and I've featured you on mine here:

    Feel free to stop over, say hello and grab a featured button. Thanks for sharing such awesome ideas! Have a great day.

  6. Great activities. She's a lucky little girl.