A while ago I stumbled on some really great websites and blogs of other stay-at-home mothers that are doing "tot school" with their little ones. These varied from really structured curriculums to loosely themed weeks for the kids. I liked a lot of what I was seeing and decided that once Henry turned 2 that we'd embark on an "Alphabet Adventure" where each week we would concentrate on a different letter. He's always seemed interested in learning new things and has a tremendous memory so I figured we would both benefit from adding a "structured" part of our days at home.
I've collected a good deal of supplies, learning toys, games, etc. over the summer and have planned out a lot of what we're going to do over the next 26 weeks. It's been fun seeing what other mothers are doing and putting together plans for what Henry and I can do together.
Each week will have consistent components:
-Letter and shape dry-erase activities (a lot of tracing and circling) having to do with the letter of the week and various skills (like straight lines, curved lines, shapes, etc.). These are compiled in sheet protectors in his "school book" that I made for him. I printed the coversheet with some things that he really likes (train and Little Einsteins' rocket). He can write right on the sheet protectors and we can wipe them off so he can do the worksheets over and over throughout the week.
-Letter of the Week craft: We'll make a craft that incorporates the letter using something that starts with that letter. (i.e. apple print A, a D with feathers and a bill to make it a duck, etc.)
-Magnet/Dot Sheets: Henry loves playing with small magnets that I got at the dollar store and also bingo dotters/daubers. I've found that there are a lot of printables online that offer shapes, letters, etc. with open dots for kids to fill in with magnets or dots. I taped a sheet protector to an extra cookie sheet that we had and I can slide the worksheet into it and Henry can move the magnets around as he wants. (He LOVES this. I will probably post about this again later.)
-Three different "tot trays" with activities corresponding (when I can) with the letter of the week. These trays have activities that he can do by himself or with a little guidance from me. I have them in baskets under our coffee table for him to explore as he wants.
-Practical skill practice activities like gluing, hand washing, spreading butter, cooking, etc.
-Books gathered that go with letter of the week
This week we started our Alphabet Adventure with the letter A!
We got an early start since the family had their annual trip to Masker Orchard for apple picking. Henry got really into it and practically ate his weight in apples! When we got home Henry helped make an apple pie!
Other things we did:
-We used an apple cut in half to make an apple-print A craft for the alphabet book we'll put together as we go through the adventure.
-He practiced using his "chop sticks" (giant wooden tweezers) to transfer acorns from one container to another.
-His animals went on airplane rides during playtime.
-We read A books we got from the library like "Amanda and Her Alligator" by Mo Willems.
-We visited the animals at the local nature park.
-He and Daddy made a construction paper ant.
-We made an apple tree using a recycled toilet paper roll, some cardboard from our recycling bin and a few red pom-poms. The finished product was pretty cute.
Here is a picture of Henry "working" at his desk.
One Letter Adventure Week down, 25 to go!