Saturday, September 7, 2013

Black Sheep Week (22 Months)

The first half of Black Sheep Week was spent on vacation.  We had a wonderful time!  We spent a lot of time hiking and playing with long-lost friends. Tot School is all about child led learning through play and that is exactly what we did for 8 days in the beautiful state of Colorado including the zoo, botanical gardens, mountains, trains, planes, trolleys and the list goes on...

While away our "sensory box" was a giant sand box in the mountains. Mr. Little Man loves digging and was thrilled that he had a giant place to play in the sand.

Our condo rental was in an amazing village.  There were all kinds of fun things going on, a street fair, street circus, life size Jenga & connect four (so cool!).  We also stumbled upon this giant chess set!  Since our vacation started in White Dog week and ended in Black Sheep week, we combined the two a lot during our trip.  This was the PERFECT black/white combo.  While he didn't care much for moving them around, he was amazed at the knights... we would say, where is the black horse/white horse.  He loved this game.

We also found this animal display and Mr. Little Man was amazed. He must  have stood and looked at them for 5 minutes.  I'm sure his little mind was thinking, where are their faces!? He loved the bear, even tried to hug it as we left.  Black Bear, Black Bear, Where is You Face?... beginning of a new EC book!? No?

I set up put tot school on the fireplace ledge.  We had the Tot School On-The-Go kit in the basket, our BBBBWDYS book, a portable chalkboard and some flashcards of black/white animals.

He finally showed some interest in the heads&tails flashcards from Carisa's printables.

We went to the Denver Zoo which was absolutely amazing!  Mr. Little Man loved the animals but did not love the carousel.  Well, he liked the Panda Bear... until we started going up and down.  I thought it was cute that out of all the animals he chose the black/white animal to ride! Coincidence? He LOVED seeing "brown bear"... a combo phrase we say a lot and got to see in real life.  This bear really posed like this... how funny!

Flash forward a long day of travel and too many delays to speak of and we were home! Mr. Little Man was sick with a really high temp and not himself. He enjoyed some some activities with me but he mostly spent the last few days of Tot School drinking water, sleeping and snuggling mommy.

We played hide & seek each morning with our Black Sheep... this still hasn't gotten old!

For his anytime play, I laid his BBBBWDYS book out as usual with the Black Sheep on display.  I also left the white/black balls from last week (White Dog Week) out.  Lastly, I made some pipe cleaner necklaces for his little stuffed black bear.  I thought he would enjoy putting them on and taking them off since he often grabs the necklaces at school and plays with them, but he was not into this at all.  I don;t know if it was too easy, boring or if it was that fact that he was sick but he didn't even bother to play with this for the 3 days it was out.

We are loving the quiet time basket when Mommy cooks/cleans the kitchen.  One evening I  had it all set up with the alphabet and he pretended to count each letter, "da-da-da-da-da-da" etc.  He enjoys playing with these a lot.  By the weeks end, he had discovered the art of throwing them and watching them slide on the kitchen floor. Hence, I will restock the quiet time basket for the upcoming Orange Goldfish Week.

One day I made him a play space in a giant box that had a black themed sensory box inside and cozy blanket. He loved the giant box and had little to no interest in the sensory box. This was the first time I had ever done a color themed box of items like this.  I see them on Tot School blogs all the time and other children always seem to enjoy them so I thought it would be a nice thing to try.  Unfortunately, he didn't care for it at all.  Because he is so sick, I plan to try it again with Orange week next week.

I did try unpacking the box and it did make him come back over, climb in his giant box and sit down to look.  That was about as far as he got besides picking up a few flashcards.

We also did a lot of chalk board drawing on our chalkboard table.  He used white chalk and practiced his circles and lines again and again. 

What We Sang:
We sang our song for the week, Baa Baa Black Sheep, quite a bit this week.  He really likes the song and danced along, 103 degree temp an all...
What We Read:
BBBBWDYS- for the 1000th time  
Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
Carl's Snowy Afternoon by Alexandra Day
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D.Eastman
Moo, Baa, La, La, La by Sandra Boynton
Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.
A Few Parting Notes: 
I have read a few posts where moms have explained that there are days, sometimes weeks where you feel like all your efforts with your children seem to be going right over their head.  They speak of moments where their child make s a connection and it is just an amazing experience.  Well, while we were gone, Mr. Little Man started to find signs around us, especially in the mountain village, and would run his finger under each word and say "what is dat?" I would read him the word and he would then ask me about the next one.  This was a cool moment for me where i saw that a love for learning and reading was beginning... so awesome.  He also, started to 'write his name'. He makes three symbols on the paper, the number of letters in his nickname, and then would run to us with the paper and say "I did dit!"  I am so proud of my hardworking, fun-loving little man and look forward to seeing more light bulbs go off soon!  Cheers to Tot School!

Linking To:
Tot School Gathering Place

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