Ever since I came across the idea of Tot School from 1+1+1=1, I’ve tried to implement it on a daily basis no matter what the circumstances. As an elementary educator and mom, I realize the importance of creating and making use of learning opportunities while always keeping a fun, no-pressure attitude. When Pookie and I recently took a trip to visit my sister (who has no kids, hence no toys), I was faced with the challenge of creating Tot School opportunities with what was readily available around us. Here’s what we came up with.
We explored the fallen Maple leaves in my sister’s back yard. It was like a giant sensory bin that Pookie couldn’t get enough of! It also allowed us an opportunity to work on the color yellow, which is a word she’s been practicing hard how to pronounce.
We took a trip to the science museum where Pook got to experience some cause and effect in association with pulling levers, pushing buttons, and spinning wheels.
I created a posting activity using plastic caps and a paper towel roll. (Who needs toys?)
Next up my sis and I painted some frappucino bottles to match her bouquet of colorful daisies. Then Pookie had to match the flowers to their correct “vases.”
I started her off by putting one flower into its matching vase, and she took it from there. She understood exactly what to do, probably because we’ve been working on color sorting for a few weeks now.
Pookie loved this activity and wanted to do it over and over again!
Once the flowers became too “tired” to use for the previous activity, Pook helped me pluck off the petals, and we created a sensory bin with them. It made a huge mess, but she loved it.
We found another use for the painted jars and plastic lids; color sorting and posting.
With all these activities, we managed to have a fun-filled week working on some important tot skills without any of the typical toys/tools at hand. It was a good exercise for all of us in getting creative!