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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tot School: Patterns & Letter L

I was excited about playing with patterns. And now, having seen how it went with Calvin, I am not sure what I was so excited about... He definitely didn't seem too into it.

And I just want to say again that the purpose of Tot School is just to be thoughtful about ways to play so that Calvin and Henry get a variety of play experiences and opportunities to learn. So when Calvin resists or won't participate, I make an effort to engage him but I don't push too hard because if it's not fun, it's not worth it.

I will still share the activities I planned/tried - even if they flopped - partly because I think it's funny and other moms can probably relate to the toddlerness of it all, and partly because they might be useful activities for other kiddos or for us to try again in the future.

So here we go with patterns!

Pattern Paths

I thought this was going to be super fun. Like playing follow the leader or hopscotch while saying a pattern in rhythm. My idea was to start by walking along the pattern and saying the pattern out loud, then maybe hopping or jumping along the pattern. Then if he got the hang of it, we'd pick up the cards and lay them down one at a time trying to predict the next picture as we go along. I had made a few different sets of cards, some with ABAB pattenrs, some with ABCABC patterns.

Seemed pretty brilliant to me. 

Maybe the concept was too new for Calvin and he wasn't getting it. Maybe he just wasn't in the mood to follow along! Either way, he basically watched me walk and hop and jump along the path and say the pattern and when I encouraged him to join in, he either stared at me blankly, tried to get me to play with a different toy, or picked up all the cards and threw them. Should've gotten a picture of that! LOL. Whatever. Again, just because my kid wasn't into it on this particular day doesn't mean it's a bad activity :) I'll probably try it again one day. Maybe with sidewalk chalk like an actual hopscotch board!

Pattern Snack

Calvin did play along with this one. He helped me organize the Cheerios, apple chunks, and cheese slices into a pattern using the ice cube tray. A fun way to do this would be to do fruit kabobs. We didn't have enough different fruits in our pantry at the time. 

Toy Patterns

Once again, I wasn't able to engage Calvin in giving a crap about making a pattern, but I tried! I did manage to get him to talk about the colors of the pegs...

You could do toy patterns with anything. It doesn't have to be colors. It could be, like car, truck, train, car, truck, train - if you have a lot of vehicle toys. Or animals or shape blocks or whatever. You just need a bunch of toys where you have at least a few of each type to make the pattern. 

Pom Pom Paint Pattern

This time we made the pattern by taking turns. I had the red paint, and Calvin had blue. The only hard part (and this always happens with stamp art) was getting Calvin to be patient and wait until his turn to stamp! Once that paint-covered object is in his hand, he is ready to attack the paper! It took a lot of patience for both of us. But I think he finally got the idea of an alternating pattern: blue, red, blue, red... Calvin, Mama, Calvin, Mama...

Rhythm Patterns
I don't have a pic of this one, but we had musical instruments in our toy rotation this week so I used some of our jam session time to introduce sound patterns. I did patterns by drumming on the table and tried to get Calvin to copy me. He declined. Shocking, I know. But he was definitely interested in watching and listening to me drum out a pattern. At least it was entertaining for him :P

Our letter of the week was lalalala... L!

Words that Start with L

I went around the house and collected things that start with L. For each item, Calvin told me what it was called, I wrote the name, and then we used the L magnet to help us find the letter L in the word. 

Pom Pom Paint L

To help Calvin get famililar with the shape of the letter, we used our pom pom paint brushes to decorate an L. 

Shaving Cream Writing

This is what I had in mind.

This is what Calvin had in mind.
The idea was to do a little sensory play and try out writing the letter L with one finger. Calvin still has a hard time with the texture of shaving cream. I also tried letting Henry play with some shaving cream, and of course, the second I looked away he got it into his mouth. Must use whipped cream next time!!

Calvin had much more fun once we pulled out the dinosaurs. We pretended they were in the snow :)

Lemon & Lime Stamps

More stamp art, this time with fruit! L is for lemon lime.

The next day, I was trying to think of a song for the letter L and all I could think of was Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolly lollipop... Lollipop! So then I let Calvin have a lollipop because we happened to have a couple left from Halloween :) I let Henry taste it, but it kept making him mad because I would only let him lick it and then I had to take it away so he wouldn't choke on it. He probably thinks lollipops are the worst!

Another week, another theme, another letter! I haven't flaked out on Tot School yet! This week we are on to the letter V and textures, so I guess we'll need some Velvety Vests and Voluptuous Velociraptors... Maybe it'll turn out to be more fun than patterns :P

1 comment:

  1. Love the shaving cream writing! I should try this with my 4 y/o and 2 y/o. I cannot get my 4 y/o to focus on writing!