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Toddler School: Tuesday

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

I love books. I really do – I only read about one adult novel a year at this stage of my life, but at most other stages of my life, you could find me with my nose buried in a story. I love all kinds of books, but a truly beautiful kid’s book has a special place in my heart. I remember the first time I saw Tuesday, David Wiesner’s gorgeous dreamy picture book. I was in high school, and one of the girls in my art class brought it in for some reason. I remember flipping through the book, just in awe of the lovely story I was looking at. I’m not sure if the books I read as a young child simply didn’t bring out that sense of wonder in me, but this was the first time I remember seeing a children’s book and just simply adoring it. It’s always had a special place in my heart, and once I had kids, I couldn’t wait until they were old enough to share it with them. I decided to do a week of Toddler School with Dexter based on Tuesday.

Every morning for the week of Toddler School, we read the book we’re working on and incorporate other related books and projects into our day.

The activities we did with Tuesday were:

Frog Puzzles

Frog Peg Board

Frog Bath

Frog Hats

Leap Frog

Frog Books

Frog Mat Games

Frog Bubble Print

Frog Oriental Trading Crafts

Frog Plate Craft

Frog Coloring

Build a Frog Pond

Frog Puzzles 

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

I drew and colored a frog picture on some card stock. The first day we did it, we started with two pieces – a top and bottom. Then we worked into three and four pieces. I also randomly have this puzzle set of 3-5 piece puzzles of the alphabet, and F is frog, so we worked on that one too.

Frog Peg Board

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

Because Dex is a little young for the life cycle of a frog which seems to really be all that’s out there as far as frog-based projects and activities go, we pulled a lot from around the house. This amazing peg board set my sister gave us for Christmas had a frog, so out it came for some color matching.

Frog Bath

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

I belong to a couple homeschool swap groups on Facebook, and a lady I know recently started hosting foam bath swaps. I’d never heard of using them in a bath before, but it’s kind of genius. All craft stores sell foam sheets by the package, and you simply cut a few pieces into whatever shapes you need – holiday themes, etc. – toss them in the bath and, voila! New bath toys! We tossed in a blue bath bomb and made a pond bath, and this was absolutely Dexter’s favorite activity we did. I just cut out some lily pad shapes and some flowers, and he played in it until the water went cold and kept asking to have a pond bath the rest of the week. We’re absolutely incorporating more foam bath activities into our themed weeks!

Frog Hats

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

Same foam sheets + glue dots + a headband = a super easy craft for a little. These were completely necessary for our game of leap frog that followed.

Frog Books

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

I brought out all the other frog books we had, and we read through these daily.

Frog Mat Games

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

Someone mentioned the Mailbox had a bunch of $3 books in their closeout section, and I picked up a preschool mat book. We used this a lot this week – there were a couple different frog mats in the set (everything is pre laminated – it’s kind of an awesome $3). Because Dex is still a little young for board games, he decided these were his board games, and we played with these like crazy.

Frog Bubble Print

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

I love a bubble wrap print for a little – it’s fun to paint, and it gets a pretty awesome looking print, even when you just love making brown.

Frog Oriental Trading Crafts

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

The homeschool swap group I belong to does an Oriental Trading Co. mystery grab bag – and we had a few frog crafts in our Spring box so we rocked those out. I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciate getting cheap crafts without having to purchase a dozen. There are also some Oriental Trading Co. Co-ops on Facebook which allow you to vote on and purchase exactly the items you want by having a large group getting together to buy in bulk. Huge win:)

Frog Plate Craft

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

Frog Coloring

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

Build a Frog Pond

So, this was probably our big win for the week. We buy rolls of seamless paper (they are 9 foot wide paper used for photography backdrops) pretty often (you can get them from any photography supply store or amazon), and I always get a white roll for us to use for large-scale craft projects. We decided to make a large pond for the kids to play with. We started by taping a large section of the seamless to the floor and busted out the green and blue fingerprints.

Every time we do a large finger/body painting, it’s a pretty epic experience for the kids. This was Arlo’s first time being about to walk around while painting, and they all had a blast. As a head’s up – this project is NOT for the neat freaks. The kids get covered head to toe and in the excitement of making an enormous mess, inevitably walk off the paper, leaving little paint footprints around the room. If you’re an easily stressed out person, I definitely would not attempt this. Similarly, we only do this when there are enough parents to corral anyone too small to follow the “stay on the paper” instructions (aka two littles, two parents = a go), and there is always the NO RUNNING rule in place, because even just walking, the paint is slippery, and the kids will fall. That said, we have an absolute blast every time we do large-scale finger painting:)

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

After we built the pond, we cut out some rock shapes, lily pad shapes, and I cut out some flowers for the boys to curl the petals of for the pond. I had high ambitions here – we were going to do some cling wrap painting on the rocks for texture, but the boys wanted to play in the pond the minute it was dry, and there was no chance they were going to be interested in waiting another hour for the rocks to dry, as well, so we jumped in the pond, swam around with our friends and played frog.

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

 

richandalyssa@nickelcitystudios.com - Okay, I just saw this because I’m awful! We’re out the door today, but I’ll email you tomorrow :)

Caitlin Szalkowski - It’s amazing that you’re blogging about this, Alyssa! I read through all of them this at about 4 AM while I was up with the baby, ha. And I learned things! It is so interesting to see what homeschooling is like from the parent’s perspective (especially outside of the “doing it for religious reasons” context). I’m curious to know how you guys arrived at the decision to homeschool Murph and what, if any, other options you considered or explored. We bought a house in the city and I don’t know anything other than living within city limits, but BPS are hardly recognizable from when I was a student. So we’ve already started the conversation about what we’ll do for school when the time comes (sooner than we realize I’m sure). Homeschooling is something that has crossed my mind, especially, honestly, after knowing that it was something you guys did and thus was not just a “religious thing”. Anyway, keep up the amazing work,
I’ll be reading along for sure!

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