This week was all about bugs! We searched for them, colored them and even acted like them! Check out our fun filled week below.
So the day finally arrived to breakout all of my mommy school stuff and get down to business. Overall it was a good day! We started with our magnetic calendar followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Our sight word for today was “and”. We then got to explore in our bug sensory bin.
This is a plastic shoe container filled with black beans and a dash of pinto beans for the color contrast. I found the small bug box that came with tweezers and a mini net (which we didn’t use today) at Dollar Tree! There is a mix of bugs from Dollar Tree as well as these I ordered from Amazon. I also found this amazing scavenger hunt printable. I printed it off in black and white so that it could be colored as she found each bug. I printed a colored copy as well that I’m planning on using later in the week for an outside scavenger hunt. As Paislee was hunting for bugs, Emilee was exploring her bug bag. I filled a zip bag with green tulle, strips of paper, a few beans and of course, bugs. This kept her attention for a few minutes, but she eventually got mad she couldn’t open the bag!
We read Bustle in the Bushes from our book collection. This is a super cute book that goes over a variety of bugs and it rhymes. After that we practiced our scissor skills with a cute cut and paste activity I found in a free printable pack from here. There were a few worksheets we done which included a ladybug dot to dot, bee maze and ladybug coloring sheet. She started getting tired of coloring and was anxious to start painting. Next time I may not have everything out (especially fun stuff) so she can focus on what we are doing in the moment. In the meantime Emilee colored on a piece of construction paper I taped to her “tot tray”. She enjoyed coloring and looking at her Usborne book the most!
We finally made it to painting! I used Paislee’s trusty “tot tray” for this activity and even laid down some aluminum foil to contain the mess as she painted a paper plate ladybug. Emilee got an opportunity to “paint” ladybugs in a zip bag. This surprisingly didn’t hold her attention very long and once again she was mad she couldn’t open the bag!
We finished off with an episode of The Magic School Bus called, “In A Beehive”. I cleaned up as they enjoyed the show. Overall, I think things went good. It was about 2- 2 ½ hours from start to finish. The only major complaint is the lack of movement today. We literally sit the whole time, minus the 2 diaper changes for Emilee! I will have to make sure we have some kind of “moving” activity break in-between. I really wanted to test everything out today and see how it would work then make adjustments accordingly
With one day under our belts, we were ready to take on another day in mommy school! Today we focused on spiders. Right along with our morning routine, we went over our magnetic calendar and then recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Our sight word for today was “and”. I absolutely love these sight word worksheets, as you can even cut and paste to build the word. I incorporated a little game using a flyswatter and cutouts. I wrote each sight word (one uppercase and one lowercase) on a cutout and taped it to our easel. I then let Paislee hit each word as I called it out. Since we’ve only went over two words so far, I called them out really fast to add another fun element. She enjoyed this.
While she was doing this, Emilee was playing with a color sort activity. This was simply a page I made with 4 basic colored circles and then matching giant pom poms. She had fun with this for a few minutes and then thought it was more fun to throw them in the floor!
Next, we worked on a few worksheets and then read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. I also had an Eric Carle workbook I had picked up, because that was Emilee’s first birthday theme. We used the “build a web” page and “find the matching spiders” page. The next activity was not originally planned, but after all of the sitting we done yesterday, I had to come up with something active to do. I call this activity “fly toss”. I basically made a “web” out of tape and crumpled up pieces of paper to throw at the web. The paper was too light and didn’t stick to the tape, so we changed to throwing the giant pom poms Emilee was sorting with. This worked slightly better, but not that great. Even though this didn’t turn out exactly how I had hoped it would, it was still fun and helped give us a break from just sitting.
Another fun activity Paislee done was the spider leg count. I took a black paper plate and used number stickers to put 1-8 around the plate. I fixed a little spider head out of construction paper and finished it off with eyes. I then took 8 wooden clothespins and put corresponding 1-8 dots on each. She had to count the number of dots and match it with the correct number on the spider. The finished product was a spider with 8 clothespin legs! She really enjoyed this activity. I'll be saving it for Halloween week. I went on to readMiss Spider's Tea Party.
At this point Paislee had one activity left and I was grasping at straws to keep Emilee entertained. I went ahead and gave her an activity I had planned for another day because of her obvious boredom. This activity was called “feed the frog”. I bought a dollar bottle of parmesan cheese, then emptied and cleaned it out. I put green construction paper around it, big eyes on top and a little curly tongue. I also taped the lid (mouth) open so that she couldn’t shut it and get mad. She then got to feed the frog little pom poms. She absolutely LOVED this activity! I’ve got to say it’s her favorite one so far. She filled the little frog up, dumped him out and repeated it all over again. (Big win mama!)
So while she was having fun with this, Paislee was enjoying her spider writing activity. This was created by taping 8 pipe cleaners (legs) to a black paper plate. I also used the same method as above to create a head for the spider. The only other thing needed was salt! I picked up a kosher coarse salt in hopes that it wouldn’t be really dusty and it worked perfectly! She then used her fingers to write letters, draw pictures and sprinkle salt. I highly recommend a tray for this activity because it will help contain the salt. Overall it was a winner as well.
The time from start to finish was about the same as yesterday. I cleaned up and we ate a quick snack before starting an episode of The Magic School Bus called, “Spins a Web”. Overall, another great day!
We are finally settling into this whole “school thing”. Today we focused on caterpillars and Paislee’s favorite, butterflies! We just happened to have these cute reversible dresses I had bought the girls for Emilee’s first birthday party, so we rocked them today! Like usual, we went over the weather, Pledge of Allegiance and then dove right in. I decided to go back over our sight word from day 1 (“and”) to help reinforce what we had learned. We then worked on 2 sheets of our special "about me" book. I absolutely recommend getting your copy of this precious keepsake. Next, we worked on this cute caterpillar name worksheet I found here.
During this time I was struggling to keep Emilee entertained. She had looked at books, colored on paper and worked on putting wooden circles on pegs. As I was losing her interest fast, I decided to get her out of her highchair and let her play in the floor. She enjoyed stacking the wooden circles better in the floor. When she returned to her highchair, she played with the “feed the frog” game from yesterday. This didn’t hold her attention for nearly as long, and was quickly brought to an end when I caught her putting a pom pom in her mouth! Note to self, work on more tot materials for Emilee.
Continuing on our theme, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. We seriously have 3 different versions (standard, finger-puppet and crinkle) of this same book! In case you haven’t noticed, we love Eric Carle! We also read Butterfly Park, which we checked out from our local library. I again used worksheets from the Eric Carle workbook I had previously picked up. These included a caterpillar maze and a butterfly coloring sheet.
Next, we added in a fun movement activity that both of the girls enjoyed. I found a cute idea on Pinterest where you act out the different stages of a butterfly. You lay like an egg, you crawl like a caterpillar, you sit very still like a cocoon and you fly like a butterfly. This was winner!
We then returned to the table where we practiced cutting out the butterfly stages and pasting them in order. Paislee worked on few other worksheets and then we ended with Play-doh! I found these cute Play-doh mats here. She really enjoyed decorating the butterfly and designing the caterpillar to go along with the legs. I put a little Play-doh in a bag for Emilee to play with, but she wasn’t impressed! I believe she threw it in the floor about as fast as I gave it to her.
It was another fun day! We wrapped up with an episode of The Magic School Bus called, “Butterfly And The Bog Beast”. Only 2 days left this week!
We're officially on day 4! We started with our usual morning routine, and went over the sight word “the” again today for reinforcement. We worked on another page of our special book, done a lightening bug maze and completed and colored a bee dot to dot.
During this time I once again was working hard to keep Emilee entertained. Today I gave her a shape sorting toy we already had. When she started getting tired of it, I showed her how to stack them up. This added about another minute to her entertainment!
We went on to read Creepy Crawly Calypso, which also included a music cd. We enjoyed listening and dancing to the story put into a song. When we settled back down, we completed a few more worksheets and then played a matching game I printed out from this pack. For a minute I thought I was going to get beat my three year old, but we tied! (ha ha)
After that we worked on a brand new Melissa and Doug magnetic bug puzzle I found. We love puzzles and are always adding to our collection. Emilee worked on Mr. Potato Head that we already had.
We then played another fun action game. This time we acted like all kinds of bugs. I printed a list out that included things like, buzz like a bee and wiggle like a worm. This was, of course, another big winner!
This was all in all a slightly shorter day, but just as fun. Paislee didn’t believe me when I said we were done. We finished with our usual, The Magic School Bus. This episode was called, “Ants in Its Pants”.
It’s a little sad… bug week has come to an end today. But, we couldn’t send it off without a few more fun activities! After the weather and Pledge of Allegiance we played the fly swatter game again to review our sight words, “the” & “and”. Paislee likes this game, and likes us to take turns so she has a chance to call them out to me as well. Emilee even tried to get in on the fun!
We then worked on the last page of our special“About Me” book! While Paislee done that, Emilee played with our Melissa and Doug caterpillar gear toy.
Of course we had to read some books, so today’s picks were, Ten Wriggly, Wiggly, Caterpillars & Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly. After that we worked on a dot to dot and a few number worksheets I pulled from our workbooks.
The next activity was to “build a bug” out of construction paper shapes I had cut out. She enjoyed this and ultimately started building other things…like a rocket ship!
During this time I just rotated things with Emilee to play with, although she was anxious to get up before we were done. I had almost forgotten the last activity I had planned for us to do. I found these awesome “I Spy” worksheets here. Today’s I spy was a cute sheet full of different bugs. I slipped the paper down into a sheet protector and gave her a small dry erase marker to circle her finds. The second page, which I printed on the back of the I spy sheet, had the different things to find and a space to write down how many of each there were. This was probably one of the longest activities she done all week. But, she enjoyed it though!
We were going to end with an outside bug scavenger hunt using the same paper we used on day one with our sensory bin, but we didn’t. Just throwing that out there because it would be a fun idea!
Overall, this was a fun and exciting week! It was, of course, a learning curve for all of us, but worked out really well. In preparation of next week’s activities I will make sure to have a wide variety of things for Emilee to do. Now I remember why tot school didn’t last very long with Paislee! But I’m excited to continue on this journey with the girls. I’ve got some pretty fun stuff already planned for next week. Keep an eye out for week 2 of mommy’s tot and preschool! Next week will be all about weather.