April 29, 2012

Tot School – 4.28.12

-Red is currently 22 months old-

Theme: Butterflies

Tot Trays & Learning Toys

1. Pouring Beans. Red enjoys pouring activities and usually does pretty well with them.

2. Ring a Thing Game. Red loves these cute little peg people. We’ve been working on rolling the die and putting the correct ring on. I’m looking forward to being able to play games together!

3. Hand Puzzle. I got this hand puzzle at CVS for $1. All the fingers are numbered, so it was good practice counting them as we put them in. He needed quite a bit of help on this.

4. Threading Washers and Spools onto Dowel Rods. This toy has gotten a lot of use. It’s as simple as putting some washers, spools and dowel rods together and letting him explore.


Diego Saves a Butterfly (Go, Diego, Go! Ready-to-Read)

This was probably Red’s favorite book this week. We definitely read it the most. The title pretty much explains what the story is about. I didn’t care for it very much but that’s okay. I enjoy reading with him even if I don’t love the material :)

A Butterfly Is Patient

We didn’t ever get all the way through this book; it’s pretty long. But it was very informative and had engaging illustrations. I was reading it to Red while he played next to me, and I read that a butterfly tongue is called a proboscis, and he yelled “Proboscis!” over and over. It was too funny :)

From Egg to Butterfly (Start to Finish: Nature's Cycles)

This book had great photographs of butterflies at every stage of the life cycle. Red enjoyed looking at all the photos.

Butterfly Tree

This was another long one that I read to Red while he played next to me. It was a beautiful story about a mother and daughter discovering a migratory group of monarch butterflies and the memory they would always share. The illustrations were beautiful too.


Red made a coffee filter butterfly and decorated it with colored glue. He loved getting to have full control of the glue bottle :)

He also made a butterfly collage out of contact paper and scraps of ribbon.


For Easter, Red’s grandparents got him this butterfly garden. We had spent weeks watching the caterpillars grow and build cocoons, and this week they finally emerged—just in time for butterfly week!

He enjoyed feeding them orange slices and watching them while he had his snack.

To see what other tots are learning about this week, visit Tot School at 1+1+1=1.

April 28, 2012

Butterfly Collage.

This project was based on another great post at No Time for Flash Cards. I had a piece of green foam, so I used it to cut out a butterfly silhouette. After that, I cut out the middle and trimmed some contact paper to fit behind it. Red prefers to do collages (or camouflages, as he calls them) on the wall, so I taped it up with some painters tape.

I gave him lots of pieces of ribbon, string and crepe paper to stick on it. He was very precise about it and lined up all the pieces of ribbon parallel to each other.

When he was finished, I punched a hole and threaded a piece of string through it so we could hang it from the window by his table.

Since I had that entire middle section of foam leftover, I gave Red some dot stickers to stick on his butterfly. I love these dot stickers, because they are inexpensive and easy for Red to pull of the backing himself. He has to work at it a little, but it’s great for his little pincer grasp.

April 25, 2012

Colored Glue Butterfly.

After seeing this fun post at No Time for Flash Cards, I whipped up some colored glue for Red. We only had one half empty bottle of glue, so green was the only color option. He didn’t mind the lack of selection; I think he was just thrilled to be able to use the glue by himself unrestrained. The colored glue is really easy to make—just drop some food coloring in with the glue and use a skewer to stir it up.

It was a little hard for him to squeeze out, but he kept working at it. It was a great workout for those little hand muscles. He covered a sheet of construction paper, and then I just stuck the coffee filter wings onto the glue and let him decorate some more. After he was done, I added the pipe cleaners. He did another one with dot painters too. Below is his take on the classic coffee filter butterfly craft!

April 22, 2012

Tot School – 4.22.12

-Red is currently 22 months old-

Theme: Bubbles

Tot Trays & Learning Toys

1. Magnetic Dress-Up. Red is getting better at recognizing where to put different clothing items (hats on heads, pants on legs, etc.)

2. Luigi's Tire Tower Game. Red enjoyed stacking the tires into a tower, but he hasn’t gotten the hang of using the hook yet. We didn’t play by the rules of the game. As he gets older, we can start to play it more as a game.

3. Vehicle Sound Puzzle. Red has gotten really good at this puzzle. It’s almost too easy for him, but he still enjoys it.

4. Lincoln Logs. These were difficult for Red to build with, but he enjoyed just manipulating the pieces.


I had trouble finding books about bubbles this week, so I picked some that were only loosely related (like they had the word ‘Pop.’)

Bubble Trouble (Rookie Readers: Level B)

Red enjoyed this one. It had very simple text about blowing bubbles. He liked it but didn’t request it repeatedly.

Bubble Trouble

This book was a tongue-twister about a baby who gets carried away in a bubble. I had a lot of fun reading it (I enjoy a challenge :). It has a rhyming text and some tongue twisters that were almost Fox in Sox-worthy. Red thought it was okay, but I don’t think he understood a lot of it. I probably had more fun with it than him.

Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum

Red chose this one to read many times. I think the bubble gum intrigued him. It was a little long for his attention, but he was drawn to it several times. As the title indicates, it’s about the invention of bubble gum.

Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, Creak, Pop-Pop, Moo

This book had nothing to do with bubbles. It features a lot of onomatopoeia words that one might encounter during a day at the farm. Red thought it was okay.

Small Florence, Piggy Pop Star

This one also had nothing to do with bubbles. Red never wanted to read it, but I read it to myself and thought it was a very sweet Cinderella-type story with a modern American Idol twist.


Red had a lot of fun blowing bubbles with his bubble sensory bin.


I added some texture to his painting this week and let him paint on bubble wrap.

He also experimented by painting with bubble wands.

To see what other tots are learning about this week, visit Tot School at 1+1+1=1.

April 20, 2012

Bubble Wand Painting.

Free Art Friday Banner

I told Red we were going to paint with bubble wands, and he immediately thought I was talking about something to do with magic. Too much Abbey’s Flying Fairy School (on Sesame Street), I guess. Although no magic was involved, he still had a really fun time making patterns in the paint.

April 19, 2012

Bubble Wrap Painting

To add a little texture to our painting today, we used bubble wrap instead of paper.

It made some neat patterns as the paint skimmed along the tops of the circles or pooled down in the crevices between. Red enjoyed the feel of it on his hands.

And he enjoyed trying to pop the bubbles :)

And he liked the feel of it on his feet!

April 18, 2012

Bubble Sensory Bin.

My little boy was in bubble heaven today. I made a batch of homemade bubble solution, gave him various bubble blowers, and let him loose.

The bubble solution recipe I used is from this website. It calls for glycerin, which can be found in the skincare section of a drugstore. My solution ended up blue, because I used blue Dawn.

It was nice to be able to give him a little control and let him dip the wand without worrying about him spilling a whole bottle of bubbles on the ground.

We tried many different bubble “wands.” The cute store-bought variety,

Recycled household items (wire hanger, domed cup lid, toilet paper roll, slotted spoon, straws, spice container lid, and a flyswatter [not pictured]),

And a few toys (Mr. Potato Head glasses, star cookie cutter, pipe cleaner, Wedgit piece).

The best ones were the traditional bubble wands, pipe cleaner, hanger, straw, and slotted spoon. But they all worked!

After awhile, bubble blowing turned into bubble splashing, but that’s why it’s a sensory bin!

He enjoyed stirring the solution to make it bubble up and then grabbing handfuls of the slimy suds.

We both got a little sticky, so I let him play with the hose afterwards to rinse off. This activity got lots of smiles and giggles!