Overview: I love spending time before Valentine’s Day learning about hearts. Check out what we did in Tot School for our hearts toddler theme.
Last week was our first official week of tot school. We enjoyed the tot trays I created to help ease Sicily into some structured activities. I tried to give her my full attention for an hour then let her play by herself.
I think the week went well. Sicily really enjoyed the toddler learning activities. I can tell you that some lasted 10 minutes while others only lasted 1 minute.
I learned that Sicily has a hard time with sensory. She doesn’t mind her hands being dirty, but weird textures really throw her off. I’ll explain later as I go through this weeks hearts toddler theme activities. I made a mental note to plan more sensory activities to help her.
Hearts Toddler Theme
We started with a very simple tot tray. On the tray, I placed heart stickers, little heart containers, red pom-poms, and red teddy bears.
I made sure that I emphasized the color red or the shape heart in my language. I showed Sicily how to put the objects in the red bucket. As I put the objects in the bucket I would say “I put the red pom-pom in the bucket.”
I did the same when I took an object out of the bucket. I let Sicily explore the materials for a bit. As she put objects in and out I would just say what she was doing to help build that vocabulary. She spent a good 5 minutes on this before spotting the container of bears.
She decided to dump the bears on herself! The bottom picture is when she started to walk away to play with something else. She noticed that the bears were stuck in her shirt. It made her very confused, but content. She tapped her belly and kept on playing!
The next day we made a heart sun catcher. I tore tiny pieces of tissue paper and laid them on a tray with contact paper cut into a heart. Then I showed Sicily how to add the paper to the heart, but she didn’t really have any interest in this activity. I left it out on the table and about 15 minutes later she sat down, threw a bunch of paper on the heart, and signed all done.
I also introduced the sand table. In it I had rice and hearts with a bucket. The object was to find the hearts and put them in the bucket.
Well Sicily did not like the texture of the rice. She would dip her hand in it, look at the rice that stuck to her hand, and shake it off. I opened it all week. She was fascinated by it and kept going back, but wouldn’t put her hands in it to play.
The last activity of the hearts toddler theme was painting with heart cookie cutters. I just dipped the cookie cutter in white paint and let her stamp the paper. She really enjoyed this and spent about 10 minutes playing with it. The next day she was so proud of her project that she carried it around all day.
This was our first ever Tot School experience, and before I created The Toddler Experience Curriculum. The first half of the curriculum is all about shapes and colors. After the first few months, you get to follow your child’s lead and choose themes that best match your toddler’s interests. For a sample theme click the image below.
Print & Play Calendar
Simple, low prep activities that can be modified for toddlers and preschoolers on a simple calendar. No more worrying about how to keep the kids entertained. Just print and go!