We’re several weeks into the school year, and, even though we’ve had a couple of new students start recently, the days have been running smoothly! From the first day, returning students quickly got back into the daily rhythms of school. The new students soon were anticipating all of the routines, such as snack time, work time, group time and outside time.
I love how quickly toddlers pick up on routines and rituals! Even the youngest already remember to put some activities away and where things go.
During September, we’ve been mostly focused on a farm theme.
We have small animals and cards to match; all the farm animals; open and close farm “eggs;” and puzzles of pets and other domestic animals. We also have explored tools, with small representations and cards to match, and a puzzle with tools.
Matching is a sensorial work for toddlers. They have to visually discriminate and then match items. Sometimes, they may have to turn the object a certain way, such as with the instrument cutouts, to place the item on the printed card below.
When children match, we can see what they’re seeing and not (yet) seeing. A younger toddler may put all of the colored wooden circles on the colored pegs, and this is great fine-motor work.
Then, one day, as the child gets older, he’ll begin to match all of the colors, as well! Something similar happens with the ring stacker, which has rings of different sizes. It is fun to witness the day the toddler spontaneously stacks the rings graded by size!
The open-ended materials allow children to practice and develop dexterity, while creating structures, moving parts, building and stacking. Many open-ended materials are available at all times, and they are changed out regularly to spark interest, ideas and experimentation.
Art activities usually are open-ended, but sometimes we like to offer a challenge, such as gluing square pieces of paper into squares. Many toddlers really seem to like this work, probably because it calls upon their sense of order.
The outdoor class space has water-scooping activities. They can scoop small objects; scoop water for a water wheel; and scoop water to fill a watering can (and water plants). They also can use a paintbrush in a bucket with water to “paint the fence.”
Thanks to Ms. Jackie in Room 4, we also have enjoyed big sensory bins with rice, corn, water beads and a sand table. The children love to transfer such media to wagons, big trucks, baskets and buckets. It is amazing to see and realize that the children are learning when they are exploring and playing along the way!
Be sure that you’ve been reading Ms. Nancy’s Monday Minutes emails. They are meant to keep you up-to-date about school happenings. If you are not receiving them, please let the office know.
Some songs your children have been loving:
Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said: “Quack, quack, quack,”
but only four little ducks came back
Old McDonald Had a Farm
E-I-E-I-O (I’m sure you know the rest 🙂 )
I am a fine musician.
I am a fine musician.
I practice every day,
And people come from near and far,
Just to hear me play
My tuba, my tuba.
This is how I play my tuba.
(making tuba sounds)
(We repeat the song for each instrument.)
Some of the books that your toddlers LOVE:
“That’s Not My Kitten!”
“Today Is Monday” (with the book, simplified)
“From Head to Toe” (Eric Carle)
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” (Eric Carle)
“Humpty Dumpty” (with the finger puppets, and the felt board)
“Hey, Diddle Diddle” (with the felt board)
“Humpty Dumpty and Other Rhymes” (slide book by: Maureen Roffey) A much-loved book by
toddlers for years!
“The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.” – Dr. Maria Montessori