Our first Tot School theme was the letter A. Initially I had planned on focusing on one letter per week, but we ended up stretching the activities out over two weeks for various reasons. I'm going to play it by ear to see if this continues or if we are able to make my original timeframe work.
E's treasure basket contained:
- alligator card (from Eric Carle Animal Flash Cards)
- lowercase A card (similar set of tactile alphabet cards)
- A block (similar alphabet block set)
- felt A (handmade by me from the Purl Bee tutorial)
- foam A (Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers)
- airplane (Little People)
- alligator (Little People)
- astronaut (Little People)
E had fun exploring the items in his basket, and I named things for him as he took them out. The rope basket was a Target Dollar Spot find a month or so ago.
One of the benefits of doing Tot School for me is that it gives me an excuse to try things I've always meant to but never have because I didn't have a particularly good reason for doing it. Like making applesauce in the crock-pot. But A is for apple and I wanted to make something that went along with our theme.
I used this recipe from cooks.com (I cut the sugar to 1/4 c. and probably could have cut it some more as it was plenty sweet). I talked to E about what I was doing as I peeled and cut up the apples. When it was ready, the applesauce provided the perfect opportunity to practice self-feeding with a spoon. (Usually I put runnier foods in a squeeze pouch because of the mess factor, but self-feeding with utensils is obviously an important skill he needs to learn somehow).
Side note: Crock-pot applesauce might be the easiest thing in the world to make.
Our other activity was apple boats. I saw this pin and knew E would enjoy it. Except I went to the craft store to buy a sheet of foam and ended up buying a bag of Starburst jellybeans instead (true story, and no, I didn't share with E). So when it came time to actually execute this activity we had to make do with card stock. It worked, of course, but the paper got soggy pretty quickly as E took them in and out of the water. So consider craft foam a must for replicating this activity.
I used his Stokke Flexi Bath (which I highly recommend as a infant and toddler tub, and not just because it comes in handy for sensory play) as an inpromptu marina. Overall this activity was a huge hit and it's easy enough to replicate even when we aren't talking about the letter A (still need to get some craft foam, though!).
Surprisingly, I could not come up with any "A" themed books from what we owned. It's possible we actually do have some, but to be honest our board books are not organized in any way right now (need to work on that!). It's easy for me to forget what we own if it's not part of our regular rotation. So instead we went with a general alphabet theme and read I Spy Little Letters by Jean Marzollo (one of E's favorites, I think he likes the pictures of objects) and A is for Apple by Georgie Birkett.
For reference, E was 14 months old for these activities.