Literally right after we finished up this week of tot school we decided that we all needed a little family getaway and hopped in the car to start a spring break vacation. Because of that this post is a little delayed in getting out, but I'm so happy to report to all of you that at the end of our yellow week Emery had what I guess you could call a "breakthrough" in her learning, and all of these activities that we worked to do to teach her the primary colors seemed to come together and she finally got it! I also tried to keep this week of tot school really flexible by letting Emery choose which activities we did on each day. We have a small bookshelf in our apartment that holds the majority of her school "supplies", and now that we've been doing this for long enough it was a lot of fun to see what she specifically chose to do on different days. I also feel like allowing her that freedom to choose the activities (maybe?) helped make them more effective in their teaching, and even though no week with a toddler is completely mess/tantrum free, this one for the most part felt more easy going and productive, giving me that bit of motivation that I needed to know that this whole tot school thing actually works. 😉
Tot School WEek 3: The Color Yellow
Theme: The Color YELLOW
Snacks (One per day):
Monday - YELLOW coloring activity book & coloring with YELLOW chalk on the chalkboard. Emery's really come to look forward to making these little color books every week, and this week it was a lot of fun to see her start to recognize some of the pictures that she was coloring (like the banana) and associate that item with the color yellow. After the book was made, Em asked to color with her chalk, so we pulled out our big chalkboard and I drew a large sun for her to color in to try and keep the item/color recognition going.
Tuesday- YELLOW play dough (with button-face emotions) and YELLOW YouTube song/video. This morning Emery pulled out the play dough, and to make it a little more interesting I decided to incorporate in a different play item and pulled out some old yellow buttons that I'd found in my craft closet. We read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess, which focuses on different emotions being felt with different colors, and then used the buttons to make different emotions in faces on the yellow play dough. For where Em is currently at with her age, I would put the buttons in place to make a specific emotion, and then we'd say which emotion it was while she'd push the buttons into the play dough. For older kiddos, this could easily be adapted to have the children create the faces in the dough themselves, or create numbers, letters, or shapes depending on what you're wanting to focus on with them.
Wednesday- YELLOW sensory bin and singing our YELLOW song/poem. There will forever be a part of me that will despise how messy of an activity the sensory bin is, but for how much Em loves it I know that it's one that we'll have to keep around when it can be made applicable. This week while she played with the sensory bin we also tried to incorporate finding a few different shapes into the mix of things, and in an effort to keep all things relevant we also sang the YELLOW song during/after the sensory bin activity. I don't know if it's just my bad singing voice or if they're just really catchy tunes, but Emery has been loving these weekly color songs and makes them into a little dance party every week!
Thursday- YELLOW flower painting activity and colorful window markers. This flower painting activity at least for me keeps getting more and more fun every time we do it. This week Emery got super focused on her work, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the artist in me celebrated at her attention to detail. 😉 The second activity of the day was not originally planned on, but ended up being successful regardless and reminded me of the ever-importance of being flexible with the curriculum. I had initially planned a bead sorting color activity for us, but that afternoon we were watching a couple of Emery's friends (an almost 3 yr old and a baby) and when I pulled out the activity, I realized that although it proved to be a great idea for the almost 3 year old, it was too much stimulation for Emery combined with the company of friends, and it ended with a giant mess of beads all over the floor and Emery crying because I was letting her friend do the activity and not her. We did try the bead activity again the next day, but I needed something quick to make up for the mess/disappointment in that moment. I pulled out some window markers that I've had since college (you can find some here), and let Em and her friend go wild on the biggest window in our house. It ended up being a huge hit, and to insure that colors were tied in I had the kids name each color that they used before taking it to the window.
Friday- YELLOW glitter star wand, picking out YELLOW clothes to wear, and bead sorting activity recapping on RED, BLUE, & YELLOW. I didn't get any pictures of the yellow star wand, but we basically just painted this wooden star wand that Em found at Hobby Lobby, and then once the star was painted yellow, I gave Emery some gold glitter (turns out gold & yellow are the same thing in the glitter world?) and let her go to town on it making her wand as glittery as possible. As with all glitter crafts, make sure that your work surface is completely covered unless you want it to sparkle for weeks on end following the activity. On Friday we also did a retry on the bead sorting activity and I can't even tell you all how happy and proud I felt watching Emery as the activity just "clicked" in her mind and she went straight to work sorting through the beads! To recreate this activity, all you need is bowls (I made mine the same colors as the beads we were working on, but another alternative would be to use white paper bowls and color either the base or rim of each bowl the colors that you're wanting to focus on), and then some sort of small object in the different colors that you want your toddler to sort (we used wooden beads - another craft closet clean out find). Put all of the beads in a separate bowl, and then guide your toddler to separate the beads into the different bowls by color. If you're child is older they could do this with more colors than three, or use a spoon to transfer the beads/objects to help develop their hand-eye coordination. Once Emery got what the activity was supposed to be, she had SO much fun separating out the beads, and I already know that this is going to be an activity that we coordinate into our day to day activities to keep her up to date on her colors that she's been learning. It always feels good to end the week on a positive note, and this for us was definitely the best type of ending we could've had!
To get a day by day scheduled chart for your own YELLOW themed week of Tot School simply click here for the free download, or if you're looking for a blank template to fill in with your own activities then feel free to checkout this free blank template. We did take a week off of Tot School for Daddy's Spring Break/ vacation, but now that we're back, week 4 of Tot School is going to be focused all around Spring & Easter in honor of the holiday coming up. Keep an eye out for that blog post next week, or feel free to follow along with us doing the activities in real time on our Instagram stories! Thanks for following along!