Emery has been catching on to counting numbers for a while now, but her order of the numbers and getting them all in had been a little wonky, so I thought it worth dedicating a week of our tot school towards trying to get her to consistently count from one to ten, as well as give her a really basic intro into what the numbers "look" like (written & in quantities). We did this week of school the same week as Kyle's finals week, and I'll just say that when dental school gets crazy, that the stress/craziness of it overflows over into the home as well. Emery was more restless and impatient this week from not seeing Kyle as much, Kyle was exhausted from the long hours of studying/marathon of exams, and I felt completely in over my head most days trying to keep everything around the house as "normal" as possible when everyone was obviously feeling out-of-sorts. We're now past the craziness and thanking the heavens above that Kyle should (hopefully) not have to deal with another finals week as rough as this one, but the craziness of the week did force me to find ways for Em and I to do our tot school in as simple and as uncomplicated of a way as possible. I didn't have the patience or the tenacity this week to deal with any overly involved activities/Pinterest crafts, so we kept things simple but focused, and I loved seeing that the results of Em learning the material still managed to be the same.
Tot School Week 9: Counting From 1 to 10
Theme: Counting (1-10)
Snacks (One per day):
Books (We read one book a day specific to the weekly theme):
Monday - "I Can Make Ten" Create-a-book Activity. If you've been following along for a while now then you know that these little create a books are my favorite way to start a week of tot school, so when I found this free book that would allow Em to fill in the proper amount of spots for each page I knew it'd be a good one for us to do! On a normal week I probably would've had Em use finger paints to fill in all the dots, but since we were working to simplify I ended up getting some stickers from Target's dollar spot, then helped Em put them into the book and let her embellish it with her crayons/more stickers once she was done. We'd never done stickers before so Emery really liked the change of materials, and was able to use her book the rest of the week to practice her counting.
Tuesday- Field Trip Day: Counting Animals at the Zoo. Em and I spent the whole of our morning at the zoo with friends, and I knew she'd be too worn out to do any heavily involved activities afterwards, so we instead just took the opportunity to count where we happened to be. While looking at the animals at the zoo, Em would get excited about finding one that she recognized , and I'd have her count how many of the animal she saw with me. That afternoon after coming home and having a nap, we read Eric Carle's 1,2,3 to the Zoo book, and Emery loved looking at the pictures of the animals in the book and talking about the same one's that she'd seen that day at the zoo, all the while counting the book animals for extra practice! If the zoo isn't your cup of tea, this same activity can be applied virtually anywhere, Along with counting the animals at the zoo, Em and I also made it a habit to count the stairs up to our apartment floor, the squares on the sidewalk, and basically anything else that we could find outside on our path.
Wednesday- Counting Pom-Pom's in a Jar game & Counting Sensory Cards. This pom-pom game has become one of our most favorite games since originally trying it because it takes virtually no time to put together or prepare and provides us with at least 20-30 minutes of entertainment every time Em has pulled it out. To play, I cleaned out an empty spice jar (any small jar would work) and gave Emery 10 pom-poms that we've used in previous week's activities. I had her put the pom-poms in the jar, counting them with her as she put them in. Once all of the pom-poms were in the jar, we'd dump them out on the table and start all over again. Within a couple of tries Em was counting the pom-poms all on her own and she continued to play quietly with the game for the rest of the 30 minutes time frame! Our next activity for the afternoon were these pom-pom sensory cards that I put together for Emery to play with, and that you can easily put together during your kiddos nap time in less than 20 minutes. To make the cards, simply print out this free printable with the numbers/cutting lines already laid out for you (or just cut out your own and write the numbers on the cards if you don't have a printer) and then glue the correct amount of pom-poms onto each card. I used this activity similarly to how we normally use our sensory bin each week letting Em do more self-discovery with them, but would also count the poms on the cards with her as she picked each one up. Older tots could also help with making the cards as an extra activity if wanted.
Thursday- Melissa & Doug Latches Wooden Activity board and Laugh & Learn Learning Letters Monkey App on the iPad. Thursday was Kyle's last day of finals, and we were in full on survival mode waiting for him to get home so that we could relax and celebrate being done. We kept things super simple with this cute wooden activity board that can be used to teach colors, numbers/counting, a few animals, and fine motor skills, and then played with another one of Em's favorite educational apps on the iPad. A portion of the app focuses specifically on numbers and counting from 1-10 with a cute song rhyme, and along with letting Em play with the app occasionally we'll also sing the song together to practice with her counting. For mamas looking for a good toddler app this one is probably one of our favorites - along with counting it also focuses on shapes, colors, and A,B,C's, and is perfect for young toddlers still learning how to control things on a screen.
Friday- Ten Apples Up on Top book and Block Activity. For anyone who hasn't read the Ten Apples Up on Top book, it basically follows the story of a few characters trying to balance apples on their head, the board book version ending at the point when all of them have 10 apples up on top that they are not going to let drop! I thought it'd be fun to do an activity with Em to tie into the story, but didn't feel like sacrificing real apples to my toddler's craziness, so I created this apple counting block printable to share instead! This game could be done in so many different ways (and even with real apples if you wanted) but to play it the same way we did, simply print out the free apple counting blocks, cut them out, and tape them onto any of your kiddos building blocks/toys that can be stacked. One you have your apples all set up, the game is as simple as the story, see how many of the apples you can stack on top of one another trying to not let them drop (counting them all along as you go of course). 😉
That sums up our week of counting! Since finishing this last week of tot school, we've been/are planning on taking a few weeks off for a couple of family trips/vacations, as well as for a chance to catch up on some things around the house and spend quality time with each other. Once we're back, we'll be hoping into the alphabet with a curriculum specifically designed around summer months/activities so that Em can hopefully learn her letters with as much summer fun as possible. We hope that you'll all join in on the fun! See you in a couple of weeks!