Oh my! Tot School has been a blast so far and we have had so much fun doing all the activities associated with color themes, shape themes, animal themes, and seasonal themes! Grace continues to amaze us with how much she has already learned and what she has accomplished so far. But here’s the thing — she is totally ready for more! This makes total sense considering we started our Tot School journey when Grace was 14 months old. We are now approaching the big T-W-O and we haven’t changed much of our Tot School routine since we started. Grace has recently shown a lot of interest in Letters and Numbers and this Mama apparently needs to step up her game. So a Tot School Re-Boot was in order! While we will still be doing themed weeks (mostly two weeks at a time) we will be adding in some new routines and components! Below you will find out what those changes are and how we are setting it all up! Here’s to new adventures raising Grace!
We are starting our re-boot with a daily routine including Calendar Time, Singing, and a Focus Board…all contained within our Tot School cabinet that holds all of our supplies!
We do not have a dedicated classroom space. We learn and play lots of different places around the house and outside, but there are tons of supplies, puzzles, games, etc. that have to be contained somewhere! So this cabinet in our living room has been used for this purpose for a while now.
So I made good use of the inside of our cabinet doors to display our new Calendar and Focus Board! We can open up the cabinet for our daily routine, then simply close the doors when we are finished.
On the left side I used two small cork boards together at the top (I already had these cork boards) to display our current theme. I was able to get a pack of Alphabet bulletin board border at Target on clearance for fifty cents! And not only was I able to use it for our Tot School Cabinet but there is plenty left over for a future project I have in the works for matching upper and lower case letters. Below our theme board is our daily magnetic calendar I found on Amazon for $20 (the most expensive part of this project). I chose this particular board based on reviews and for its size knowing it would fit on the backside of our cabinet door. There are a slew of different calendar options out there, this one just fit our needs the best.
This calendar has days of the week, months of the year, Seasons, numbers for the date, and weather Magnets. I attached our calendar to the door with Velcro command strips so the board can be removed and replaced easily.
On the right side of our Tot School Cabinet is our Focus Board. I was able to find two square cork boards also on clearance at Target for $1.50 each and hung them next to each other to make a larger cork board on the inside of the cabinet door. I used more of our fifty cent bulletin board boarder to go around the two pieces. This board holds our shape of the week, color of the week, letter of the week, and number of the week. Our letter cards were originally a banner (also from Target) that I took off their string to use on our Focus Board. The color cards, number cards, and shape cards were all printables I found online and laminated (thanks Dad!) Our Focus Board items will change as our theme does, about every two weeks. Throughout our themed weeks, my plan is to incorporate each item on our Focus Board into our activities for that particular theme.
So how are we actually going to use our calendar and focus board? We will have a dedicated time (mostly in the morning) for Grace to sit in front of our Tot School cabinet. I purchased a $5 seat cushion for her to sit on. I thought it was important to have something that Grace could associate with this special time every morning, and something she could grab herself. A chair cushion was the perfect size for her to use. We will change the calendar each day and review our letter, color, shape, and number of the week. And we will be singing (probably just Mommy to start with) a lot! We have already been singing songs about Months, Days, Seasons, Weather, and the Alphabet, and I will be attempting to find songs about our themes as well. You can find our current daily song list along with their tune and lyrics on our Tot School Songs 🎵 page. When I find songs for our themes, I’ll include them in our themed posts.
In addition to incorporating items from our Focus Board into our themed weeks, I will also be trying to include a fine motor activity, a gross motor activity, a craft or art related project, an open ended activity to spark imagination, and something music related like a song about our theme. After we complete our current theme I’ll be posting an updated Tot School Schedule.
So send positive vibes our way during our little transition! I have no doubt Grace will be just fine with our little Tot School Re-Boot 🗓, and cant wait to share all the fun we are going to have with our new routine!
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷