Why hello fall! Nice of you to finally join us, now if only the weather could match the season we are currently in! While we still have some pretty hot temps around these parts, that didn’t stop us from having two full weeks of fall themed Tot School fun! Here’s all the fun we had celebrating our new season and our 31st and 32nd weeks of Tot School.
The past two weeks was the official start to our Tot School Reboot and using our Focus Board & Calendar! If you missed our recent post on how we set this up and how we will be using these new tools for Tot School you can check out our blog post detailing our transition here. For our Fall theme, we focused on the letter “F” (for fall), the color Orange, Circle shapes, and the number “1”. We start most of our days by singing our daily songs (you can find the lyrics and tunes to those songs here), changing our calendar, going over our Focus Board, then reading our books for the week.
We added a few new songs to sing in the morning or whenever throughout our Fall themed weeks. You can see each song, their lyrics and their tune below.
We talked a lot about pumpkins these past two weeks! Or as Grace likes to call them “punkies”. 10 Little Pumpkins was a great little tune to help with those counting skills, especially since everything is “two” right now to Grace…Ha!
We also enjoyed singing The Leaves are Falling Down which included our color of the week as well as a few more!
Our last bonus tune for our fall themed weeks is not exactly a song, but an action rhyme great for getting all those morning wiggles out. Grace enjoyed acting out the words to this rhyme and especially enjoyed turning around and around!
In addition to our songs, we started off our Fall themed weeks with three books. A touch and feel book titled I Love Fall by Alison Inches, Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills, and One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! by John Micklos Jr. and Clive McFarland. We already had the Duck & Goose Book as well as One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me in our collection. As you will see, pumpkins and leaves were a big part of our fall themed weeks, but I wanted a book to go along with our theme and chose to order the I Love Fall book from Amazon to tie all the books together. This book is very cute and simple, and there are parts of the book for little fingers to explore different textures like a pie tin, scarf, basket, leaves, and smooth pumpkins. We read our books daily throughout our Fall themed weeks.
We had several YouTube videos we watched as well from our favorite channels. We enjoyed dancing to Story Bots’ Seasons, Circles, The Number One, and The Letter F videos, as well as Pancake Manor’s Orange video. This may seem like a lot of media but most of these songs are less than a couple minutes long, and I make a playlist on YouTube for them to play one after another. Grace really enjoys watching these educational videos and these videos along with our theme songs meet that music component we try to meet!
Our first official activity for our fall themed weeks was a sensory bin full of pumpkins, leaf garland, a scarecrow, felt leaves, fall colored number and letter blocks, and puzzles of our Focus Board shape, letter, color, and number. Grace was so excited to dig in to her new sensory bin when it first appeared, and the bin was available for her to explore everyday the past two weeks. Grace really enjoyed stacking the number and letter blocks, and smelling the flower on the “punkie”. This activity was our invitation to play or open ended activity for our theme, as Grace could use this bin however she wanted or imagined.
F is for Fall! We practiced our current Focus Board letter for our next fall themed activity and our fine motor skills too. I used contact paper, and drew an F shaped tree on the non sticky side with a sharpie. Word of caution…draw the F backwards if you plan on doing this activity with contact paper so when you turn it around sticky side out it is facing the correct way. This mama did not think that through at first…ha! But once I drew the F shaped tree correctly, I taped it on the door sticky side out and placed a basket of fake fall leaves next to the door. After watching our Story Bots’ The Letter F YouTube video, I brought Grace to the door and told her to put the leaves on the F shaped tree. She did just that, and continued until she had the F covered, dumping leaves out of the basket as she went. I also asked Grace to point out orange leaves, our Focus Board color for our fall themed weeks.
We had some pumpkin shape fun for our next fall themed activity. I found this awesome free printable on Pinterest of pumpkins in various shapes and a matching shape printable. I just printed, laminated, and cut out the pumpkins so they would be more durable, and also laminated the corresponding shapes sheet. I then threw some fake paper grass we have used for other projects in a small bin, added the pumpkin shapes to mimic a pumpkin patch and set out the shapes sheet beside the pumpkin patch on the floor. Grace came over and started digging out the pumpkins and matching them where they belonged on the shapes sheet.
Grace breezed through this activity. She was able to match every single shape correctly on the first try! So I put them back in the grassy bin, and called out the shapes for her to grab and she did that perfectly as well, attempting to say their names as we went. To reinforce our number, shape, and color from our Focus Board I would ask her how many circle or other shaped pumpkins were there, and I would repeatedly say orange circle, etc. If you would like to snag this free printable activity for yourself, you can follow our Tot School Board on Pinterest where I have it pinned!
Grace placed fall themed Window Clings on our back door for our next activity. I grabbed this super cute reusable window cling set at a local dollar store. In addition to having a lot of the fall things we discussed throughout our themed weeks, the Window Clings have texture too, which added a bonus sensory side to this activity. Keeping our focus Board in mind I could ask Grace how many scarecrows or owls were on the door (there’s only one of each), or ask her to point to something orange (pumpkin, leaf, etc.), or to something shaped like a circle (eyes, center of flower, buttons). When we initially did this activity, Grace had just woken up from a nap, and while excited at first, she quickly lost interest. But we revisited our decorated back door to point out and move different items around. I’d say totally worth the $1 spent for this activity, and this Mama has already snagged a Halloween and Christmas set for our future themes!
Our next activity focused on our shape and color from our Focus Board…stamping orange circle shaped pumpkins on a vine…which was also our art project for our Fall theme. Just like our previous paint stamping activities, I laid out a piece of cardboard to protect our surface, then a piece of white card stock to which I had already added green vines. I placed a paper plate with orange Crayola Kid’s Paint poured in the center, then handed Grace a paper towel roll (cut in half) to use to stamp circle shaped pumpkins on the vine. She knew just what to do and began stamping, stopping when the paint would make bubbles so she could pop them! Clean up, as always, was a breeze with this paint, and a few baby wipes did all the work!
After Grace’s pumpkin patch dried, we displayed it on our refrigerator for the remainder of our themed weeks.
Our last activity for our fall themed weeks worked on our gross motor skills and was just down right fun! Grace was able to toss and collect fall leaves, and she loved this activity! Remember those dollar tree leaves we used to make our letter F? Well we reused them for this activity. I placed a basket full of those leaves in the living room floor, grabbed a handful and tossed them in the air while Grace giggled, then she did the same until the basket was empty. Once the basket was empty, Grace would pick up all the leaves and begin again. Her daddy even joined in on the fun and would take her freshly collected leaves and dump them from their basket above her. Grace would get hand fulls of leaves and throw them as hard as she could. She was too cute!
And of course what Fall theme would be complete without a trip to a pumpkin patch and corn maze? We took Grace and met up with some cousins for lots of fall fun and finally some beautiful fall weather! Grace loved the “punkies”, riding the cow train, and running through the corn maze. It was the perfect ending to our fall Tot School theme!
Celebrating Fall the past few weeks was lots of fun! 🍃🍁🍂 Our first two weeks with our Calendar and Focus Board routine turned out beautifully too and I’d say Grace is adjusting pretty well to our new routine. Make sure you check out our updated version of how we schedule our weeks! You can find that link below, along with a few other useful links too.
If you’d like to see a sample of how I currently plan out themes for a week check out the Tot School Schedule 🍒 v2.0 page!
You can still see our original Tot School Schedule by visiting the Tot School Schedule 🍍 v1.0 page.
You can also see a list of this year’s themes on the 2019 Tot School Themes ☂️ page.
You can find all our daily songs, their tunes and lyrics by visiting our Tot School Songs 🎵 page.
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷