We learned all about weather for our latest Tot School theme these past two weeks!
Our Focus Board for our weather theme included the letter W, the color White, a Diamond/Rhombus shape, and the number 2. In addition to learning about weather, we incorporated these items throughout our themed activities too. We point out all our Focus Board items during our daily routine which includes calendar time, and singing. If you missed that post or are new to our blog, you can find all the details on our daily routine here.
While not technically an extra song for our weather theme since it is a part of our usual daily songs, we did sing What’s the Weather? a few times more throughout weeks 32 & 33 of Tot School.
We also enjoyed singing Itsy Bitsy Spider to go along with our weather theme as well. This song has long been a favorite of Grace’s, and we even enjoyed an activity based on this song detailed later on in this blog post.
Our Books for our weather themed weeks were Weather by Jill McDonald and It’s Raining, It’s Pouring by Kim Eagle. Weather is a part of the Hello, World! series that simplifies nature and science for little ones. This book is beautifully illustrated and shows various weather scenes, weather facts, and corresponding clothing to go along with each. We mostly sang It’s Raining, It’s Pouring as we turned the pages, and we were thankful to find this book at our local library. Grace especially loved finding the kitty on each page of this book. This Mama has never heard the whole song, and thought it was great for illustrating different weather concepts throughout the book with the lyrics. In addition to our other daily songs, this book became our music element for our theme. Bonus: both books had a Kite within their pages so we could point out our shape from our Focus Board daily!
We also had a small basket of items related to our Focus Board that was accessible for Grace to dig through whenever she wanted that included puzzles, blocks, and a sensory color card.
We did have quite a few weather videos and songs to watch this week on YouTube, as well as some videos and songs about our Focus Board items. These included: Super Simple Songs’ How’s the Weather? and Little Snowflake, Sesame Street’s Grover Weather Monster, The Singing Walrus’ Sun, Rain, Wind, & Snow, Kid Boomer’s Mr. Sun, Disney Junior’s Rain Rain Go Away Nursery Rhyme, Peppa Pig’s Bad Weather & Thunderstorms episode, and Story Bots’ Alright, It’s White, The Number 2, The Letter W, and Rhombus videos. Whew that was a lot of media, and for the most part we split these up during the day. Every one of these videos are pretty short, the longest being the full Peppa Pig episode, but all of these on one playlist is still pretty lengthy for what we are used to, and it worked out better to split them up throughout the day.
We started off our weather themed activities with this cute weather inflatable earth ball found at Target. We love Bullseye’s Playground for fun finds just like this! Grace loves any type of ball so when I saw this back in August I knew we had to have it for our Weather theme!
In addition to the inflatable earth, this set came with reusable Weather themed stickers for Grace to place on the ball. So, instead of a weather themed sensory bin we used this all week long to point out different weather icons and words, along with our Focus Board Basket.
Our next activity focused on one of Grace’s favorite songs, Itsy Bitsy Spider. I made this travel felt board a while back and we haven’t used it until now. This was a super simple DIY and I have pinned the instructions I found on Pinterest to our Tot School Board for anyone to find. All you need to make one of these travel felt boards is two pieces of felt, a shoe string, and either a sewing machine or needle and thread. One side is not sewn together and acts as a pocket to hold felt pieces on the go. And the shoe string’s purpose is to hold the roll together so pieces don’t escape, and can easily be thrown into a diaper bag or used in the car on long trips with a tray! For our weather theme, I cut out some felt clouds (White & Gray), rain drops, a sun, grass, house, roof, and water spout from leftover felt scraps from previous projects. I added a plastic spider ring (I cut the actual ring part off) and set it all out for Grace to play with. We sang the song while she was playing with the felt board.
Grace decided rain and sun should happen at the same time (Mama did not make a rainbow…oops) and that Itsy should most definitely live in the clouds. Nothing wrong with a little imagination kid! She investigated the raindrops often, and had to taste one just to make sure she couldn’t eat it, Ha! I purposefully only made two white clouds and two gray clouds so we could count our number for our weather themed weeks as well, and of course I asked her to point to the white clouds often. She eventually moved all the pieces around seeing what other scenes she could dream up!
We ventured outside for our next weather activity and enjoyed some cooler fall temps. I made a rainbow scarf hand kite for Grace to run around the backyard with and experience the nice fall breeze! I just took our rainbow colored scarves we ordered from Amazon a while back and tied them to one of Grace’s pretend bracelets. Handed it to Grace to put on and told her to run! She drug her hand kite all over the backyard behind her. This could easily be done with ribbon and might fly better as ribbon would probably be lighter than these scarves, but we had the scarves already so that is what we used. This was a great gross motor activity and tired our girl out just in time for a nap.
Our next activity was making Play-Doh Lightning Bolts. I recently purchased a massive printable Play-Doh activity binder (I have it pinned to my Tot School Board on Pinterest) that included letters, numbers, shapes, scenes and more! I generally like to utilize all the free printables that are available out there but I just couldn’t resist this set of 70+ pages all in one place, and I know we will get lots of use out of them! I have not assembled the whole binder yet, this is the first activity we have done using one of the pages! I just printed it on regular print paper and placed it into a page protector. I plan on assembling the whole book soon, and I thought page protectors would make it a whole lot easier to put in a binder, than laminating and punching holes. Each page gives instructions on what to do, for this activity we just needed to roll out long ropes of Play-Doh then mold them into the lightning bolt shapes. Play-Doh is still very new to Grace, so I rolled while she watched and I formed the first bolt. I formed the next rope and set it on the mat and told Grace to form a lightning bolt like the picture. She did not do that…she was too interested in rolling the Play-Doh, so I put a semi-rolled out rope down for her to try. While Grace never did actually form the lightning bolts, she did learn how to say “lightning” and could identify the clouds, and she practiced her Play-Doh rolling skills a ton! She also asked to play with this activity multiple times throughout the day, so I think Play-Doh is growing on Grace. A few days later she even pointed to the lightning bolts on our Weather ball and said “lightning” again!
Our next weather themed activity was making a W shaped snow scene by placing snow flakes on a large paper W. I got a pack of various fall and winter themed stickers at Target a while back for $1. One sheet in the book was all snow flakes which was perfect for this activity. I just cut out the letter W from a piece of white card stock, placed it on our little cookie sheet we use for all sorts of activities and handed Grace snowflake stickers to place on the W. It was that simple! And she did a pretty good job of only placing them on the W, with a stray here and there including a snowflake sticker on her nose, Mama’s nose, and her Daddy’s nose…Ha! I didn’t think much of her putting the stickers on everyone’s noses until later when I realized we’ve been watching Super Simple’s Little Snowflake video on YouTube and a snowflake lands on the snowman’s nose in one of the scenes, which I totally believe now she was trying to replicate! The particular day we did this activity, she was very interested in pointing out the snow flakes in our Weather themed books as well, and saying “snowflake” too.
After she was done placing all her stickers on the W, we hung it up on the refrigerator for the remainder of our Tot School Weather themed weeks so Grace could point out her W. Grace loves the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (we will be doing a whole theme based on this book at some point), and when we get to the part that says “U, V, W wiggle jiggle free” we always wiggle along with the words. So Grace believes she is supposed to wiggle every time we say W, and as of this week, she can now recognize the letter W and wiggles while saying “dubby” too. It’s too stinking cute!
Our last activity for our weather themed week was making a sun catcher kite in the shape of a rhombus (diamond), our shape of the week! It’s been awhile since we’ve made one of these, but Grace remembered exactly what to do! I traced out a diamond shape on contact paper, then cut it out and placed it sticky side up on a tray we use for activities, using tape to secure it. Then I paced various colored tissue paper squares in a small bowl and set it all up in front of Grace. She immediately started grabbing handfuls of tissue paper to add to the diamond shape in front of her. This activity did not last long at all, but once she was finished I placed another piece of contact paper on top sticky side down to seal the tissue paper, and then cut out the shape from the outline I had drawn. I punched a hole in the bottom of the kite and attached a tail (pipe cleaner).
We hung it up in one of our windows! These sun catchers are beautiful when the sun shines through them. Even on cloudy days, like when this photo was taken, the light coming through the different colors and shades of tissue paper makes a big show!
That’s a wrap for our weather week! We had so much fun introducing this theme to Grace and can’t wait to revisit this theme in the future! ☔️
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷