Our latest theme for Tot School was Thanksgiving. Here’s all the fun we had for weeks 39 & 40…
Our Focus Board for our Thanksgiving theme consisted of the letter G (for Grateful), the number 8, the color brown, and an oval shape. While completing our themed activities for weeks…we try our best to keep our Focus Board in mind and incorporate each item from our Focus Board into all the fun.
Our books for our Thanksgiving theme were ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey and Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes. ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving was scored at our local library and was great for counting to 8 (our number from our Focus Board) as there are 8 children and 8 Turkeys in the story. While not exactly great at explaining what Thanksgiving is all about, this book was still a super cute and heart warming story. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before it was returned! We ordered Thanks for Thanksgiving from Amazon and it was an awesome book explaining the things little ones might be most thankful for around Grace’s age, and I am sure we will enjoy this story for years to come. Bonus – this book has a place to write down what your child is thankful for each year and I can’t wait for us to start that tradition with Grace. We read these books every day during our Thanksgiving themed weeks and Grace especially enjoyed counting the turkeys in ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving and pointing out various other objects in Thanks for Thanksgiving.
In addition to our daily songs we added a new one to go along with our current theme. Literally the same tune as If You Are Happy & You Know It, but with words relating to Thanksgiving. This Mama absolutely loved hearing her sweet girl scream “I Am” while singing this song!
While we did not have a Thanksgiving specific sensory basket this time around, we did have a basket full of Focus Board themed items for Grace to explore. These items included puzzle pieces, felt letters, tracing cards, etc relating to our Focus letter, number, shape, and color.
Our first activity for our Thanksgiving themed weeks focused on the letter G. I found this super cute printbable on Pinterest that included all the letters of the alphabet (upper and lower case) on a Pumpkin Pie. I just printed our Focus letter (G) and the laminated it for durability and set out a bowl of cotton balls next to the Pumpkin Pie for Grace to “trace” the letter G. The idea is that the letter is the whip cream on the pie…too cute!
Grace was not as interested in making the letter G as she was piling all the cotton balls onto the pie. Hey can’t blame her there…her Mama likes a little pie with her whip cream too!
I finally got around to printing out that Play-Doh binder I had mentioned in previous posts, so for our next activity we utilized one of the shape pages, the Oval, and brown Play-Doh. While not exactly Thanksgiving related, this was an easy hands on activity for Grace to do while Mama was busy in the kitchen, and it corelated well with our shape and color from our Focus Board.
Next we worked on our counting skills a bit by “feeding” a squirrel some acorns. We have a plethora of acorns in our back yard, and just as many squirrels to go along with them. Grace loves watching the squirrels play and loves to point them out and say “squirrel” so I just knew she would like this free printable I found on Pinterest. This freebie not only includes a basic “Feed the Squirrel Some Nuts” mat, but also includes some counting mats we can use in the future. You can find all the printables I mention in our blog posts on our Tot School Pinterest Board. You can see that board and many others by clicking on the Pinterest icon at the bottom of this page! Back to the activity at hand…I collected 8 acorns from our back yard and placed them in a bowl beside our new (laminated) printable, and let Grace feed the squirrel while we counted out the acorns. Super simple and super fun for Grace!
We enjoyed lots of Gross Motor fun this week by dancing to the Turkey Hokey Pokey on YouTube! We found this great tune by the Kidboomers and added it to our Thanksgiving playlist for weeks 39 & 40. Grace loved dancing with the Turkey throughout our Thanksgiving themed weeks!
Thanks to some help from family members, we’ve been trying to work on some manners, like saying please, and thank you, so when I came across this place setting mat, I thought it was a good time to introduce table manners to Grace. Just to be clear here, traditional place settings are not a standard thing in our household. Heck, most of the time we enjoy dinner on the couch. However I think it is very important to start somewhere with table manners and this free printable mat and manners cheat sheet that goes along with it will be great for future lessons. The point here is to simply introduce the idea of table manners, not demand it going forward. Also, Grace really enjoys her tea parties and setting the table for all her Minnie dolls, so this activity feeds into that as well. I just printed the mat, laminated it for durability, grabbed some plates, cups, and utensils and role played with Grace. Again you can find this printable on our Tot School Board on Pinterest.
Our last activity was unintentional. I had planned a craft project for our final activity for our Thanksgiving themed weeks, but we just ran out of time. But we did get to see a real live turkey in person! We got to celebrate a sweet cousin’s first birthday at a place that had a barn full of animals for us to visit and feed them and a turkey just happened to be one of the animals in the barnyard. Grace picked it out right away and started saying “gobble gobble” (we’ve been teaching her what a turkey says throughout our Thanksgiving themed weeks).
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷