Growing Up

Tot School for Twos: Getting the Ball Rolling

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This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Tot School for Twos

Tot School for Twos_Ball Play and Learn

We have officially moved up to Tot School from our One Year Old Preschool.  We will be starting One Year Old Preschool pretty soon with W, but until then we will be doing Baby Play and Tot School for Twos (and I guess everything in between).

And to ease into the year, I decided to work with something G has some experience with: balls!  I wanted to work on some basic concepts with her, while having lots of fun and keeping her active.  And we did have quite a good time.

The vocabulary I focused on introducing to G were: round, roll, ball (different types), and circle.  We also talked a lot about bouncing and kicking.  The concepts I wanted her to begin to explore were related to size and fitting.

We did a ball round-up on Sunday night before going to bed.  We gathered up all the balls (big and small) we could find and put them into a large round basket.  That way they were easily accessible throughout the week for our activities.

ball week

Activities:

G has a magazine that mentions a game of hall ball (“we have a hall, and we have a ball.  Let’s play hall ball”).  Since those were the only rules mentioned, we made up our own.  I told G to go stand a good distance away and then I counted down, “3…2…1…Roll the ball!”  as I rolled the ball in her direction.  She squealed with delight as the ball rolled to her and she caught it.

hall ball

Then she pushed the ball back to me and ran all the way back down the hall, ready for another round.  Sometimes I counted up, “1…2…3,” and sometimes I counted down, “3…2…1.”  This was due to a discovery that she knows how to count down (not sure how) from 5, so I thought I would reinforce it.

hall ball 2

I made up another quick game for G: Does it Fit?  The first day I took a used canister (the one baby puffs come in) and our collection of balls and asked G if each ball would fit.  She took each ball and attempted to put it into the canister. If the ball went in, we declared, “It fits!”  If it was too big, we said, “It doesn’t fit, it is too big!”  She enjoyed this process very much!

Does it Fit

On another day, I added a canister just a bit larger than the first canister (an oats container).  When a ball would not fit into the first canister, we tried it in the second canister noting our results as we went along.  When the canisters got full, we poured them back out and did it again.

Does it Fit 2

We also took out our toddler golf toy (I made it during our One Year Old Preschool).  G still gets a kick out of doing this activity and can spend a good amount of time working on it.

golf activity

We also spent a good amount of time playing with over-size balls.  One is a big pink exercise ball (used in hall ball) that we let G sit, lay, and bounce on.  The other one is smaller and has a handle for bouncing on.  G enjoys these very much and can get pretty worked up playing with these!

Reading

One of G’s absolute favorite things this week, that she asked for again and again was reading on her “circle spot.”  We have a circle play parachute and so I took it out and created a new (moveable) reading spot for the week.  She loved having a special place to read our books.  We did some book reading marathons on the circle spot.  While we don’t have a lot of books that specifically speak of circles and balls, we did read some favorites and point out circles and balls whenever we found them.

A new favorite for the week was “If You Give a Dog a Donut.”  This worked perfectly because it includes circles (donuts) and balls (a game of baseball).  I helped G to find specific things in the book, encouraging her to look closely to find as many balls as she could.

Out & About

We went on a Round About Town scavenger hunt searching for round things and circles.  It ended up being most successful in the sporting goods section of Target.  We walked up and down the aisles identifying and discovering different types of balls.  She already knew tennis, basket, base, soccer, golf, and bouncy, but I was able to introduce her to foot and volley too!

Arts & Crafts

The activity that was the most fun for the week was our attempt at wiffle ball painting!  We had such a fun and messy time painting with these balls and I am pretty proud of her work.  We might just get it framed!

wiffle ball painting artwork

To throw a little bit of letter recognition G’s way, I created a quick craft project by drawing a large capital B and a large lowercase b on construction paper and asking her to use dot painters to create circles/balls on the B.  She had lots of fun with this!  As we did it we talked about words that begin with B.

b is for ball

By the end of the week, G asked me for the “round circle,” so I guess you could say our week was a success.

Series NavigationTot School for Twos: Horse Play >>

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6 Comments

  • Reply Chelsey August 14, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Just love this! I have to say my favorite is “Does it Fit?” I am so excited to try this with my Theo! Thanks so much for sharing on Discover & Explore!

    • Reply ussleah August 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Thanks, Chelsey! She loved “Does it Fit” very much and used it by herself during play throughout the week. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • Reply Susie Wilson August 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    This is excellent! I’m a new stay-at-home-mom (for the 3rd time now), and since it’s the first time I’ve ever been home with a 2-year old I’m looking for things like this to easily educate her.

    Will you be posting things like this weekly?

    Thanks!

    • Reply ussleah August 16, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Congratulations Susie! Being at home is such a blessing! It is hard work, but it is such fun! Yes, I will be trying to post weekly. I look forward to hearing from you and hearing how you are doing in your new role as teacher!

  • Reply Jade August 18, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    The “does it fit” game sounds like fun! And oh my gosh you have a lot of balls in your house. I feel like I’m depriving my daughter becasue we only have one haha 🙂 Looks like it was a very fun week in your house xx

    • Reply ussleah August 19, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      We do Jade! I am planning a paring down of toys in the next couple of weeks because we honestly have too many. They seem to multiply! We also had a ball themed birthday party for my oldest when she was one, so that might be why we have so many!

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