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