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Growing Up

Tot School for Twos: Pig Play

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Tot School for Twos

We are continuing our farm unit in preschool and this week is pigs!  This unit involves learning through play and books about farms, but each week is focused on one farm animal.

Note: this post contains affiliate links. I receive remuneration when you click and purchase.  No pressure, I just share things I truly love.

My goals for the week were to teach G vocabulary related to pigs (squeal, piglet, curly, mud, sty, etc.), reinforce letter and color recognition, and teach basic pig facts, while having lots of messy fun! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Painting Pigs


When G was very young (like 7 months) she suddenly grew an intense attachment to a small stuffed pig we had.  She carried it with her everywhere, she slept with it, she teethed on it.  And thus a love affair with all things pig started.  She spotted them everywhere, she wanted one if we saw it in the store.  She was a pig loving kid! So I knew we would really enjoy our Tot School for Twos farm unit on pigs.

There was just one hitch to making her sensory bin for the week: I couldn’t find pigs for it.  Continue Reading

Growing Up

Farm Fun

We are in the midst of a Farm Unit for our Tot School for Twos with G and so we have farms on the brain.  Even W is getting in on the action and playing and learning about farm animals!  And there are a couple of places you can go to check out all the action: Continue Reading

Growing Up

Tot School for Twos: Getting the Ball Rolling

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

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. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Picture Book of the Day: But Not the Hippopotamus

I am part of a wonderful group of bloggers who share a picture book each weekday.  You can find their book selections on my facebook page.  I primarily share toddler and preschool appropriate books, but the selections run the gamut of books for kids up through elementary.

We love Sandra Boynton books around here!  They are prized for their silliness and their illustrations.  One of our recent favorites is But Not the Hippopotamus.  Even very early readers will delight in the pattern of Boynton’s prose and the cute story.

It will not take long for your little one to know the story enough to be able to recite it to you, so here are some tips for reading Boynton books for the 1,000th time:

Do a character study. Often in Boynton books, the illustrations will feature the same characters on each page.  Pick an animal and have your little one find him through out the book.  Ask, “Where is the hippopotamus?”  “What is he holding?”  What is he doing?”  This helps your little one see the details of the book and freshens up the experience each time.

Drop off at the end of the phrases and let your little one finish.  They know it so well by now, let them “read” it to you.  In But Not the Hippopotamus, try dropping off reading after, “But not the…”  and let your young reader finish with, “Hippopotamus.”

Discuss animal noises.  Boynton books feature lots of animals, so there is ample opportunity to review animal sounds with your little one.  Slow down and ask, “What sound does a dog make?”

Make up a new tune.  There are a lot of songs in the Boynton books.  Try making a new tune to the songs or change the rhythm of your speech whilst reading.  This will give the book some new life.  The songs you sing when you read can easily be taken along with you in the car to keep your little one entertained while riding around town.  This helps engage memory for your little one.

Review colors.  Boynton books are full of primary colors.  Take the opportunity to go over the colors with your child by asking them to find something red or ask, “What color is his shirt (jacket, pants, etc.)?”

What do you do to make an old favorite fresh with your young readers? I would love to hear your tips!

Growing Up

Book List: Toddler Colors

Here is a book list great for ages 1-3 (and up on some of them) for toddlers to learn their colors:

 Note: This post includes affiliate links.  When you click on the images of each book (on the left) and make a purchase, your children will be grateful and so will I!  I will receive a small remuneration for referring you.  No pressure, the book list is free and libraries are amazing!

We are in the midst of a long unit in our One Year Old Preschool on colors and we have found lots of books we have loved.  And lots of them help toddlers to learn colors without being boring!  Here is a list of our favorite toddler color books: Continue Reading