The toddler years are awesome, really they are some of the funnest, yet pivotal times of our kids learning stages. They are silly, wobbly and just so loving and hilarious! I love it! It breaks my mama heart to know that I will never ever have another toddler… (sigh).
Okay, Moving on….(sniff, sniff)!
When kids are little they are like little sponges, just soaking up EVERYTHING they see, touch, feel and hear. This is the time when our kids will actually love to learn and learn at a fast pace. So I had to take advantage of these vital years. When they get older everything is just work to them, lol. But the little stages are just so fun and as you know, my favorite.
When my girls were little I started them with tot school. It’s more like purposeful play. I just had like 4-6 activities lined up for them to do and put them all in work boxes. At first, it was difficult for them to do all on their own, but to my surprise, they got the hang of it. I learned their strengths and weaknesses and what they loved to do in this way. It was all just fun and easy stuff, like easy sorting, coloring, crafting, a new toy etc.
They love to play and learn and make messes, of course. Through trial and error with my littles I’ve noticed that they thrive with hands-on, but short activities that hold their attention. Cause we all know a 2-year-old will love something for about 5.5 minutes or so (look squirrel) and then on to the next…hahahaha!
List of Tot School Ideas
Chalkboard Water Painting
All you need is a chalkboard, chalk, water in a cup and a paintbrush, oh and a cloth to wipe after each word is finished.
All you need is a Lawry’s Seasoned Salt container and some capri-sun or juice box straws. Tape or glue construction paper around it and slap some stickers on and Voila a hand eye coordination/fine motor skills tot school activity.
Shape Sort Clink Can
Cut 2-square and 2-triangle shaped holes out of the top of a formula can. The little foam blocks I found in the Target dollar section.
Many ways to use this, just get creative. Call out directions such as, place all the yellow triangles in the can…etc.
This is simply a small seasoning can with smaller holes than that of the above Lawry’s Seasoned Salt container same idea just with toothpicks for fine-tuning those little muscles.
Scrunch & Glue
Cut tissue paper in small squares and then they scrunch them up into balls. Put a few dots on a piece of paper or picture, letter or number made out of dots and have them glue one ball per dot.
Erase all letters except for the capital and lowercase B’s. We do this a lot with our letter of the week.
Egg Carton Number Match
Write the numbers in the egg carton and have your tot match them. Super simple idea and you can simply set it up and walk away for a few minutes.
Water Sensory fun
Use a shallow tub and fill it with water, bath toys, funnels, cups and measuring cups. I would have put bubbles in too, but Jordan didn’t like them…lol! No really she was terrified and would scream her head off if she saw bubbles. It was so hilarious! But Sans bubbles, she had so much fun — Splashing, filling, pouring and making a huge mess — She loved it! (update) She is no longer afraid of bubbles.
Here are a few sites I have found that have free printables, ideas and tons of fun activities that will have your tot learning while having fun. And there’s a lot so there is no way they will get bored.
- 1+1+1=1–Tot School Ideas / Tot School Printables / Where to begin with Tot School Free eBook
- Mama’s Happy Hive- Super Cute Tot School ideas
- Wildflower Ramblings- Tot School Planning Form
- The Unlikely Homeschooler-45 Cheap & Easy Tot Activities
- All My Kingdom First Tot School Posts
- Pinterest Board of Tot School Ideas
- Mom’s Have Questions too- huge list of ideas for tot school
- Mama’s Learning Corner- Mama’s Ultimate Guide to Occupying Toddlers During School Time
- Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Chasing Cheerios Toddler Activity Posts
- No Time For Flash Cards Under 2 yrs. posts / 2-3 yr. old posts / 22 activities for Kids Under 2
- Preschool Express- Toddler Station
- Hands On: As We Grow – 50 ideas just for your toddler
- Family Education- toddler activities
- Kid’s Activities blog by the quirky mommas
- Littledailyplanner.com- toddler activities
- The Unlikely Homeschooler- 45 Cheap & Easy Tot Activities
Do you do tot school? What are some fun activities you are doing with your toddler?
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 8, 11, & 12 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves hanging out at her exclusive Facebook Group “Homeschooling 101 Community” that she started to help new homeschoolers thrive.