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Tot School with May

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These simple activities for toddlers help keep your younger child busy during homeschooling with an older child.  They are small, intentional ideas that can engage your child while using various fine motor skills.  tot school ideas - how to keep my toddler busy - wildflower ramblings

May has begun Tot School.  We are not following any type of schedule with her.  When we began Tot School with John, I created a Tot School Schedule, but now, after more experience as a mom and knowing myself, I realize that I don’t need or want a schedule.  She is oh so happy and busy with her little tot school!!

I try to get out the coloring every day because she loves it.  I try to reach into our busy bag bin for one little activity.  I try out a simple transferring or pouring activity.  Or I try out a sensory time.  All of these aren’t every day, but my little two year old girl has been enjoying various activities and open-ended invitations to learn while tagging along with her brother’s Home Preschool.

She is a very easy going girl and gets very excited by even the smallest invitation to play.  She also enjoys coloring, which is very different from my boy.  It’s important to know your own child.  {See: connecting with my son and how boys learn.}  I tried and tried to make activities fun for my son, and wasted some time and energy and frustration, but he wasn’t interested in the coloring aspect and I should have let that go earlier.  Even today, it is rare to see him want to use our art supplies.  So for him, we gear his learning towards his interests, for her, I set little activities out.

But my girl, she loves it!  I try to set up simple activities for her, and don’t stress about the setup.  Since we loosely follow a letter of the week with my son, I pull out a coloring sheet from that week’s letter envelope to match.  She does not know her letters yet, and can only sing the beginning of the ABCs, and that is more than fine.  She is only two!

Play is learning!


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May loves her Do-a-Dot markers!DSC02023 We use Pip-Squeak markers, and she is often making little colorful creations.  {I keep too many of them in her School Memories Notebook!}DSC00238 Transferring little gems from a basket into a bowl.DSC00253 Playing and sorting colors with pony beads on a mirror.DSC00755Playing with wooden blocks on a large wooden board.
DSC02145 MoreDo-a-Dot markers and Pip-Squeak markers for little hands.DSC02137 Arranging magnetic letters on a magnet board.  She absolutely loves this, and hums the Alphabet Song while she’s working :)DSC02427 Little Melissa & Doug puzzles.  I put out 2 or 3 and let her find where the pieces go!DSC02446 Open-ended playdough play.  You can see some of our Reggio playdough play here.DSC02510 Window markers on the back window.  She absolutely loves being able to do this.DSC02543 Playing with animal cards, and then sorting our little Schleich animals on the cards.  She loves anything to do with animals.DSC04181-001DSC02681 Homemade playdough with some letter sheets.DSC02730Practicing pouring skills with little pitchers and a little tray.
DSC02731 DSC02983 Making a bed for baby with a recycled box.  We like to keep recyclables available for imaginative play like this!  This is still the baby’s bed!DSC03914 Sorting her beloved counting bears.DSC03915 Homemade pom pom magnets on a tray with a do-a-dot letter card.DSC03862 Our Tot School Notebook, made with dry erase markers and sheet protectors.  We got this idea and use the alphabet pages from 1plus1plus1equals1, the home of Tot School!DSC03866

Stickers on some coloring sheets.


And here May is squeezing water from a sponge from bowl to bowl.


And her most recent, favorite activity — sorting rocks!  She has brought these rocks all over the house, sorted them into pails, put them in her little purse.  They are “food” or “money” or anything she thinks of!  It has been wonderful, open-ended play.  On that note, however, I know my child.  She does not mouth things.  If your child puts things in their mouth, I hope obviously, this is not a safe activity.  Please always use discretion and supervision with your child!

I hope you enjoyed our simple tot ideas.   :)



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Tot School with John 

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  1. She looks like she is having so much fun! You have lots of wonderful ideas here, I particularly love the pony beads on the mirror, the pattern on the mirror is perfect for lining them up!

  2. I love this website,congratulation.klelia erebara

  3. I love all of these ideas, my son is hands on and always wants to touch and explore!
    I’ll try the sponge idea tomorrow morning :)

    Mama Bee Simple

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