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Tot School – Letter O

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We focus on a letter every week and do fun activities based on that letter.  This week, I didn’t set out “Tot Trays” on our shelf for my son to play with — our setup is in the kitchen and my daughter has been throwing the contents everywhere.  Also, my son is not engaged with the activities unless I am right there with him.  He would rather just play with his trucks.  I don’t want to twist arms to play learning games or do learning activities, so we have slowed down our Tot School.  

So, we did have trays, but I just made them and set them on a high bookshelf and got them out one by one.  My trays try to promote the four Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

(My trays are from Oriental Trading.)

{This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy.} 

Here is a shape match up from Confessions of a Homeschooler:

And a Ocean / Land animal sort from Homeschool Creations:


John worked very hard with his own brush and his plate of glue.  The Elmer glue bottles are too difficult to squeeze, so this is how we use our glue!


We also made this beautiful octopus.  This is a very proud moment.  He drew a circle with eight legs and little shoes for the octopus too.  This activity focuses on print awareness and is from This Reading Mama.  I love this idea — to teach a child that words make a sentence.  Though I never asked him to “read” it — because I don’t believe “memorizing” words is beneficial at the beginning of literacy learning — though I read it to him several times.




I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 3.47.14 PM

You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.


Bible verse of the week:

I will obey your word. Psalm 119:17

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.

We put up our bible verse, an Oo small poster from Tot School, a Oo sign from my Kindergarten teaching days, and these wonderful Montessori sandpaper letters.  We put these up on the wall so he could feel the letter every morning and trace his fingers on the letter.


And here is all of his work on his clothesline in his room:


Letter of the week: Oo

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.  This week, we focused on ostriches and octopus.  I downloaded this octopus page from Grandparents.com.

He is working so hard on his pencil grip — I’m so proud of him! Check out my recent post about utensil prewriting and letter writing in {Early Literacy Stage 3}.

DSC08247 DSC08246 DSC08245DSC08244-001

Do-A-Dot markers on an Octopus page.

DSC08752 And on his ostrich page.DSC08751

John has really gotten the hang of tracing!!  We do this with dry erase markers and heavy duty sheet protectors.  Erasing is a handy practical life skill as well!
Learning the life cycle of an ostrich: egg, baby, adult.
Pointing out different safari animals on his vocabulary sheet.  This was timely since we went to the zoo twice this last month!

We had a lot of fun with an O Sensory bin.  The base is black beans, with different O magnets and objects, octopuses, and ostriches.

DSC07969 DSC09151He just loves driving his trucks through.DSC07971


John loved eating olives for O week.  (His favorite.)  These are so good for you too!  Good, saturated fat (monounsaturated and NOT poly-unsaturated!).  I found a great brand that has no-BPA and no additives — just olives!


We also made a Ocean Fizzy Sensory Bin, one each for the three year old and the baby girl, I will be posting about it next!

And here is our Shaving Cream in the baby pool post :)



Numbers from our Tot School ABCs curriculum: for using manipulatives in 1:1 correspondence  with our adorable bear counters or any other math manipulative.

We used these playing Musical Numbers.  I turned music on, we danced around the tray with the numbers, and when the music stopped, we flipped over a number.  He had to recite it (I only use numbers 1 – 5 now) and then put the proper number of bears on it.  John loves this activity.  He is a music man.



We’ve done several practical life activities these last few weeks. Click on the below pictures to get to the post:





I found this fun activity at Fantastic Fun and Learning.  Egg Carton Sea Creatures!!  She has many ideas for sea animals — we just made octopi :)  And we got the idea for an easy paper plate ocean from Blog Me Mom.
Have a wonderful week,





Check out my Tot School Posts:


Check out my posts on the Early Literacy Stages:

This post is linked up at the Tot School Gathering Place and check out my Link-Up page for the other wonderful places I may link this blog post!

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!  ♥ 

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  1. Janis Cox says:

    I followed you at Sun Scholars. I love your page. Would you consider using Tadeo Turtle for “t”? I have activities in my book, a website with creatives on Saturday, and a curriculum for free.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com Author of Tadeo Turtle

  2. Hi
    Had trouble with comment system but think I got it. Would love if you would check out Tadeo Turtle for your “t”. There are activities in the book, on my blog each week and a free curriculum too.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

  3. PThis is awesome! My husband and I decided not to enroll my daughter in preK. Love the planning printable. I be back often for inspiration for activities!

    1. Thanks, Gracielle, we are also not putting my son in a formal preschool — though we will try to attend 1-2 events with other kids per week (my moms group and a bible study at our church where he’s with other children for 2 hours). I taught kindergarten so I will at least homeschool him through K, 1, and 2 and see where that leads. Let me know if you need anything specific — there are so many (free!) resources online :)

  4. I love your O week! I need to get back to my letter bins this fall. The schedule is awesome too. Would you please come share at my sensory play party today?!

  5. That octopus craft is so very cute!! And I love the sensory play with shaving cream as well.

  6. What fantastic letter learning activities. We did octopus too.
    Loving the shaving foam in the pool – that was even more adventurous than ours.

    Thanks for linking up with Motivational Monday

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