Tot School ~ Now I Know My ABC's

Tot School
~Eliana is 28 months~
I have been singing the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" version of the alphabet to Eliana. Here is how it looks:
Sung to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," it breaks up the confusing L-M-N-O-P. I still have to add on the "Now I know my ABC's. . ." because she asks for it. Well, this week I caught her singing the whole alphabet! I have also been singing the number song from Audio Memory Addition Songs. It counts 1-20 and she is getting that too. Which brought to my attention the effectiveness of singing and encourages me to sing more with her and my preschooler.
I have a couple clear plastic trays and like that they give my Tot-Schooler a defined place to play. I only have 2, so instead of putting all the activities on the trays on a shelf, I am putting them in a small white basket and then putting that on a tray. I try to pick a quiet time of the day, ask her if she wants to do Tot School, pull 2 baskets and let her choose which one she wants to do and then place that basket on a tray. By allowing her to pick from two choices, I am giving her some control, but ultimately I have the control (a concept I learned years ago from Parenting with Love and Logic).
Here is what we have been doing:
Tot Paper Dolls
I printed these cute paper dolls, cut them out and laminated them. I then attached clear velcro dots to the dolls and clothes for little hands to use. She was so excited! "Oh, cute!" she exclaimed. "Oh, thank you, Mommy!" I will have to print the Annie Doll ones next.
Transferring Pom Poms
I liked this tray because it was so colorful! She is getting better at using the tongs. I gave her a small pair for this activity.
Color Matching and Scrunchie Stretching
Inspired by this idea here, her job was to match the colors and then stretch the mini scrunchies over the cardboard tubes. This was good practice for her, and I loved watching her facial expressions as she played. She still says, "harder" when something is a challenge for her. I bought a wooden dowel to cut into lengths and color code to do next. I loved this tray because it is so practical. :-)
Shape and Lace Train
I bought this Shape Train game at the Dollar Tree, laminated it and punched holes to connect the cars and lace the engine and caboose, then I attached the shapes with velcro. As she learns the shapes, I will call the shape on the car and have her attach the correct shape. She also practiced lacing for the first time.
Another Practical and Challenging Tray
Inspired by this post here, her job was to match the hair clip to the hair tie, and then clip it on. This tray was a challenge for her and she said, "It's too hard." I helped her pinch the clip with her thumb and forefinger and she was able to accomplish the task of clipping all 6 clips!
She passed this tray up a couple times, but happily did it this day. They were just wide enough to require two cuts. After a few, she asked me to help her, so I held the strips for her.
Water Droplet Transferring
Eliana got sand in her eyes and I used a dropper to rinse her eye out with purified water. Afterwards, I grabbed a tray and let her transfer water drops with the dropper and a small bowl. Then I added a baster and a bigger bowl of water. She really enjoyed this and transfered the water back and forth playing with the water.
Stringing a Necklace
Another idea springing from My Montessori Journey. I chose the color green for a themed necklace. For the flowers, I laminated flowers from a picture book and stuck them on sticky backed foam, then punched a hole in it. I love the feel of them! Other items included various green beads, green and white straws cut into various lengths, and pipe cleaners twisted around a pencil and cut into quarters, and green paper clips (anything I could find with a hole).
We also did some "J" activities with Malachi for preschool.
Be sure to check out 1+1+1=1 for more Tot School ideas!
Delightful Links:


  1. Man! Why didn't I think of laminating the paperdolls before cutting them all out only to see them ripped to shreds in one day. Sigh. I used the same exact paper doll you did. I will have to cut them out again and laminate.

  2. What cute paper dolls. My LO would love those. Thanks for the link.

  3. You have so many wonderful activities for her. Thanks for sharing (I'll be stealing... I mean, borrowing at least a few).

  4. I love all of your ideas. I am looking forward to using them when my little one is just a bit older. Love the idea of the two baskets for now already. I may start that soon. Thanks for sharing!