A is for Apple

Tot School

Mr. Blue Sky is 33 months old.

We started off our new school year on the autumnal equinox, September 23rd, which was a Friday this year, so already our first week was going to be more than a week. Then we kind of dragged out the books and activities so we ended up spending much longer on A than I had meant. As mentioned in a previous post on our first day we made an alphabet apple tree and MBS matched up his magnetic alphabet letters to the apples and we walked in our orchard and picked some apples.

We read books about apples and about Johnny Appleseed (his birthday is Sep. 26th). I also had 2 videos about Johnny Appleseed from the library, one a live action  was a huge flop with MBS, but the Disney’s Johnny Appleseed cartoon (on The Reluctant Dragon dvd) was a hit. He also liked all the other cartoons on that dvd.

All the books I had out about Johnny Appleseed were not well received, not that the books were bad, just that they were a little too wordy for MBS. Of the apple books we had out MBS’s favorites were the Little Apple Goat by Caroline Jayne Church and Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray.

MBS colored pictures of things that started with A and then he glued them on to a sheet of paper. We actually colored many more things than got glued down onto our A (he glued the extras on scrap paper), next time I’ll print out smaller pictures! I did the cutting but MBS used a glue stick for the first time.


A is for...

MBS is very imaginative and it is so much fun watching him play and make up stories. One day he came running to get me and dragged me into his room to show me that he was “feeding” his stuffed animals. He had gotten out our craft sticks and piled them for the animals to eat.

Feeding the animals.

He LOVES to play with our iPads!

MBS LOVES the iPad!

To see what other tots are doing please visit Tot School.

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Tot SchoolMister Blue Sky is 28 months old.

We have a new addition to our family. 8 week old Worf. He is a rottie-mastiff-English shepherd mix (aka mutt) and we’re expecting that he will be a giant compared to our other dogs, Poppy Seed and McCoy.

Worf and his very big paws!

Most of our learning right now is focused on how to play nicely with a puppy. MBS and Worf love each other but right now they are not good playmates, as they both play much too roughly. We’re working on it. For the most part Worf is getting along well with his canine siblings, they both enjoy and find him annoying– just like any little sibling.

We’ve been reading books featuring puppies. So far MBS’s favorite is

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. This is a very simple book about a mother dog looking for her pup. MBS loves lifting the flaps.

Happy Birthday, Biscuit! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Pat Schories features Biscuit the dog celebrating his birthday. It has cute pictures and the text is nice for a beginning reader.

A Little Puppy by Jane Feder & illustrated by Amy Schwartz is a very short and simple board book. Perfect for my little toddler, he loved seeing the cars in several of the pictures.

Love is You & Me by Monica Sheehan is a book about love showing a dog and a mouse. I think older kids might enjoy this but MBS was not interested at all, the only part of the book he liked was when they were in a car.

Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper is a wonderful story about a little girl who eats a dog biscuit and then believes she is turning into a dog. It was a little long for MBS but I just loved this and I’m sure he will too when he’s a little older.

The Best Thing About a Puppy by Judy Hindley & illustrated by Patricia Casey is the perfect puppy book, listing all the wonderful things about a puppy and all the not so wonderful things too. The puppy in this book is so cute! We’ll definitely be reading this again.

Other tot activities have mostly been car and train related. Inside the house MBS really likes lining up all his vehicles in a row. Outside he likes to cover the cars in dirt and then wash them in his pail. On our few sunny days that is how he has spent his time– digging in the dirt with his cars while the dog pack races and wrestles around him.

Linking up with Tot School and the Picture Book Challenge. Please visit them to see what other tot’s are doing and reading. Thanks for stopping by.


Tot School

Tot School
Mister Blue Sky is 27 months old.

What have we been doing around here?

  • We’ve been taking lots of walks whenever there is sunshine.
  • Going outside and finding little frogs and bugs and bees.
  • Helping Daddy garden.
  • Playing with water almost everyday, practicing pouring, using an eyedropper, and generally making a huge mess!
  • Playing with play dough.
  • Painting.
  • Reading lots of books.
  • Watching Toy Story (1, 2, & 3) over and over and over (“more Toy Story please?”).
  • Getting in molars and being miserable.

To see what other tots are doing visit Tot School. Thanks for stopping by.

Tot School This and That

Tot School

Mister Blue Sky is 26 months old.

Wow, my last Tot School post was at the end of January! I am so bad about keeping up with these posts! What have we been doing?

We’ve been

playing with our trains,
painting with brushes,
playing with Valentine's Day play dough,
and St. Patrick's Day play dough,
ate snow for the first time,
colored a dinosaur alphabet book,

and much, much more. MBS is really becoming a talker, learning new words all the time– it’s so exciting! He’s also learning his letters, both the names and the sounds. He’ll now repeat the alphabet letter by letter as you say it (not really singing the song) and has started counting but still mixes the numbers up a lot.

While trains and cars still hold his heart he has also become fascinated with dinosaurs, we’ve watched the BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs over and over (when it stops he asks “more dino?”). We’ve also watched other related BBC  and National Geographic productions (on Netflix’s video on demand) but MBS definitely prefers the Walking With Dinosaurs. We’ve also read a lot of dinosaur books but he doesn’t seem to enjoy the non-fiction encyclopedia type books that much yet.

Emotionally he is becoming much more loving, wanting to give hugs and kisses, concerned when someone else is hurt (kisses owies), sad if he didn’t get to say bye-bye to Daddy. Temperamentally he still throws lots of tantrums if he doesn’t get his way, if something is frustrating him, etc… but he also gets over them quickly.

My attempt to label the drawers in our office/craft room has really helped keep him from emptying out all my office supplies. He still gets into them occasionally but I can usually just ask him if that is “his drawer or Mommy’s drawer?” and he’ll close it and open one of his drawers instead. Yippee! So glad that worked!

To see what other tots are doing please visit 1+1+1=1. Thanks for stopping by.

Tot School Owls

Tot School

Mr. Blue Sky is 24 months old.

We had a fun owl themed week. We read some books that featured owls (reviewed here):

  1. A Book of Sleep written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
  2. Little Owl Lost written & illustrated by Chris Haughton
  3. Wow! Said the Owl written & illustrated by Tim Hopgood
  4. Whoo Goes There? written by Jennifer A Ericsson & illustrated by Bert Kitchen
  5. Oliver’s Wood written & illustrated by Sue Hendra

We got a set of Do-A-Dot markers (reviewed here) and MBS had a blast drawing with them. At DLTK, I printed out  a rhyme, owl coloring sheets, and a neat paper bag craft. MBS decorated all of them with his new markers.

O is for Owl
Decorating the owl puppet parts.
Paper bag owl.
He likes it!
Coloring owls with Do-A-Dot markers.

We also made some O’s, using printout from Confessions of a Homeschooler and hand drawn O’s.

Trying hard to dot in the circles.
Following Momma's lines.

I read about making your own lacing cards on Tot School. I cut out one of the owl shapes from a coloring sheet and used that as a pattern to cut and owl out of a piece of foam. This was MBS first time doing any lacing and he was easily frustrated but had a blast making the foam owl play with his stuffed owl.

Trying to lace the owl.
Getting frustrated.
Making the owl hoot.
Playing with his two owls.

As a wrap up to our owl week I made some owl cookies. I used ideas from here and here to make them.

Owl cookies.
Must pluck eyeballs first (he LOVES m&m's).

We had a fun week. To see what others are doing visit 1+1+1=1.

Tot School No Naps, Tantrums, and Puzzles

Tot SchoolMr. Blue Sky is 24 months old.

I’ve been terrible about getting anything planned or organized so we’ve pretty much had non-stop free play here. Most of every day is filled with playing with his trains and duplos. I’ve noticed that he’s really enjoying lining up all the trains and cars, that’s a new fascination for him.

Last weekend MBS (Mr. Blue Sky) learned about carpet removal and was a “Very Useful Engine” (we watch a LOT of Thomas!). We have a leak in our living room wall (outside cement patio is the same level as the slab foundation so rain has just worked it’s way in) and while long term repair means removing the patio, tearing out the rotten boards and drywall and rebuilding a section of the wall, the short term fix was removing the wet carpet so we can at least dry up the puddle as it forms. MBS was fascinated by the carpet removal. At first I was worried that it was going to have lots of fumes or dust and it would be dangerous but it was actually pretty easy, dirty but not gross. He was really helpful in moving the cut up carpet squares to where we were piling them and ripping up the padding and putting it into the trash bags. Each time we removed a section of carpet he’d go onto the cement floor and do a little dance, it was very cute!

Aside from me not being organized right now we’ve been having a tough time because of 2 things MBS is doing, I’m pretty sure they’re connected and I’m hoping that time will just fix it or we’ll find some routine that helps. So what are the 2 things?

  1. MBS has decided he no longer wants any naps. He REFUSES to lay down and take an early afternoon nap, a few times he has fallen asleep early but if I try to get him to nap it just means a big tantrum. Of course with no nap he just keeps getting crankier and crankier as the day goes on and at least half of the nights he falls asleep right at dinner time, napping through dinner (and he needs all the food he can get!) and waking about bed time with lots of energy! So I end up staying up really late with him… I am so tired!
  2. He’s been having some really major tantrums. I’m assuming this is because he’s tired and his sleep cycle is all out of whack. He’s gone a bit farther than his usual throwing himself on the ground screaming, several times he’s taken to running right into the wall head first giving himself glorious bruises (textured walls make weird bruises!)!

So, what do you do with 2 year old who no longer wants to nap but obviously needs a nap? How do you stop a toddler from hurting himself during a tantrum– trying to hold him just makes him angrier. I’ve been trying to calm him by asking him to “use words” and tell me what is making him so upset and some times that calms him but since his spoken vocabulary is very limited this sometimes just leads to more frustration.

Aside from tantrums and lack of naps things are going pretty well. His vocabulary is growing, today while we were out he correctly identified that what was driving next to us wasn’t just a “car” but a “truck”. When my Mom was here yesterday he actually said a full sentence (which I totally can’t remember!) and she was really surprised and I wasn’t which made me realize he’s been stringing a few words together for awhile now. (Woohoo!) The other day he had his Infantino Color and Texture Puzzle out and I turned around and realized he had put together several of the matches all by himself! I was super impressed, had to take photos on my phone and send them to Ryan at work.

Hoping to have a slightly more organized and together week (fingers crossed!) this coming week. Our theme will be Owls! I will also be posting books that we are reading for the Picture Book Challenge. To see what other tots are doing visit Tot School. Thanks for stopping by.

Tot School Birds and Birthday

Tot SchoolMr. Blue Sky is 24 months old.

We had a pretty mellow week here at the Woolly Dragon. The 5th was National Bird Day. To celebrate we watched birds outside our windows and colored some neat pages I printed out from Birdorable and Coloring.ws. We also read Birds (A First Discovery Book). We have a couple from this series and they are really neat, with some see-through pages that change the pictures. He really likes looking at them.

Mr. Blue Sky spent a lot of time this week playing with his trains and cars. Not only playing with them but sorting them and putting them away. I bought some clear plastic containers with lids that he could remove (we tried at the store before buying them) for him to store his different toys in. He’s learned that all the Duplo go in one box, the train tracks in another, and train buildings, trains, and cars all go in the third. He’s gotten really good at putting them away in the right container, sometimes without any prodding from us!

Saturday was Mr. Blue Sky’s 2nd Birthday! So hard for me to believe that he is two years old! We had been planning on having my mom over for cake but snow in the forecast changed our plans, instead we dropped him off at my moms while we did the grocery shopping. That was nice for them, my mom got to see him open her present and they got some special one on one time. When we got home from shopping we set up Ryan’s laptop so it faced the couch and then Skyped with Ryan’s mom while Mr. Blue Sky opened his presents from them.

The rest of his presents we doled out throughout the day and then we had chili dogs for dinner (he actually ate some!) and an owl cake for dessert. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese and plain cream cheese frosting, using dried pineapple rings, Whoppers, a pecan, and slivered almonds to make an owl face.

Looking forward to life with a TWO YEAR OLD! Visit Tot School to see what other tots are doing. Thanks for stopping by.

Tot School

Tot SchoolMr. Blue Sky is 23 months 3 weeks old!

First Tot School post on our new blog! Ryan just registered the domain and set up the blog for me today so no cute graphics or neat widgets up yet. One thing about our new blog is that I don’t want to use our son’s name, so from now on he will be Mr. Blue Sky. This paragraph was added to the post after the rest was written and I’m amazed at how hard it was for me to remember to not use his name!

We haven’t done much in the way of Tot School the last several weeks. We’ve all had some sniffles and I was miserable with a sore throat for days, that combined with holiday preparations meant not much else got done. Sadly our advent countdown activity ended up having a lot of  blank days, some because I just felt too sick and others because the activity I had planned went bust. Turns out Mr. Blue Sky really doesn’t like sticking his hand in plaster (to make hand print ornaments) or getting paint put on his hands. Poor little guy, thought we were torturing him.

He did get to build a gingerbread train with Daddy. Though, technically Ryan did all the building– Mr. Blue Sky wouldn’t even touch the frosting bag. He loved watching Ryan work though, even brought his Thomas engine up to ride in the gingerbread cargo car!

We had a wonderful Christmas and Mr. Blue Sky was blessed with many, many, many new toys! My Mom had spent the night with us so she was there to open gifts in the morning, we also Skyped with Ryan’s parents and my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Next Saturday Mr. Blue Sky will be 2 years old! Hard to believe. I’m really looking forward to all the wonderful things we’ll get to do in 2011. Can’t wait to see how he grows and learns.

Wishing everyone a very Happy 2011! To see what other tots are doing visit Tot School!