Tot School: Zipper And Clothing Theme

by Melanie on February 24, 2014

27 Months Old

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

On March 8th, 2013 when Rocket was just 16 months old, I wrote our first tot school post for Apple Week. And now here we are, almost 1 year later and we just finished the last letter in our A-Z unit. It has been an extremely successful unit and I am just blown away by how much he has learned through all of our themed activities, crafts, and tot trays. I knew he would get a lot out of it, but I don’t think I quite understood just how much. 

I am so proud of my young man for graduating from our first tot school unit. This entire experience has proven to me that toddlers are SO INCREDIBLY CAPABLE of learning things that initially seem advanced for their age, as long as we, their caregivers, supply them with the right environment and expose them to the information in a way that appeals to their learning style.

I have learned so much not only as a mom, but as a teacher, and I am more certain than ever of my decision to homeschool as my children get older. Teaching my own kids is more than just a hobby for me- it is a deep and devoted passion.

I already have plans for our next unit, which will likely be the last one for “tot school” before we start preschool. The month of March, however, will be focused on adjusting to our new baby (due March 6th). I’m so excited to see what personality God is forming in my womb and so eager to have two students in the schoolroom, playing and learning and growing together!

What a transitional time in our lives right now. This last theme has been completed just in time to give us an important break for our adjustment period with the new member of our family. This may be the end of our first unit, but it is only the beginning of our homeschooling journey.

So now, I present you with what we did for our last A-Z unit tot school lesson – zipper and clothing theme!

Letter: Zz

Object: Zipper

Vocabulary Development Theme: Clothing

 

Zipper & Clothing Theme Tot Trays

 

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

From left to right, top to bottom: 1. Button Transferring, 2. Learn To Dress Octopus, 3. Letter Zz Printables, 4. Miscellaneous Costume Accessories, 5. Dress-Up Scott, & 6. Sock Matching

These trays were designed to expose the following skills:

  1. Button Transferring (fine motor skills/color review/shapes review)
  2. Learn To Dress Octopus (fine motor skills/practical life skills)
  3. Letter Zz Printables (Zz recognition/vocabulary exposure/using writing utensils) The actual printables are not in the photo above as we also had plain construction paper for doodling, but you can see them in action below.
  4. Miscellaneous Costume Accessories (open-ended play)
  5. Dress-Up Scott (open-ended play)
  6. Sock Matching (matching/practical life skills)

I didn’t get very many pictures of him using the Button Transferring tray, but don’t let that fool you. This was by far his FAVORITE tray for this theme. He pulled it out almost every day. I HIGHLY recommend these really big buttons as a teaching tool for young toddlers. They have taught Rocket some of the more complicated shapes like a hexagon and can also be used for teaching colors. We have done so much with them, including counting and sorting. As he gets older, we will also use them for stringing.

This tray consisted of a bowl of these big buttons and a yogurt container with a slot cut out of the top. I also included tongs, but he chose not to use them. The concept of the activity was simple: he picked up a button, named the color and shape, and put it in the container.

We played several variations of this game. For instance, I asked him to find all the ovals to place in the container. Or all of the purple buttons. This helped train his mind to sort and narrow in on specifics.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Identifying the color and shape of the button.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Inserting a button.

I found the Learn To Dress Octopus at a consignment sale where I went to track down a double stroller. There are many learn to dress stuffed animals out there and I’ve really been wanting to get one to help teach him early dressing skills such as snapping, buttoning, tying, zipping, etc. When I came across the Learn To Dress Octopus on consignment for only $2, I knew this was the one for us!

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Checking out the new toy.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Using the zipper.

The Miscellaneous Costume Accessories tray included various fun things for Rocket to try on. He actually pulled down this tray on his own frequently throughout the week!

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Trying on the monkey ears from his Five Little Monkeys birthday party.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Wearing a fancy mask.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Jumbo glasses!

The Dress-Up Scott tray was his second favorite for this theme, right next to the button transferring. He named the doll Scott himself, after his Dad!

A good friend of ours gave us a gift certificate to a book store and we had put in an order for this awesome Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Dress-Up Doll. It was going to be one of our main attractions for the clothing theme. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in stock and just a couple of nights before our new theme was to be introduced, I got an e-mail saying that the order was cancelled.

I was determined to make something happen for Rocket anyway and this is what I came up with:

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Dress-Up Scott! I drew the doll and its accessories freehand on cardstock paper, laminated it, and cut it out. Then I added velcro to each individual piece to attach to the doll. The doll came with 4 options of each: pants, shoes, hats, shirts, and accessories for his hands.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays (23)

Here was the laminated sheet before I cut it all out.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

The first thing he picked up, of course, was the little red electric guitar I’d drawn. He started strumming it right off the bat!

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Eventually, he decided to share the guitar with Scott.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

One outfit he put together for Dress-Up Scott.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

He was also a fan of the t-shirt with a drum on it.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Choosing a hat.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Putting on Scott’s pants.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

When he put the fork and spoon in Scott’s hands, it was obviously time to feed the doll.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

He got a purple pouch, which we always have out on the snack table in the schoolroom, and offered some to Scott.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

And he even shared some of his orange juice so Scott could wash it all down! This doll provided Rocket with hours of entertainment throughout the week.

clothing theme tot

Another outfit for Dress-Up Scott.

The Sock Matching tray, a jumbled mix of socks, allowed Rocket to work on an essential laundry skill that will help me out significantly as he gets older!

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

This tray was pretty easy for him. I will have to think of ways to make it more challenging if I replicate it in the future.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

Found another match.

Clothing Theme Tot Trays

And the last pair in the basket.

Our Zz Printables tray got plenty of use. Now that our A-Z unit is over, I will be selecting certain printables from the 1+1+1=1 collection to put in a notebook for Rocket so that he can continue tracing letters, something he greatly enjoys doing right now.

clothing theme tot trays printables

Coloring the zebra.

clothing theme tot trays printables

Tracing the lowercase z.

 

  Clothing Theme Sensory Tub

 

clothing theme sensory tub

Sensory Tub Filler Material:

  • There was no filler material for this sensory tub. It was just a tub full of winter clothing.

Sensory Tub Featured Items:

  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Hoodie
  • Ear Muffs
  • Mittens

Sensory Tub Exploratory Tools:

  • Hands
  • Body

This sensory tub was a mix of things you wear during the winter. We sang a song we’d learned at the library as we pulled out each article of clothing. Most definitely due to the added element of music, Rocket requested this tub over and over again- and I sang my lungs out for him! Below in the Song of The Week section, you can learn the song that we used to review winter attire.

Clothing Theme Sensory Tub

A winter hat.

Clothing Theme Sensory Tub

Trying it on as I sang the song.

Clothing Theme Sensory Tub

A hoodie!

Clothing Theme Sensory Tub

Rocking the ear muffs.

 

Tot School Toys

 

Rocket has been in a very puzzle-doing mood lately, so we pulled out several during this theme.

Other Toys

He prefers these jigsaw puzzles over the chunky puzzles now.

Other Toys

This one is the Melissa & Doug On The Farm Jigsaw Puzzle.

Other Toys

Working on the Melissa & Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle.

 

Clothing Books & Current Reading List

 

Clothing Books

At first, I thought we might have a problem finding clothing books to stock our schoolroom shelf. How many can there be, right? It turns out, there are A LOT. And great ones, too. The ones with links to Amazon were his favorites- as you can see, he had several!

Clothing Books:

      1. Grandpappy Snippy Snappies by Lynn Plourde
      2. Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
      3. Kokeshi Kimono Book by Annelore Parot
      4. The Mitten by Jan Brett
      5. Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton
      6. Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
      7. The Costume Party by Victoria Chess
      8. Shoes (Reading Rainbow Books) by Elizabeth Winthrop and William Joyce
      9. Corduroy by Don Freeman
      1. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and Steven Kellogg
      2. Little Red Hood by Marjolaine Leray and Sarah Ardizzone

 

Zipper Craft

 

zipper craft

Don’t you love how our little zipper craft turned out?

I cut out the zipper shape from our printables, taped two pieces of blue construction paper together and cut them into the shape of pants, and set it all up with various art supplies like this:

zipper craft

The art supplies included markers, stickers (which are not pictured above), and a stick of paste.

Rocket chose to start with coloring.

zipper craft

Decorating the blue jeans with some yellow.

zipper craft

Coloring the pants a different shade of blue.

zipper craft

Rocket loved these ABC stickers! He announced the letter he was using as he placed them on the jeans.

zipper craft

The final step was to paste on the zipper.

 

Clothing Activities & Other Fun Things

 

1. Helping Out With The Laundry.

As he often does, Rocket helped to transfer our laundry hamper, sort clothing, and put clothing away throughout this week.

Clothing Activities

A not-very-clear photo of Rocket taking the hamper to the dryer.

2. Packing The Hospital Bag.

For this theme, Rocket also helped to pack the hospital bag for when the baby gets here! He helped put the clothes I’ll need into my suitcase and to stock the diaper bag with clothes for the little one.

Clothing Activities

Filling up the diaper bag for the new baby.

3. Sorting Baby Clothes.

New baby will be here soon- so we took out our box of newborn clothes and sorted it all into the closet for use. Rocket had so much fun helping with this. He kept holding the different articles of clothing out in front of him and saying, “It’s sooooo tiny! So itty bitty!” It melted my heart. When I told him it used to be his clothes, he said, “I’m not a baby anymore.” No, he’s not!

Clothing Activities

Checking out the baby footie.

Clothing Activities

There was once a time this hat was too big for him.

4. Outdoor Play.

Clothing week was mostly an indoor domestic theme, but we had to sneak away from it all when nature gave us a beautiful sunshine-y day! It was like a taste of springtime to come.

Clothing Activities

Coloring with chalk.

Clothing Activities

It’s been a while since we did this!

Clothing Activities

I think this one was a picture of our dog, Harmony.

Clothing Activities

Poppin’ along (with a chalk-dusted shirt).

Clothing Activities

Ready to mow the lawn.

Clothing Activities

And of course, some ball time with Dad.

5. Sewing Diaper Wipes.

I had some old sleep pants that ripped right in the region of the buttocks, so we used the fabric to make diaper wipes for the new baby. Rocket obviously doesn’t do the sewing, but he is a big assistant as I do!

Clothing Activities

Four of our ten new diaper wipes.

Clothing Activities

Testing out the scraps.

6. Melissa & Doug Vehicles Stamp Set.

I wasn’t going to give this Melissa & Doug Vehicles Stamp Set to Rocket until after the baby was born, but my hiding spot wasn’t very good. How could I say no once he discovered it? He loves stamps! Can you tell I am a big fan of Melissa & Doug products for children?

Clothing Activities

Using the stamp pad.

Clothing Activities

This comes with all kinds of vehicle and road sign stamps.

 

Song Of The Week & Music Time

 

We learned our Song of the Week at Story Time at the library. It was perfect for our last theme on clothing!

It is called “If It’s Snowing And You’re Cold” and is to be sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It.”

The lyrics are as follows:

“If it’s snowing and you’re cold, you wear a hat.

If it’s snowing and you’re cold, you wear a hat.

If it’s snowing and you’re cold, and your head is chill to the bone; if it’s snowing and it’s cold, you wear a hat.”

Each verse from there replaces “hat” and “head” with a different article of clothing and body part (i.e. scarf & neck, body & coat, mittens & hands, feet & boots, ears & ear muffs, etc.)

Fun song for the winter!

 

Technology Time

 

Rocket loves this free app on my iPhone called Doodle Buddy.

Here is an example of one of his creations that he made and managed to screenshot on my phone:

Technology

 

Mom’s Favorite Moments

 

We got maternity pictures taken as a family. I love how they turned out! These photos were taken by GBSB Photography.

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

mom's favorite moments

And a couple of other shots from our week:

mom's favorite moments

Rocket’s Aunt Manda will be giving him a toy grill. Getting him pumped for it at the hardware store!

mom's favorite moments

My boys have been with me at every prenatal appointment for this pregnancy. Here they are looking out the window of the room where I get seen, just like they always do!

 

More Tot School Resources

 

Check out more tot school inspiration here:

1+1+1=1

Living Montessori Now

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @Our Country Road February 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

We love the magnetic Joey, but I have to say that Dress-Up Scott is cuter!! Love his guitar!!

Reply

Melanie March 10, 2014 at 3:53 am

Aww, thanks. We definitely still have Joey on our wish list too. 🙂

Love your blog and all your creative ideas as well!

Reply

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