Tot School Theme of the Week: Letter Z

By 8:06 PM ,

Finally!  We have reached and completed our last letter of the alphabet in Tot School, fittingly the Letter Z!  Little Sis's activities were mostly created with a zoo and/or zebra theme in mind.  I also kept her Letter Z trays pretty simple.  As I have mentioned before, Little Sis hasn't been as excited over her trays the last few letters; however, I am definitely noticing that she prefers certain activities, so I'd like to follow her lead and do more of those.  Stay tuned at the bottom of the post for Where to Now? with Little Sis.

Tot School Trays

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Zoo themed animal stickers:
Stickers and paper.  Great for fine motor.   Doesn't get much simpler than that!

Animal Matching:
I pulle out the montessori cards I made to go along with The Giraffe that Walked to Paris. Little Sis matched the animal on the card to one of the Toob Animals

Pegs on a shoe box:
Totally not zoo themed, but something simple to put together.

Feed the Elephant:
Picked up these cute elephant paper plates from the Dollar Store and set up the tray with ten foam peanuts.  The idea was for little sis to count and feed the elephant.

Zebra Inspired Prewriting Sand Tray:
Little Sis has shown a BIG interest in sensory type activities with her hands, so to keep with our theme I painted white stripes on a piece of black paper and covered it with sand.  Little Sis wasn't interested in the Letter Z, but she did enjoy touching the sand and putting the animals in there!

Art:
I picked up this wooden giraffe mask at a craft store some time ago, and since Giraffes can be found at the zoo, I figured Little Sis would enjoy painting it...
... and she did!

Well, a year-ish later and we have finished round 1 of the alphabet!  This year was more for exposure and playful learning than wanting/ needing her to know the letters, know what I mean?!  And honestly, she hasn't shown much interest in needing to know her letters! She actually has just started wanting to sing her ABC's!

Take a look at our Tot School A-Z posts!

So now that we are done, now what?!  .....  Well, I am not exactly sure.

I was actually thinking of continuing on with themed trays in the Fall and have already picked our themes for the year, but as I said earlier, her interest has waned.  She loves crafting and sensory play and dancing and counting and singing and playing kitchen, so for now I think we'll just reinforce different concepts through playful learning-- which is what I have tried to do with her trays.  Although I know I tend to go wild doing more than necessary because I want to do it all!

So, somewhere there is a disconnect and I think it has to do with the set-up.  Not sure-- she enjoys the activities I surprise her with and those also tend to work better because I am able to be present.  Whereas with her trays, one of the boys would get to them first and/or I don't think she knew what to do with it at first.  I think I will just have to create activities and pull them out when needed, not leave them out for her to explore.  As you an see, I am still thinking this over!

However, since I have all my themes laid out for the year, maybe I'll just gather ideas from around the web on those themes.  Would that be helpful to you?  And then of course should we end up doing trays, I could pull from those resources, too!!

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