Saturday, September 3, 2016

My #TotSchool Summer - Our Favorite Activities

These past few weeks I've called myself a Summer-at-Home-Mom.  I spent the months of July and August with my son who is just over a year old.  We had a blast.  I remember last summer being ready to go back to work.  He was really little then, and as much as I loved snuggling with him all day, we weren't very active and spent a lot of time on the couch.  This summer it was much different. We went swimming, visited the zoo, played on playgrounds and almost everyday we had #TotSchool.

Almost every day this summer after my son's nap (roughly 3:30ish) we would do a TotSchool activity.  I needed a way to entertain him until it was time for snack and dinner.  I featured a lot of these activities on my Instagram Account (@TeachingEternity).  If you want to easily find just my #TotSchool posts they are on THIS Pinterest board!

However, I thought I take a minute on my blog today to highlight three of my son's favorites from this past summer!

This activity required a blender, water, dishsoap and food coloring.  I put about a cup of water in the blender, a big squirt of dishsoap, and a few drops (3ish) of food coloring. Then I turned the blender on and let it whip the water and dishsoap until it was pretty foamy.  I dumped the foam from each color into the 4 corners of our fun bin (under the bed storage container).  My son had so much fun with this.  He was a little timid at first but soon there was soapy foam all over him.  At one point he actually got in the fun bin!

What he's learning: This was a sensory activity.  I talked about the different colors of the soaps, but mostly he was just experiencing the soap and water.  He loved seeing the foam go flying when he clapped his hands together!

Tips: Put a cheap shower curtain liner underneath this activity... or do it outside.  Also, have a few towels nearby.

What I'll do differently: Next time I'm going to try some of his bath soap instead of dishsoap.  I won't have to worry so much about it getting in his eyes that way. (Update: I tried this again with bath soap and found that the foam turned back to water very quickly!  Maybe less water is needed?)

This activity was clean, easy and fun for the whole family!  I simply taped (I used packing tape) some bubble wrap (I save all of mine) of varying sizes to our hallway and let my son walk all over it!  He kept going back and forth.  I showed him how to jump and he tried doing that.  He tried driving some of his toy cars over it.  He got down and poked at it with his fingers!  I enjoyed walking on it too!  I left it down for the evening and my husband got a laugh out of it when he had to go over it to get in the house! 

What he's learning:  This was a gross and fine motor activity.  The walking back and forth and poking at the bubbles was excellent muscle work for my munchkin.  He also practiced bending his knees for jumping, even though his feet never left the ground!

Tips:  For my son the best bubble wrap for popping was the wrap with bubbles about the size of quarters.

This one was so simple, and we've done it over and over!  I had some old straws my mom had given me from cleaning out her craft room.  I put them all in one container and gave my son a second empty container.  Then let him go to town moving the straws from point A to point B.  Around our house we like to say that my son loves to put things in thing.  This activity fed right off of that!

What he's learning:  This is a great activity for hand eye coordination.  Especially when the second container has a smaller opening!

What I'll do differently: I'd like to make a container with dime sized openings in the top so it is a little bit harder for my son to get the straws inside.  Also I'll use fewer straws next time.  He started taking handfuls out and tossing them about!

Be on the lookout in the next week or so for two more #TotSchool posts... In one post I'll share where I get my activity ideas, and another post about how I store and organize all of my #TotSchool supplies!

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