About Me and Five Senses Tot Trays

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Well here we go, mostly unofficially, it’s a ‘new year’ of tot school! Or preschool! Or something in between. I went with the norm for this theme, roughly termed “About Me / Five Senses Tot School.” Now as we stay anonymous around here, we’ll try to show you as much as we can! I plan to revisit this with some placeholders for faces so I can share more ideas!

For now, the two activities that do not have images are detailed at the bottom of this post. So enjoy 10 activities that celebrate a kid and his or her senses!

  1. DIY Family Stick Puppets
  2. Baby & Preschooler Clothes Sort
  3. Name Rubbing
  4. Doctor Set
  5. Body Part Match
  6. Questionnaire
  7. Mr. Potato Head
  8. Finger Prints

The following do not have pictures:

DIY Family Stick Puppets

  • I used Photoscape to have circular crops of pictures of E, M & D, plus our pets
  • I printed these in cardstock, trimmed, and glued them to mini popsicle sticks for make-shift puppets
  • Gave him these with some dough and tools!

Baby & Preschooler Clothes Sort

  • Simple concept — give him a set of clothes in his current size and in ‘baby’ size
  • I included a shirt, pants, socks/booties and hat
  • I gave him this set as is — wanted to see what he’d decide to do with it.

Name Rubbing

  • This idea was inspired by The Happy Teacher — thank you!
  • Since I am not very good at drawing free-hand, first, I printed E’s first name on a piece of cardstock
  • Then I lined the letters with glitter glue. (I ran a test with regular white glue, but I didn’t think it was thick enough.)
  • Let this dry for 2 days to be safe.
  • Then, gave him this name plate, some thin copy paper pieces, and crayons
  • Rub your name on the paper!

Doctor Set

Body Part Match

  • A silly activity that makes good use of all these unnecessarily high-resolution photos we have!
  • Went to Photoscape again and went to the Page option. I selected the one that was a grid.
  • I found some pictures of E, D and me and dragged them to the squares. The important part here is zooming in to the point that just a body part is showing: hand, eye, mouth, hair, etc. I left a little bit of a margin around them so I didn’t have to be too careful with cutting.
  • I also made three solid rectangles in Publisher (they all fit on a page). Each was a different color, then in white I put either MOM, DAD, or ME (being E)
  • Printed the grid and rectangles in color and trimmed them all
  • Now the hard part — can you match the body parts to the right person??

Questionnaire

  • We came up with 10 simple questions for a new year questionnaire
  • We printed and trimmed it, then stuck it in a tray in school to see if he’s show it to us or something. He didn’t – haha!

Mr. Potato Head

Finger Prints

  • First, I found clipart of a kid-shaped hand print
  • I placed this in Publisher and made a copy and reversed it for a set of two hands
  • Printed this on cardstock (actually, this and the name-rubbing nameplate were on the same page)
  • Included a small sort-of washable stamp pad that is not a whole lot bigger than a kid’s finger
  • Sat with him on this one and showed him how to make finger and thumb prints on each finger and thumb.

My Family Tree

  • This was a great little project!
  • I started with an 11 x 17 page in Publisher. Found nice tree clipart that had a lot of green on top. Enlarged it to the width of the page; there were several inches to spare at the bottom.
  • Next I collected images of E, his parents (hi!) and our parents.
  • I again used my favorite program, Photoscape, to crop these into circles. Then I dropped them into Photoshop to remove the background and save as PNGs (so I could place them on the tree).
  • Next, I started placing the circles in the Publisher doc. I made him nice and big, then added the rest of us accordingly.
  • Then I used the standard branches to make the family tree between all the people.
  • Next step was to copy all the circular face images and place them all in the white space under the tree (this will make sense soon).
  • Back up to the tree, I made all the family photos on the tree black and white.
  • So now I have a green and brown tree, some black and white faces on it, and a set of matching faces in color. Printed this in color , trimmed off the colored faces and cut each out
  • Now the activity! Gave him the tree, colored faces, and glue to cover the black and white face with their proper colored face.
  • This was fun — we actually did it the night before this new theme started.

DIY My Emotion Cards

  • Another activity was similar in design. This time my trusty circle punch came into play. I found several images of E making various funny faces. I sized them down to 3″, laid them out in Publisher and printed all in color. Then, I punched them all out to have a set of 3″ ’emotion’ cards. He enjoyed copying the faces – his faces!

Whether inspired by the ‘new’ year, or a three-day weekend, or what, we took the plunge and re-did our house for a setup a little better for homeschool. While we have space, we lack ‘rooms’ and struggle with distractions left and right. So how about turn our whole downstairs into an E zone for school and play! We’ll detail that soon.

If you can’t tell, I am a little indecisive about this whole “new year” thing. He doesn’t know that traditionally-schooled kids get summers off, nor did he get summer ‘off’. I’d say we are still in tot school mode based on his age. As none of it really matters, our goal for the next few months is to formalize things a little so in January or February or so we have designated school times. It’s a reasonable goal!

A sample of About Me and Five Senses tot trays!

Books for About Me & Five Senses Tot School!

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