Monday, February 1, 2016

Tot School- Where Play meets Intentionality

I was featured for Tot School!

Honestly, I have no idea what "Tot School" looks like for an 18 month old.  Sweet Pea and I are just trying new things and having fun learning  I am trying to be intentional about placing things and speaking to her more about what she is doing.  It does not take place at one certain point of the day, but many small moments throughout.  Mondays are scattered as I lead a Bible study at my church from 10-12, and Sweet Pea gets to have a play date in the nursery with lots of friends.

So, here is what some sporadic moments looked like in our Tot School day. (Pic heavy post) First of all, Sweet Pea woke up at 6 am which is an hour earlier than normal.  Silver Lining: we were able to have some Tot School play time before Daddy had to get up.
An invitation to play with her Little People barn.  I switched out the Princess Castle with the barn, and she went straight to it first thing this morning.  Sweet Pea loves her some Farmer Eddie.

Farmer Eddie wanted to go down the slide, Mom.

Sweet Pea isn't into blocks so much, but this set she has always loved.  She loves to put her pieces in the bucket.

Oh this book.... Honestly, sometimes my husband and I hide it to make her read something else.  I think I read it 3 times back to back this morning.  Sweet Pea always has to sit in a lap to read a book... cutest thing ever.

Mom, every morning needs to start with a work out... She only stayed on this thing for a minute, but I just love that smile, and I thought it would brighten your day too.
Sweet Pea hasn't touched these rings in weeks, maybe months.  Putting them out in a way as an invitation to play made her go right to them this morning.

I set these 3 books out for her specifically.  In honor of Valentines Day, many of her toys revolve around the theme of reds, pinks and heart shapes.  

Finally! She noticed the new Sensory box filled with Valentine day stuff and Cheerios.  FYI--- do not do this with big dogs... later this morning, half of this container was eaten by my golden when I wasn't paying attention.  I decided to get rid of the Cheerios altogether by the time our afternoon play session began.

Extra containers to play with

That was our morning of play time.  I put Sweet Pea down for a nap at 8 since she was up at 6 and we needed to leave the house by 930.  She's throwing me for a loop with this sleeping thing.  She used to be such a great sleeper, but lately she's been trying to only do one nap and it takes her an hour of rolling around at night to finally pass out.  Silver lining: she doesn't scream and cry during that time.

So after Bible study/play date, lunch, and an afternoon nap, Sweet Pea was ready for Round 2 of Tot School Day.  Which consisted of:
Snuggling and carrying around her favorite stuffed animal, Fuzzy Cat

Modified Sensory box... no more Cheerios! But Sweet Pea did seem to notice more of the items.  She loves to put things on her wrists.  She's fancy unlike her momma

Pretending to drink. Notice Farmer Eddie had to come and join the action.
 I had been waiting for this moment all day!  And this was probably the only real "schooling" she did.  I taped a paper towel tube to the bookcase at her level and placed a pink bucket under the tube.  I put some pink sparkle puffs in the tray and a few near the top of the tube and a few in the bucket to see if she could put together what happened.  She stuffed all the puffs into her cup and then put them through the tube shoot.  She had so much fun.  This activity she stayed at the longest (10 minutes).

Mom, puffs make great soccer balls too!
Our day ended with me tutoring a child in art, and Sweet Pea coloring/ eating crayons (keepin' it real, folks) along side of us.  Our first day of Tot School- intentional learning taking place through play. Learning is so much fun when you don't even realize it's happening because you are having fun doing it.  

Want more ideas for your toddler? Be sure to check out the Tot School Gathering Place on 1+1+1=1


  1. What an awesome mom you are! I have aspired to do these sort of things with my newest little one, but I have not been nearly as organized, and much more sporadic. You are inspirational!

    1. Awww thank you Kendra! I am still learning as I go too... I think I am slowly taking over the whole house with it though. Stuff is everywhere, but we are having fun :)

  2. We started Toddler School a few months ago when my littlest one was 18 months old. It has been so much fun! I loved all your pictures. Good luck with your intentional play!!!

    1. Thank you! Once I got the Tot Trays, it morphed into more organized play and we are loving it.