Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tot School Classroom for Young Toddlers

Once I made the decision to start tot school with Henry, I knew that I would need a place dedicated to it. Henry would never concentrate on anything if we tried in the living room with all his normal toys.


Our house isn't big enough to dedicate an entire room to tot school, so I decided to share my "office" with Henry. My office is really just a nook in our larger upstairs guest bedroom. We've split the space into my office nook, Morgan's office nook, and the bed area. And, it actually works out pretty perfectly.

Anyway, in our classroom, we have three zones. First, there is the activity wall. On the wall, I have three areas. The first is magnetic boards. These are just cheap baking sheets. The second area is a felt board I made. The third is an open space to hang rotating pictures/projects. Right now, Henry and I are working on naming body parts so there are two old 8x10 pictures of him hanging up. This way I can ask him to point out eyes, ears, nose, etc.


Below the pictures is a bin for library books. I plan on taking Henry to the library once a week to get new books for this bin. The books will hopefully match our tot school theme for the week.


The second zone is a toddler table. The table is this table from Ikea. It's perfect for all sorts of activities. This is where he can color, paint, read, and play -- all comfortably at his level. The chairs are still a little high for my short little guy, so its been a learning curve trying to use it by himself. But its the perfect height for him to stand and work.


The third zone is our storage and tot trays. The storage is this system, also from Ikea. Inside each of the bins is where I keep all of our tot school supplies and toys. These are not meant to be accessible to Henry. One  is also dedicated to my scrapbooking tools. On top of the system is where Hen's tot trays are located.


These trays are where the fun learning activities are kept. I like that the system is short enough for Henry to grab which ever tray he wants to play with on his own. It allows him to explore his environment and learn at his own pace. However, Henry figured out pretty quickly how to open those drawers and now he wants to play with stuff, that is necessarily appropriate for him. Ikea does sell lids to the drawers, so I'm hoping those solve the problem. If not, I'll have to get creative.

I hope to place more decorations and learning tools around the walls as time goes. But for now that's it.

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