Skip to main content

Tot School: Back-to-School Theme

Henry is 30 months old.

We took a break from letters this week at tot school to do a back-to-school theme. This past week many of our fall classes, including our tot-school co-op, have started up for the season. Next week, we return to "school" -- the early childhood class we take through the school district. So, I wanted to focus on all these changes and use tot school to help Henry with the transition.

Henry had a lot of fun with this. I learned that he had no idea what a school bus was -- clearly, I've failed him as a parent, haha. Actually, we live within walking distance of at least three schools, so we almost never see school buses on our street since all the kids walk. But I can say this problem has been eliminated! Also, Henry had a hard time keeping his clothes on this week, so tot school action shots we're kept to a minimum -- silly toddlers. 

On the first tray was the book 10 Apples up on Top by Dr. Seuss. {I figured apples are back-to-school-ish.} Also on the tray was a printable I made, that included each of the characters from the book and spaces for 10 apples. I used small red glass beads for the apples.

Although Henry has owned this book for awhile I don't know that he has ever picked to read it. Turns out he loved it, but wasn't a huge fan of placing all the glass beads around. 

The second tray was a set of Montessori 3-part cards that I made using common back-to-school supplies. Henry used these a few times and actually showed a lot more interest in the words that he has before.

The final tray was wheels on the bus inspired tray. I made a sheet with a bunch of school buses and different colored wheels. Then, I included baby food pouch lids in all the colors of the wheels. Henry could then match the wheels on the bus. This activity was really easy for him, but he enjoyed singing the song while doing this, and this was his favorite tray. 

Other things we did this week included: 

Backpack Clip Work: This is actually a puzzle piece from a Melissa and Doug skills puzzle. It was a big hit with Henry, who recently just figured out how to clip and unclip these buckles.

Magnet Board: It said Back To School and included a couple of shapes. Henry ignored this, although I saw several kids using it during co-op time.

Apple Cutting: These were wooden apples from our food cutting set, a wooden knife, and a cutting board. Henry could then practice slicing the apples up. This was another favorite for the week.

Apple Matching: This was a color and number matching game we made last year at school. Henry immediately remembered that we made it at school, and it led to good discussions about school starting. But, it was way to easy to keep his attention for long.

School Maze: I used the same maze I made for letter M week, but replaced the m's with a school bus and a school house. Since we don't have a single school bus toy {how is that possible!?} I used a yellow glass bead for him to move through the maze. Henry liked this -- mostly because the bead was yellow -- but still didn't quite understand that he was supposed to follow the lines.

Any other tot school kids headed back to "school" or other fall activities this week?
Tot School
Montessori MondayFor the Kids Friday The Weekly Kids Co-Op at B-Inspired MamaTuesday Tots


Plumeriatmc said…
Absolutely love the food pouch tops for wheels! What a fun idea...your weeks always look amazing. :-)
This may sound crazy, but I think I loved the backpack buckle the best! A simple stroke of genius :) Everything looked wonderful, though - like always! :)
Hahah! Not crazy at all. It's an essential skill, and it was on theme! Simple is always better.
JDaniel4's Mom said…
Your bus activity is super cute! What fun activities!
very cute! I love themed tot schools and back to school is perfect!
Unknown said…
So cute,Your post it's very interesting and very usefull, thanks for hosting. Does any of you have ever heard about or maybe use their web hosting service ? Because I nee web hosting for my page. Thanks
Ashley Bergman said…
Do you have the printable for the Ten Apples on Top to download?? :)
Miss Cindy said…
Are there links to download these wonderful activities?
Anonymous said…
Is there a way to print the bus sheet?

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…