Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tot School- A is for Apples and Other Fun Activities

This year I decided to write my own curriculum for Little Sweets.  I will be using my ideas and incoroporating ideas I see from other preschool websites.  One theme I will be doing is a letter of the week. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this theme, but I have decided to go ahead with it.  I want to make it clear that this will not be the only way that I will be teaching language arts.  While I think that knowing the alphabet is important. I do not agree with a phonics only approach.  Learning to read is so much more than knowing letters and their sounds.  I plan on including other language arts activities in my posts.  I also plan to have a Bible theme section. I would like to intergrate Little Sweets interests into the curriculum, so I plan to include an other acticvities section too.  I hope you enjoy my posts. 

A is for Apples

Language Arts -Alphabet Books
I picked up some great alphabet books from the library this week.  I thought this would be a great way to introduce the alphabet and the letter of the week theme.  Here is a list of great books I got at the library:
Bruno Manari's ABC by Bruno Manari
Alphabet House by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Max's ABC's by Rosemary Wells
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin

Here is a list of great apple books we read this week too.
Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Ten Red Apples A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book by Virginia Miller
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

I taped a picture of a coconut tree onto our refridgerator and had Little Sweets put the letter A on the tree.  Each week I will have her put another letter on the tree.  This is a great way to retell the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Confessions of a Homeschooler has a big tree in her house that she uses.  I adapted her idea to use with my abc theme.  I am using magnets because I don't have the space to make such a big tree. 
Science- The Inside of an Apple and Apple Tasting

We read an awesome book called Apples, Apples, Apples, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.  The book is about a family that goes apple picking.  The book has a lot of factual information about apples in it.  One thing it showed was what the inside of an apple looks like.  Little Sweets was so excited about the seeing a star in the apple in the book.  We cut our own apple open so she could see the star in a real apple. 

We also tasted three different kinds of apples.  I wish I had pictures, but I forgot to take some.  She loved the red delicious apple and the gold delicious apple.  She refused to eat the granny smilth apple after she tasted it. 

Math- Counting Apple Seeds
I took out the seeds from our granny smith apple.  We counted the seeds.  The apple had 9 seeds!  Our golden delicious apple only had 4 seeds.  I was surprised at how many seeds the granny smith had. I did some research and found out healthier trees produce apples with more seeds.

Art- Apple Prints
Little Sweets used her apple to make some apple prints.  This activity didn't last too long.  I was hoping to see the star print, but we weren't able to get a good print with the star.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get a pretty star print?

stArt- Ten Red Apples

This week we read the book Ten Red Apples A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book by Virginia Miller. Afterwards Little Sweets painted apples on her own apple tree.  I cut the top off of a water bottle and Little Sweets dipped the top in paint and made red circles on her tree.  After she finished with her tree she continued to paint with the bottle top. 

For more great stArt activities go here.

Math- Big and Little

We read the book; Big and Little by Margaret Miller. I found things around the house that were in the book and used them as props while we read the book. After reading the book I asked Little Sweets to find the big hat or the little hat and she would show them to me.

After we read the Big and Little Book I had Little Sweets sort pictures of big and little apples.

Other Fun Activities

Art- Footprints

I orginally wanted to show Little Sweets the difference between a big footprint (mine) and a little footprint (hers).  The prints didn't turn out, but Little Sweets really enjoyed painting her feet so I let her paint her feet and then wash them.  She liked this activity more than making the prints anyway. 

Playing in the Pool
We spent most of the week playing in the pool in the backyard.

Bible Story and Activity- Jesus Calms the Storm
This week I continued to tell Little Sweets the story; Jesus calms the storm Mark 4: 35-40.  While she was in the pool she splashed around and pretended there was a storm.  (I wish I had a better picture.)  She had a little raft in the pool that represented the boat and it would go up and down in the waves.  We would say Jesus says" stop storm"  and she'd stop making waves.  We talked about how powerful Jesus is.  We also talked about how Jesus can help us when we have storms in our heart.  I explained that when we are angry and want to throw a tantrum we can ask Jesus to help stop the storm in heart and help us not to throw the tantrum.

Language Arts- Enviromental Print

Enviromental print is the print that is around us that we see everyday.  Examples are restaraunt signs and logos.  These printed materials can be used to help teach our children to read.  I had planned on eventually making a book of enviromental print when Little Sweets got older. This week she started reading the words on logos herself so I thought it would be a great time to start a book.  These are three logos she can read, not because I taught her but because she recognizes the print.  This can be used as a building block to teach reading and build children's confidence about reading.  Here are some websites I found that share great ideas about enviromental print if you are interested. 

For more Great Tot School Posts Go Here


  1. What a great first week. You have some great ideas. I love the environmental print book.

  2. Good for you creating your own curriculum!!!

  3. Looks like fun! I like the apple printing... I always liked that when I was little. :)

  4. What a great week! I love all of the activities you came up with! I am trying to start organizing/planning for next year too :-)

  5. What a great idea counting seeds and tasting different apples! I like the environmental print.Thanks for sharing.

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    God Bless!