Summer is here and I couldn’t wait to get Tot School started up again with Rhett. Now that he is 2, Tot School is going to be even more fun than it was last Summer. This time around my goal is to design activities that are low cost, easy to replicate and high interest. I also want Rhett to develop lots of language from our activities and for him to become open to these new experiences.
Last year, Rhett and his friend Maeve participated in my Under the Sea the Sea Tot Camp. I am going to repeat many of these activities, but imagine that Rhett’s involvement and language will dramatically increase. If I’m lucky, maybe this time around he’ll enjoy the spaghetti algae.
First things first. This ocean set I acquired from Lakeshore is the BEST! Unfortunately…I think it has been retired since then. The closest thing I have found is this Montessori Ocean Animal and Card Set on Amazon (affiliate link). I have also picked up other ocean animals when I see them for under $5.
*These toys are meant for older children. If you are using these with Tots, they must be supervised at all times.
Rhett decided right away that he did not like the shark or the larger ocean animals but he just LOVED the small ocean creatures. Our first day of Tot School began with an invitation for him to play. I placed the creatures on a large platter that I got from the Dollar Tree. Rhett spent the first 15 minutes just talking about everything he saw!
Then I busted out the matching animal cards and we played a game that Rhett came up with. I would say “Where’s Beluga Whale?” and Rhett would say “There’s Beluga Whale!” and he put Beluga Whale on his card.
This was not part of the plan, but Rhett insisted that he put all the animals inside their “house” (a shoe box with holes).
My little guy is not very open to sensory experiences, and I am hoping that will change this Summer. Before I bring out the big guns, I decided to make a simple, small slab of slime for our creatures to swim in. After MANY declarations of “no slime,” the slime was finally accepted into our play area.
After Rhett became friendly with the the sea creatures, he started showing interest in these short Scholastic books I had left out. I find it fascinating that he loved reading the dolphin and shark books but played only with the sea stars and fish.
Even though we live near the ocean, there is something mysterious about the depths of the sea that fascinate us all! More ocean activities to come as Under the Sea Tot School continues!