We finally finished up our transportation tot school activities this week and are ready for a little break for Madelynn's dance recital, birthday party, and Thanksgiving.
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Here were our plans for Transportation Week:
And here is what we actually did:
Our favorite transportation books for the week were:
I’m Your Bus by Marilyn Singer
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Deborah Pearson 
Shape Roads:
We don't have too many cars laying around our house with 2 little girls, so I decided to pick up this set of wooden vehicles and signs from Melissa & Doug.They were perfect for Madelynn to use to trace each of the shape roads that I made for her. You can grab a set of these shape roads here.
Alphabet Fishing:
To go with our boat theme activities, I decided to incorporate "fishing" as a fine motor activity.  I didn't have Madelynn use actual fishing poles, instead I let her use any of our fine motor tools to grab as many letter "fish" as she could.
Airplane Craft:
This craft started out with sponge painting a white paper blue for the sky. After the paint dried, I gave Madelynn paper shapes to make a plane and clouds and she glued them together.
Transportation Reusable Stickers:
Melissa & Doug are genius I tell you. They have the best toys for my girls and their reusable sticker pads do not disappoint.  They remind me of the original Colorform sets I used to play with as a kid.  They are more of a window cling than a sticker, so they truly are reusable and won't end up stuck all over your floor and walls. This Vehicle Reusable Sticker Pad was perfect to pull out this week.
Stoplight Bean Bag Toss:
This game is part gross motor, part color matching. I cut out 3 circles from red, yellow, and green colored cardstock to make a stoplight.  Then I grabbed beanbags in the same color. Madelynn and I took turns tossing the beanbags trying to get them to land on the matching color.  They slid around a bit so I probably could have taped them down to make it a little better.
Goldfish Song:
This was a bit of a stretch to go along with our theme, but the goldfish does ride a bicycle in the song, haha.  Either way we LOVE Laurie Berkner and pull up her songs on You Tube all the time for a little dance party.  This song has lots of opportunity for movement and is great for getting the wiggles out.
Airplane Song:
Another Laurie Berkner song that we love that incorporates lots of creative movement.  If you haven't introduced Laurie Bernkner's music to your toddler yet, you have to check out her you tube channel, SOOO many fun songs to get your little ones up and moving!
Transportation Snacks:
We had time for 3 different snacks this week.  The stoplight snack was a huge hit and has been a daily request ever since.  To make the stop light I started with graham crackers broken into 4 rectangles. Then I spread peanut butter on top and squished colored m&ms in to finish the stoplights.  Next for our airplane snack I started with a banana sliced in half the long way so it wouldn't roll around on the plate.  Then I added smaller banana slices for wings and an apple wedge for the tail.  Cheerios made perfect windows and marshmallows for clouds. Last our boat snack was a pretty easy one.  I cut up a few apple wedges, added a toothpick and cheese triangles for the sail. 
Road Theme Sensory Bin:
I kind of love how this bin turned out, although we turned it into a tray more than a bin. On our tray I spread out black beans, added a few cut up yellow straws for the lanes and then let Madelynn explore with her Melissa & Doug vehicles & signs.
Harbor Theme Sensory Bin:
This bin was easy peasy, just water with a little blue food coloring and these Magnetic Boats that link up with each other.
In the Air Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Blue aquarium rocks, cotton ball clouds, and airplanes from the In The Sky TOOB.
In the Air Sensory Bin:
Okay one more Melissa and Doug Toy I love is this Magnetic towing game. (I swear I'm not being paid to promote them I just really love their stuff!) It's basically magnet fishing and a puzzle all in one and requires lots of concentration, a great toy for building focus and the cars have numbers on them too for added number recognition practice.

That's it for this week, remember we are skipping turkeys since we fell behind on our schedule so we will be back at it after Thanksgiving. Here are the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Plans, you can find them all here:





Are you as anxious as I am to get into the Christmas spirit and start your holiday decorating? Well I make myself wait until after Thanksgiving every year so until then lets break out the December read alouds! Check out these 12 perfect read alouds for December along with lesson ideas, activities and more!

Since I first read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle has always been one of my favorite authors. I just love his style, and my always students seem drawn to his books as well. One of his books that has been a long time favorite of mine is Dream Snow.
In this book, a farmer is waiting for Christmas to come and dreaming of beautiful snow covering his farm and animals in a fresh blanket of white. When he awakens he finds that it actually has snowed and he remembers that he needs to give out his gifts for Christmas.
Although the story line is very simple, I find that this is a perfect story for making inferences.

In the beginning of the story we meet the farmer and find out that he has 5 animals aptly named One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Eric Carle leaves the reader wondering who these animals might be, but he gives a few clues in his illustrations.
Before continuing to read I have students make inferences about the animals and for older students give their reasons. 

Then as we read the story, students find out whether or not their inferences were correct.  
At the end of the story I have students infer again with a writing activity describing what they think is inside each of the animals' presents from the farmer. Students draw a the gift and explain why they think the farmer would give each gift to that specific animal.

Want to try out this comprehension activity? You can grab a FREE sample here!
And to grab even more reading response FREEBIES sign up here:

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But wait, that's not all! Each month, the Books Teachers Love Crew is giving away 4 of the books that we blogged about, and YOU get to choose the books you want! So scope out all 12 blog posts below, pick your favorites, and enter to win.

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A dinosaur theme is a sure fire way to capture little ones interest and curiosity. Just talking about dinosaurs with toddlers is so much fun! Our week was filled with names to learn, questions to answer and hands on activities to try.

**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for Dinosaur Week:

And here are the details of each activity:

Here were our favorite dinosaur books for the week:
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs By Byron Barton
Dinosaurs By Gail Gibbons
Dinosaur Roar! By Paul and  Henrietta Stickland
Stomp Dinosaur Stomp By Margaret Mayo
How do Dinosaurs… series By Jane Yolen

Dinosaur Sticker Scene:
Melissa & Doug have the best toys for my girls and their reusable sticker pads do not disappoint. They remind me of the original Colorform sets I used to play with as a kid. They are more of a window cling than a sticker, so they truly are reusable and won't end up stuck all over your floor and walls. This Dinosaur Sticker Scene was perfect to pull out this week.

 Dinosaur Dig:
Digging for fossils was fun and easy with this activity. I started out by sticking some dinosaur stickers onto our clear tot school tray. Then I covered them with sand. I gave Madelynn a paintbrush and let her "dig" away!
 Sponge Paint Dinos:
I planned to make paper plate dinosaurs, then I found this sponge painting idea and printable templates on Learn With Play at Home. I love how cute the dinosaurs turned out. Head over to her blog to grab the templates.
Shape Dinosaurs:
These shape dinosaurs were easy to prep and make. I cut a circle out of green card stock and then cut it in half so we could make two dinosaurs. Then I gave Madelynn a pile of green foam shapes and let her glue them together to create her own little dinosaur friends.
 Dinosaur Tracks:
I know I need to be better about focusing on the process rather than the product when it comes to art, so I came up with this dinosaur track painting activity. I poured a few different colors of tempera paint on paper plates, gave Madelynn some dinosaur counters, and let her stomp tracks all over the paper.
 Dinosaur Stomp:
We LOVE Laurie Berkner in our house and watch her music videos on You Tube often. One of our favorite songs is "We Are the Dinosaurs" and Madelynn loves to march around when we listen to it. To make the song extra special this week I made dinosaur feet out of tissue boxes and colored paper for her to wear while stomping to the beat.
 Dino Egg Hunt:
This activity was essentially an Easter egg hunt around our house, but with dinosaurs hiding inside each egg instead of Easter candy and treats. Madelynn had fun collecting and counting all of the different dinosaurs in her basket.
 Alphabet Dino Tracks:
For this game I started by cutting out dinosaur footprints from colored card stock.  I wrote a letter on each one from a-z.  I placed them in a circle and then turned on some music. When I stopped the music Madelynn had to stop and try to name the letter that she was standing on. Great for alphabet recognition and movement at the same time.
Dinosaur Action Hunt:
After reading Stomp Dinosaur Stomp By Margaret Mayo, we pulled out our eggs for another hunt activity. This time I hid the actions from the story inside each of the eggs and hid them. When Madelynn found them she had to act out each dinosaur action.
 T Rex Says:
We used the same action cards from the story again for this Simon Says type activity. Madelynn doesn't quite get the concept yet, but we have been trying out several themed Simon says games. I picked a card and then called out the action for her to follow.
 Dinosaur Snacks:
Fruit Dinosaur - Cut slices of watermelon, pineapple and strawberries. Build a dinosaur with the shapes.
Dinosaur Quesadilla - Use a dinosaur shaped cookie cutter to cut 2 tortillas into dinosaur shapes. Sprinkle cheese on one tortilla. Place the other tortilla on top. Microwave for 20 seconds.
Cheerio Volcano - Mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup in pan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 tsp. vanilla to pan and mix until smooth. Add 1 1 1/4 cup Cheerios and mix until coated. Drop mixture onto waxed paper and mold into volcano shapes. Allow to cool then top with red icing.
Dino Dig Parfait - Layer vanilla pudding, cheerios, granola, marshmallows, and whipped cream in a clear plastic cup. Top with green icing and a plastic dinosaur.
Dinosaur Bones - Push mini marshmallows onto either end of pretzel sticks. Melt white candy melt in the microwave for 1 minute. Dip pretzel "bones" in white melt then place on waxed paper to harden.
 Dinosaur Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Cloud dough (8 cups flour & 1 cup vegetable oil mixed together), plastic trees, TOOB dinosaurs, and rocks.
  Dino Egg Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Sand, plastic Easter eggs, dinosaur counters.
   Dino Fossils:
Making dinosaur fossils in play dough kept Madelynn SUPER engaged. She liked seeing all the shapes she could make with the feet, tails and bodies. We used the same TOOB dinos from our sensory bin so we would have a good variety. 
Frozen Dino Eggs:
This actually turned out to be a lot more work than I had planned because little did I know most of the plastic eggs we have in our house have holes in the top and bottom... After a failed attempt at filling and freezing the eggs I taped up the bottoms and around the seam of each egg. Then I added a dinosaur counter and filled each egg with water from the top hole. I placed them in containers to freeze upright overnight.  The next morning I struggled to open each egg, so I gave Madelynn a container of warm water to bathe each egg in so I could melt them a little to open them. After freeing a few eggs, Madelynn began to excavate the dinosaurs with her play hammer, and screwdriver while I tried to save the other eggs before they completely thawed...In the future, I may just freeze them in a silicone cupcake pan. Not egg shaped, but definitely WAY easier to get them out!
Dinosaur Mud:
In this bin: chocolate "oobleck," rocks, TOOB dinosaurs, and rocks.
Start with 1 cup water in a bowl. Add 2 cups cornstarch a bit at a time and sprinkle a few spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder in as well for color and scent. Stir with a spoon (or I find its actually easier to us your hands for this one) until you reach a gooey consistency. Add dinosaurs and rocks and explore!

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:

Then check out all of our Tot School themes here:




Gingerbread, Christmas






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