Tot School: Community

This week we focused on community helpers in Tot School. We could literally do this theme for a month because there are so many different jobs and places that we could use for inspiration. But this was our first time really talking about the community and jobs, so I kept our learning to a quick one week introduction.
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Here were our plans for Community Week:

And here is what we actually did:
Our favorite community books for the week were:
Whose Hands are These? by Miranda Paul
Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook
 Community Sticker Play:
It's no secret I love Melissa and Doug toys, and they are always on our birthday and Christmas wishlists. So while I was planning our community theme I knew it would be the perfect time to pull out our Vehicles and My Town reusable sticker pages. Great fine motor practice and fun pretend play.
  Fire Finger Painting:
This fire finger painting activity was intentionally simple and open ended. After reading about fire fighters, I squirted a few blobs of red, orange and yellow tempera paint onto a piece of white paper. (Find our favorite paint here) Madelynn used her hands to mix the colors, make flames, and write the letter F for fire.
Band Aid Babies:
Is your little one as obsessed with band aids as mine? I'm not sure what it is but seriously we are in a serious "every bump, bruise and mysterious ailment needs a band aid phase." I figured what better way to indulge this interest than with some band aid play with our baby dolls.  Of course this was really a fine motor activity in disguise with lots of peeling and sticking practice.
Envelope Letter Match:
For more sticker fun, because apparently that is the theme of the week ;), I created some envelopes with uppercase letters on them, then wrote lower case letters on dot stickers for Madelynn to match to the correct envelope.
Community Cut Apart Puzzles:
We always need more scissor practice over here and Madelynn is getting much better at cutting straight lines. I created these community helper puzzles for her to cut apart on the dotted lines, then piece back together. This was a really good start to practice cutting on a line which we haven't tried before.
Community Simon Says:
Although Madelynn doesn't quite get the Simon says concept yet, (she does every action whether simon says or not...if only she'd listen to me that well!) we have been trying out several themed Simon says games. For this game I created cards with actions based on different jobs, and called out the action for her to follow (Ex: climb a ladder like a firefighter, open wide for the dentist, swim like a lifeguard, etc.)
Drive the City:
I originally planned on printing out pictures of places in the community and posting them around our yard for Madelynn to drive her bike to.  But then when we were at the park this week we found this AWESOME community map on the playground. So instead I called out a place and and action (Ex. hop to the park, drive to the hospital, run to the school, swim to the lake, etc.) and Madelynn tried to find it. 
Find and Match Doctor Tools:
For this gross motor activity I pulled out our Fisher Price doctor set (kind of a childhood staple right?) and traced outlines of each item on a large sheet of paper. Then I hid each item around our house and Madelynn had to find them and return them to the proper place while I took a nap helped her name each item.
Community Themed Snacks:
School Bus - Start with a Twinkie. Cut out a wedge from the front, slice a small piece of, then reattach to the same spot.  Use white icing to make dots for windows and to attach small red candies for tail lights.  Use a black food coloring marker to draw a line along the side under the windows. Use more white icing to attach Rolo candies for wheels.
Fire Engine - Start with two rectangle fruit strips. Cut one end to make it rounded for the front of the fire engine. Cut the other piece down and lay it on top perpendicular to the first piece.  Add a vanilla wafer cookie for the ladder, 2 chocolate donuts for wheels, red M&Ms and pull & peel candy for lights, and icing for windows and headlights.
Police Car - Stack 2 wafer cookies and a third wafer cookie cut in half to form the car body.  Attach brown M&Ms with icing for wheels, and add red and blue icing to the top for lights.
Dentist Mouth and Toothbrush - Slice a Twinkie in half lengthwise and add marshmallow teeth. Cut a thin slice of fruit strip for the toothbrush, add white and blue icing for the bristles and toothpaste.
Community Sensory Bin:
In this bin: White beans, community helper figures, vehicles, scoops
Fire Theme Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Shredded red, orange, and yellow paper, community helper figuresvehicles, magna tiles
Doctor Tool Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Cotton balls, Fisher Price doctor set, paper with outlines of tools
Mail the Letters Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Cut up straws, colored envelopes, box with slots cut out and labeled for each color
Dentist Play Dough:
In this bin: Dentist play doh kit

That's it for this week, just 3 weeks left until we change things up for summer! Here are our plans for next week:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Plans, you can find them all here:

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