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September 6, 2012

Tot Preschool - Aa is for Apple

Apple Unit for Preschool

*J-Bug is currently 40 months old*

J-Bug is never required to participate in school time.  I set up these trays to give him something educational and fun to do while JZ works.  I would give him toys only, but he requests work.  Like most younger siblings he is eager to keep up and be just like his big brother.  Please note:  I do not encourage pushing young children to do school work.  If you want to engage in educational activities with your young child remember that early learning is best accomplished through play and movement.  I encourage you to follow your little one's cues and have fun!

Here is a glance at a few of J-Bug's Tot Trays for the unit.

1.  Rainbow nesting blocks from Lakeshore Learning.
2.  Letter A printout from Making Learning Fun (laminated) with wooden pattern blocks.
3.  Oatmeal Letter Sensory bin. 

You'll notice I put out less trays this week than usual.  J-Bug has been really into blocks and building lately, and I encouraged him to spend school time building.  He was happy to oblige.

I added a set of plastic magnetic letters and numbers to a bin of oatmeal for J-Bug to find and match to our alphabet and number charts.  (The charts came from JZ's My Father's World kindergarten curriculum.  If we didn't have those I would have printed a quick sheet with the alphabet and numbers 1-9.)  As he dug out each letter he placed it on the chart in the correct spot.  For a younger child this would be a fun way to teach name spelling.

One day during school J-Bug asked to pull out the bin of pom poms.  He grabbed some school glue and paper and made a masterpiece.  He preferred to place the pom poms on the paper before covering them in glue rather than vice versa.  It was cute to watch.

After his pom pom collage he pulled out the bin next to it that contained foam stickers and got to work with a new sheet of paper.  I love watching him create freely, and my decision to leave the boys' art supplies out within reach is constantly reaffirmed.

We made cute apple trees using cut outs of the boys' hands for branches.  I cut out a round piece of green paper for the leaves, and the boys used their fingers to paint apples on the tree.

I didn't take a picture of this tray with a printout from 1+1+1=1.

Using a Do-A-Dot Rainbow markers J-Bug marked every letter A.

Then he went over each one in a second color.

I put out the four letters we have introduced this school year and all the pieces to form them.  J-Bug sorted the pieces and correctly formed each letter.

Here is a link to the Letter Builders.

Lacing his letters is always a favorite activity for J-Bug.  Here is his completed A.

This unit was all about apples.  I bought a variety for both boys to taste and explore.  J-Bug sorted them by color, he lined them up by size, and he was delighted to discover the star inside each one.  You can read more learning activities as well as many yummy recipes we enjoyed in JZ's apple unit HERE.

Happily putting together the letter A with his pattern blocks.

This was a bit of fail on my part, but it's still worth mentioning.  I made apple gelatin sensory letters following the recipe on the back of the gelitin box.  They turned out great, but my letter cutting skills lack.  I purchased this alphabet cookie cutters set shortly after attempting to cut out letters freehand.  We will use them for many fun sensory alphabets in the future.  Here are a few of the letters I made:

Usually before the unit is even over J-Bug is eager to put his letter on our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.

The board of J-Bug's completed work:

For more resources follow my Preschool Ideas board on Pinterest.


  1. Awesome!! I need to start making up little trays for my little guy.

  2. the amount of great resources you have is just amazing to me! those jello letters are so fun! just wondering, do you have your curriculum planned out far, or do you put it together as you go?

  3. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing so many great ideas. I'm excited to try some of these with my daughter.

  4. Love the jello letters. Great idea! I'll look for the Letter Builders locally. I'd been starting to make my own from foam, so it will depend if I can find the and how much they cost.

    1. Lakeshore Learning carries them. I believe they are $29.95 there. :)

  5. Hi! I am stopping by from the MFW Blogroll and co-hosting the My Father's World Homeschool Highlights this school year with Monica @ DiscoverTheirGifts. This is where MFW families connect weekly, or as often as you like, to share what we are doing in our schools. The first one is September 8, the info is on my blog. I hope you join us!


    ps: Love the fun hands on stuff you guys are doing!

  6. What fun hands on activities! Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

  7. I love the apple tree it is wonderful. A massive fan of dabbers, I really need to invest in some. Thanks for the push to purchase, haha.

  8. How fun! You have some great resources here. I have a "pre-schooler" at home with me and I am lost at how to teach her. I can't wait to use some of your ideas. Thanks so much for linking up to Tip-toe thru Tuesday. I hope to see you next week!

  9. I love the apple tree! That is the best. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  10. I am one of the hosts of the Weekly Kid's co-op. I love this post and will be featuring it on tomorrow's link-up. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a wonderful set of activities - I love apples :). Thank you so much for linking to Tuesday Tots and just wanted to let you know I have shared this post on my newsletter this week as well as featuring tomorrow on Tuesdsay Tots

  12. I just found your blog on Pinterest and am blown away! You are now my favorite! Thanks for the inspiration!


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