Category Archives: Tot and Pre-k Workbox

Word Puzzles

What’s in the Tot Workbox today?  
                            Some really cool word puzzles.

I found this neat box of word puzzles for $7 at a local store.  

 It comes with 26 word puzzles, one for each letter of the alphabet.  It has both the upper and lower case letter side by side, and then a picture, and then a word in lower case letters at the bottom.

Today we started off with 6 of the puzzles, or one sheet.  They come in a sheet and you punch them out to get started.  No sense in mom having all the fun.  The tots wanted to punch out the puzzles themselves.

Then it was time to start matching.  Even though my three year old daughter doesn’t know how to read yet, she can match pictures very well. 

She made a drum, a baby, a frog, an earth, a violin, and a goat.

The word puzzles were short, and had from 4 to 6 letters, or pieces, to match.

These puzzles have bright colorful pictures, and it was easy to see what matched up.

Even my two year old played with the pieces, but he didn’t quite get the hang of it on his first try.  We will be practicing this “puzzle game” many more times in our workboxes, and it won’t be long before he picks up how to do it.  I will limit him to one puzzle at a time, and that will increase his success.  He loves puzzles, so I am sure he will master this one soon.

This word and matching puzzle will be great practice for several of my kids as they practice fine motor skills, cognitive skills, literacy and learning to read skills.

These puzzles remind me of the Word World program on PBS- Kids.  In the same concept as building a word and a picture at the same time.  I really think this is a beneficial way for children to begin to learn reading.

Oops, the big kids wanted to play too, and mixed the parts from all 26 puzzles together. 

Looks like I have some sorting to do before these go back into our tot workboxes. 

These puzzles are a lot of fun.

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Button Free Play

What is in the workbox and on the shelves today?  A whole lot of buttons.

I set out various objects on the table and called the children over to see what was there.  I gave the TOTS (my three year old and two year old) some buttons, bobbins, a thimble, and different sized spools and I waited to see what they did with them.  We will be doing more with buttons as part of our Letter Of The Week B theme.

The three year old began sorting her buttons. I watched to try to understand by what category she was sorting.  She was singling out the prettiest and smallest buttons first.

Right away the two year old lined up the spools from biggest to smallest in a straight line and sang “Happy Birthday”. 

He also put a button in each hole of the muffin tin.

The three year old did a wonderful job of sorting the objects into different areas of her divided box.  She put bobbins in one spot.  Pretty colored buttons in one spot.  Darker buttons in another spot.  And she sorted out two buttons that had a different back on them, they were not flat, but instead had a knob at the back.  This was really great for her first time ever playing with little buttons.

Next, she began picking up the smallest buttons and putting them into a thimble turned upside down like a cup. 

She was proud of her accomplishment.  She continued to try to stack more on top, but they kept falling off once the thimble was full.

The two year old decided to put all of his objects into the muffin tin.  He counted the bigger spindle and told me it was a big one.

Sister had left the room for a minute to go potty, and brother confiscated her objects to add to his creation.  I could hardly keep from laughing in front of him, because he knew he did a no, no, but he liked the way it looked.

Once sister came back and we divided up the loot again, she came up with a new game. 

She decided to see what buttons could hold the bobbins.  “Look Mom!  See what I did?”

A little while latter, I came into the room to find them lining up their objects. 

The two year old was very serious about making sure everything was in a straight line.  If one of sister’s objects wasn’t exact, he fixed it.  He is a very particular line maker!

And again a few more renditions of his favorite song  “Happy Birthday”.

It must be somebody’s birthday somewhere.  So whoever you are, hope it’s a great one!

Today was totally free play with their objects.  Since buttons and these other objects were new to them, this kept them busy for almost an hour.   Usually after they become familiar with objects I set out, they may keep their interest for 15 minutes to half an hour.

Next time, I will use some guided activities along with the buttons and objects to help them practice following directions, counting, sorting, reasoning, begining reading letter “B“, and problem solving skills.  I will also plan an art activity using buttons as our medium to explore, perhaps we will make a letter “B”  or a butterfly collage with buttons, I am not sure yet.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Plan to link this post up at:

We Play
Play Academy
ABC and 123
No Time For Flash Cards
Preschool Corner
Tot Tuesdays

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Magnet Line Up

What is in the Tot Work Box and on the shelves this week?  Lots of magnet activities.

My tot, age 2, loves to line things up.   He usually then sings a rendition of Happy Birthday To You. This is so funny and I will write another post soon that shows him blowing out his pretend candles with cars, dominos, pompoms, cubes, and lots of other toys.  It is a daily occurrence around here.  His birthday was two months ago, but he replays the song and blowing out the candles scene daily.

Magnets are really fun to line up, because sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t, go together. 

This is a fun activity for learning about attraction and repulsion. 

He maybe to young to understand magnet vocabulary, but this simple activity helps him understand that if he turns the magnets one way they are attracted to each other, and if he turns them the other way, they repel.  

No matter how hard he tries, if he has the wrong ends (two positives or two negatives) they just won’t go together.  He can feel them pushing the pieces apart.

This is a good activity to build reasoning and deduction skills in your toddler.  It is a fun sensory experience too as the child can feel the force of attraction or repulsion.

Success is sweet!  He was so proud of his long train when he got it finished!  And then he sang Happy Birthday and blew out his imaginary candles.  So funny.

If your tot is a little older, they maybe able to understand color and shape patterns, some of the magnetic vocabulary words, and practice counting their magnet train as well. 

This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Sharing Time
ABC and 123

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