This Week in School: Introduction to Winter

We’re back to school!

This is a wrap up of our school week combining prekindergarten and tot school (25 months).

Winter theme sensory tub

I decided to simplify things for myself and combine all the boys’ school activities for the next few months.  January’s theme is winter, all things arctic and antarctic.  I’m not as organized as I’d like to be and did not have my tub and play dough ready ahead of time so I put the boys to work helping make them.  It was a huge hit, so I plan to include them in more of our school prep work in the future.

Tot School food coloring rice

We dyed rice by adding a few drops of food coloring and hand sanitizer to white rice in a plastic bag.  (I have read that rubbing alcohol also works.)  It took about 3 hours for the rice to dry on the counter, and I assembled the sensory tub (pictured at the top) after the kids went to bed.  Magoo loved shaking and smushing the rice.  This is a great sensory experience for all ages.

making winter theme play dough

The boys also helped make play dough.  I cooked the play dough on the stove then the boys added glitter and food coloring.  Bebop really wanted to have separate colors, so we started out making a third blue, a third green and leaving a third white.  I went to get Doodad up from his nap and Magoo mixed all the play dough together while I was gone.  Now we have a huge batch of green and blue marbled play dough.

Play Dough Snowman

Our play dough snowman activity was entirely dictated by Bebop.  He was very specific in asking for toothpicks and beads for his creations, even specifying colors.  He also really wanted black play dough, but I convinced him to use what we had.  Any ideas on how to dye dough black or any other dark color easily?  Magoo enjoyed sticking toothpicks in the dough then placing the beads.  He even started matching colors on his own.

Alphabet activity for tot school and prekindergarten

I’ve decided to focus on the alphabet for the next two months.  Bebop will work on proper letter formation and handwriting practice.  I will introduce a letter a day to Magoo and work on letter recognition.

Doodad the tiny tot at school

Doodad’s lack of schedule means that sometimes he’s taking a nap during school and other times he’s just hanging out on his play mat.  The big boys love when Doodad joins us for school.  Bebop always shows Doodad his latest drawings and Magoo keeps Doodad supplied with plenty of toys.


Linking up with Tot School @ 1+1+1, Homeschool VillageHip Homeschool HopPreK Corner @ Homeschool Creations, and  Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

  • Erin

    It wouldn’t be a true black, but would coffee grounds mixed in work? Otherwise I am curious if you took black licorice, through it in a mini food processor and then added to white.

    • Becky Marie

      Oooh… coffee grounds is a neat idea. I’ve seen coffee grounds suggested by themselves as a sensory medium. I may have to start saving our old grounds and see if the boys like it.

  • ~ K ~

    Hi! I happily stumbled across your blog via Preschool and Kindergarten Corner.

    I loved reading your post about your learning activities for the week. I am the Mom of 4 boys that I homeschool and your post brought back so many memories of our earlier learning days. <3 You are doing a wonderful job! I especially loved reading that you will be including your boys in the prepping process. You will be surprised at how much more real learning goes on during those times!

    I am now a children's librarian and I started a blog about a year ago to share ideas for connecting books and learning in the early years. I have a post about Penguins that you might be interested in. Here is the link in case you want to stop by:

    I will be visiting your blog often. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish I had been able to create a blog like yours when my boys were young!
    Take care!
    ~ K ~

    • Becky Marie

      Thank you for that link. I was just about to start searching both google and pinterest for ideas!

  • chelle

    Love the contrast of the white and blue in the sensory bin in your top picture, very striking :-)

    you can get gel food coloring in black in the cake decorating isle…it just takes just a little bit!! (I had orange finger tips for a week to prove it :-)) but after the initial mixing it didn’t bleed onto my kiddos hands during play. Could be something for you to check out…comes in many many colors.

    I also enjoyed your boys “blog” names…very cute!!

    • Becky Marie

      Oh I didn’t even think about using the food gel. I’ve used that quite a bit for frosting, just never thought to use it for playdough. Thanks!

  • Leah

    I love the idea of dying the rice and the colors were very nice! We are doing a week on winter this week and I used coconut flakes for the snow. What a big mess, but lots of fun! I have still not introduced my little one to playdough but I think we will have to try it soon.

  • Carisa

    Hi Becky Marie, thanks for linking up to Tot School! Your post was featured here: 😉

  • Sarah

    LOVE your sensory bin! It’s so nice to include all the kids in the same activities. I do that as much as possible (We have 4 kids also!)

    Love the tightly swaddled baby picture! All my kids liked being swaddled tight too :)

    • Becky Marie

      I don’t think we’d make it through the day if I didn’t combine the activities. The boys like working together much more than having separate activities.

  • Angela

    I love that sensory tub! So much fun!!

  • Stef Layton

    oh this looks like terrible fun! what an adorable baby you have!!