Aug 28, 2010

Black & White - Tot School

This whole week of activities was inspired by little Matthew. Since babies are attracted to black and white designs, I wanted John to make black and white pictures that we could use to show Matthew. So, I started thinking of some black and white activities we could do throughout the week. When I looked online for printables and more ideas, the black and white activities quickly evolved into the theme of 'opposites'. So, this week we are combined black and white activities with teaching John about opposites. I had enough on the 'to do' list that this could have easily taken two weeks!

Here is what we did this week:

Black & White painting This was our'inspiration' activity. I wanted John to use black paint on white paper to create designs to show Matthew. Well, we had two road blocks. I didn't have black paint or paint brushes. Those are pretty essential to this activity and I didn't realize I was missing those vital pieces until I was setting up. So, I tried to mix blue, red, and green paints together to get close to black and used a sponge brush. We ended up with some blue paintings, but I think Matthew won't mind! I also introduced opposites by folding the paper in half and letting John paint on one side. Then we folded the paper over onto the painted side, rubbed over it with our hands, and then when we unfolded the paper we had the opposite design transfered to the other side of the paper. I made a big deal when we did it, saying 'ooooh! wow!!!' and so when we did it the 2nd and 3rd time, John said 'oooooooooh!' all on his own. It was cute!

Matthew was just so impressed with John's designs! :)

Zebra Arts & Crafts: I found this printable here. I cut up black pieces of paper and let John glue the strips to make the zebra stripes. He of course loved using the glue even if the stripes weren't quite perfect! And don't you love his robot apron?! Thanks Aunt Kristin and Uncle Ben!

Panda Paper Bag Puppet: I helped John make a Panda puppet from a paper bag. I found the printables here and John actually did really well with this! I cut out the pieces for him (duh!) and I put the glue on each piece and he glued them in the correct spot. I was very impressed! It was cute to watch him figure out how to glue it down correctly since he tried to put it down with the glue face up. After the puppet dried we had fun playing with it. I used it to have the panda 'read' books to John and he thought it was cute!

Black and White Sensory Tub: I filled up a big tupperware box with beans and a bunch of black and white objects that I found around the house. We pulled it out a couple times this week and I just let John explore what was inside. He often took the different objects out and lined them up. He was very good about putting everything back in the box, including the beans! Sometimes we tried to sort the items by color. We also worked on the concept of same/diferent. I would hold up two objects from the bin (ex: two crayons, or a shoe and a comb) and ask if they were the same or different. Inside the tub were items such as plastic animals (cow, lamb), a black shoe, white shoe, black & white shoe, dominoes with white and black pictures, a black crayon, white crayon, white comb, cat in the hat doll, playing card, flash cards with black and white animals, etc. Tons of stuff!

Other Activities:

-Big/Small: I gathered up a bunch of toys to try to teach John 'big' vs 'small'. I found items that we had in two different sizes and put them in a box. Then I would take out the matching items and ask him which one was the big item or the small item. We then sorted them into two piles. Well, we tried to sort them! Half way through John started taking the toys and matching them back up instead of sorting by size! The toys I found were bears, airplanes, footballs, taggie balls, trucks, rings, and pigs. He knows the signs for big and small and can say the words, but he still hasn't grasped the concept of big vs small. I liked the activity though and will keep trying it with him!

-Full/Empty: We used cups in the bath tub to learn 'full' vs 'empty'. I first filled up the cup and said 'full!' and then dumped it out and said 'empty!'. I did that a couple times and then gave John the cup. He immediately copied what I did and said 'full' and 'empty'. After doing that for a while, he practiced pouring from one cup to another. He is getting so much better at that! The cutest thing was Brad usually gives John a bath now that I am usually feeding Matthew at the same time. And I can hear them saying 'full' and 'empty' as they played with the cups! awwwwww!!

-Up/Down: We had a little step stool that John used to step up and down. He would say 'up' and 'down' as he did it. One day he had a toy airplane and he came up to me, held it up and said 'up'. Then he set it down and said 'down'. So, I guess he is learning something! :)

-We have an Easter book that has tons of flaps in it. One of the pages is all opposites so we have been using that book this week to go over opposites. He knows full/empty, sad/happy, messy/neat, night/day, and up/down. What a smarty! :)

-Heavy/light- Nana came over for lunch one day and John kept wanting to pick up the ketchup bottle. Nana would say it is heavy and he would show us his muscles and then pick up the bottle. Then she would give him something light to hold in comparison. He did that over and over and over again! It was a perfect activity even though Nana didn't even know that was our 'theme' for the week!

We sang this song that I found somewhere online:

If You're Happy and You Know it
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands
If You're Happy and You Know it, then your face will surely show it
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands

If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo
If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo
If You're Sad and You Know it, then your face will surely show it
If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo

I think we had a pretty good week and could tell things were starting to sink in by the end of the week!

...and one last opposite which is pretty representative of the boys right now...

...awake (and a crazy man full of energy!)...

...and asleep (and a precious little baby!)...

I link up to these parties!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. John is so smart!! He must get it from Auntie Em! :)

    And... I was accidentally logged in under my work blog so I deleted that one. oooops!

  3. What a smart little boy. I LOVED the zebra!

  4. Great set of activities! His zebra is just adorable, and he really did a fabulous job with his panda!

  5. What a great theme week of black and white! You're so creative!! And I am still planning on making that memory game....just haven't made the time yet. : )

  6. What a great idea for a theme for the week! I'm just linking up and reading Tot School for the first time this week and I am so impressed by all of the great ideas.

  7. Oh what GREAT black & white artwork! My toddler loves sticking too.. i thinkw e will have to have a go!

    I am impressed he got all the panda bits in the right place.

    Thank you for stopping by at Kids Get Crafty! Much appreciated!

    Red Ted Art

  8. I love all the activities. The puppet and zebra are my favorite.

  9. Hi there!!

    Thanks for popping by my blog and the comment. Much appreciated!!

    It looks like you get up to lots of fun with your lovely little ones. Little little one is very precious and makes me just a little broody!:)

    Take care,


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! They make my day when I read them!...unless you are being mean, then they don't make my day. :)