The first time I heard the term loose parts was last fall; and trust me, you and your kids have played with loose parts. You just maybe haven’t used that term.
Loose parts play is just providing random loose parts for kids to do whatever they want with. They might make them play food or make patterns out of them. They might see how high they can stack them or sort them by color. The idea is that it is entirely up to your kid and their imagination!
Colors are possibly the easiest theme to plan around and as Bitty still doesn’t know her colors it can’t hurt to make a deliberate choice to expose her to them as much as possible! So while we will have a yellow week you’ll see that yellow bled over the whole month as well.
This is our first real month of tot school. Prior to this, I would randomly pull an activity out. I wanted to start slow to make sure that we were both okay with it and not overwhelmed. (to be honest, she’s a pretty chill kid so she would be fine I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew…lol) So our March Tot School is more or less just a theme for me to work with and maybe a couple of new words for her to hear.
Tot School is not quite preschool – there is no structured lessons or specific thing she has to learn. But it’s also more than just daycare. It’s more about exposure to concepts and everyday tasks, as well as the chance to practice skills that those busy toddler brains are already learning. It also gives a theme for some direction and keeps things interesting for everyone!
Bitty is 18 months old right now and I find that if I don’t have some kind of plan in place we end up watching too much TV. So what did I do? I made a plan, and not just loose ‘hmmm here’s a couple ideas’ kind of plan. There are tables and categories and themes. Just like you would expect my type A brain to do!