Little Minds: Ready, Set, Go!

Actual age: 16 months, Corrected age: 14 months

This week’s Tot School activities were so much fun! Our theme was transportation with a little bit of construction thrown in just for grins.  As usual, we joined Tex and his mama for Little Minds at the beginning of the week to introduce the activities, and then we enjoyed them for the rest of the week.  I didn’t take many pictures of the Little Minds session (too busy playing), but I did manage to photograph the twins over the next few days as they explored the materials.  Click here for a more detailed description of a typical Little Minds group session.  Our book this week was a classic Suess book, Go, Dog, Go! (the abridged version), and our song of the week was “Wheels on the Bus.”  ASL signs of the week were “car,” “airplane,” “train,” stop,” and “go.”  And now, without further adieu, here are our activities of the week!

Activity #1

Since the twins are very into stacking at the moment, I decided to make them some jumbo building blocks by wrapping cardboard  boxes of various sizes that we had in our garage with brightly colored duct tape.  If you haven’t seen this tape yet, it is widely available at craft stores (I found mine at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s), and I just saw the same brand at Home Depot yesterday.

The little ones had a great time stacking the boxes and driving their toy cars all over them.  It was a wonderful gross motor activity. It has also provided lots of opportunities for the babies to ask me for “help” using the ASL sign when they want to stack some of the bigger blocks a bit higher. I love that they have started signing instead of whining, at least sometimes!

The blocks were also fun to climb on!  I chose sturdy boxes and the layers of duct tape added even more stability.  I’m proud to report they have held up beautifully through an entire week of “enthusiastic” handling by the twins.

Activity #2

We incorporated a summer staple into our play this week…pool noodles!  I picked up three of them at the grocery store for a few dollars, and I do believe we got our money’s worth.

A pool noodle cut in half lengthwise made an excellent ramp for small cars and trucks.

A section of noodle with holes poked in it provided fantastic fine motor practice.  I originally gave the little ones some giant, furry pipe cleaners to poke in the holes.  Although they tried hard, it was a little difficult for them to do independently.  But when I provided some colorful pegs from one of my therapy pegboards, they were suddenly able to complete the task, and were extremely excited about it.  So fun to watch!

Little Man in particular enjoyed this activity and did it over and over again.

Finally, pool noodles cut in small sections (or “wheels”) were awfully entertaining as well.

We stacked them, rolled them, strung them on ropes (with lots of help), and put our cars in them.

They were even fun to wear!

Activity #3

For our third activity, I pulled a tub of transportation sorters from my therapy closet and some cardboard toilet paper tubes that I had been hoarding.  My original plan was for the babies to simply put the sorters in and out of the tubes, but I decided at the last minute to cover them with colored felt so I could introduce color matching/sorting.  Although neither of the twins did this independently, when I reduced the tubes and sorters down to two colors they were both able to make a few correct matches.  Regardless, they asked for this activity every single day this week, so I consider it a success! The sorters are on the small side, so be sure not to allow little ones to play with these unsupervised.

They also had great fun with the containers 😉

Giving “kisses” was a new activity this week, as well!  I’m so glad they love each other occasionally!

Outside Activities

We did arts and crafts on the patio several times this week.

We used paint markers to “color” pictures of cars. It took them a few days to figure out that the markers weren’t supposed to be eaten, but after that they enjoyed marking on the paper.

We also tried stickers this week.  They got the hang of sticking them on the paper pretty quickly.

Little Man figured out how to use his Crayola toddler stampers during our last session.  He was super proud of himself.

In addition to arts and crafts, we also explored a transportation-themed sensory bin.  I dyed some rice green and added lots of fun little objects, including some small cars and trucks.  As you can see, our beagle was also intrigued by this activity.

Other Activities

We also did some fun non-themed activities.

We had several rainy days…perfect for building a “fort” in the living room using kitchen chairs and a colorful sheet.  A perfect place to enjoy a snack and a book after nap time. And to practice winking.

We also spent some time outside gardening.  While I pruned the rosebushes, the babies had fun giving our garden statues a bath.  I bet you thought that was a real turtle, huh?

We already owned plenty of toys that fit our theme this week, which made it easy to decide which toys to rotate into the playroom.  All in all, we had a pretty fantastic time.

Hope you enjoyed our transportation-themed activities!  Stay tuned…next week we begin our “five senses” series.

Until next time,


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