TOT School - Setting Up Our Classroom!

>> Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tot School
For more great TOT School ideas or to find out more about TOT School,
please visit 1+1+1=1!
This site is SO AWESOME!
Earlier this week, while blog surfing for things to do with Nudgie while Nani was in Kindergarten, I found this AWESOME blog 1+1+1=1.  She has this great concept called TOT School and the more I read about it, the more I wanted to do something like this with Nudgie!  It was perfect!

I got to work cleaning out the storage closet in our family room and the laundry room where I store a lot of my craft supplies, family games, and games for the girls.  I ended up purging a LOT of stuff and I made a huge decision to sell a TON of my scrapbooking supplies. I just don't have the room to devote to it like I want to.

(If you or anyone you know is looking for some scrapping supplies CHEAP - let me know!  I'll even ship!!)

Anyway - after I cleared up some space, I got busy organizing the supplies and area where we'll be working.  Fortunately, I had a lot of the supplies already on hand, but I did have to supplement a few things.

At the Dollar Store, I found these cute silver letter trays, plastic tubs, primary color bowls for stacking and other activities, some mini ice tongs, tupperware bowls, utensils, bags of rice and beans. 

At Hobby Lobby, their summer/VBS activities were 66% off, so I snagged this bag of primary color wooden crosses for counting, sorting, and color activities.  I also got two bags of beads there at 50% off.

So, after labeling, cleaning, sorting, and organizing until about midnight last night - here's our little classroom!  (I don't have a separate room and this has always been our little play area, so I put the toys on one side and all the "school stuff" against the other wall.  Still in the same area, but gives it it's own separate space!)

Tray area
(The shelving unit that you see is the top of a piece of furniture I got from my parents. There's a set of shelves and then a storage unit underneath with two doors. The storage unit is in our kitchen and the shelves were on top of the fridge. I didn't want to go out and buy new stuff and I found that this is just a perfect height for Nudgie!)

Reading corner
(We also have an old-school record player sitting on the top of the bookcase which Nudgie LOVES!)

Playdough, paints, brushes

Puzzles and art center (paper, coloring books, stamps, stickers)

Storage area in the laundry room
(Still working on this and you can see on the right my eBay stuff that's slowing taking over!)

And I just LOVE this!  Such a perfect quote! 
(I got this at Hobby Lobby for 90% off and it just filled that space there very nicely!
I also picked up three more that I'll be painting over and using them for sorting activity boxes!)

And there it is!!  Our little TOT School corner!!  I can't wait to get started and see what this angel  absorbs!!

(25 months)


Amber August 21, 2010 at 8:21 AM  

Looks so cute! I may have to steal some of these ideas for my 3 yr old. Her older sister goes to K this year, and I know she'll be bored.

Shonda August 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

I love it. You are SO organized. I'm on a mission to clean. I like the Tot school idea and I'm going to use some this year as well as Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve. Check it out:

Tracee August 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

I love the reading corner!! I have wanted to make one for the girls but we are SO limited on space here... time to start getting more creative with our space!!

Cori August 21, 2010 at 6:58 PM  

Great organization and tips!! Thanks for passing them on!

Michelle August 22, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

You are off to a great start! Love your Tot Corner! Welcome to Tot School ~ I know you will be blessed by it! =)

Julia August 22, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

She is adorable ♥ The room looks great!!

Sara August 23, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Jen - Saw your post re: scrapbook supplies - I am starting to scrapbook and literally have nothing (not even sure what I need). What all do you have? How much did you want for your supplies? Can you email me at with the details... Thx.

- Sara

Katie August 23, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

Welcome to Tot School. I just started a couple of weeks ago myself and we have loved it!

Kristen August 23, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

I have been having the same debate about my scrapbooking supplies. I lost my craft room when we needed a room for our unexpected little blessing and I moved all my stuff into what was our school/play room. Now with me taking up half the room, we are schooling all over the house, and I don't have our supplies well organized or centralized at all and its making me crazy. I started packing my supplies -- 10 giant bins later and what feels like barely a dent in my pile of scrapbook stuff -- and I'm this >< close to trying to sell it off in lots on eBay.

Your school area looks terrific, and I can't wait to see more totschool posts!

Megret August 24, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

Love your space! I think everything being at her height is precious. She will have such fun! I also love that retro record player -- I've been hunting one on Ebay -- don't know what happened to mine from childhood! I still have all my records -- and the kids are itching to hear them!

Tracey M. August 24, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

What a great start for Tot School! You are inspiring me to get going on a nice set up for my Tot School things. I'm fairly new too so I'm still in the collecting materials phase. You are a busy mom! I browsed through your blogs and you have a lot to share. Your creative writing is really good. I also like how you handled that situation with the meanie blogger. Well, I'll be back here for sure!

Fiona August 25, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

wow looks like you have some great ideas already-look forward to reading more or your posts! x

Mom. Nonstop. August 25, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

Great Tot School area! I don't even have one set up, it's just kind of everywhere! Look for another lapbook lesson entry soon over at my blog!

Giggly Girls August 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM  

Love your area! Very cute. I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys do every week.

Deb Chitwood August 26, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Whether or not you were trying to follow Montessori principles, you did a great job! I love that you have low shelves, materials neatly arranged on the shelves, and an attractive "school" environment. Well done!

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