Monday, February 13, 2017

Confessions from Toddler School: Cars!

You guys are not going to believe the last 2 weeks we have had. I'm not even sure I believe it myself! It started with a cold that got our entire family. Just when we started to feel better, Cohen got his 18 month shots and was not feeling hot. And then the kicker, my husband ended up in the hospital for some crippling stomach pains. Long story short, while in the hospital I started to get the same pains and then about an hour after we got home, Cohen got them. We spent a solid 48 hours down for the count. Being sick and dealing with a sick toddler (and husband - not sure which was worse) was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I had to summon strength I didn't know I had. 

Needless to say, we did not get to all of our activities in a single week. We stretched it out over 2 weeks and got to almost all of them!

Here's what we did planned to do this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.
And here's what we actually did:

Car Ramp Painting: 
This activity was SO much fun! And super messy! To build the ramp I used some cardboard and taped it to the top of his sensory table. I put some towels at the bottom to protect the floor as best I could! 

On the top, I put blobs of colored paint and mirrored how to drive the car in the paint and then down the ramp. He picked it up (and behaved) so much better than I anticipated! I definitely want to do this one again.

Car Themed Sensory Table: 
This sensory table was a big hit! Here's what we used:
- Rice dyed black *PRO TIP use this Black Food Coloring. It's the only dye I've found that gets that deep black color 👌*
- I made these cute little road signs. (You can find the signs in my car pack on TpT). Then I just taped onto tooth picks! 
- Throw in some tp rolls and cars 
and voila!

Road Tape: 
I found this awesome Road Tape on Amazon and it was perfect for our car unit! We actually had a play date this day and the littles loved walking on the roads! It was super cute to watch. 

Number Roads: 
We have been working on our numbers this week with our cars! I made these number roads for Cohen to drive his cars on! They are the perfect width for the little hot wheel cars! 

I posted the shape ones on our wall. Cohen loves to point to them while I say the shape name! You can find the number and shape roads in my car pack! He's really starting to be able to identify numbers, shapes and colors! It's amazing watching him learn!

Number Parking Lot: 
This is one of the activities from my car pack! The original page just has the numbers (no dots). I added the dots using an expo marker so it can wipe off! I then put numbers/dots on 6 of his hot wheels. Cohen has a million cars, literally a million, so finding 6 wasn't difficult! Admittedly this activity is still a little over his head, but he had fun watching me drive the cars to the right parking spot. He's just starting to get matching so he should be able to do this on his own soon enough!

Driving in Sugar Salt: 
We actually had to do this activity twice because the first time Cohen just ate his road 😝. This was a fun little texture activity (and made up for the fact that we didn't get to play with our texture ramps). If I had to do it again I would find something to give us a bigger driving space though. Perhaps the sensory table! 

**fun fact: if you try to dye salt black to make it more like asphalt it will turn green. Don't ask me how I know this... #momfail**

Our Stop Sign: 
I have a feeling this bad boy is never coming off of our wall! And I am okay with that! Just like the shape roads, Cohen has a blast pointing to the colors and having me say the name! After having this up for a few weeks he can already identify red, yellow and green!

To make: 
- 2 black sheets of construction paper
- 1 red, 1, yellow, 1 green
- toddler plate (I'm sure you have one)

I used the plate to trace the lights. Glued on and then laminated for durability!

We also used the stop sign as a landing pad for our car launching! We used our trusty hot wheels launcher (you may remember this bad boy from our penguin unit) and launched cars onto the stop light trying to get in the red! If you follow my IG you may have seen the video I posted of us playing this. His giggles would melt your heart! 💕

Car Painting: 
Originally I had planned to sponge paint these car templates but with all the sickness and fussy baby we've got going on, I decided to hold off and do something mess free!

What we used:
- Car template found in my car pack
- Plastic dollar tree storage bin with lid
- Poms
- Paint

I taped the image down to the bottom of the plastic bin, dipped the poms in paint, dropped them in, put on the lid and let the little ones shake! So much fun! They turned out great too!

One tip: When you drop in the paint covered poms, do it off to the side or you get big circle splotches on your image. 

Outings this week the last 2 weeks:

Play Boutique - Before we got struck down by the plague we were able to get out for a play date at this awesome indoor gym for kids. We spent a lot of time driving cars around which was tied in nicely. Although Cohen's favorite was the bouncy house! I couldn't believe he just climbed in on his own! 

Ceramic Shop - Another fun outing we had was a trip to my parents ceramic shop! Cohen got to pick out his own little car to paint! He had so much fun and it turned out SO cute. He takes it everywhere with him. 💙

Firestone - We had to take our car in for a tire leak this week which worked out nicely for our car unit! I can not say enough nice things about the mechanics! They let Cohen play with the tires on the wall and even played cars with him in the lobby. It was so sweet and Cohen had a blast!

📙📘📗 Our favorite books this week 📗📘📙

Cars Galore by Peter Stein
Honk Honk! Beep Beep! by Daniel Kirk
Alphabeep by by Deborah Pearson
Counting Cars by by Mara Van Der Meer
(this one we didn't really read/count. We found the pages to be very dense and overwhelming. Instead, we looked at the different cars and talked about colors)
Toot Toot Beep Beep by by Emma Garcia

Because we have been battling so much illness we didn't get to a lot of the activities in my car pack. But you can find it in my TpT store. If you do try any of them out, I'd love to know how they go!

Up next week: Valentine's Day 💖


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