Sunday, February 18, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Emotions


This unit couldn't come soon enough for us! My toddler is very much a 2 year old and all about himself and his needs. He is completely oblivious to the needs of others. This has been especially challenging with the birth of his baby brother. He doesn't understand that brother gets sad/mad too and needs attention. I wanted him to identify these emotions, not only in himself, but in others as well to hopefully help him develop some empathy. 

Lofty goal with a 2 year old, right!? 

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here

Feelings Wall:
This wall got a lot of use this week! Anytime anyone was showing an emotion we identified it on the wall. I chose happy, sad and mad to focus on since those are the most basic emotions and definitely the ones we see most in our house.

To prepare the activity: 
Decide which feelings you want to focus on with your little one. Print out feelings posters and post on the wall to refer to throughout the unit.

      💡 You can also use construction paper to make a happy face, a sad face and an angry face.
💡You can use pictures of your own child to identify emotions too!

The activity: 
Read The Feelings Book by Todd Parr and The Way I Feel by Janan Cain and talk about different feelings. Use the mirrors to practice the facial expressions that go with each emotion. Cohen got a little too good at his fake sad face, sound included.  

We also used this to identify how he was feeling throughout the week. 

"I see that you are feeling mad because _______" 
"I see that you are sad. Why don't we find something to help make you happy?"
"You look so happy! That makes mama so happy."



Feelings Sort:
Now that we had mastered our own facial expressions and identifying our own emotions I really wanted to start taking it to the next level and focus on other people and how to identify how they are feeling. 

To prepare the activity: 
Print out the feelings posters or use construction paper faces from previous activity. Find real images of people expressing different emotions to use for sorting.

The activity: 
Read Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney and Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley. Talk about the emotions and the facial features that help us identify them. Practice sorting the real life pictures into the right categories. 

Look at this boy. He is crying. Does he look happy, sad or mad?
Look at this girl, she has her arms crossed and she isn't smiling. Does she look happy, sad or mad?


Feelings Dice:
I always love making dice when I get a chance. They have so many purposes and Cohen loves rolling them over and over. This one was no exception! He enjoyed rolling the dice and making the faces to go with the expressions.

To prepare the activity: 
Print out the feelings dice and fold along the tab lines. Glue or tape together.

The activity: 
Take turns rolling the dice and acting out the emotions. 



Feelings Flip:

To prepare the activity: 
Print out the feelings character and facial expression tabs.

The activity: 
Have your little one color the pieces for the feelings flip. Cut out (or help your child cut out) the facial expressions tabs. Glue down the tabs. Flip through the emotions! 

Emotions 4 Corners:
This is a fun little gross motor activity to get your little one moving! We have spent many hours playing this game throughout the week and it is super easy to set up too!

To prepare the activity: 
Place emotion posters around the house (or outside if weather permits). 

The activity: 
Played like 4 corners! Call out an emotion and have your child run to it!

      
💡 Play with your child and make it a race!
💡 Have your child make the expression to go with the emotion once they reach it!




Want all of this week's printables and plans? You can grab them here!



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Nursery Rhymes


This may have been one of my favorite units so far! The activities were so simple and proved to be a big hit with my toddler. He loved all the singing and interactive activities!

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.


Baa, Baa, Black Sheep:

To prepare the activity: 
Sing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep. Gather materials for the art project. Get a bowl of water and add the black dye. Set out all the materials for exploration first.

The activity: 
Allow your child to dip the cotton balls into the black water mixture. This free exploration was Cohen's favorite part! Model placing the wet cotton balls into the brown paper bags. Close and shake to decorate the inside. Cut open bags and lay flat. I let Cohen use this as his activity mat while he continued to play with the wet cotton balls! Plus it got more color on the bag! 

💡 If you are concerned about mess, you can use a clothespin to hold and dip cotton balls
     💡  If the weather permits you can take this activity outside and have child throw the wet \cotton balls at a blank canvas, poster board or even a fence!


Little Bo Peep:

To prepare the activity: 
Sing Little Bo Peep to familiarize your child with the nursery rhyme. Print out sheep and hide around the house.

      💡 Set up during naptime or at bedtime for a little extra surprise!

The activity: 
This activity is just like hide and go seek! Let your child explore to find all of the lost sheep. This activity is also a great way to practice prepositions with your little ones!

Do you see a sheep by the chair?
Do you see a sheep under the table?
Do you see a sheep on the car?

You get the idea! 


Old MacDonald:
Like many little ones, mine loves animals and making animal sounds. So this was a fun activity for us! We played for hours. days. I wish I were kidding. 

To prepare the activity: 
 Print out the barn, animals and peek-a-boo windows and assemble! Laminate ahead of time for durability. 

💡 Don't want to print and assemble? You can use these figurines and a box/scarf/your shirt anything.

The activity: 
While you sing Old McDonald Had a Farm have your child open peek-a-boo windows to choose an animal! Encourage them to make the sounds as you sing together.



Hickory Dickory Dock:
For Cohen's birthday last year his papa got him this amazing learning activity table. And he took to it very quickly! Seriously, if you have a little one who is hungry for knowledge, this thing is AMAZING! For Christmas we even bought the additional activity packs. 

One of the activity packs is nursery rhymes and has been a great addition to our nursery rhyme unit. His hands down favorite is hickory dickory dock. He loves all the animals and has really shown an interest in telling time!


To prepare the activity: Print out the toddler sized clock and animals. Color the clock (3 pieces) and assemble. Use Velcro on the animals and the top of the clock to help with easy acting out!

💡 Allow child to color the clock!


The activity: While you sing Hickory Dickory Dock allow child to act it out with Velcro animals. 



Itsy Bitsy Spider:

To prepare the activity: Find an empty paper towel roll and tape onto a wall. Print out the spiders and laminate for durability.

The activity: While you sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, have child drop spiders down the “spout”.



Humpty Dumpty:

To prepare the activity: Trace an egg shape (or use printable) and draw on the cracks. Cut along the lines to create the egg puzzle. Laminate for multi-use.

💡Make more than one egg puzzle at varying levels of difficulty for extra practice!

The activity: Act out Humpty Dumpty with the egg puzzle. Help your child put Humpty back together again!



Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here!



UP NEXT: Emotions!