Showing posts with label mom blogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mom blogger. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Spider Activities for Toddlers!

Boy oh boy am I behind on my blogging! Sorry! 

The end of October was just nuts

My youngest turned 1 and it was a whirlwind of birthday parties, photo shoots and cake smashes! But we did squeeze in a few toddler school activities for our spider unit and halloween unit (up next!) The spider unit is one of my all time favorites! Something about the webs make for the best activities! IMO. 




Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:

I did not get a picture of our books this week but you can see the list on the planner up above! Our favorites were:

The Very Busy Spider and Itsy Bitsy Spider!


Activities:


Spider Games: 
This is one of my favorites (I know I say that all the time, but seriously, this one has so many possibilities!). We played a few different variations this year:

Walk the web: I placed the spiders around the web and would call out a word for Cohen to walk to while balancing. At first he wasn't so great at understanding what I meant by balance/walk on the line but after a few tries he got really good! I think next year I will make the web MUCH bigger so I can play on it too though.

Spider Toss: We tossed the words onto the web and tried to get them to land on the web! Cohen thought this one was hilarious when he missed the web and I would say "so close!' 🀣

Toss the Spider and Read the Words: An adaptation from the spider toss above. But this time we used a spider toy and tossed it onto the web trying to land on a spider word. If we landed on a word we would read it and collect it. Whoever had the most at the end, got to go first the next time!


If you want these cute little spiders to go with the activity, you can find those here! I've included the blank set and the spider descriptor word set.


Appearing Spider Web Art:
I love that Cohen is finally starting to get into art projects! Up until now he hasn't had much interest or would try for half a second and then give up. But now he's engaging more in the artistic process and I love seeing his creativity come out!

These appearing water color pictures were a huge hit! I don't think I've ever seen him engage in art for that long! 

If you've never done this before it's super simple! All you do is use a white crayon to draw any picture on paper. Give your little ones water color paint to reveal the image!



Spider Web Obstacle Course:
This was another easy one to set up! I set it up during nap time so it was a surprise for the boys when they woke up! I used white streamers and created a web obstacle course! 

Originally I wanted one they had to actually crawl through but given how naughty my oldest had been, I figured that was an accident waiting to happen so I opted for an over head one they just crawled under. I loved seeing the boys play together with this one.

Bonus: We had fun exploring the shadows created by the web!


Spider Writing Plate:
I made this cute spider plate with a black plate and some construction paper. Just fill with sugar and you've got a fun writing plate! One of my big goals with Cohen right now is working on his handwriting (we haven't really done much of that up until this point). So this activity was a perfect pre writing activity. 

To start, I just let him freely explore the sugar by drawing and shaking. I would then model a letter for him and have him trace my letter. Then we would reset the plate (like an etch a sketch - you lightly shake to clear!) and he would try it himself. On the letters he struggled with, I would hold him finger to help direct him. 


**Not pictured** Sticky Web Toss:
I tried to get a decent picture of this but if I'm being honest, they looked hideous! it was set up similarly to the obstacle course but instead of streamers I used black masking tape with the sticky side out. We then used tissue paper balls and threw them at the web to stick!


Outings:

No spider specific outings this week! Although our backyard is overran with spiders and intricate webs if that counts!? 


Up next: Halloween! πŸŽƒ

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Pumpkin Activities for Toddlers!


Pumpkins! πŸŽƒ

I am definitely more excited than my kids about this theme! Why else would I drag them to a pumpkin patch not one, not two, but 6 times this month (and that was before the middle of October 🀣)! 


Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:


I had a hard time narrowing down books this week because I just love them all (my pumpkin addiction runs deep)! But these were the one's Cohen loved the most! 

Five Little Pumpkins: This has been a favorite since Cohen was a baby and little brother loved it this year too! For some reason the "Oooo went the wind and out went the lights" gets big giggles in this house!

Pumpkin Day (Ransom): This was my favorite because Cohen picked it up and read the whole thing himself! I was so impressed by him! He knew words I didn't even know he knew! And hearing his sweet little voice read it was just the best.


Activities:


Label the Pumpkin
I absolutely love using interactive anchor charts at home! And this one was perfect! Cohen loves learning new things and repeatedly sharing this new information. So we got a lot of use out of this bad boy! 

We worked together to label the parts of a pumpkin and we reviewed it frequently! 


Pumpkin Boats:
We used this activity as a fun little science exploration! We learned all about sinking and floating

Before busting out the mini pumpkins we put some of our toys in the water and talked about how things that are heavier than water sink and things that are lighter than water float. 

I then had him guess if the pumpkins would sink or float to assess if he understood the concept -- he did! He even told me why he thought they would sink (because they were heavy).

He thought it was exciting (and silly) that they floated! We then tried to fill them with stuff to make them heavier so they would sink!


Pumpkin Erasing:
This is one of the easiest activities we've ever done and the possibilities are endless! Using a wet erase marker write whatever skill you want to practice all over the pumpkin. Give child a wipe and call out what you want them to find!

You can do anything:
- letters (name recognition, sound recognition, beginning sounds)
- numbers (can do number recognition, basic addition, subtraction)
- shapes
- sight words
- pictures (counting, beginning sounds, rhyming words)
- play guess the word/sentence (like hangman but I dislike that name so we call it guess the word)

See! Endless! Get creative!


Pumpkin Exploration:
This one was nothing fancy! We cut into a pumpkin and explored! The only thing we did "special" was to bring our anchor chart over to talk about the things we were finding inside the pumpkin.

I was so proud of Cohen for getting his hands dirty with this one! Sometimes he can be a little hesitant with tactile experiences so this was a huge win for us. He loooved squishing the pumpkin guts. 

We also baked the pumpkin seeds after and he was so excited to try them!


Pumpkin Games:
I found these foam pumpkins at dollar tree several years ago and kept forgetting to use them! So I literally put a reminder in my phone to use them this year! Does anyone else have to put weird reminders in their calendars or is that just me!? 🀣 Anyways, we used these to play all kinds of games!

Emotion Hop: 
I placed emotions all around the house. I would call one out and we would race to the right one! 

Letter/Number/Sight Word Hop: 
I put them out all over the floor and we hopped from one to another. We played in order a few times and randomly sometimes! 

Sequencing:
We gathered all the numbers and/or letters and practiced putting them in the proper sequence. Cohen loves to challenge himself and do it backwards too!

CVC Blending:
We used the letters to practice sounding out and spelling CVC words! For an added challenge I would ask him to change one letter at a time to build new words. (For example: With the word top I would say, "Can you change one letter to make the word tap?") I would switch out beginning, middle or ending sound to change so he got practice with all of it!


Pumpkin Tracing:
 I don't know why but I really loved this one! I wish I had given the boys markers to use because it would have showed off their art even better. Oh well! Live and learn right!?

I laid out a large piece of butcher paper, crayons and a handful of mini pumpkins! We traced the pumpkins all over the paper. It's so cute, I may use it as a table cloth for awhile!


Felt Pumpkin Faces:
This is one of our recurring activities! I made these cute little felt faces 2 years ago and they are a huge hit! And pro tip: if you have a fabric couch they stick to it! πŸ‘Œ

Outings:


Pumpkin Patch:
Of course! Cohen talked for weeks about his perfect pumpkin: short, fat and bumpy! And I think he nailed it!


What are your favorite pumpkin activities!?

Up next: Spiders πŸ•ΈπŸ•·πŸ•Έ

Monday, October 1, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Fall Leaves!



It's OFFICIALLY fall! πŸπŸƒπŸ‚ 

I am so beyond excited! The weather has cooled, the leaves are turning and I can live in my boots and cardigans with a PSL in hand (decaf of course)! That's really all I need in life. 

It's also time for all of our favorite fall themed activities! As always, we kick off our week with a new emergent reader for Cohen to add to his book bag. This has quickly become his favorite part of our new themes! We also do an interactive anchor chart and explore all our new books. 

You may have noticed our weekly planner is never full. I do this on purpose for a few reasons:

Fast and Engaging:
Our activities are meant to be quick, easy and stress free! Having too much in a day is overwhelming. I set up each activity to last 15 min tops! 

Life Happens:
I also don't like to overbook because life happens. One kid wakes up sick. One kid wakes up in a mood (you know how that goes) and doesn't want to do anything I want him to. I decide randomly I *need* to go to the pumpkin patch. You know. Priorities. 

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:


Every month I do a sweep of our local library for themed books matching our upcoming units to add to the books I already have on hand. This time around I was a little slow to get there so the pickings were a little slim. Luckily they still had Mouse's First Fall that is a favorite around here. 

I try to buy one new book a week to go with our theme. 
Do you have any favorite fall books I need to purchase!?

Activities:


Graph the Leaves (Interactive Sensory Table):
Our sensory table this week was simpler than I had planned. All cards on the table, I was too lazy to finish it so I just threw in the silk leaves and called it a day. 🀷

I feel less bad because of our interactive anchor chart! I put one of each leaf on the bottom and then added double sided tape up the graph so you could put on and take off as many times as you want! And believe you me, this got a LOT of use. Avery loved taking the leaves off and Cohen loved putting them back on. Avery had fun and Cohen got extra graphing practice. Win-win!


Blow the Leaves:
This one was hilarious! Trying to teach Cohen how to lean down with his face by the floor to blow was by far the funniest (and cutest) thing I've ever seen. He just could not put the 2 together. Lots of giggles with this one!


Leaf Luminaries:
Oh boy! I think I was a glutton for punishment when I whipped out this activity. Cohen had woken up at 3 the night before and was a walking melt down ALL DAY LONG. I think I was delirious. 

It went really well though! Cohen was very engaged and had fun gluing on the leaves with mod podge and then we put in a little tea light. Super cute and easy.



Nature Slides:
I love love love these nature slides! We do this one every year! We start out by going on a nature walk outside and collecting things we want to look at on our light table. We found some pretty new leaves to laminate and add to our collection from the past couple of years!



DIY Light Table:
I think I posted this DIY before but just in case, here's the quick and dirty:

1. Remove plastic tub
2. Line with tin foil (you can line the inside of the lid with foil too if you want)
3. Add a line of parchment paper on the bottom
4. Fill with white Christmas lights
5. Put on lid and flip over!

Easy peasy! 

Outings:

Nature Walk - We went on a walk around our neighborhood to collect samples for our nature slides. We loved the crisp cool air and putting on our boots for the first time!

Fall Festival - We found the most AMAZING pumpkin patch this week! I can't believe I had never been before - I feel like a fall phony! But seriously, it was incredible! They had a fall festival with all kinds of activities for toddlers. We are definitely going back!


Up next: Pumpkins πŸŽƒ

Confessions from Toddler School: Football!

Are you ready for some football!?! I know we are! We are huge football fans in our household so this is always a fun week for us!


Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:

Not gonna lie, finding toddler style books for football was TOUGH. But we did find a few that we really liked! Our favorite by far was the Sports Illustrated board book. Cohen loved it! And I loved the juxtaposition (You like that word!? Sometimes my brain still functions like a normal adult 🀣) between the cartoon style and the real NFL photos!

My First Book of Football: A Rookie Book (A Sports Illustrated Kids Book) (Sports Illustrated Kids Rookie Books)
Touch and Feel: NFL Goodnight Football (Fiction Picture Books)


Activities:


Field Goal Words:
I have to admit I was super impressed with myself when creating this activity! All I used was a piece of chart paper and a cut out football! What I loved most about this (aside from how easy it was to create) was how adaptable it is to any skill! 

Although I am kicking myself for not laminating this. After 1 day it was pretty worse for wear. But laminating could have solved that issue and would have been made it dry erase so I could swap out the learning skills. Live and learn!


Football Drop:

This is a tried and true staple in our house! We have used this exact same activity 3 years in a row and it is still in tact! πŸ‘Œ It was first used as a fine motor activity to get the footballs into the slots. The next year we added shape matching. This year we're adding word families! 

So easy to make and durable!


Football Puzzle:
This little activity was so. much. harder. than I had anticipated. I had initially wanted to put something on each piece to help line it up properly but numbers felt too "easy" for my little one. Although thinking about it now I could have chosen a random starting number which would have increased the difficulty...Hindsight is 20/20 am I right!?


Football Word Slide:

We used the same printable football for this activity! I just cut out a window and added a strip of paper to practice -all words. Cohen loved sliding and changing the word. I loved how much it helped his fluency. I will definitely incorporate more of this in the future. 

Football Toss:

I use a box and made a large cut out to toss the football into however Cohen created a different game out of it! He called it Quarterback - and in his little voice it is the cutest thing ever. He throws the ball to mama and then once I catch it I run around the kitchen island while he chases me. Once he catches me, he "tickles" (tackles) and gives a lot of kisses. It's my new favorite game!

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



Up next: Fall Leaves πŸƒπŸ‚