Showing posts with label toddler school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toddler school. Show all posts

Monday, September 10, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Apples! Apples! Apples!


Does anyone else get sick just thinking about back to school!? And by sick I don't mean nauseas-becasue-you're-not-ready-and-your-to-do-list-is-a-mile-long sick (although there was a decent share of that as well) I mean like the worst cold of your life sick. Runny nose, head pressure, cough, sore throat...the works. I swear I get sick every year during the first week of school (even when I haven't been in the classroom for 3 years...). It's like my body knows!

But we didn't let a little sickness stop us from doing our favorite theme: APPLES 🍎🍏🍎 


Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.
Books:


I love apples so much - just looking at our bookshelf made me so excited all week! All of these books were super cute and fun to read but our favorite was definitely Apple Picking Day by Samantha Brooke. I think this was partly because Cohen is reading himself now and he loved that he could read almost all the words by himself.


Activities:


Apple Orchard Sensory:
This sensory table turned out so much cuter than I expected AND got both boys engaged! That's a win! And given all the sickness going around we definitely needed a win!

This sensory table took less than 10 minutes to throw together. During nap I folded these origami "baskets", made some tp roll trees and dumped in our attribute apples! We use these bad boys all the time! If you don't have a set, you can get them here!



Label the Apple:
I am so impressed by how much my toddler schooling has done for Cohen's academics and I want to increase the difficulty and make more real world connections for him. Now that he is exceeding in math and reading, I want to start bringing in some more science and social studies for him. I have decided to incorporate an anchor chart every week to launch our theme and tie in some of these other pieces for our learning. 

I bought a roll of chart paper that I hang on the wall and I can prep anchor charts on it as needed. For this one I just drew a large apple and then hand wrote the labels at the bottom. When we were ready to interact with the chart I cut the words out, added tape and we labeled together! 

Simple, easy, effective!


Sight Word Tree:
This was one of my favorite activities this week! I used the same chart paper and made a tree outline. I wrote words that we've been practicing on the tree and on little dot stickers. I would hand Cohen one sticker at a time, he would read it and then find the matching word! 

He's even gone back to it several times to read the words even after the activity was over! Definitely good practice to help with his fluency!


Search and Find Apple Words:
This was probably Cohen's favorite activity all week! To prep this activity:
1. Cut out apples and laminate (this makes them dry erase so you can use over and over with different learning targets!πŸ‘Œ)
2. Print out search and find worksheet - you can find that along with all the other resources used this week down below!

During his nap, I wrote some words on the apples and hid them all over the house! He was so excited when he woke up! I gave him his paper and crayons and he hunted all over the house to find the words. 

For an extra challenge little brother kept moving the apples so I had to hunt for them too! 🀣


Outings:



Apple Picking:

I am so excited about this new apple orchard we found just minutes from our house! It's a "short orchard" which means no ladders are necessary AND it's perfect height for kids of all ages. Cohen had so much fun picking the apples. We even learned how to pick them properly (twist not pull). We can't wait to use the apples for all kinds of fall inspired baking!


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




Up next week: Football  πŸˆ

Monday, September 3, 2018

Toddler School Must Haves (and A Planner Freebie)!

Back to school? End of August? When did this happen!?

I don't know about you but I am so ready for summer to be over! Don't get me wrong, I love sunshine and all the fun summer activities but this summer was rough. Between potty training, crib training, Avery's I-can't-walk-but-think-I-can stage and then Cohen's I-hate-water-and-can't-get-wet phase, this mama is over it. O-V-E-R!


I am so ready to get back into a routine, wear my boots, drink my cocoa and start toddler school with BOTH of my boys (can you believe Avery is almost 1!?) We officially kick off toddler school this week with our Apple Theme 🍎🍏🍎

But before I jump back into the routine of toddler school I wanted to share some of my organization tips and must have items!

First things first, my weekly planner! I use this bad boy every week (usually while sipping a hot chocolate) to map out my ideal week. This is by no means set in stone because let's be honest nothing is when you have little kids. But it is nice to have an outline for the activities and outings I would like to accomplish! You can snag your freebie below! πŸ‘‡


In addition to this weekly planner there are a couple of other items we use every week. These are staples in our house. We couldn't do toddler school without them! 

Sensory table 

Don't have one!? They are really easy to DIY (and super affordable too)! I used this DIY from A Teaching Mommy a few years ago and ours is still standing strong! Highly recommend! 



Liquid water color

This stuff is a miracle worker for sensory table fillers! Rice, beans, oats you name it! This stuff gives the most vibrant colors!




Bookshelf

We love our bookshelf! For just $12 this thing has been amazing. It has lasted 3 years. With boys. Who climb. On everything!


And that's it! 

 What about you guys? Any must have items for your little ones!?



Saturday, March 3, 2018

Confessions from Toddler School: Cars!


It's that time of year again! Cohen's favorite theme: CARS! 

We busted out some of our favorite activities from last year to incorporate into our new activities. It was really cool to see how far his development has come in a year!

 (link to all those activities below)

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Car City:
This was the perfect week to whip our car floor mat! We don't keep it out all the time so Cohen was very excited to see it! If you don't have a car mat like this there are plenty of other DIYs to create a car city to explore! 

Cardboard buildings:
Dig through your recycling and pull out any boxes. Cut down one side, flip inside out and tape! I cut out little holes for cars to go in and out of and added some details, but it's not necessary. 


Tape roads:

If you follow me already you may remember this idea from last year! You can use any masking tape for this activity OR this awesome tape that we use! And just start taping! Get creative! 

Not the creative type? Look on Pinterest and get inspired! 


Table Top City
This is another fun way to create a car city for your little one! Just take a large piece of butcher paper and start drawing! Now I know my drawing abilities are lacking  (I used to get made fun of a lot in the classroom) but little ones don't care! He thought this was the coolest thing ever! I started with a road and then started adding in buildings that my son would recognize. Of course Target had to be on there!



Stop Light Toss:
This stoplight is probably one of the best things I've ever made! Of course my kid is obsessed with cars which doesn't hurt. But we get so much use out of this bad boy! 

To prepare the activity: 
Take 2 pieces of black construction paper and tape together vertically. Using a plate, trace a circle on the red, yellow and green construction paper to create the lights. Glue lights in place.

      πŸ’‘This item was too large to fit in my laminator so I used packing tape to wrap around it for durability!

The activity: 
Place stoplight on the ground in front of your child. Take turns tossing the bean bags and trying to get them on the matching color! 


Our other favorite stoplight activities:
• Using red, yellow and green stickers practice color sorting onto the stop light! (you can see the stickers in the photo)
• Create a ramp and race cars down it and identify the color the car lands on.
• Hang on a wall/fence and toss water balloons at it
• Go on a nature walk and color sort onto the stoplight (or print out pictures, cut out of a magazine, etc)


Car Color Sorting:
To prepare the activity: 
On a large poster board (I chose black but works on any color.) Using any coloring utensil, make colored squares on the bottom of the board for each color of car you have. We have hundreds of cars around our house so we could use every color of the rainbow, check your colors ahead of time!

The activity: 
Grab cars at random and ask your child to match the color. This was a really great activity to help identify different shades of colors. 



Sight Word Sentence Cars:
We have been working a lot on reading/spelling some pre-primer sight words. Now that he knows about 15-20 words, I wanted to start stringing them together into sentences. I was so surprised by how quickly he picked this up!

To prepare the activity:
Pick up some dot stickers and start writing down the skill you would like to practice with your child. (letters, numbers, shapes, words, etc). Place stickers onto cars.

The activity: 
We used ours for sight words! Call out a word and have your child find it. Once you have your sentence, point to each word and have your child read the whole sentence. 



Name Road: 
Cohen loves seeing his name on things these days and gets very excited! He has even tried to start writing his name. He has the O and H down, but outside of that it's mostly circles and lines. Any activity to help him practice is a win!

To prepare the activity: 
Print out your child’s name in large letters. Using a white or yellow pen draw in the lines. Let your child pick out a car to drive around their name!

The activity: 
Model saying the letter out loud and describe the motions used to write it as you drive the letter on the car. Ex: “C! Start at the top and draw a half circle.”

      πŸ’‘It doesn’t matter the language you use to describe how to draw each letter as long as it is consistent.




Want more car fun ideas? Check out last years activities here!




Up next week: Dr. Seuss 

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.

      πŸ’‘ You can also use construction paper to make a happy face, a sad face and an angry face.
πŸ’‘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!

      
πŸ’‘ Play with your child and make it a race!
πŸ’‘ 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! 

πŸ’‘ If you are concerned about mess, you can use a clothespin to hold and dip cotton balls
     πŸ’‘  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.

      πŸ’‘ 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. 

πŸ’‘ 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!

πŸ’‘ 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.

πŸ’‘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! 


Monday, March 13, 2017

Confessions from Toddler School: Colors!

This week was so much fun that I wish we had gotten to more of our activities! However the activities that we did do were so much fun Cohen just wanted to do them over and over again. So I'll call that a win! AND Cohen really knows his colors now! He's a master sorter!

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

High Five Colors: 
This was a super simple activity that got a lot of use! My little one loooooves high fives! Seriously, it's his jam. So I traced my hands on different colored paper and posted them around the house. I would say "Cohen can you high five the ____ hand?" and he would high five that color. We've been playing this all week and it's been really fun!



Color Sensory Table:
Our sensory table this week turned out a little different than I had anticipated but was still a big hit! When I was dyeing the beans they turned out a little bit speckled and not as vibrant as I had hoped. They looked really pretty though! And as a bonus they will double nicely for an Easter themed sensory table!

We used the colored toilet paper tubes to sort the beans into! 


What you need:
- White beans
- Food coloring or liquid water colors
 (liquid water colors tend to stain hands less)
- TP rolls
- Colored construction paper to cover TP rolls 
- Tweezers, scoops, anything to pick up the beans

Sticker Color Sorting:
We used the left over stickers from our body unit and the stoplight from our car unit (that is still hanging up in our living room) to practice color sorting stickers! If you follow me on IG you may have seen how efficient Cohen is at this now! Proud mama moment for sure. πŸ˜„


Lego Color Sorting:
This was another fun, simple and super easy to set up activity! I pulled out pieces of construction paper and dumped out all of his Legos. I modeled putting the colored Legos on the matching paper saying "This Lego is _____ so it goes here". Then he would grab a Lego and I would say "That Lego is ____. Where does _____ go?"


Rainbow Ooblek:
Oh. My. Lanta. 

This was by far the coolest thing I have ever done! I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it went perfectly with our color unit so I decided to give it a whirl. Just look at how pretty this is! Almost too pretty to mess with right!? This was so much fun to play with that even my teenage sister sat down and played with us! 

Cohen was not sure about the changing from a solid to a liquid but he loved squishing the colors!


What you need:
- Cornstarch
- Water
 ** I never actually measure out ingredients (this is how I cook too and it drives my husband crazy). I've made oobleck so many times that I just add water until it's the right consistency.**
- These amazing color Bath Drops

Outings this week:

Ceramic Shop - We took a little trip to my parents ceramic shop this week to do some painting! One, because we could play with colors and two, because we've had our car mobile "in progress" for months now. So you know, 2 birds. 



πŸ“™πŸ“˜πŸ“— Our favorite books this week πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™


Cohen wasn't super impressed with any of the books this week. Oh, except for Sneak-a-Peek: Colors because it had a mirror in it and he is pretty full of himself! 

But on the plus side, these rainbow color books will work perfectly with next weeks St. Patrick's Day theme also!


Up next week: St. Patrick's Day ☘