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

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Toddler School: Apples, Apples, Apples


We love apples around here! I'm pretty sure I could fill an entire month with apple activities. I had a really hard time narrowing down the activities I wanted to do for this week, but I decided to do a balance of favorites and new activities!

If you're new around here, here's the run down on how I toddler school:
- I do weekly themes with my little ones
- All activities are adaptable to meet your kiddos wherever they are
- Each activity is play-based and focuses on the development areas of your little one
- I do one activity a day (usually) that lasts around 20-30 minutes


I'm not going to lie - this week has been a challenge to get everything done! Between coming off of the flu, Cohen starting preschool and Avery getting his 2 year molars it has been a tricky balancing act for sure. 

Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:
I did not take a picture of our bookshelf this week - oops! But here are a few of our faves!

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship
by Edward Hemingway

Up, Up, Up! IT’s Apple Picking TIme
by Jody Fickes Shapiro and Kitty Harvill

Ten Apples Up on Top
by Theo LeSieg

Apples, Apples, Apples
by Elizabeth Wallace

Apple Picking Day!

by Candice Ransom and Erika Meza


Activities:


Apple Pie Sensory:

This sensory table smells AH-mazing! Dry oats, apple/cinnamon potpourri (for smell of course), measuring cups, apples (fake or real) and pie tins! We made lots of apple pie this week!

For added skill practice I would ask for specific pies: only red apples or 1 red and 2 yellow. You get the idea! Make it fun and educational at the same time!


ABC Apple Sticker Tree:

Stickers - a crowd favorite for sure! I made 2 different trees to accommodate both the boys skills and abilities.

Avery (2): Letter matching. For him I just did capital letters so they were an exact match. He has about 90% of his uppercase letters down now so I will start introducing the corresponding lowercase letter soon! Avery was not a fan of the stickers. Every time it got stuck on his head he would say "no". It cracked me up! He had me put the stickers on and he pointed to where the matching letter was. 🀣

Note: If you follow my IG stories, you know that I always say the letter name AND sound together to start forging that connection. So when I say he knows his letter names, he is also learning the sounds simultaneously.

Cohen (4): To extend the activity for Cohen we did -all words! He changed out the beginning sound with stickers to create new -all words. He is a really strong reader but doesn't have a strong grasp on rhyming yet so I am working on rhyming and word families with him.



Indoor Apple Picking:

This activity was a big hit! To set up: Tape off a tree on the floor and add apples (paper, plastic, real - it doesn't matter!) Call out an apple for your little one to "pick". (Ex. Pick a green apple. Pick a small apple. Pick an apple with a worm in it.)

To make it extra cute you could even provide them with an apple picking basket to collect their apples in!


Homemade Applesauce:

We went real apple picking too! However our favorite u-pick had closed for the season so we couldn't actually pick anything - bummer! But we did grab some fresh apples while we were there! So we used those to make some homemade applesauce.

I love getting my little ones involved in the kitchen and food prep whenever possible. I think it is a really important skill that is often overlooked these days (in my childhood included). This recipe is super simple and your kiddos get to do all the work fun!

Here's how to make it:
1. Peel and boil apples ahead of time until soft
2. Place apples in a ziploc bag
3. Add 1 tsp. lemon for every 2 apples
4. Add cinnamon to taste (optional)
5. Let your little one squish the apples in the bag! Shake. Squeeze. Stomp. Anything goes!
6. Scoop out and enjoy!

It really is that easy and my boys loved it!


Apple Sorting:

I am a big fan of sorting activities and I like to incorporate them into most of my themes! I just love all the skills they use for this simple activity! For this one I hid our apples around the house so the boys had to seek them out first and then they got to sort. 

For Avery (2): We sorted by color
For Cohen (4): We sorted by rhyming words

The best part? Just re-hide and replay as many times as you'd like!




STEM Apple Tree:

We busted out our building and problem solving skills with this fun STEM activity. I'm going to be honest with you, we don't do nearly as many STEM activities and I wish we did. I'm going to try to incorporate 1 a week from now on, but we will see how that goes.

Materials:
TP roll
Green Popsicle Sticks
Red Poms

For this one the challenge was easy: build an apple tree that could hold all 6 apples. It was really cute (and impressive) watching the boys problem solve as they learned about balancing and weigh distribution. I was really impressed to see the many different trees they created!


That's a wrap! No printables this week!



Up next week: Fall Leaves πŸ‚πŸ

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Toddler School: Football Theme!

Toddler school is back! And in true #momlife fashion this is the week that both of my kiddos get the flu! Go figure. πŸ˜… Needless to say we didn't get everything done that I wanted to but such is life. We are just rolling with it!

 It feels so weird good to be blogging again. And I am so excited to kick it off (see what I did there!?) with a fun football theme! 🏈

If you're new around here, here's the run down on how I toddler school:
- I do weekly themes with my little ones
- All activities are adaptable to meet your kiddos wherever they are
- Each activity is play-based and focuses on the development areas of your little one
- I do one activity a day (usually) that lasts around 20-30 minutes



Here's what we did this week:

You can get my blank thematic planner here.

Books:
One of my favorite things about setting up a new theme is getting all the cute books that go along with it! Here are some of our favorite football themed books:


Austin Plays Fair
by Tony Dungy

Dino-Football
by Lisa Wheeler
**Cohen (4) is dinosaur obsessed (like many 4 year olds are amiright?)
so this one was by far his favorite**

Goodnight Football
by Michael Dahl

My First Book of Football
by Beth Bugler

My Football Book
by Gail Gibbons

NFL 1-2-3
**Avery (almost 2) LOVED this one in particular. It was so cute
hearing him read the numbers for me**

T is for Touchdown
by Brad Herzog


Activities:

Football Sensory Table:
This is a super cute and easy to set up sensory table! We just used our green rice, mini footballs, mini helmets, mini trophies and goal posts. Anytime I'm working on a new theme I always take a trip to dollar tree first! You can find all kinds of fun themed things there to toss into any sensory table πŸ‘Œ

Encourage your little one to explore the sensory table! Use helmets and trophies to scoop. Flick footballs through the field goal posts. Just have fun with it!

** In the beginning little ones will need supervision and help learning the boundaries and rules associated with sensory play **




Touchdown Letters:
Using yellow construction paper create goal posts onto butcher paper. Print out the letters included and glue onto butcher paper. Practice calling out letters and having your little one find them!

Don't want to create a giant field goal? You can get a small printable version here! Fo' freesies!



Football Drop:
Prep football drop box by coloring a shoe box green and adding goal posts. Cut slits into the box and label with shapes! Print and cut out football shapes (you can get these in the activity pack below!) Work with your little one to identify the shapes and drop into the right goal post!



Football Cubes:
Print and assemble cube. Let your little one roll the cube and identify the number shown. 

To add in a little gross motor fun: once your little one identifies the number have them do that many jumps, laps, etc.


Football Art:

Football Kicker:
Truthfully we did not get to this activity this week due to all the sickness but it is super easy to set up! Using plain 'ol paper write numbers 1 through 5 (1 number per page) and lay on the floor in a line - think like a football field. Let your little one kick a football and call out the number they get!

Want any of this week's printables?  You can grab them here!







Up next week: 1st Day of Preschool πŸ«

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!