Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toddler Lessons for Friday - Books

Today is snuggle-in-our-chair-with-our-book-bear day and read some wonderful books.

Our books today are:

Albert's Thanksgiving by Leslie Tryon (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster) - a great book all about how hard work pays off and helping each other has great rewards.

Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic) - features all the fun things about this time of year - pumpkins, autumn leaves, and football!

Toddler Lessons for Thursday - Music/Dance

Today is our wonderful Music/Dance day.

Kids love music and love to move and groove. I know my 3yr old is CRAZY about ballet at the moment - all day it's "look at this move Mom", "look at this twirl", so our first selection is for her!

And why not a sing-a-long with the Chipmunks!

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through (the) white and drifted snow!

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ling!"
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Toddler Lessons for Wednesday - Video

Today is video day.

Toddlers and babies love visual aids. As long as you are not sitting your child in front of the TV for hours on end, the occasional video or movie is a great way to stimulate your kiddos! And it is best if you sit with them and explain what is going on, and interact with them.

First, we have a brief history video (the images are nice even if the kids don't really understand what's going on). Also a helpful reference to refresh your memory of the origin of Thanksgiving. Communicate to your child the reason why you do things - talking to them helps their vocabulary and opens the communication path that will be so important in the trying years ahead!

Some Thanksgiving history - no one is too young to learn a little history!

And, of course, the good 'ole Charlie Brown:

Toddler Lessons for Tuesday - Art/Craft

Our Thanksgiving Art/Craft for kids today is a wonderful leaf picture!

Yesterday we collected some pretty Autumn leaves from our yard (we were lucky enough to have a huge collection to pick from LOL!). Today we are going to use the leaves in our Autumn picture.

We have some construction paper (yellow and orange), some leaves, a pen and a pair of scissors.

First we draw on our butterfly body.

Then we cut off the stems from the leaves.

Next we put some glue onto the paper where we want our "wings" to go.

And finally we stick on our leaf wings onto the picture.


Our Autumn picture gets put up on our "drawing board" with our other Fall/Thanksgiving pictures. Here are some other great ideas - a Turkey picture using feathers (from WalMart in their craft section), a camp fire (using hand cut-outs as the flames), and coloring pages (ours was a turkey, but find others by google searching Thanksgiving coloring pages).

Have fun!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Toddler Lessons for Monday - Games/Activity

Today is Game/Activity day and we have two great Thanksgiving activities for kids. Our second activity will tie in to tomorrow's art/craft project.

Our first activity is to create "thankful" notes. We have some pretty autumn/thanksgiving themed paper and a comfortable spot to sit and talk about what Thanksgiving means and figure out what we are thankful for. We have cut our paper into 3" squares.

The idea for this activity is to encourage kids to realize and be grateful for what they have and to put it in writing. As a family we will be doing this exercise together. Everyone gets four pieces of paper. Their name is written at the top then "is thankful for..." (you fill in the blank). All the pieces will be collected and placed in a bowl for our Thanksgiving table.

At our Thanksgiving dinner we will draw out each "thankful" note and read them out aloud. Some are funny (my 3yr old is thankful for monsters! don't ask???) some are super sweet (she said to write one for her little sister that reads "thankful for her yummy milk and blankie"!), but all a good reminder that we are truly blessed.

Our second activity today, for the kids, is to go outside (and enjoy our beautiful weather) and collect some pretty autumn leaves for tomorrow's art/craft project. We look at the different shapes of the leaves, and the different colors. Talk to your child about the size, shape, color, and texture of the leaves.

Get the kids to scrunch up the leaves in their hands - what a great sound! Get them to help rack them up... OK, just dreaming!!

Leaves, leaves everywhere!

Weekly Bus Schedule - Theme: Thanksgiving

Weekly Bus Schedule

The theme for this week is Thanksgiving.

We will have great games/activities for active toddlers on Monday.
Artistic art and craft projects for crazy kids on Tuesday.
A vibrant video for tots to view on Wednesday.
We'll be movin' n grovvin' with music/dance for delightful little ones on Thursday.
And on Friday we will snuggle in our chair with our book bear and read some wonderful books.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Toddler Lessons for Friday - Music

Today is MUSIC day.

Today's toddler activities are all about sounds and MUSIC. Kids love music - listening to it, dancing to it, singing songs, and making their own music.

Craft for Kids
Music Shaker
Today we are making a musical instrument - I'm calling it our "music shaker".

We are using:
  • streamers or ribbons
  • 2 paper plates
  • white glue
  • beans, rice or pebbles
  • 2 or more jingle bells (optional - we didn't have any)
  • supplies for decorating - pens, stickers, glitter etc
  • duct tape

Glue or tape a few ribbons onto the bottom of one of the paper plates (we are using duct tape to make it more secure).

Place the beans, rice or pebbles into the "ribbon" plate.

Glue the other plate onto the "ribbon" plate - we are also duct taping this plate onto the "ribbon" plate - I have a 1yr old - there is no way I want this thing to come apart and have my 1 yr old get hold of those little glass pebbles!

Allow to dry, then it is ready to be decorated!

Game/Activity for Toddlers
Today I am going to attempt (haha!) to teach my toddler how to play a song on the xylophone.

I found free sheet music at . (After all those years of private piano lessons) I actually managed to remember how to play - boy, my parents will be so proud!!!

Books for Kids and Babies
The books on our bear chair today are all about MUSIC and sounds - "Wheels on the Bus" a Mother Goose story (Studio Mouse), and two Baby Einstein books, both by Susan Ring, "Music on the Go" and "Music around the House" (Scholastic).

Toddler Songs & Video
Our favorite song at the moment for both my 3yr old and 1yr old (she does the most perfect "E.I.E.I.O") is "Old McDonald had a Farm"

Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o
And on his farm he had some chicks
Ee i ee i o
With a cluck-cluck here
And a cluck-cluck there
Here a cluck, there a cluck
Everywhere a cluck-cluck
Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o

Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o
And on his farm he had some cows
Ee i ee i oh
With a moo-moo here
And a moo-moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo-moo
Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o

Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o
And on his farm he had some pigs
Ee i ee i o
With an oink-oink here
And an oink-oink there
Here an oink, there an oink
Everywhere an oink-oink
Old MacDonald had a farm
Ee i ee i o

Add in other animals that you teach on the farm like :
dogs - woof-woof
cat - meow-meow
sheeps - baa-baa
horses - neigh-neigh

Remember, teaching your baby or toddler should be fun for both of you - it is a rewarding, enriching experience to be able to spend time together and help them learn something new. Have fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toddler Lessons for Thursday - Letters

Today is LETTERS day.

Today's toddler activities are all about the alphabet. We are so close to being able to sing the whole alphabet song all the way through - still need a bit more practice! One place we practice is when we wash our hands - the experts say you should wash your hands with soap for as long as it takes to sing the alphabet song all the way through, to help get rid of the germs. Talk about multi-tasking.

Craft for Kids
Alphabet Book for Kids
We are going to start our alphabet book (it will be an ongoing exercise as we continue to revisit this theme). The idea is to have one page per letter. I will write the upper case and lower case letter onto the page and then have my 3yr old copy them. We will also look through old magazines and cut out pictures that start with that corresponding letter (e.g. apples for "A", a car for "C", etc)

We are using:
  • construction paper (8 pages)
  • crayons and pens
  • single hole punch
  • yarn
  • old magazines (for pictures relating to our letters)
  • scissors
  • glue

We construct our book first. I am folding the construction paper in half, hole punching along the spine and tying the yarn through the holes to hold our book together.

Now we can start to work on our alphabet

This was a great rainy-day exercise for my toddler. I know we need the rain here in Fort Worth, Texas, but a whole week's worth?? Please share it around, we really want to go to the park. :)

Game/Activity for Toddlers
Magnetic School

We have this awesome Magnetic School from Parents (it was a gift so not sure of the $). It consists of cards, with a picture and the first letter outlined on them, and magnetic letters. The idea is to match the letter to the correct card.

We talk about each letter, the picture on the card and how the letter relates to the word on the card. It is great for letter recognition, and learning words.

Books for Kids and Babies
The books on our bear chair today are all about LETTERS - "Baby Animal abc's" illustrated by Shelley Dieterich (WJ Fantasy, Inc), "baby, look, abc" illustrated by Charlotte Stowell (Parragon), and "Do Your ABC's, Little Brown Bear" by Jonathan London (Weekly Reader Publishing).

Goes with the song of the day! (US - I know they sing "Zed" - that's Australian! just sub in your "Zee")

Toddler Songs
What better song than the "Alphabet Song"






Y & Z

Now you know your ABC's,

next time won't you sing with me.

Remember, teaching your baby or toddler should be fun for both of you - it is a rewarding, enriching experience to be able to spend time together and help them learn something new. Have fun!