Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Oops. It isn't that we haven't been doing any activities - it's just been difficult to find time to post about them! Directly after finishing (and posting about) our zoo week, both T and I battled a nasty cold. For T, the cold was followed by a bout with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. I felt so terrible for the poor guy. Anyway - the end of September was rough. Once everyone was feeling better, we started off October with a "Movement and Music" theme. You may see now why it was so imperative to save this for a time when no one was under the weather! Read on below to see what did to explore movement and music this week.
Books about the Zoo
In addition to Put Me in the Zoo, we read several favorites this week all related to the zoo and zoo animals.
Songs about the zoo
Songs about the zoo were not as easy to come by as books were. But we did end up singing and listening to a few throughout the week.
Put Me in the Zoo
To start off Zoo Week, we read Robert Lopshire's Put Me in the Zoo. It's a great book for beginning readers, but worked well for my toddler too because it was simple and repetitive. The fun colors also made it very interesting for him. Inspired by the book and by Suzy Homeschooler, we created a very simple - yet HIGHLY entertaining "Put me n the Zoo" Sensory Bin. The original bin at the link above included more components, but we created ours with just white rice and multi-colored (and multi-sized) pom-poms.
T enjoyed scooping and dumping the rice (just as he did when I made rainbow rice to play with), but he also started to get the hang of sorting through the rice and collecting the pom-poms in a container. It was neat to see him uncover this "task." This was great fine motor work, especially the small pom-poms. It was also a great opportunity to count and talk about colors.
One of our favorite books in this house is Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson. The story is great for toddlers because it involves them in the story, encouraging them to touch, tap, wipe, rub and more on various illustrations. The combination of physical actions with their associated words is great for vocabulary development too. It was also a perfect book for a week about nighttime as it incorporates essentially all aspects of the night - nocturnal animals, stars, the moon, fireflies, even plants that close up at night!
Read on to learn more about the "night sky" themed activities we did this week, as well as some "bedtime" activities.
While my 1.5 year old is not old enough to really understand the concept of nocturnal animals, it was a fun topic to focus on for a day. He loves animals and making animal sounds, so it seemed like a perfect fit. We read two books about nocturnal animals - Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.
Little Owl's Night was a perfect book for this theme. It talks about all kinds of things that an owl would see at night, including many nocturnal animals. It was a great length with a small number of words per page and had cute illustrations. An older child who can understand the concept of nocturnal animals would benefit from the way the book describes the nighttime for animals who stay awake at nigth and fall asleep in the daytime.
I expected that Stellaluna would be a bit long for my young toddler. The pages tend to have a lot of writing and the illustrations are not particularly elaborate, so I didn't know how well it would hold his attention. But for some reason, he found it really interesting! In fact, he keeps grabbing it and bringing it to me to read again and again. I suppose there is just something about this classic story of friendship and a mother's love that is appealing to everyone.
Thanks to our family vacation to the beach, it's been a while since I've posted. I originally planned to do an ocean themed week before leaving for the beach but ended up taking the week off instead - mostly because I just didn't have the time amidst packing and working to plan activities and get supplies for an ocean themed week, partly because it felt like overkill to do a bunch of ocean themed activities and then spend a week at the beach. So, we're back from vacation and moving on to the theme of "Nighttime" - which turned out to be a really fun week!
We dedicated a day this week to fireflies. I found a lot of books about fireflies, but decided to read The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle along with our firefly activities. The story was simply, the book featured classic Eric Carle illustration, and the fun surprise of fireflies that really flash light on the last page was almost more than my toddler could bare. In addition to talking about fireflies, it was a good book for a nighttime theme because it mentioned lots of other "lights" that you might see in the night. We borrowed this one from the library, but may need to add it to our permanent collection!
Read on to learn about the activities we did to accompany The Very Lonely Firefly!
Ducks were a very fun subject for my toddler. We had fun with an art project, became obsessed with a song, and enjoyed a few stories too.
When I though of ponds, lakes, and rivers, one of my first thought was of all the fish that live there and how much I loved going fishing as a kid. It also happens that one of T's current favorite words is "fishy" (he gets really excited when he sees one!) - so I knew it would be fun to do some activities surrounding fish and fishing.
In the heat of the summer, we enjoyed two fun fruit and veggie focused activities - a trip to the Farmer's Market and berry picking.
Songs about Fruits and Veggies
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find fun songs to listen to, dance to, and sing along with that focused on fruits and vegetables. Some of our favorites this week were:
Books about Fruits and Veggies
Former science teacher. Work-at-home mom to a toddler. Attempting to enrich our days with intentional play and exciting experiences to expand a growing little mind.