Toddler Tuesday: 2013 Education Calendar

I’ve been working on building a calendar that charts the themes and lessons I teach Baby Miss (2 years old) throughout the year, and I’m ready to share it with all of you. Now you will notice there are a few changes from my previous “themes” post back in November. This is due to the fact that I found out Baby Miss’ parents decided to start her in preschool this June rather than September. I want Baby Miss to already be on track, knowing her letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. So, you will notice that for each month, I have a theme. And each week has a letter, number, color, and shape. By the end of June, we will have gone through one cycle of the alphabet. That’s when Baby Miss will start preschool. I have finished the calendar for you though (meaning through December) and will be posting the activities I do throughout the year. And in fact, I think I like this calendar much better then my last one. Always striving to improve. 🙂

2013 Education Calendar

I have also created a list of songs, felt board games, books, crafts, and activities for each month’s theme. I currently have January and February up, and will finish it soon. I’m also working on creating videos of each song on my list so you can hear how it goes and see the motions… I’ll let you know when I figure that out. 🙂

Theme Activities

For Christmas, I bought Little Miss and Baby Miss a felt/magnetic dry erase board. I started this week using it for “circle times” with Baby Miss. On days when we have no place to be (gymnastics, music class, etc.) circle time can consist of many parts: songs, books, art, felt board activities. On busy days, it may only include going over that week’s letter, number, color, and shape; and one song and book. I’m not very strict about it, but I am working on making it a habit to sit down and do some type of structured material with her everyday around the same time.
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Yesterday, we created our first letter and number signs. For each new letter and number, we will be making a sign and posting it on the wall. Soon, Baby Miss will be able to see numbers 1-10 and the entire alphabet each and every day.

Our number signs consist of a large number cut out from construction paper. Then she puts a corresponding number of objects on that number. This week, for the number 1, she decided on one dog sticker. We will also be using buttons, dry pasta, beans, yarn, etc. for the different numbers.
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Our letter sign consists of a large letter cut out of construction paper, which I first let her color on; then we will add something that starts with that letter. For A, we did apple prints. Just cut an apple in half, stick in paint, and use them to stamp the paper. Both girls really liked this activity.

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Each week I will be sharing with you the various activities that I do with each girl. You can join me by following along on the 2013 Education Calendar and using my themed activities.

I would love to hear any feedback you may have: different activities, challenges you faced, anecdotes, or just “hello” all work for me. 🙂

Love!

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Tonight Little Miss and Baby Miss’ parents will be picking out their Christmas tree. I thought I would help with the festivities by having the girls decorate their own trees today. 

I cut out two trees from green construction paper (one for each girl) and helped them glue the trees to another piece of paper (any color).  

For Baby Miss, who is two, I gave crayons and stickers. It took her a while to figure out exactly how to get the stickers on, but once she got it, she was in heaven! She kept asking for more and more (stickers are great for fine-motor work)
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For Little Miss, I put some paint on a tray and handed her q-tips. She used the q-tips to dot “lights” on her tree. She really liked making the lights, but her favorite part came when I gave her the glittery puffy paint. I showed her how to make dots and then let her go-to-it. She loved how it sparkled. 
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Both options were simple, and relatively mess free. Love it! 

And now their trees are decorating the house while they wait in anticipation for the real thing. 🙂 

Have I said how much I love this time of year?!? Yay Christmas! 

 

Love!

Toddler Ornaments

So I’ve been trying to come up with a few ideas for ornaments that Baby Miss (2 yrs) can do with only minimal help, and I think I’ve come up with two pretty good ones. Not only do they give you little one a great sense of accomplishment and pride, but homemade ornaments also make great gifts for teachers, grandparents, babysitters, etc.

The first uses contact paper (sticky clear paper, you can get it at any craft or office supply store) and tissue paper. I cut out two similarly sized squares of contact paper, and placed one in front of Baby Miss. I had small torn pieces of tissue paper from a previous craft that I brought out. All she had to do was stick the tissue pieces to the contact paper. Once full, I placed the other piece of contact paper on top. Then I cut out an ornament shape (circle with a small square on top). On the small square I punched a hole, then threaded ribbon through. These could go on the tree, or you can hang them in front of a window for a fun decoration.

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The next type of ornament we made utilized finger paint and paper plates. I did this twice with Baby Miss. On one plate, I had her finger paint with green; the next with red. (I did try one with both colors, but it just came out brown and yucky looking).
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Once the paint dried… and Baby Miss had had a bath 🙂 ,I cut a shape from the center of the plate. From the green one I cut a tree; from the red, a candy cane. I punched holes in the tops and threaded ribbon through.

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These activities could be adapted for older children by adding materials (glitter, pompoms, stickers, buttons, etc.) and by also letting them do their own cutting (with supervision of course). 🙂

Love!

Do you have 5 minutes?

I’m continuing to decorate for Christmas this weekend and I wanted to share an easy seasonal craft that I came up with. There was some blank space on my kitchen wall that I was wanting to fill, and instead of putting in family pictures or something similar, I decided I would use that space seasonally. I bought two inexpensive frames from the craft store, and also a pack of seasonal scrapbook paper.

I printed out a holiday silhouette from my computer, a bell, and traced that shape onto solid scrapbook paper. Then I cut printed scrapbook paper to fit in the frame. I glued the bell onto the other paper and slid it in the frame. Easy peasy!

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I want to try and change these out for each season/holiday. It takes 5 minutes and is super cute. I could do leaves for fall, a bunny for Easter, and flowers for the summer. The possibilities are endless!

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I love simple, easy, and inexpensive ideas that make a great impact.

Love!
xoxo

Fall prints

So I’ve been wanting to do a fall craft with Baby Miss for a few days now, but she is very adverse to “mess” so it had to be something that would keep her relatively clean (ie nothing sticky, gritty, anything that would goop up her hands, etc). So I thought, why not have her do a print of something. That way her hands never get in the paint.

This is what I did.

I layed out a giant piece of white paper and taped it to the ground. Then I drew in brown crayon the outline of a tree.

I gave Baby Miss a wine cork and bowl with red and yellow paint.
Then I showed her how to stamp the cork in the paint, then on the paper.

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It was easy, generally clean, and turned out great. For slightly older kids, feel free to talk about how red and yellow mix to make orange. You can also paint their forearms and hands to make the tree trunk and branches.

The next fall craft we will try will be apple prints. Ill let you know how that goes. 🙂