November 30, 2011

Shape House.

I like doing shape art projects with Red, because it helps him to see shapes in the things around him. Usually we glue the shapes onto paper, but we were short on time, and we have this problem with Red wanting to remove the shapes after they’ve been glued down. So, we just laid them out and played with them. I cut some basic shapes out of scrap paper.

Then I gave them to Red to explore. It was a great way to talk about shapes!

November 29, 2011

Christmas Sensory Bin.

With Christmas season upon us, we had to make a new sensory bin. This one was fun to put together (maybe because I love all things Christmas!). The base is a string of garland/tinsel that I cut into pieces.

Then I added some red and green pom poms, some miniature bows, a few mini frosted pine cones, Christmas erasers, ‘mirrored’ stars, plastic red and green jewels, and mini Christmas clothespins.


I added some green tongs and a red scoop, as well as a Christmas tin and glass jar for him to practice sorting or scooping or whatever he wanted. I also added an apple cinnamon candle for a little added sensory experience. And just to be festive and encourage a little imaginary play, I put in a mini gingerbread man, mini nutcracker, and a mini stocking.

He has been in a stage where he likes to put objects in one container, then move them to another, then back again. So, he spent some time putting things into the tin or jar and then back into the bin.

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The tinsel filled the bin a little more than the usual rice or beans, and he had fun playing with it and digging through it.

We’ll have fun playing with this over the next several weeks!

November 26, 2011

Feather Headdress.

We used feathers again today to create a headdress. First Red decorated the construction paper band.

Then he explored the feathers a little—great sensory work.

Then we taped the feathers to the band.

Here’s the completed headdress.

We had fun taking turns wearing it and dancing around!

November 22, 2011

Turkey Ball.

Red helped me decorate a styrofoam ball to look (sort of) like a turkey. I got the idea here at I Can Teach My Child. I didn’t have a bouncy ball, so we used a styrofoam ball instead.

We started off decorating the ball with markers.


Then Red played/experimented with the feathers. He liked dropping them and watching them slowly fall. He also liked putting them on his head, silly kid.

During Red’s nap, I drew on a face and hot glued some feathers.

When he woke up we sang songs and tossed the turkey ball around a little. Red loves any kind of ball, so he was happy, and I was happy that this ball is light enough to play with in the house!

November 20, 2011

Tot School - 11.20.11

-Red is currently 17.5 months old-

Theme: Thanksgiving

We have had fun getting ready for Thanksgiving! Here are the shelves:

Top left cubby - pegboard and stacking pegs
Top right cubby - puzzle and stacking cups

Middle left cubby - counting bears - he did a great job sorting by color.

Middle right cubby - threading pasta noodles onto pipe cleaner

Bottom left cubby - ABC beanbags - we used these more for color practice than ABC's.

Bottom right cubby - matching objects to photos - this is the first time we've tried this, and he did really well!

I also put out his "People Who Love Me" book full of family photos. Thanksgiving is a great time to talk about families. He loved looking through all the pictures and naming people.


Red really liked the books: Thank You Thanksgiving, Thanks for Thanksgiving, and Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George. We read them many times!


We made homemade Gak this week. It was a little too slimy for Red's taste.


We also made Thanksgiving sugar cookies. I use the term 'made' very loosely, because they were the cut and bake kind. But Red enjoyed cutting them out and decorating them. Surprisingly, he never ate any of the dough. I think he thought it was play-doh...


We made a coffee filter turkey this week and colored a teepee coloring sheet (great application for triangles).

We also plan on doing some more Thanksgiving crafts in the coming week, including a turkey ball and a feather headdress.


We made our own teepee to play inside. Red loved sitting in it!

Linking up to 1+1+1=1's tot school and Living Life Intentionally.

November 17, 2011

Homemade Gak.

Red and I made a little homemade Gak today. I saw the idea here at Simply Alicia. The recipe is equal parts glue and liquid starch with a little bit of food coloring. It turned out really awesomely icky, but unfortunately, my little boy does not care for icky/gooey things. He was willing to push some washers into it with one finger, but that was about the extent of his willingness to play with it. 

I went ahead and played with it myself, making sure to play it up and have tons of fun, just so he would see that it wasn't so bad. I have hope that the more opportunities I give him to get messy, and the more I model this type of play, he will eventually join me. So it wasn't a total waste, and I plan on using the Gak inside some sensory balloons I'm going to make in a couple weeks. 

November 15, 2011

Coffee Filter Turkey.

This was an easy craft since we already had all the supplies on-hand--one coffee filter, one set of dot markers, and one enthusiastic artist. For older kids, it would be really neat to use a dropper with colored water to decorate the filter, but Red's coordination was better-suited to dot markers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 13, 2011

Tot School - 11.13.11

-Red is currently 17 months old-

Red's language is really starting to take off. It's neat to watch him. It seems like he learns several new words a day. Along with that, he has begun asserting his independence more and more. He's starting to have more preferences about things like which jacket to wear outside, and I hear the word "No" many times a day.

 Theme: Circles, Pizza

We had a fun week of tot school this week. Here are the shelves:

Top left cubby has his Wedgits. Red loves these. They fit together in so many different configurations that he almost always has success when building with them. I think they're pretty fun too!

In the top right cubby is a puzzle and his shape sorter.

Middle left is a Melissa & Doug pizza party set. Red enjoyed this a toy a lot this week too. He liked to add the toppings and cut the slices. I loved hearing him say "mushoom" and "peppah" (mushroom & pepper).

Middle right cubby had his Melissa & Doug magnetic dressing doll. His favorite part was switching out the different hats--he has a thing about hats :)

In the bottom left cubby are his tree blocks. He's getting better and threading the blocks onto the dowel rod. His favorite part was the fake bird in the little nest.

Bottom right was his circles basket full of things from around the house shaped like circles.

I always love to see how he plays with these miscellaneous baskets. He tried fitting the puzzle piece inside the masking tape. Then he accidentally rolled the masking tape on its edge and thought that was soooo cool, so he had to work to recreate it :)


We checked out lots of pizza-themed books from the library.

He loved Let's Make Pizza, probably because it had real photographs and was short. He also liked Pizza at Sally's and Curious George and the Pizza Party. He sat through the whole story every time we read those. It surprised me that he would listen to the Curious George book all the way through, because it's a little long for him, but he sat through it many times. It reminds me to introduce him to things I may not think he's "ready" for, because sometimes he surprises me!


We listened to Aikendrum by Raffi, because of the line "his mouth was made of pizza, pizza, pizza..."


Red played with his Thanksgiving sensory bin this week.

I used several different kinds of animal feed from the hardware store as a base (corn kernels, bird seed, peanuts, etc). Red liked sorting the peanuts into a jar. He tried the tongs a little, but they are still difficult for him to use.


We made a pizza, of course! It was a pesto chicken pizza, and it was delicious. Even Red thought so. He had trouble not eating everything as we made it!


We made circle prints in a pizza box this week. We also made a pizza out of shapes.


Red and Dad set up a little 'baby abacus.' Red enjoyed sliding the balls back and forth, but his favorite thing was crawling under the string.

We had a little history time this week too when we went to a local cemetery on Veterans Day.

Visit tot school to see what other toddlers are learning about this week!