Friday, February 14, 2014

Toddler Book Club One Snowy Day

We had our first meeting of the Toddler Book Club that I'm hosting last week. It was so much fun. The only thing that didn't go according to plan was that I wasn't able to prepare a themed snack or drink. It wasn't missed though, the fun activities took up all of our time. The book was One Snowy Day by. I'll give a review of the book soon. The character in the book is a penguin, so I found a penguin figure we've got and made some signs for our book club. The first one was a welcome sign, set where we'd be reading, that included the title and author of the book.

 Making the signs was a really simple touch that took only a few minutes and added so much cuteness. Even children who can't read themselves yet benefit greatly from being in an enviornment where lots of words (such as signs and labels) are around. As you can see I laid out a big quilt over the floor to make our reading space feel a bit cozier. After everyone was settled, I read the book. There's only two kids in the book club right now, so it's very easy to make sure they both see the pictures.

Now for my(our) review of the book: it's great! The perfect book to read in winter, preferably after it has snowed. As you'll see, it inspires many ideas for activities after reading. My favorite thing about it for my 2 year old daughter though was that it's a counting book. From 1 to 10 with a fun penguin, awesome!

After reading the book, we moved on to our first activity. Hot cocoa painting craft station!

This is how I had it set up. I had prepped it earlier by using a glue stick to attach white printer paper to colored construction paper. I did this so the paper would be more sturdy, but I ended up loving how it made an adorable border. I provided them each with their own bowls of hot cocoa paint (just some shaving cream mixed together with a packet of hot chocolate). I had the brushes in the bowls, ready to go. Added for cuteness was a little rubber ducky that looks like a penguin with a winter hat on. And of course there was signage!

Once the kids had painted with the delicious smelling paint until their hearts were content, we moved on to our next activity: Sparkling Snow Sensory Math.

I was so excited about this! We're really big on sensory play here, so doing it with others brings us joy. Plus, it really went along with the book. To make the snow just fill up a bin with baking soda and add water in very slowly. I add just a bit and then mix in with my fingers, over and over until it's the right consistency. You should be able to form a ball with it and crumple it again. Too much water and it'll just turn into a liquid! Once you've got it how you want it, sprinkle in quite a few generous shakes of iridescent glitter and mix that in. Finally, to top it all off and make it math fun add in some magnetic numbers!

As you can see the kids dug right in and really enjoyed themselves! I set out another bin since toddlers LOVE to transfer.

 After that I grabbed a big bin of snow (yes, real snow) that I had sitting outside. I put that down on the table where they had painted before. Along with a spray bottle that I had filled 3/4 of the way with water and then added a packet of lemon lime Koolaid to. Bringing snow inside is great because it allows kids to play with it without being totally cold outside. And "painting" it in this way is great fine motor work. Both kids did great with the squirt bottle and practiced taking turns.

 I ended up filling up a cup of water with another Koolaid packet and a turkey baster. This added more colors and another way to practice fine motor practical life skills.

 That was our last activity! Then we read the book again to conclude the book club meeting.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine Heart Color Sorting

We are totally psyched for Valentine's Day over here! C and I have been doing all kinds of activities to get into the holiday spirit! If you're looking for some great ideas for incorporating Valentine's Day into your toddlers activities you're in the right place.

 First I would like to share Valentine Heart Color Sorting. You only need three things for this activity and both can be found at The Dollar Tree. It can be done over and over again, so it's frugal and fun! C loves to sort, so we picked up two packs of heart gems from the dollar store. We got a pink pack and a red pack. I set up this activity with a three section divided tray I already had from Dollar Tree, you could get one of these or just simply use two bowls instead. Just put out the hearts, all mixed together, and the tray or bowls.

 Your little one will probably automatically start the sorting process. I like to provide some instruction and begin the activity by putting one of each in each container and making a silly noise as I do. As C sorts we talk about the colors, heart shape, and love.

Color Wheel Craft

C is 25 months old and has known all her colors for a while it's time to expand. This makes a great activity for kids who've got their primary and secondary colors down, but there would be no problem making one of these with a child whose just learning their colors. Owning their own color wheel will get them excited about knowing which color is which! Feel free to make a simpler wheel, only including primary and seconday colors if you feel you need to do that as well.         

To Create This Color Wheel Craft You Will Need:
 3 sheets of white paper
A large paper plate
A black Sharpie
Crayons in the following colors: red, red orange, orange, yellow orange, yellow, yellow green, green, blue green, blue, blue violet, violet, and red violet

To start, draw a circle on one of your white sheets of paper. Then stack all 3 sheets together and cut the circles out. Repeat for a square, and triangle. You'll need to then take a triangle that you've cut out, set it ontop of the sheets and cut out 3 more so you'll have 6. Make sure that your circles are the biggest, squares smaller, and triangles smallest. Look at your paper plate beforehand (the back side) and figure out what sizes each shape should be so they'll all fit. Our triangles overlapped a tiny bit and that's definitely okay!

Now that you've got all your shapes cut out, give your child one at a time, with the proper crayon. The circles should be the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. The squares should be the secondary colors: orange, green, and violet. The triangles should be the teritiary colors: red orange, yellow orange, yellow green, blue green, blue violet, and red violet.

Once your little one has completed the coloring of the shapes, you can label them all with the black Sharpie. Examples: Primary: Red. Secondary: Orange. Etc.

 Now have your child help you add glue to each shape and stick them on the backside of the paper plate accordingly, with yellow at the top.

 Once everything is glued on take the Sharpie and make lines on the paper plate to connect red to green, yellow to violet, and blue to orange. Then write "complimentary colors" near the lines.

 Your final product should look similar to this:

 After deciding we wanted to make a color wheel craft, I googled images of color wheels to get an idea of what I wanted ours to be like. I hope you enjoy your color wheel as much as we do!