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Using Vocabulary while Decorating the Tree

Decorating the Christmas Tree takes on all new excitement when doing with a toddler! This was Jake's first experience with decorating a Christmas tree so I wanted to make sure he understood the whole process. Before we bought the tree I read Bear's Christmas Star. 
This month I decided not to introduce any new colors or shapes, we are just going to review the ones we have already worked on. I pulled the green and red colors and the circle and triangle down to his level. As we read the story I pointed at the brown bear on the wall and on the pages of the book to make connections. I pointed at the green triangle and the green tree in the book, the star on the wall and the star at the top of the tree in the book. This is an excellent way to work on vocabulary and making connections. When a child sees and item in two (or more) settings it helps to solidify the meaning of the item. I opened the book and did a picture walk around the first pages pointing to items I thought would interest him and making connections to the wall. Next I read the page before moving to the next pages. Reading this way we were able to complete the entire story. (That is huge for us! Jake usually loses interest before we are able to finish!) 
Next step- picking out a tree! We are going to be out of town for two weeks for the holiday and I was not going to get a tree but I decided this would be an important experience for Jake. So we decided to get a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I kept Jake's interest by reminding him we would be putting lights and 'balls' on the tree. 
We pulled a stool out and decorated our little tree! It was a lot of fun and Jake practiced his vocabulary over and over and over and over again!! "Ball, ball, ball, ball, ight, ight, ight, ight." He is not saying star yet but when I ask him where the star is, he can point it out. I will now use star as a new vocabulary word when doing picture walks through other stories. 
A true Charlie Brown tree!


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