Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Tree Crafts

Today I read Christmas Tree Memories by Aliki and we decided to make some Christmas trees. I love hand-print art but it is more for me than for Jake. So today when we did our hand-print craft I added another craft to let Jake get his creative juices flowing.
For his craft I cut out a tree from green construction paper. I then gave him some paint and bingo stampers (he loves those!) We used the tip of a paint brush to dot lights on the tree and then the bingo dotters to decorate the tree with ornaments. I left the book open to a picture of a Christmas tree to use as inspiration and to reinforce the fact we were making a Christmas tree.
As he worked on his own I had him hand-print a tree on a separate paper. Then I quickly wiped his hand and let him get back to work on his tree!
After the hand-print dried I had Jake used his finger to decorate the tree with lights and ornaments. My making two trees it reiterates the Christmas tree and shows creativity in making the tree in different ways. 
Here are the finished trees (we even made a hand-print tree with the baby! :) )

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Color Practice

We have been practicing colors for quite some time now. I have color posters I purchased at a teacher store. We have used those as interactive props. Each month I use the posters but try to use them in a different way to make them new and exciting. 
This month I chose to use What Color is the Present? coloring pages from 1+1+1=1. (An awesome website and resource for working with children! Check it out if you have never been there!!)
I cut the cards to separate them and pulled two out for the first day. I grabbed a purple crayon and showed Jake the card. I had him color the present and then find the purple poster to match the purple present. We then taped the present card to the poster.
By taping the presents on the posters the activity became interactive. We were able to make connections and take coloring a step further. Next I had him do the same thing for orange.
This is a good way to incorporate our monthly theme (Christmas) and building color skills. Jacob is an active toddler, by having him color standing up and then walk over and tape the pictures on the posters he can stay engaged. Making the connections with colors will aid in his knowledge of colors and hopefully help him remember the color names. We will continue to use the Present Cards to color and practice our colors this month. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

December Sensory Box

This month's Sensory Box is filled with split peas, gift boxes, wooden- trees, reindeer and Santas, stockings and spoons. Jake wanted to add a dump truck and digger as well. (no surprise there!)
I started by introducing each piece of the box then I allowed him to explore the box while I read, The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. (Great book!) I made sure to make connections with the book and the box. 
After the story I decided to replicated a part of the story where Santa and the reindeer take off to deliver presents. I used his red wagon toy and the other items from the sensory box. I modeled for him how to play with the items. I pulled the wagon with the reindeer and mimicked Santa delivering gifts from his sleigh. He loved it and quickly took over. 
(-I would like to make a statement here about the importance of modeling play. Jake is 2 years old and at this point he still needs help with using his imagination to play. He loves playing but is limited in experience and this leads to him running out of ideas to continue play. By modeling play, Jake is then given a platform in which to draw ideas. It is so fun to watch him playing on his own days after I have modeled for him. He will play on his own for hours.)
Jacob played with the reindeer pulling the sleigh and delivered the presents a few times. I modeled putting and item in the gift box and giving them. Then opening the box and being surprised, excited and saying thank you. Jake really has no relocation of Christmas so all of this PLAY is teaching and preparing him for Christmas this year. After my modeling he gave me presents! :)
Jake played a while as I watched. He modified the reindeer pulling the sleigh by replacing them with his dump truck! No surprise there, he loves his trucks! I loved seeing him take his play to the next step. He learned from my modeling but it did not limit him! I just can't wait to see how he plays with this sensory box throughout the month!

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Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Sunday, November 27, 2011

December Theme- Christmas

This month we are going to be spending time learning about Christmas. I have every intention of teaching my son about other December holidays but at this time he is not clear on Christmas let alone being ready to learn about other holidays. Since we celebrate Christmas I decided to focus on Christmas again this year.
I want to reiterate a few points before the download:
1. My plans are not meant to be completed in any specific order. Each day is different and Structured Play time should be a fun learning experience. Pick an activity or activities that fit the mood of your child for that day.
2. Practice activities more than once because repetition is key to gaining new skills.
3. READ, READ, READ- Read everyday and reread stories to allows your child to 'read' the books themselves. This is the first step in literacy.
4. Walk Away- Try to keep Structured Play time 'fun'. If things get frustrating to you or your child, walk away and pick up where you left off the next day. Remember it is Structured PLAY, you are not preparing for SAT Exams. Enjoy every minute!


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Gift

Jacob had a school performance for Thanksgiving. This was his first performance and I was so excited to see how he would react and how he would perform. We practiced the songs and talked about standing on stage with people watching. 
Jake's first stage appearance! 
(Second from the left) 
He did great! Well, he didn't cry! He didn't sing at all but he did clap for himself with everyone else! :) 

I wanted to do something nice for his teachers as a thank you for their hard work. Jacob loves his teachers! He talks about them all the time and they appear to adore him! I saw a cute idea on Toddler Approved. I wanted to do a version of this for Jake's preschool teachers. I picked up a couple jars from Target and we put together a pretty cute gift!
I started by showing Jake the picture online. Then we made the turkey face on the jar. I asked him to color the feathers for the turkey. As he was doing that we talked about school and what he loved about his school.  The first thing he said were his teachers. So I wrote on the circular top of the jar, "I am thankful for... You!" Then I wrote on each leaf another thing he likes about school. I thought it was very sweet! And they turned out pretty cute!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So Sorry

My computer died and had to be sent away to be fixed! I finally got it back but have a ton of catching up to do! I will post soon!! In the mean time check out last year's November plans for some ideas!

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