Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Temporary Hiatus

Well still no baby, 3 days overdue! But I am going to be starting a hiatus from posting. I will try to continue Structured Play time and taking pictures to chronicle what we are doing. I just don't want to commit myself to 5 posts a week. I will make sure to have October's plans up by the first.

In the mean time send some labor vibes my way!!!

Collecting Colors

Another way to practice colors is to look for and collect things around the room for each color.
I placed a piece of construction paper on the floor for the four colors we are working on; red, yellow, green blue. I then put our color water bottles on the colors. I started the activity by picking up a couple red items and placing them on the paper while saying red before the name of each item. Jake quickly jumped in and started searching for items around the room in each color.










Believe it not or not, we were able to find a few items for each color throughout the room. I did not take the time to place items around the room that would work but rather just searched for what we could find. I had Jake say the name of the item and the color of that item.
By doing this activity, he is working to look for the colors, find which paper they belong on and having to name it. This takes color practice to a deeper level. Plus it involves movement! 
We just had a couple items for each color but the activity was extremely successful. I will continue to practice this this month before adding colors next month. 


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Dramatic Play- Apple Picking

Today we did some dramatic play by picking apples and placing them in our wagon. Jacob did this last year all on his own after experiencing the apple orchard. This year we went to the apple orchard as well. He is really into farmers so to start this activity I told him he was going to be a farmer and pick the apples. That was all it took!

 I placed the apple cards around the room in different places then let him pull the little wagon around to find the apples and pick them. I go back and forth with how much to add to our dramatic play time. I thought about creating a tree out of construction paper and taping the apples and tree up on the wall. I decided against this because I want to encourage Jake to use his imagination and not always needing to rely on props.


He did fine without a tree. He really enjoys looking for items and finding them in different places. We do some sort of hide and seek each month. After he picked all the apples he went over to his Sensory Box and pulled out his pot and started 'cooking' the apples.
 

 

 
I just sat back and watched as he went to work! He was very focused on cooking and using all kinds of 'tools' to help him! This was not intended but such a great example of dramatic play! He used his imagination and really got the job done! When he was finished he brought me an apple pie, but warned me that it was hot! What a fun day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sorting Apple Cards

I tried to encourage Jake to do some sorting today. We have used these cards for a couple activities but today my goal was to have him sort them. I started by having the cards in a mixed up pile. The cards can be found here:
Next, I told Jake to spread out the cards and to put all the red ones together, all the yellow ones and all the green apples together. He spread them out and looked at them- it stopped there. So I said, "Hum, I like the green apples I am going to find all the green apples and put them together." I did as I explained and he watched. I then asked him if he saw any red apples? I told him to take all the red apples and put them together like I had done with the red apples. 
He understood and successfully sorted the red and yellow apples. We then discussed how the apples were different and how they were the same. I asked him which ones he liked the best and had him tell me the colors of each of the groups of apples. It is important to not just do an activity but discuss it and take it to the next level by talking about details. We will continue to work on sorting this month. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apple Theme Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages! Jake loves to color. He is quite cute about it and is getting much better. He does like to have a picture to color over a blank page. I make sure he has the opportunity to do both but have found that he enjoys coloring a picture the best.
Today he asked me to color with him so we both started coloring the page and he quickly took over. He started coloring quite vigorously. I try to name the colors he chooses to color with or ask him to name them. We also discuss what is in the picture he is coloring.
Here is the after of his coloring page. You can see that he uses various colors and fills the page. He, of course, is not coloring within the lines yet, but that is not the point! I usually let him color as he wants for one picture then try to do a more realistic picture as well. 
For the next coloring page I pulled out our apple cards and crayons with corresponding colors.
I then asked him which color apple he liked the best? He said red so I let him choose the red crayon and color the apples in the basket red. I used the apple cards to reiterate that apples are real and we should color them their real colors.
Without any prompting he began coloring the apples and counting them as he colored. He did not color as vigorously this time but still appeared to enjoy himself. 




Monday, September 12, 2011

Number Practice


I stumbled upon this free printable and thought I would incorporate it this month with our number practice. I decided to use the beans from our Sensory Box to count the shapes. The printable goes to nine but we only filled in the shapes to six. I try not to take it too far with Jake because he loses interest if I try to go too far above his level. 
I had him put the beans in the shape for each number and count out loud while doing so. He really acts like he does not like to count out loud but I push him to do so! After he completes an activity that I have to push him into he seems please with himself. I try to make sure he is not getting overly frustrated and still feeling successful as he goes but I sternly push him to go on when he wants to stop. 
I consider this activity a success although I had to push him. I will continue to have him do this activity daily. 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Showcase: Mixbook

This website is one I have been using for two years. I found out about it from a friend planning her wedding. It is an amazing website with such possibilities! I just love playing around on it!
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My first book I made was a book of my son's first year of life. Through this site I could add pages of just text, pictures or both. It took a whole year to make because I had pages from each holiday and pages as he developed. It is a real treasure. 
I just made another book for my little guy! This is a book of his birthday party. It is a hard cover book but I have made many soft cover as well. Both are very reasonably priced! I have made farm books and fire station books from field trips we have been on. I have also made our family Christmas cards too! I am telling you this site is great!! It is a virtual scrapbook with stickers, ribbons and different layouts and backgrounds.
You can also add 'stickers' or clip art to go with your theme. I had never done that before this book because they have always had everything I needed but for this book I added some without problem!
I know there are many other sites out there that allow you to make your own books but nothing compares to Mixbook.com! It is a really great way to make books. I use these books to help reinforce what we have done or where we have gone. The price is so good that it makes it worth while! And come on, what little one doesn't love to see themselves in a book!
You can choose the size of the book, hard or soft cover and choose from a template or create your own. You can choose how many pages you want your book to be as well. Jake loves his Dig, Dig Party book! I have already started a baby announcement for our new addition, now I just need him to get here!
Check out Mixbook today, you will not regret it!

*I was not paid for my post. I just love this site and wanted to share! :) 


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Friday, September 9, 2011

Apple Matching




Today I set the matching cards out to try a little matching game. He is not ready to play concentration or memory yet but learning to match cards is a first step. The cards are all apple themed and can be found here: Apple Resources.
Jake wasn't so excited to play the matching game but I was able to entice him into playing and finishing the game! I did this by saying, "Oooh look at that red apple, I am going to eat that one! Can you find the matching apple for you to eat?" or "Can you find the little girl being the farmer picking apples?" I tried to say things that I knew would interest him and make him excited to play and look for the pieces.
 He did not have any trouble finding the pairs. I tried to show him how to put them together and set them to the side. He liked seeing the list of pairs that he had put together! This illustrated for him a sense of pride and when he was finished he clapped his hands for himself. 
 Matching the cards is a good way to strengthen his observation skills, build patience, and learn to play a game. I want to take this to the next level by taking turns choosing a matching pair. He would find a pair and then I would find a pair. Taking it to the next level will help teach him playing a game and taking turns as well as building skills to eventually move into a memory game with the cards flipped over. 
(That will not happen this month!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Painting: Apple Tree

Today we painted! Jake loves paint but loves using the paintbrush more than finger painting. I had Jake make an apple tree using his hand, arm and thumb. We started by painting his hand and arm brown to represent the tree trunk.
Next, I showed him how to stipple the paint brush to make leaves on the tree. This did not come naturally to him but he picked it up!
I blew on the picture and tried to let it dry a few minutes while getting the next step ready. We used thumb prints to make apples in the tree. I showed him what to do and he quickly took over. It was interesting to me  to find that Jake did not know what his thumb was when I told him to make a thumb print. Some times we get caught up in everything they do know that it slips our mind on what we need to work towards! I sing the Thumbkin song all the time and thought he knew but I guess we will work on our body parts some more!
Here is our finished apple tree! Pretty cute, huh? He wanted to add apples falling out of the tree as well. A very sweet addition. I wrote Apple Tree on the top of the picture and we hung it on the refrigerator. This way we will see it all day long and can talk about apples, trees and farming.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baking an Apple Pie: Playing in the Kitchen

Today we hit the kitchen to make an apple pie with our apples we picked at the orchard. I started by reading Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie. This is a really cute story that we enjoyed reading. It is funny and informative! The book even includes a recipe. I chose to use that recipe for our apple pie so that I could show Jake how we use the book as a reference. 
I, of course, had to cut the apples. In retrospect I probably should have pre-cut the apples before getting Jake involved because he lost interest and went to play while I cut and pealed the apples. Once I was finished I had him add the ingredients and stir. (Notice that he is eating while stirring, I swear he eats all day!)
I also let him help roll the dough. He loves the roller, uses it with play dough. He enjoys doing this and is really getting good at it!
Here is our pre-cooked apple pie! Jake was very excited and proud when we finished but wanted to wash his hands! He loves the kitchen and cooking but is ready to clean-up when we are finished! 
The pie tasted great! This is a perfect way to make connections with where our food comes from and how to be prepared to be eaten. 


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