Saturday, February 23, 2019

Learning about Green!

Green Discovery Bin
I filled a large bin with several green things from around the house. Mostly toys, but a few other surprises as well. I wanted a variety of textures for Sweet E to explore, and opportunities for play along the way! As she plays with the items we talk not only about the color, but about what she's doing as well. It's a great way to build her vocabulary!

One of her favorite things from the bin this week was this toy house I snagged from Honey Pot's room. I gathered some green pom poms, and showed Sweet E how to push them in through the window.

It was so fun!

Then she'd open the lid, dump the pom poms out, and do it again! 

She came back to this activity over and over throughout the week.

Sweet E likes taking these ball pit balls, and pushing her fingers into them, to make a popping sound.

Trying on some green jewelry from the dress-up bin.

Toothbrush holders are always engaging!

Stacking blocks.

Squigz are such a great toy. I cannot believe the use we have gotten out of them over the years. Simply attaching them like Sweet E is doing here, or sticking them onto windows, or even throwing them onto walls to see if you can get it to stick from afar (...this game is even popular with my husband)!

Here she is another morning getting fancy with her green dress-up accessories.

And driving around the green Lego Duplo car.

For the next activity I stacked some green cups we had leftover from a birthday party, and grabbed a green ball pit ball.

Sweet E and I took turns rolling (or throwing) the ball toward the tower, to see if we can knock all the cups down.

When she was done playing this game, she started to stack the cups. Also a fun activity!

And before putting them away, we decided to play the "Where's the ball?" game!

Uh oh, where'd it go?

There it is!

We stuck this into her discovery bin, and returned to it again later in the week. 

Tearing Paper + Gluing Craft
I had some leftover crepe paper from a birthday, probably Little M&M's Good Dinosaur party, and tore off a few strands for Sweet E to tear up. I also supplied her with a glue stick and a piece of cardstock with a frog printed onto it.

First she started tearing the paper into small pieces.

Then she spread glue onto the frog.

And finally, together, we placed the torn pieces onto the glue.

We tried to leave the eyes and mouth showing. Super cute!

Green Shapes - Lily Pad Jumping
While I had frogs on my mind, I grabbed some sheets of foam and cut shapes out of them. Sweet E LOVES playing in water, whether it's the bathtub, a pool, sprinkler or even just lingering in the sink while she washes hands. So I decided to make an activity out of it. I present to you: shape lily pads!

"Can you make the frog hop to the circle?"

"Can you make the frog hop to the heart?"

The play went on like this for just a minute or two. She really just wanted to splash around! So I gave her another frog, and they went on a hopping frenzy together!

Color Sorting
For this week's color review I had just the perfect toy, since these are the four colors we've covered so far. I dumped out the four boxes, and asked Sweet E to put the toys in the boxes that matched.

"That ball is blue. Can you put it into the blue box?"

"The banana is yellow! Can you put it into the yellow box?"

Sweet E loves to tidy things up actually, so this was just like cleaning up toys at the end of a day!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Toddler Valentine's Day!

It's been a busy couple of weeks in our household, but Sweet E and I made time for several activities! I mostly stuck to a heart theme, but we did a red/pink sensory bin as well. Take a look!

Gluing Hearts
This is a simple activity using some heart cutouts that have been in my craft stash for ages. It's like a never-ending supply. 😄

I demonstrated for her how to add glue to the paper, and press a heart onto it. Then she did some herself.

We talked about the colors as she did so.

A simple activity, but very engaging!

Valentine Stamps
Sweet E really enjoyed self-inking stamps in previous themes, so I purchased a small set of heart stamps for this activity. 

As usual, she stamped a few times while sitting...

then stamped a few times from over on the couch...

and finally, hopped onto the table to stamp some more. What a silly girl!

Magnetic Sensory Bin
I cut up several red and pink pipe cleaners, and dropped them into a bucket of water for Sweet E to explore, along with a magnetic wand. She picked up several pieces at once.

And dunked her hands in also.

Her favorite thing to do was watch the water drip down off of them lol.

She explored their soft texture.

And then rediscovered the art of splashing!


It was a fun bin, but after a while I decided to take the pipe cleaners out, and replace them with small hearts and a dropper.

She loved playing with the dropper, and placing hearts into the ice cube tray.

I think any water play is sure to be a favorite for toddlers, no matter what else is in there with it!

Heart Stickers - Fine Motor Activity
For this next activity, I drew a large E onto a sheet of construction paper. Then I encouraged Sweet E to place the stickers onto it. This is a pretty new concept for her, as she's used to placing stickers randomly. She did well, but got bored quickly!

Playdough + Red/Pink Manipulatives
Next we headed downstairs to make a fresh batch of playdough! When it was ready for play, I quickly gathered some things to help engage her: a mini rolling pin and sculpting tool, pipe cleaners, cupcake liner, cookie cutter, heart gems and craft sticks.

She immediately got to work, sticking craft sticks into the center of the dough.

Then we made a cupcake and some hearts cutouts.

This time she really got into helping me cut them out!

We returned to this activity several times throughout our Valentine's Day weeks. We made more cutouts:

Squished the heart gems and pipe cleaners into the dough:

And even did a little bit of counting:

The next time we played, we rolled out snakes:

And then made lots and lots of hearts! Definitely one of her favorite activities right now!

Heart Stomping - Gross Motor Activity
Another fun one we did was this heart stomping game. I folded several sheets of construction paper in half, stacked them together, and cut out a heart shape. Then I taped each one to the floor. I asked Sweet E if she could find the blue heart. "Can you find it? Stomp on the blue heart!" And she did!

We practiced this with several colors.

"Where's the green heart?"

"Jump on the green heart!"

She liked jumping just as much!

We left these out for a day or two, and she enjoyed playing again.

Honey Pot and Little M&M's toy cars are located in this hallway (I actually moved the road rug to get this open space) so Sweet E started playing with the cars. I encouraged her to do some color matching then.

"Drive the green car to the green heart!"

She had a lot of fun!

Beans + Heart Gems - Sensory Bin
I dyed some dried garbanzo beans red and pink, placed them in a bin with the heart gems, and offered it as another activity for Sweet E. She is always playing with our other bin of beans, so I thought she'd enjoy this.

She liked scooping them into the cups.

And pouring the cups back into the bucket.

Again and again. Even kitty was curious about this!

This bin was left out in my room for Valentine's Day week, and she returned to it several times.

Sticky Paper Heart Craft
For our final activity I needed a craft for display! I cut a heart out of a paper plate, and covered it with con-tact paper. Then I provided Sweet E with some assorted tissue papers and sequins to place onto it.

Sticky paper makes for such an easy toddler craft!

She filled the whole space!

Even stood up in her chair to do so, as usual.

When she was finished, I covered the other side with another piece of sticky paper. It was very cute! I hung it up in her window.

And that's a wrap! We resume color themes next week!