Sunday, February 9, 2020

H is for Heart!

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we decided to do some heart activities while learning about the letter H! Click on the links below to see some similar themes from previous years, or keep scrolling to see what we did this week!


Letter Recognition + Dot Markers
I printed out this template from Shannon's Tot School, and gave Sweet E her pink dot marker. It felt like it had been a while since we gave these a try, and I was surprised to see how perfectly she stamped in the circles!



It was a great way to introduce our letter of the week, and she already can recognize and name the letter H!


Letter Recognition + Color Sorting + Size Comparison
Sweet E is a big fan of tape these days. So first I drew four H's of various sizes, right onto her Step2 table, with crayon. We've never had a problem cleaning up this table in the ten years we've had it!


Then I ripped off pieces of tape to cover each H. She had to choose the right color and size tape for each H, and place it on top to build her own H's.


She loved this!!


She was very careful, and pressed the tape down right on the lines.



When she had finished, we compared the sizes of the H's. For example I asked, "Which H is the biggest?" and she replied, "The red one."


It was a super successful activity, and we love these tapes. They came from a tape activity book from Melissa and Doug!


Playdough + Hearts
Sweet E loves to bring out the playdough all by herself, so I urged her to continue our theme by providing heart cutters and small manipulatives.


She cut out lots of hearts and we made heart balloons!


Then she made herself a cupcake...


complete with chocolate frosting and heart sprinkles!


She loooves this playdough tool, and uses it every time.


In addition to making the balloon strings with it, she also grabbed her plastic knife and practiced her cutting skills on them!


Sensory Bin + Counting Hearts
I used a dry erase marker to number the ice cube slots from 1-14. Sweet E can count easily to 10, but not quite all the way to 15 so this was a perfect amount for her to practice today. I hid 14 hearts in the bucket of beans, and she had to search for them!



She placed each heart into a slot.


She got very excited every time she found one!


After she found them all (those last couple were tricky!) she pointed to each and counted them up. It was great practice!


Heart Patterns
Next we kept the hearts out and made up some patterns together. First AB AB.


And then for a challenge, AAB AAB.


Hammering Hearts
One of Sweet E's current favorite toys right now is her hammer. So I created a hammering activity by placing some hearts onto a piece of Styrofoam. I always keep these from furniture packaging just for activities like this! I pushed the golf tees all the way into the foam to begin, so that hammering would be easier for her lightweight hammer, and then pulled them back up.



Once she hammered all of them, we pulled them back up so she could do it again!


She did this several times in a row.


We actually kept this out for over a week. She and Little M&M returned to it over and over again!


Bleeding Tissue Paper Heart Craft
I cut up some bleeding tissue paper into little squares, and provided Sweet E with a piece of cardstock and a squirt bottle full of water. To contain the mess, I placed it all in this inflatable tray that came with our kinetic sand kit!


Once she figured out how to squirt the water, she worked very hard on saturating the entire page!



It took several minutes, and she just kept on going! Once we started to see the colors bleed, I had her stop spraying.


Then I carefully peeled off all of the tissue paper squares. So pretty!


I cut a heart out of another piece of cardstock. Then, once her artwork had dried, I glued the heart page right on top. Super cute!!






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Sunday, January 26, 2020

G is for Galaxy!

Sweet E has been obsessed with one particular episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse called "Goofy on Mars." So we decided to do a G is for Galaxy theme this week! Click on the links below to take a look back at similar themes, or keep scrolling to see what we did this week:


Books
We borrowed four toddler-friendly books from the library this week, and included one from our own collection about rockets. The text is simplistic in each of these, and the pictures are bold and bright. She always loved pointing out the red planet where Goofy went! 😂 


Stickers
I found this sticker sheet at the Dollar Tree, and just set her up with a sheet of black construction paper while I was busy in the kitchen one day.



She enjoyed placing the stickers, and we ended up using her creation in another activity later on!



I cut it down to fit around a small coffee can, and taped it on.



Outer Space Sensory Bin
I provided Sweet E with a bucket of dried black beans and colorful star beads, as well as our coffee can, some scoopers, tongs and a pipe cleaner.


Isn't that pretty? I love when sensory bins are also visually stimulating. (Hello, rainbow spaghetti, I'm looking at you!)




Sweet E began scooping beans and stars into the coffee tin!



She also explored with her hands.




And gave the tongs a try.



She filled the coffee can all the way to the top, and then poured it back into the bucket!




Threading Star Beads
Later, I suggested she try threading the stars onto the pipe cleaner.



She loves doing this, and asked me to make it into a bracelet when she was done.



Letter Recognition
I wrote a large G on a sheet of paper, and for her letter recognition activity we just placed lots of black beans and stars along it! Super simple!


Alphabet Review - Sticky Wall
For this activity, I wrote the letters we have covered so far onto paper stars.



And then I asked her to match them to the ones I had written on black paper, and hung to her wall behind contact paper. She remembered most of their names, and can already identify the G as well!



She completed them all!


Rocket Scavenger Hunt + Color Review
I knew I needed to include Sweet E's rocket in our theme this week. And if someone is flying inside, it has to be Goof! First I cut out some circles from construction paper, and then I hid them around the house.



Sweet E had to take the rocket and fly around looking for all eight planets! First she came upon the brown one. She'd identify the color, and Goofy would come out and explore.



Then she would make a mark beside whichever planet we found!



Off to the next planet! 3...2...1...blast off!



And she continued this way until we found all eight.



Super fun game. 😊



Smashing Moon Rocks
In addition to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, one of Sweet E's favorite things right now is her toy hammer! Most of the time she's pretending to fix toys, and just hammering random things around the house. And sometimes between themes I offer her some Styrofoam and golf tees, as a quick activity. Today I did something I've seen on Pinterest via Pre-K Pages, where you smash hardened cotton balls! First you dip them into a flour and water mixture, tinted gray. Then you bake them in the oven for 45 minutes. So this took a little bit of prep in advance!



Moon rocks!



She was excited for this activity! She tried crushing them with her toy hammer, and sometimes with her hands too.



They'd smoosh down, and crack open very satisfyingly.



They were a bit too hard for her toy hammer, so I let her borrow Daddy's!



Which was very effective!



She completed the whole tray, and asked for more. So I prepared a second tray with the remaining flour/water mixture, but this time kept it in the oven for half the time, to see if they'd be easier to smash. While it was in the oven we played with Frozen toys and clothes, so here is Elsa beginning to work on tray #2!



Easier to crush, for sure!



She switched off between her hammer and Daddy's. Both were just as fun!



Puffy Paint Earth
I didn't want to finish our galaxy week without doing a planet Earth craft! So we took an idea from No Time for Flashcards, and made one with shaving cream paint!



It was so thick and puffy!



And it dried nicely. Super cute!






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