Tot School: Pumpkins

MONDAY:

Craft- Family Pumpkin Patch

Song- The Pumpkin Song

Activity- Play with pumpkin playdough

TUESDAY:

Craft- Paper Bag Pumpkin

Song- Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Activity- Carve a pumpkin

WEDNESDAY:

Craft- Paper plate Jack O Lantern

Song- Pumpkin Song

Activity- Family outing to the Pumpkin Patch

THURSDAY:

Craft- Paint a pumpkin

Song- Five Little Pumpkins

Activity- Make pumpkin pancakes as a family

FRIDAY:

Craft- Pumpkin Collage

Song- Five Pumpkins Fat and Round

Activity- Roast pumpkin seeds

Tot School: Spiders

MONDAY

Activity: Visit the library for spider themed books

Craft: Spiderweb art

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Snack: Pretzel Spiders

TUESDAY

Activity: Spider Tweezing

Craft: Spider Craft

Song: Spider Song

WEDNESDAY

Activity: Read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

Craft: Eensy Weensy Tracks

Song: Spider on the Floor (Raffi)

Snack: Spider Pizza

THURSDAY

Activity: Count spider rings or fake plastic spiders

Craft: Handprint Spiders (Thanks to @SippyCupMom for the suggestion on Twitter)

Song: Little Miss Muffet

FRIDAY

Activity: Make and decorate cupcakes together

Craft: Spider Candy Holder

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Snack: Spider cupcakes

 

Look at these super cute cupcakes my friend Camisha made for her daughter's birthday party!

 

New Ways To Handle 6 Typical Baby and Toddler Scenarios

The following is a guest post from Dr. Jenn Berman, author of SuperBaby:

The way we communicate with our children is profound. Simple word choices completely change our children’s perception. As parents, we are constantly met with limit testing and resistance. The following are some effective methods for handling some typically tough situations using respectful communication. These easy-to-use scripts can be used over and over again in all kinds of situations that typically arise in the first three years.

Situation: Your baby cries as you are changing her diaper.
Instead of saying: “You’re okay.”
Try this: Narrate what you see. “I hear you crying. You sound really upset. I get the feeling you don’t want me to change your diaper. I will try to change it as fast as I can so you are not uncomfortable for long.”
Why: In that moment your child isn’t okay. If you were upset and your friend told you “You’re okay,” you would not feel heard. Narrating the experience your child is having allows her to know that you hear and respect her feelings. You are still holding the boundary (i.e., she is still having her diaper changed), but you are doing it with compassion. By reflecting her feelings, you also teach her how to be empathic, which helps in the development of emotional intelligence.

Situation: Your child drops a toy on the ground and has a meltdown.
Instead of saying: “Get over it! It’s just a toy!”
Try this: “I see you dropped your toy. You seem really upset! You look like you weren’t done playing with it.”
Why: Sure, to you or me, it is just a toy that fell on the ground, but to your child, this is genuinely upsetting. Demonstrating empathy is far more likely to help her calm down and to feel heard. By responding to her in this way, you become a safe and understanding source of comfort to her.

Situation: Your toddler does not want to climb into her booster chair.
Instead of saying: “Get in your chair, now!”
Try this: “Do you want to climb in or do you want Mom to put you in?”
Why: This gives the power back to your child while still setting the limit. Now there is less reason for her to resist. If she still refuses to get in the booster chair, you might say, “It looks like you are not hungry. Maybe you are too tired to eat. Your choices are chair or crib. You choose.”

Situation: Your son does a great job cleaning up after playtime.
Instead of saying: “What a good boy!”
Try this: You can say, “You put all your toys away! You even put all your books in the basket where they belong!”
Why: The implication is that he is a “good” boy for putting away his toys, so if he doesn’t, he must be a “bad” boy. The words “good” and “bad” connote moral judgment. Children are not “bad” because they don’t do what we ask. A child who is labeled “good” can feel as if he duped his parents when he does something not so “good.” He may also avoid taking a risk, like putting a toy away if he isn’t sure where it goes, because he doesn’t want to lose the title of “good boy.” You are better off describing what you see. This makes your child feel seen and valued.

Situation: At a playdate, your child hits another kid over the head with a toy, resulting in tears.
Instead of saying: “Say you’re sorry!”
Try this: “You hit Carley over the head with that toy. She looks really upset. What can you do to help her feel better? Let’s ask her what we can do to help her.”
Why: Forcing a child to say “I’m sorry” does not magically make her feel sorry. Making children say they are sorry when they don’t really feel sorry teaches them to be insincere. Encouraging your child to help the injured party teaches him about making amends and helping others.

Situation: Your child throws her food on the floor.
Instead of saying: “Stop it!”
Try this: “When you throw food on the floor, it makes me think that you are done eating. It you do it again, the meal will be over.”
Why: When children first get to sit in a high chair, they are curious to see what happens when they drop food. By following the recommended script, you let your child know the consequences of the action, you set up a rule, and you put the power back in her court. She can choose to end the meal by throwing food on the floor, but it is her choice. If she has a meltdown after you remove her from the high chair, your job is to hold your ground, but reflect her feelings (“I know you weren’t done and you wanted to stay in your chair. We can try again at lunch”). If you follow through with the stated consequence, the odds are that the situation won’t happen again for quite some time.

SuperBaby Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the chance to review SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, a book that came out last week. SuperBaby shows parents how to take advantage of the critical first three years of their baby’s life. As a mom of a one and two year old I found a lot of useful information in this book and I haven’t even finished reading it yet!

At first I didn’t know what to expect because I wondered if the term “SuperBaby” fit what I really wanted my children to be. The press release for this book explained though that “Raising a superbaby is not about creating an überbaby: a perfect, genius who will get into all the right preschools and colleges. Instead, it is about raising a child who is empathetic, resilient, and is emotionally intelligent. It is about nurturing a baby to help her reach her full potential.” That IS what I wanted for my children so I dove into the book.

In each chapter of SuperBaby, Dr. Jenn focuses on one of twelve areas that greatly impact a baby’s development. These include respectful communication, responding to cues, creating security and predictability, the importance of touch, promoting language development, sign language, foreign language, the importance of play, reading, screen (tv) time, reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, and eating & nutrition.

I was especially interested in the chapter on language development. Dr. Jenn says that “it has been shown that the sheer number of words spoken to a child is directly proportionate to the size of her vocabulary. However, this applies only to direct conversations you have with your child. The words she overhears from television, videos, radio, or other conversations do not count.” I was happy to learn this because I talk all the time to my toddler and was told by someone that I talked “too much”.

I also read something about sharing that made perfect sense to me but that I don’t really practice that often. Dr. Jenn suggested that parents share with their children (which I already do) but that when we do so we narrate what we are doing. Saying things like “I will share my drink with you.” “Can I have a sip of your drink…we are sharing a drink!” “It’s my turn, and then it will be your turn… we are taking turns… we are sharing!” A simple idea but putting words to our actions helps a lot!

Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read in this book and look forward to reading more of it over these next few weeks (and probably years as I refer back to it). I also hope to share guest posts from the author with more tips on how we can give our young children a head start in life.

Giveaway:

One person will win a copy of the book, SuperBaby: 12 Ways To Give Your Child A Head Start In The First 3 Years

How To Enter (leave a comment below for each one):

1. Tell me why you want to win this book

2. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy

3. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4. Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5. Tweet the following: “Enter to win the book SuperBaby from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com “

6. Enter another giveaway and let me know which one you entered

Giveaway ends October 15, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of SuperBaby from Sterling Publishing for review. All opinions are my own.)

Tot School: All About Me

Jacob is 27 months old. This week (and probably the next month) will be light with activities as we pack and prepare to move.

MONDAY

Activity: Look at family photos and help Jacob point out himself in the pictures.

Craft: Handprints on paper (w/ paint)

Song: I Am Special

TUESDAY

Activity: Point out body parts- focus on elbows and knees (body parts Jake is still learning to identify)

Craft: Footprints on Paper (color them and cut them out)

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes Song

WEDNESDAY

Activity: Visit the library to check out books about this week’s theme

Craft: Make a “Jacob” placemat for the table

Song: You Are Special (Barney song)

THURSDAY

Activity: Count fingers and toes

Craft: “J” is for Jacob (glue jellybeans to a letter “J” cut out)

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

FRIDAY

Activity: Hokey Pokey dance

Craft: Lifesize Jacob (trace body on large paper and have child color it)

Song: Jesus Loves Me

ALL WEEK

-Point out the letter “J” whenever we see it

-Practice self-help skills

*****

FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Question Of The Day…

How do you get a toddler to share??

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this… Thanks in advance! :)

Top Ten Toddler Toys

Photobucket

For Top Ten Tuesday today I decided to write about my toddler’s favorite toys at the moment. He is 21 months old.

#1 Thomas and friends

#2 Crayons and other art supplies

#3 Puzzles

#4 Playdough

#5 LEGOs

#6 Shopping Cart

#7 Police Rocker

#8 Jack-in-the-box

#9 Laugh and Learn Pony

#10 Blocks

Tot School- The 5 Senses

This week in tot school we are talking about the FIVE SENSES. I had so many ideas for this theme that I almost finished the lesson plan in about 20 minutes with just ideas that I had used in the past as a preschool teacher. A lot of these activities can serve multiple categories but I chose the one that made the most sense. I will definitely revisit this theme again in the future. (Please note: this post contains a few affiliate links.)

SMELL

– Smelly playdough

– Color with scented markers

– Sticker art w/ Scratch n Sniff Stickers stickers

– Smelly tubes (film canisters work great for this… put scents on cotton balls, poke holes in the top of container, and have them smell)

– Bake cookies- smell them baking

– Smell fresh flowers

TASTE

– Make lemonade- taste lemon, then taste sugar, then make lemonade and taste that

– Make a trail mix w/ different toddler friendly snacks- include sweet, salty, crunchy, soft textured foods

– Have salty pretzels for snack

– Paint with chocolate pudding

– Brush teeth with different flavors of toothpaste

TOUCH

– Mix paint and grains of sand to make a textured paint

– Make a sensory box (I’ve used rice, sand, beans, packing peanuts, etc)

– Touch and feel box (here is one I like: What’s Inside? Soft Feely Box)

– Texture collage- cut up pieces of various textured items and have child glue on to paper

– Water play

– Squishy bags (put paint, hair gel, or something else “gel” like in a ziploc bag…make sure to tape around the edges)

SIGHT

– Read a book about the 5 senses like this one- My Five Senses

– Rainbow art

– Decorate a “S” w/ string

– Take a walk and talk about what you see in nature

– Blow bubbles

HEARING

– Play a clapping game

– Make a musical instrument (easy idea is put beans into an oatmeal canister)

– Play the drums

– Bubble wrap fun- put a strip of bubble wrap on the ground and let the child jump on it

– Dance to music

– Listen to music while painting

*****

FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School- Friendship

This week in Tot School the theme is: FRIENDSHIP and the letter F,f.

MONDAY

Activity: Look at pictures of friends and say their names. Talk about what a “friend” is (very basic).

Craft: Fingerpaint the letter F

Song: ‘Make New Friends (but keep the old)’

Book: Winnie the Pooh- Two Friends

TUESDAY

Activity: Decorate a card for a friend and send it in the mail

Craft: Friendship Wreath

Song: ‘The More We Get Together’

Book: The Lion King’s Best Friends

WEDNESDAY

Activity: Practice sharing with mommy, daddy, and Lucas

Craft: Make a photo album with friends pictures in it

Song: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ on CD

Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

THURSDAY

Activity: Go fishing (w/ paper fish and a stick w/ a magnet on the end of the string)

Craft: Glue goldfish onto a blue paper for an underwater theme

Song: Friendship Song (Barney)

Book: Alphabet Books- Find the letter F

FRIDAY

Activity: Decorate the letter “F” using a fish stamp

Craft: Rainbow Fish Craft

Song: “I Will Make You Fishers Of Men”

Book: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

WEEKEND

Activity: Playdate

Movie: Barney movie about friendship

Toddler Art

The toddler years are the perfect time to introduce children to various types of art projects and to begin experimenting with different types of materials. It’s important to remember that when children are young the process is more important than the product. I love using open ended art supplies and letting children be imaginative and use them how they would like to as opposed to giving them a coloring book to “color in the lines”. I have included some pictures of my 20 month old son’s art area and the art supplies that he has to give you an example of what you can create for your child.

Art Supplies

Organized Art Area

And here are some pictures of what open ended art projects look like:

Fingerpainting

Watercolors

Sequins all over the floor

:) Enjoy the messy fun!

Tot School- Family

This week in tot school our theme is family. I will be separating the activities by day instead of type because I think that it will be easier to implement.

*MONDAY- Family

Activity- Family Tree

Craft- Family Handprints

Song- ‘God Made Families’ Action rhyme

Book- My Family and I/Mi Familia y Yo by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza, Prayers For Family Golden Book

*TUESDAY- Mom/Dad

Activity- mom Spanish card , dad Spanish card

Craft- Draw a picture of mommy and daddy– adult writes words “mommy” and “daddy”

Song- ‘Hush Little Baby’

Book- Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleban, My Dad by Debbie Bailey, Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, Picture Me as Mom’s Little Helper by Wendy Rasmussen, Back In My Arms by Dorothea DePrisco, If You Were My Bunny by Kate McMullan

*WEDNESDAY- Siblings

Activity- Help feed baby brother Lucas lunch, big brother Spanish card

Craft- Big Brother Crown

Song- ‘I Love You’ (Barney song)- teach Jacob motions and to hug and kiss baby brother

Book- I’m A Big Brother by Joanna Cole, Big Brother Bunny by Pamela Kennedy

*THURSDAY- Grandparents

Activity- Look at pictures of Grandma Jan (who passed away in June)

Craft- Grandparent Awards

Song- ‘Grandma’s House’ , A Song for Grandma and Grandpa

Book- Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz

*FRIDAY- Extended Family

Activity- Bake cupcakes for Aunt Morgan’s Birthday today

Craft- Make and decorate a card for Aunt Morgan

Song- Family Fingerplay

Book- Hugs & Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

*WEEKEND- Family Traditions

Activity-Make breakfast as a family & eat together, Watch Barney movie “Families Are Special”, Play w/ Personalized Peekaboo Book

Craft- Make a photo book of family members

Song- Review songs from the week

Book- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

*************

FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE: 

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School- Love (2/15-2/19)

Since Valentine’s Day is today (the 14th) I decided to focus on the theme of LOVE for the week after the Holiday.

Activities:

*Color the snow- put some red food coloring in a spray bottle of water and spray the snow to color it

* Heart path- Hearts taped to ground, jump from heart to heart

* Make Valentine’s Cupcakes

* Make Jello Jigglers

* Gather all heart shaped toys and count them into a red valentine’s basket

* Play with red playdough- make a heart shape

Crafts:

*Potato Heart Stamp Project from Elise Blaha (found on Cafe Mom)

*Decorate a construction paper heart with glitter, crayons, and stickers

* Handprint Valentine w/ words “I love you this much” in between hands

* Love Collage- pictures of people Jacob loves glued on paper

* “Things I Love Book” (idea found here at Creative Homemaking)

* Love Bugs (from Just For Fun)

* Popsicle Stick Picture Frame decorated with hearts and will put picture of family in it

* Kissing Hand Necklace (idea from No Time For Flashcards). As a working mom I love the idea of this necklace. The Kissing Hand is a great book. I own it but it is currently in storage with the rest of my preschool books.

Songs:

* “I Love You” (The Barney Song)

* If You Love Me (to the tune of: If You’re happy and you know it)

* Jesus Loves Me

Board Books:

* I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

* Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse

* Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

* I Love You Very by Flavia Weedn and Lisa Weedn

* Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben

* Max’s Valentine by Rosemary Wells

* Hugs and Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

and a variety of other small books about love

 

Find my winter themed lesson plan here.

*****

FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School Review- Winter Wrap Up

Today was the first week of tot school. It didn’t go quite as I would have liked it to because I found that though I had a list of activities for Jacob to do I needed a lot more time to prepare each night. From now on I will have all of the activities and materials ready at the beginning of the week so that I don’t have to worry about the “lesson plan” the night before.

Below are some pictures of this week’s fun:

Snow Fun

Snowflake Art

Fingerpainting

Jacob's First Art Project w/ Glue

Jacob's First Time Using Scissors

Tot School- Winter

This week’s theme is: Winter

Here are a few of the activities that I have planned:

* Bring the snow indoors- It is supposed to snow tomorrow so we will be bringing snow into the house. We will use a bucket to fill the sink up and sand toys to play in it.

* Coloring a snowman printout from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Song- “I’m a Little Ice Cube” from A to Z Kids Stuff website

* Chalk winter themed picture- Use white chalk on a blue piece of paper

* Cutting practice sheets from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Winter themed board books

* Snowman Craft- gluing cottonballs onto a snowman shape

* Play with white playdough

* Footprint snowman from PreschoolLearningandCrafts.com

 

Looking for Valentine’s Day themed ideas? Find my Valentine’s Day lesson plan here.

******

FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

https://makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

 

Toddler Time- Structure

This past weekend I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what I wanted for my toddler, Jacob. I had been thinking lately that I really wanted him to have more structured time and guided play and less free play. I will be creating “lesson plans” each week. There will still be a large amount of free play but I think these additional activities will be wonderful for him.

I have spent hours tonight online looking at different sites (mostly homeschool sites and preschool lesson plan sites) and also have years of experience working with young children so I am very excited about all the fun that Jacob is going to have each week.

I came across something called “tot school” on http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com and I love the idea of it so I will be participating and linking up. The main point of tot school is that it is FUN for the child. I truly believe that children learn through play.