I love to do thematic-season related activities with my children. My son is in kindergarten and usually gets to do all of the fun projects with mommy, because I work with students his age. However, if any of you have toddlers, you know how jealous they can get if they do not feel included. So I will be posting fun activities that you can do with your 2-3 year-old at home.
I have a big pet peeve when it comes to working with small children, it drives me crazy when academics are heavily pushed. Shapes, colors, numbers and letters can all be entertwined at this age, there is no need for separate units. However, when they are four and five and you still have students/children struggling with the concepts, a more black and white approach is appropriate.
I like to start with a book. It helps provide vocabulary and a focus for our activities. We may read this book several times and have her retell it using the pictures.
Day 1: Today we read the The Hungry Little Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It was my favorite as a child and I am sure my children will agree.
After we read the story, Violet helps me retell the story using a story box. She loves to talk about the food in the story(this could be taught using a paper bag and pictures of food or play food from the kitchen). If you are working with more than one child, each child could have one of the food items and bring it to the box when it is called (think of all of the vocabulary words they are learning).
Violet’s favorite thing to do is paint. So I try to incorporate it into projects as often as I can. Violet was hyper-focused on caterpillars, so I decided to have her create the classic egg carton caterpillar and of course she loved it.
She like to help put the paint in the dish and this is a good time to talk about the different colors.
In our house mixing is okay. She enjoys seeing the colors change as she paints, our caterpillar usually ends up brown:)
I poked holes at the top of the caterpillar for the antennas and she puts paint on the googly eyes and places them on the caterpillar.
This activity may seem simple, but my daughter loved it and we talked about caterpillars and the book for the rest of the week!
On the second day of our bug theme, we read the story, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I love the different textures in Kate Toms version.
After we read the book Violet helped to place the animals on the little old lady as we re-told the story by looking at the pictures. She loved talking about the different animals (Little Old Lady Prop).
Violet continues to work on color identification. For our project, she “squashed” bugs using dabbers. Ahead of time I colored the flies different colors. During the project, I told Violet to “squish the yellow bugs” and so on. You could add letters or numbers to the flies as well. To download a free copy of “bug splat” click here.
On Day 3 we read the book Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni. We walked around measuring how many steps it would take us to get to the different places in our house. First I would ask her how many steps it would take to get the front door and her usual guess was 2. Then we counted then we walked to the door and counted the actual steps. For our project Violet took hard clay and rolled the clay into little inch worms. She decided to connect hers to make a giant worm.
I think by far her favorite story was Miss. Spider’s Tea Party, on Day 4. We read the story and then sorted rubber bugs by colors. Then Violet hosted her very first tea party just like Miss Spider. We first placed a fancy sheet of fabric over our table. Next, Violet choose what she would like to decorate the table with (of course she choose the Easter egg bouquet). Then, We placed out name cards for her friends. She enjoyed using cute tulip paper plates for our banana bread. Finally no tea party would be complete without crowns and dress up clothes. She had so much fun she is still playing tea party.
We also had fun stamping with bugs (click here to order bug stamps).
Violet enjoyed sorting the bugs by color. We also talked about the three different bug sizes (small, medium and large) click here to order Size and Bug Counters.