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Theme for the Week : Bastille Day

Vive La France! Bastille Day - July 14th - celebrates when, in 1789, France no longer recognized the monarchy as the ruling party. This week, we'll celebrate with a few special French-themed activities.  This year, France celebrates it's 220th year since the French Revolution in 1789. So, we'll help them celebrate with a few French-inspired activities.  Enjoy! 

Letter of the Week: F  -For France - point out things that start with "F" - fun, front, finger, french fry. Show them a picture of both a capital F and a lower case f. Draw an F on paper, or use their finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show them this letter as well. 

Number of the Week: 5 - When you show your child anything say "5 french fries" or "5 fingers" and show them a picture of the number 53. Write the number 5 on paper. Show them 5 things at a time and count them - "one" "two" "three"  "four" "five"- so your child gets used to the pattern.

Songs of the Week: Frère Jacques - This is a very simple song that you can probably figure out how to play on your toddler's play piano.  The link opens a website that gives you the lyrics and the song to sing to them.

Story of the Week: Anatole - a series of books about a mouse and his family who live in Paris.  They are a little bit long for the really young toddlers, but you can abbreviate. You may have to find them at a used book store or at the library because I do not think they are in print anymore, unfortunately.  There are several stories of Anatole and his adventures. This website Curled Up with a Good Kid's Book has reviews of all kinds of children's books. You might enjoy checking it out a little more if you have time.

Snack of the Week: Croque Monsier (aka Grilled Cheese) - This roughly means "crunchy sir" and is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with sauce on top.  I found it in Emeril's There's a Chef in my World on page 78.  They make it with Dijon and ham.  I'd say just make a grilled cheese sandwich for your little one.  I slice cheddar thickly and put it on bread, put a piece of bread on top then spread the face-up side with butter, flip the sandwich into the pan so the butter side is down, butter the face-up side and watch until the butter melts-  probably about 5 minutes.  Keep checking the crustiness of the bread to see if it's getting toasted but not too burned.  Then flip the sandwich and repeat the same until the underside is toasted too. Cut in quarters and let it cool a little before you give it to your toddler. 

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Do-It-Myself Activity: Drinking from a cup/Pouring.  Depending on how old your toddler is, start practicing having them drink out of an open cup.  It's best to start with the smallest cup you can find.  I tried Dixie cups but my little one thinks it's funny to crush them.  Only put a tiny bit of milk, water, whatever in the cup at a time when they first start out. If your toddler already knows how to drink from a cup, you could have him/her try pouring a drink for themselves.  The best case would be if you can find a small pitcher or even a creamer from a coffee set.  Just put a small amount in the pitcher and let them pour into a wide cup, while you hold the cup. 

Game of the Week:  Garden Hose Symphony  - Since it's summer time, I thought this would be fun but I'd suggest putting your toddler in his/her swimsuit for this one - don't forget sunscreen or a hat! Put several large objects in the yard such as a big pot, a cookie sheet, a milk jug, etc and let them spray these with the garden hose.  If you have a sprayer attachment, this would work best. 

This activity is inspired by page 84 of the book "Bright Start - Activities to Develop your Child's Potential" by Michael Meyerhoff, Ed. D.  Here is the link for the book - I believe it is out of print but you may be able to get a copy from Amazon.

Yoga Pose: Triangle - which reminds me of the Eiffel Tower and it's a great stretch that kids will think is fun and is a slight twist to make your back feel better.  My kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler.  

Sign Language Sign of the Week: Sorry -  A very important sign.  If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  

Most of all - give your little one a hug and say "I love you" as many times a day as you can think of! You can never give them enough love. Talk to them, even though they may not talk back and read to them everyday - even if it's the cereal box at breakfast. Enjoy!

Your Weekly Dose of FUN for You and Your Toddler!