Theme for the Week - The Earth!
In celebration of Earth Day we will have all kinds of fun with earth-related activities. We'll sing all kinds of fun songs, read The Lorax, make "earthy" snacks, learn new words, and so much more! Earth Day started over 40 years ago this week - not to be confused with Arbor Day, which started in 1872 and is focused on planting trees. While the concept of a planet is probably still a little advanced for a toddler, you can talk about the earth all around you and celebrate things that are part of that - trees, flowers, the sky, the ocean or mountains, whatever. Concentrate on being outside and in nature this week.
Letter of the Week: Q - because we haven't done it yet. Point out things that start with "Q" - if you see any - quilt, queen, quiet. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital Q and a lower case q. Draw a Q on paper and let him/her trace over it, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well.
Number of the Week: 22 - When you show your child anything say "22 flowers" (or whatever you are counting). Write the number 22 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 22 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three, four..." - so your child gets used to the pattern. If nothing else, hearing the number is good for him/her. Don't worry about a 2-digit number; you're just getting them familiar. Sesame Street uses 2-digit numbers all the time.
Songs of the Week: Earth Songs - Preschool Education always has such funny little songs for toddlers/preschoolers. This week's collection is no exception! Story of the Week: The Lorax - A classic Dr. Suess earth-related story. Toddlers won't understand the bigger concept but the Lorax is funny. Recently, I searched my local library on-line and placed holds on all the books I wanted and in a couple of days, they were ready to pick up. Instead of trying to browse the shelves with a busy toddler, I picked them up, checked them out and was on my way. Here's a link to public libraries in the United States if you'd like to see if your local branch is here. Let me know if you use this link. I don't even browse anymore; I just hold books and go get them when they're ready. Snack of the Week: Earth Snacks - You'll need to scroll down on the page to get to these but there are some really cute ideas! Spanish Words of the Week: earth - la Tierra, world - el mundo, dirt - la suciedad, tree - el arbol, forest - el bosque, ocean - el océano. Also I just discovered 123TeachMe - it is a fabulous resource for Spanish - kid's activities, a verb conjugator, pronunciations - tons of great stuff. Check it out.
Do It Myself: Plant Something - Even if it's just an apple seed, you can show your toddler how to plant something. He or she will probably immediately dig it up once you cover it with dirt but then you can have your child do it him/herself!
Activity of the Week: Earth Crafts - This site is full of really fun kid activities. You can tailor the craft to your child's abilities and your patience level. Sign Language Sign of the Week: Earth, World, Ocean, Mountain. If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate. And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate.
Remember to give your toddler/preschooler a hug and tell him/her you love them. Hope you have a wonderful week!