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Theme for the Week  - Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day! Since February 2nd is Groundhog Day, we thought we could have some fun with the loveable furry little creature. Also, if you were wondering the difference between a groundhog and a woodchuck, check out this link  for some fun facts.  Enjoy!

Who knows if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not but we'll have some fun making and decorating Groundhog cookies, singing Groundhog Day songs to familiar tunes, learn the signs for "shadow" and "Spring" as well as many Spanish words for 
this special week. This week also marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox and February 2nd is also the Christian day of Candlemas.  Have a great week!

Letter of the WeekG  - for groundhog. Point out things that start with "G" -  grape, go, girl, goat. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital G and a lower case g. Draw a G on paper, 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. I've been showing my toddler letters in the bathtub - he recognizes them now; he's got almost half the alphabet now. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. We recently saw a link about how to teach your toddler the alphabet on Twitter, brought to you by the website www.toddlerinterpreting.com

Number of the Week: 2  - When you show your child anything say "2 grapes" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 2. Write the number 2 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 2 things at a time and count them - "one, two"  - so your child gets used to the pattern. When I have been counting to my son, he now points to things and makes sounds like he's trying to count and he can identify 1-9 now. 

Songs of the Week:  Groundhog Day Songs - Here are a whole bunch of cute songs for the day from Preschool Education that are all sung to familiar nursery rhymes.  They're so short we've included links to all of these for the week. 

Story of the WeekGroundhog Day Books - Here is a whole list of Groundhog Day books for toddlers and preschoolers.  If you can't find them at your local library, you can try Amazon.com. 

Snack of the Week:  Groundhog Cookies - This link takes you to a recipe for making cute groundhog cookies from Penzey's Spices.  You'll need to find a cookie cutter or you can try to form them on your own. You'll need to make the cookies but you can let your toddler decorate them after you bake them. 

Spanish Words of the Week: groundhog = la marmota, wood = la madera, shadow = la sombra, Winter = el invierno, Spring = la primavera. Also check out the BBC's Muzzy from Early Advantage for teaching Spanish (or many other languages) to your child. They are fabulous!

Do It Myself: Find Your Shadow - Take your toddler outside either early in the morning or in the later afternoon or go into a dark room with a flashlight and let them see what a shadow looks like - either on the sidewalk or on the wall. You can show them how to make funny shapes with their hands too. This link is actually for Groundhog Day from Apples4TheTeacher!

Activity of the Week: Help Groundhog Find His Shadow Game - Here is link to a fun matching activity that you can print.

Yoga PoseLegs Up The Wall - This is a big stretch since there is really nothing close to this week's theme.  We thought maybe it's like your legs are shadows on the wall...yeah, it's a stretch. But it's also very relaxing so try it!  Thanks to Yoga Journal for this link.  PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. 

Sign Language Sign of the WeekShadowSpring. We could not find a specific sign for Groundhog - the sites we checked said to finger spell it.  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.  Hope you have a wonderful week!  From last week's survey, 60% of you said your toddler uses a blanket and 40% of you said they use a stuffed animal for their "lovey" or transitional object. Take this week's survey here.

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