Theme for the Week - Halloween Part I

While Halloween can be a bit scary for some, it can also be a whole lot of fun - dressing up, making crafts, staying up a little late, carving pumpkins, etc.  Make sure if you have older children too that you are stay aware of what they might be doing - their 
costumes or decorations, what they're watching on TV, etc as that can be a little much for your toddler. 

Letter of the Week - for All Soul's Day - point out things that start with "D" - dog, duck, drop, drive. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital D and a lower case d. Draw a D 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. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. We recently saw this link on Twitter about how to teach your toddler the alphabet, brought to you by the website www.toddlerinterpreting.com

Number of the Week: 3 (for 31) - When you show your child anything say "3 socks" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 3. Write the number 3 on paper. Show your child 3 things at a time and count them - "one" "two" "three" - so your child gets used to the pattern. I've been showing my toddler three fingers when I count to 3 and now he tries to count like that when I repeat. 

Songs of the Week:  5 Little Pumpkins - I first heard this song when my older kids came home from preschool. They couldn't stop singing it.  It's a great one because you can count to 5 on your fingers while you sing.  

Story of the WeekHalloween Books Suggestions from Apples4theteacher. There are SO many fun Halloween books out there, we just couldn't pick one. This website is fabulous in general, but this particular link is great because it lists the ISBN numbers so you can check on-line with your library before you go to know if the book is in or not.  If you can't find these books at the library this week, you can look on on-line for your favorite book seller. 

Snack of the Week:  Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - This recipe is adapted from the recipe on page 18 of Halloween Treats - by Donata Maggipinto.  You can help your toddler with the pumpkin carving, and make this recipe afterwards.

2 Cups pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the seeds, remove any strings and pat dry.  Transfer seeds to a large bowl and add vegetable oil and salt, stirring until the seed are coated.  Spread seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until they are crisp - 12-15 minutes. You can also use olive oil and rosemary and basil or chili power, curry powder or I always use Seasoned Salt. 

Spanish Words of the Week: el gato = cat, el espectro or la fantasma = ghost, la calabaza = pumpkin, el día de Los Muertos = The Day of the Dead

Do It Myself: Pumpkin Scooping - What kid doesn't like getting elbow-deep in a pumpkin? Of course, you will do all the cutting but your toddler can "help" take the seeds out.  Just make sure you cover the table with newspaper and put your child in a shirt you don't care about getting messy. My mantra every year is "We only do this one day a year...we only do this one day a year" 

Activity of the Week: Carving a Pumpkin - We found a really cute website called The Pumpkin Lady and there are a TON of carving patterns to download. Some of you have to pay for but if you scroll to the bottom, you can see their free patterns.  Or better yet, let your toddler draw their own.  Consider just letting them draw on their pumpkin, as opposed to cutting it open.  It's less mess but just as much fun for them. 

Yoga PoseCat Pose - This is a great back stretch and is fun if you "meow" while you do it.  Your little one will enjoy it even more!. 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 WeekCat and Halloween. 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.  

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Your Weekly Dose of FUN for You and Your Toddler!