Theme for the Week  - Heroes!

This week we celebrate the heroes that helped out during the incredible tragedy of September 11, 2001.  Of course you will most likely not talk about the events of that day but you can start to introduce the concept of a hero to your toddler. There are many heroes in our lives - police officers, firefighters, the 
soldiers who protect us as well as heroes of storybooks - knights and princes. Even your child can be a  hero by helping out an animal, sibling or neighbor. Just show them how!

We have heroes all around us everyday.  The police and firefighters keep us safe.  Our soldiers help keep us free.  Even our friends and neighbors help when we need things so it's great to start teaching your child about real heroes in their lives, along with the heroes they read about in stories or see the Super Heroes on tv. This week, we've included some fun ways to introduce the concept of a hero to your toddler. Enjoy!

Letter of the Week - for Hero - point out things that start with "H" - hand, head, high, ham. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital H and a lower case h. Draw an H 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 during meals a little at a time.

Number of the Week: 9  - When you show your child anything say "9 green beans" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 9. Write the number 9 on paper. Show your child 9 things at a time and count them - "one" "two" "three"  etc  - so your child gets used to the pattern.

Songs of the Week:  Johnny Comes Marching Home  - This song was written in the Civil War for the soldiers and it has the same tune as The Ants Go Marching so if you'd rather have a more "kid-friendly" song, here's a link to that one too! 

Story of the WeekThe Gigantic Little Hero: A Story About Perseverance - This little book has a great message and even if you can't get the entire book read before your child wanders off, it still introduces the concept of not giving up and being a hero. If you can't find it at the library this week, you could buy it at this link to Amazon.  Also, if you search "Hero" in the children's section of Amazon, you get a ton of titles so if you need more ideas, just check it out

Snack of the Week:  Hero Sandwich - what else? You don't have to make a traditional hero - if you are making a sandwich for your child, just pile on a couple of extras this week - maybe some lettuce or a slice of tomato. A hero sandwich is really just a deli sandwich with a bunch of stuff on it so go ahead and try it! 

Spanish Words of the Week: hero = el heroe or la heroina, police = la policia, firefighter = el bombero, soldier = el soldado

Do It Myself: Marching - this is a fun thing for toddlers to try. Have them march around the room or the yard.  You can put on the music from above and have them march in place.  Show them how and use your arms too.  Great exercise and fun! 

Activity of the Week: Fire Truck Printable - Act out the Story - We included two this week in case your toddler isn't quite ready for acting out the story.  The printable is a fire truck that you can print and have them color or decorate with crayons, colored pencils, glue stick and craft items. Just be sure they don't put anything small in their mouths. Click the link to get the picture to print. The other activity comes from page 93 of Bright Start: Activities to Develop Your Child's Potential by Michael Meyerhoff, Ed.D. which I believe is out of print but has fantastic age-appropriate ideas so look for it here or at your favorite reseller. Get a favorite book and have your toddler act out what happens as you read to him/her. Makes the story more real, and helps them comprehend it better!

Yoga PoseHero Pose - Super easy and a great stretch for your upper thighs. Feels great and your toddler should be able to do it with you.  PS - My kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler.  Check it out here: http://www.yogakids.com/

Sign Language Sign of the WeekHero and Police  and Soldier  and Firefighter -  Hero is a combination of "Boy" and "Brave".  If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  

Like we say every week - don't forget to give your toddler 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!

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Your Weekly Dose of FUN for You and Your Toddler!