Horses! May is full of horse races - all the way back to the 1880s with the Kentucky Derby. No matter how you feel about horse racing, horses are always a huge hit with kids. This week, we'll sing trotting songs, have a horse's favorite snack, make a hobby horse to ride around on and much more! Did you know a colt is what you call a male horse until he's 4? For a girl, you call her a filly. All baby horses are called foals. Here's a link for all the different breeds of horse.
Letter of the Week: H - for horse. Point out things that start with "H" - hand, happy, hamburger. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital H and a lower case h. Draw an H 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: 8 - When you show your child anything say "8 horses" (or whatever you are counting). Write the number 8 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 8 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.
Songs of the Week: Trotting Songs - here are a whole bunch of songs to pretend to trot to - you can either hold your child on your lap or trot around the room together while you sing these songs. Story of the Week: Horse Stories - This has 3 pages of book ideas to check out from the library. There's picture books, story books and board books to choose from - all about horses. 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: Horses- Favorite Snacks - a horse's favorite snacks (that we would want to eat) are carrots and apples. This week, cut up some carrots and/or apples for your child. Of course, make sure the pieces are small enough or soft enough for your child's ability. If nothing else, how about applesauce and strained carrots?
Spanish Words of the Week: horse - el caballo, colt - el potro, to trot - trotar, mane - la malena, horseshoe - la herradura. Also we 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: Gallop - Teach your toddler how to gallop around the room, pretend to ride a horse or better yet, make the craft below and then gallop around - outside, inside, down the sidewalk, wherever!
Activity of the Week: Hobby Horse - Again this week, you'll need to help with the assembly of this project but your child can decorate it - show him/her a picture of a horse to look at while they decorate. It may still not look like a horse but it's good practice to learn to project what they see on to what they're creating. Yoga Pose: Horse Rider Pose - This is also called a High Lunge which is a good stretch and helps with balance. This link is from Yoga Journal. 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 Week: Horse, Apple, Carrot, Horseback Riding. If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for him/her 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!