Theme for The Week - Snowmen!
All over the country, people are having snow and ice so why not play a little in the snow? This week, we'll learn to make a cotton ball snowman (if real snow isn't available), learn the sign language and Spanish words for snow, snowman, carrot and hat, sing "Frosty the Snowman" and read the adorable book The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs. Enjoy!
The link above takes you to the Family Fun site for All Things Snowman including crafts, snacks and printables! Also, here is a link from ehow.com that gives instructions on how to build a snowman - even tell you to bring out the camera, which is something I always forget! Letter of the Week: S - for snowman - point out things that start with "S" - snow, spoon, snake, see, silly. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital S and a lower case s. Draw an S 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 has started recognizing them now - R, T, S, B, D and Y so far. 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: 7 - When you show your child anything say "7 silly snakes" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 7. Write the number 7 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 7 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three" - 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, 2 and 3. My son knows he's one and can make the gesture when you ask him, so it can be done at this age even.
Songs of the Week: Frosty the Snowman - This link has the words and the music for the song, written by Steve "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson. Gene Autry helped make this song famous when he recorded it as a follow-up to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This link has some great history about this song if you scroll through the lyrics. Story of the Week: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs - This is a classic story and the link here is to the board book version. If you can't find it at the library - usually the librarian will do a display of books for the season - try to find it at your favorite on-line bookseller. Snack of the Week: Carrots - This is a link to an ehow site that has lots of different ideas of what to do with carrots - dipping them in peanut butter, hummus, yogurt, etc. Please make sure you are comfortable giving carrots to your child. If you think he or she is too young yet, you can soften them by microwaving them a bit or shred them. My son will eat shredded carrots if I dip them in ranch dressing.
Spanish Words of the Week: el muñeco de nieve = snowman, nieve = snow, la zanahoria = carrot, el sombrero = hat
Do It Myself: Shovel snow (or sand) - If you are lucky enough to have some snow on the ground (as we are here in Colorado) you can let your toddler "help" shovel a little bit. Make sure you keep an eye on your child since the edges of the shovel can be pointy. If you don't have snow, or live in a warm place, have your toddler shovel some sand from the sandbox.
Activity of the Week: Snowball Santa - Here is a cute idea for a toddler-appropriate craft from the www.familyplayandlearn.com website. They also have an idea for making an indoor snowman, if it's too cold to play outside, like it is here right now. As I write this, it's 5 degrees! You can also explain why water freezes and if you have a plastic bottle, fill it with water and place it outside overnight (if it's going to be below freezing where you live) or in the freezer and then in the morning, show your child what happens to the water. Yoga Pose: Happy Baby Pose - Since there's nothing snowman or snow related in yoga that I know of, I'm suggesting this pose. It's easy and fun and your kids will think it's hilarious and certainly think you look hilarious doing it too. 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: Snowman, Snow, Carrot, Winter Hat, Mitten. 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!