Theme for the Week - 4th of July
Fireworks, cookouts, parades - all kinds of fun things going on this weekend. Here are some activities for this week to help keep your toddler busy and begin learning a little about his or her American heritage.
Letter of the Week: I - For Independence Day - point out things that start with "I" - ice, ice cream, igloo, iguana, in, inch and incredible! Show them a picture of both a capital I and a lower case i. Draw an I on paper, or use their finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show them this letter as well.
Number of the Week: 4 - When you show your child anything say "4 ice cubes" or "4 ice cream cones" and show them a picture of the number 4. Write the number 4 on paper. Show them 4 things at a time and count them - "one" "two" "three" "four" - so your child gets used to the pattern.
Songs of the Week: Star Spangled Banner - even though they won't necessarily learn to sing this song, it is our national anthem and you can familiarize your child with it early. It became our national anthem in 1931. Another great American song is America the Beautiful, inspired by Pike's Peak, here in Colorado.
Story of the Week: The Story of America's Birthday by Patricia Pingry - If he/she won't sit still for the whole book, just show them a couple of pages and let them turn the pages of the book on their own. Find it on Amazon by clicking on the title. This book series tells very simply stories about historic subjects in very understandable language.
Spanish Words of the Week: Los Estados Unidos = The United States and la bandera = flag, and la estrella = star. You can begin to use Spanish words to your child, assuming Spanish is not your first language. I also recommend the BBC series Muzzy for introducing a foreign language to your child. Even the youngest kids will enjoy the big blue fuzzy Muzzy and the songs are so catchy!
Snack of the Week: Red, White and Blue fruit - cut up watermelon or strawberries, apples (small enough pieces for your toddler) and blue berries for a patriotic snack!
Do-It-Myself Activity: Clean Up! When they are finished with their meal, give them a napkin to wipe up their area of the table or highchair tray.
Craft of the Week: Ice Cube Red, White and Blue - fill up an ice cube tray or two with water and in the slots add red and blue in some of the cubes and leave some clear or "white". When they freeze, take the ice cubes out, put them in a plastic bag and let your child play with the cubes. You can count the cubes, and name the colors to help them learn red, white and blue.
This craft is inspired by the book "Bright Start - Activities to Develop your Child's Potential" by Michael Meyerhoff, Ed. D. I believe it is out of print but you may be able to get a copy from Amazon by clicking the link
Sign Language Sign of the Week: Please - If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.
Holiday of the Month: Fourth of July - Independence Day. Happy Birthday America. Here is a page about the United States Flag that you might find interesting. Have a wonderful and safe holiday.
Most of all - give your little one 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!