Theme for the Week - Baseball
Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and...fun with your toddler. The first Major League All-Star game was played in 1933 in Comiskey Park in Chicago on June 6th. FYI - The American League beat the National League 4-2. Here are some activities for this week to help keep your toddler busy and begin learning a little about America's favorite past time. If you can make a game this week, great. If not, here are a few activities to teach your little one a little more about the great game of baseball.
Letter of the Week: B - For baseball - point out things that start with "B" - ball, balloon, bright, brown, bread. Show them a picture of both a capital B and a lower case b. Draw a B 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: 3 - "Well, it's ONE, TWO, THREE strikes, You're out!" When you show your child anything say "3 balls" or "3 balloons" and show them a picture of the number 3. Write the number 3 on paper. Show them 3 things at a time and count them - "one" "two" "three" - so your child gets used to the pattern.
Songs of the Week: Take Me Out to the Ballgame - This is a great song and your toddler will love singing "One, Two, Three Strikes, You're Out!" - Click on the title for a website that give the history of the song and several versions to play for your toddler.
Story of the Week: Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team - a short and inexpensive book about the family of bears we all love. Click on the title for a link to the Amazon page or try to find it at your local library.
Spanish Words of the Week: la pelota = ball and el beisbol = baseball. 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; they offer Spanish, French, German, Chinese, etc. Even the youngest kids will enjoy the big blue fuzzy Muzzy and the songs are so catchy!
Snack of the Week: Hot Dogs - in honor of going to a baseball game! Please cut up the hot dog into appropriately-sized pieces for your child as they can choke on a regular-sized piece. I recommend Hebrew National - kosher and pure. Someone who once worked in a meat-packing plant told me that's the only brand she'll give her son and that's all I need to know!
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Do-It-Myself Activity: Putting dishes on the sink. When they are finished with their meal, let them take their dishes to the sink to clean up. I'd recommend plastic cups and plates...
Game of the Week: Staircase Avalanche - sit up just a few stairs and roll a ball down the stairs to your little one. You might want several balls so you can send them down two at a time or all at once. Let your toddler watch each ball and talk about the sounds and the colors of the balls. I'd recommend soft balls...especially in case your little one decides to practice throwing!
This game is inspired by the book "Bright Start - Activities to Develop your Child's Potential" by Michael Meyerhoff, Ed. D. Here is the link for the book - I believe it is out of print but you may be able to get a copy from Amazon.
Yoga Pose: Downward Facing Dog - which is a fun one because you can play peek-a-boo with your toddler upside-down. My 14-month-old thinks this game is hilarious and it strengthens their arms and stretches your back. My 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: Ball - If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.
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!