Theme for the Week - Bridges
Bridges! We celebrate all things about bridges because this week in 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. We'll sing London Bridge (of course!), learn how to say bridge in Spanish and sign language, build a bridge in your living room and so much more! Enjoy!
It took four years to build and set a new safety record for the survival rate of the workers on the bridge. Even today, the Golden Gate Bridge employs 28 full-time painters and 17 ironworkers to repair rivets and other parts. This week, we'll have fun with bridges - learn the sign language and Spanish words for "bridge", create our own bridge, do the "Bridge" yoga pose and much more.
Letter of the Week: B - for Bridge - point out things that start with "B" - blue, boy, back, banana. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital B and a lower case b. Draw a B 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, A, C and Y so far. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. We recently saw a link about how to teach your toddler the alphabet on Twitter, brought to you by the website www.toddlerinterpreting.com
Number of the Week: 3 - When you show your child anything say "3 bananas" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 3. Write the number 3 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 3 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 1-9 now.
Songs of the Week: London Bridge - A classic! This link gives you all the lyrics as well as the history of the song and the real London Bridge. It was first made of wood and mud!
Story of the Week: Let's Try it Out with Towers and Bridges: Hands-On Early-Learning Activities - by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux. These are rather sophisticated but we thought you could modify them for your toddler. If you can't find this book at your local library, you can click the link and find it at Amazon.com.
Snack of the Week: Bridge Between Meals - This link is a list of all kinds of great healthy snack ideas for kids. Some of them may be not quite appropriate for your toddler - anything with small, hard parts such as nuts should probably be avoided or broken/chopped into small pieces before you give it to him/her.
Spanish Words of the Week: bridge = el puente, water = la agua, golden = de oro/dorado, gate = la barrera
Do It Myself: Stack Blocks - Your toddler may be starting to like the idea of stacking blocks versus knocking them over. Working with blocks supposedly helps teach children patterns and hand-eye coordination so it's always a good thing to try. Of course their favorite part will be knocking them down!
Activity of the Week: Build Your Own Bridge - Get creative here - put a blanket over two chairs and run the Matchbox cars over the "bridge" or get a collapsed cardboard box and put it between a couple of toy bins or other boxes and show your child their dolls or trucks going over the bridge. Make sure you say "bridge" when you are playing. When you are driving this week, point out any bridges and overpasses you go over/under so your child can see what a real bridge looks like.
Yoga Pose: Bridge Pose - This is a simple pose your child will find amusing and you will find to be a great stretch for your belly and chest. 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: Bridge, River, Gate, Golden. 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.