Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Play-Doh for Under 2

We had a box of play-doh for a couple of months now. I would give it to Camilla at times. She would poke a piece with her little finger, loved to tear it in smaller pieces, then would ask for another color, or tried to get it into her mouth. The whole experience is fun for her (and good for fine motor skills), but stressful for me.

And today is a day! :) :) :) Thanks for rainy weather and for curious little fingers. We didn't have anything better to do. So, I pulled out our play-doh, pieces of drinking straws, and a chenille stem. We started with threading straw pieces.

That was easy since we made bracelets with beads about a month ago. This time she was so much better at threading even though the wholes in straws are narrower then in the beads we used before. She still had a difficulty with holding the stem close to the edge when finding a whole and holding it in the middle for threading the straw through the stem. Despite that, she finished threading a stem very quickly which made me happy.

Then I spread play-doh on the table and offered her to poke it with straws. That went well, but she enjoyed taking the straws out of play-doh much more. I love her facial expression here: very business-like, "do not disturb, I am busy" type of a face.

This activity kept her occupied for quite some time. When she was done, we collected all the straws into a bucket (fine motor skills again, I love this). I left her a piece of play-doh for her usual: molding and tearing. She also likes to watch me making balls and rolling them around on the table.

While she did that, I quickly draw a pig on a piece of paper (since we had a pink play-doh on the table). The idea was to give her small balls of play-doh, a ball at a time, to fill the piggy with the pink color. That didn't go as well because Camilla enjoyed getting play-doh off the paper instead of sticking it onto the pig. Here is a picture that looks nice - it seems like she is attaching the pig's leg. In reality, she was pulling the leg from a poor piggy (which is OK, got to love anything that helps with fine motor skills, teaching patience, and developing confidence).
After getting the piggy off the paper, we thought we were done. But it came to the playing balls again. That's when she discovered that she can stick the ball onto the table and stick a straw into it. She's got pretty "upside down flowers" out of it.

Secret Reveled
This activity was not planned at all. Spontaneous things that pop up at a right time are the best! You would never guess what started it: yogurt smoothie. I had bought small bottles of yogurt thinking they are just the right size for supplementing the meal, or a snack on the go. It turned out they were not helpful at all: very messy and expensive things that went to the trash half full. Until a friend of mine gave me an excellent idea of spiking the closed bottle with the straw - Camilla's new favorite snack! The only thing is the regular-sized straw is a little bit too long for a bottle. So I had to cut a piece off it. :)

Can you share your happy unplanned moment of the past? :)

I'd love to read that!!!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Curious George Goes to School

We've read great books - our new favorite. They are actually the favorites for several generations now, and never out of style. Camilla, 23 months old now, fell in love with the cute and smart little monkey, and her big friend with the yellow hat at first sight. She even woke up two mornings in a row with the name "George" - the first word out of her mouth before her eyes opened up.

We've read "Curious George's first day of school" first since we had started with the Toddler Homeschool. George is helping kids at school, mixing paints to create new colors, and as a result creates "a big mess".

Activities related to Curious George
  • We mixed the finger paints to make purple, orange, and green. Of course, we've got brown in a process and used it to color and review animal names and sounds.
  • Made monkey's face from pancakes, peanut butter, banana, and blueberries. This is always fun and bonding experience to play with food together. And yes, the pancakes came out very nice: I made them with butternut squash.
  • Sang and danced "5 little monkeys". Counted the monkeys along the way. The song is great for introductory counting.

Learning opposites with Curious George

The first book was all about "big mess". So we had to discuss "big" and "mess". The best way to learn this is by learning opposites. I looked around for a good book on opposites, and found the perfect match! "Curious George. Bigger and smaller". The book has fold out pages which gives the best visual explanation of just the opposites we needed, and more.
Small - big - bigger - biggest - the man with the yellow hat is the biggest.
Big - small - smaller - smallest - the butterfly is the smallest.
High - higher - highest - the red balloon is the highest.
Low - lower - lowest - the crab is the lowest.
Messy - clean.

Camilla loves this fold out pages. She really had fun with the new words.

What's your favorite Curious George book?

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