Monday, December 12, 2011

The First Swap

On November 5, 2011 the first swap was held. Each mom brought 16 identical versions of a toddler activity, to share with the other moms, and went home with a grocery sack full of 16 different toddler activities. We are planning another swap for spring 2012. If you're interested in participating, fill out the form on the Swap With Us page.

Activities included in this swap were:
  1. Rolling Felt Board
  2. Pushing Puff Balls
  3. Matching Color Shades
  4. Pony Beads and Pipe Cleaners
  5. Tangrams
  6. Measure It
  7. Counting Plates
  8. Popsicle Stick Puzzle
  9. Counting Corn Number boards
  10. Button Snake
  11. Stringing and Sorting Colored Pasta
  12. Designing a Sandscape
  13. ABC Puzzles
  14. Lacing Shapes
  15. Can You Remember?
  16. Double Trouble Shape Match

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Double Trouble Shape Match

  • Cardstock with grid printed on it
  • Foam shapes (2 of each)

How to make: 
Instructions for making the Double Trouble Shape Matching game can be found at Walking by the Way.

Purpose: look at the stacked shape in the top square and make a duplicate stacked shape in the square below.

Skill-Building: color, shade of color, shape, size of shape, orientation of shape, order of shapes, glitter vs. non-glitter

Younger Children: talk about the shapes and color; which comes first (on the bottom) and which comes next (on the top); look at different sizes of shapes

Older Children: stress proper orientation of the shapes in the stack; have the child do the opposite (i.e., if the stacked shape is a yellow heart on the blue square, have the child stack a blue heart on a yellow square)

Extra activity: Print a blank grid and use loose shapes to build stacks for your child to duplicate.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Can You Remember?

  • 18 Can You Remember cards
  • 10 single object cards

Lay out all the single object cards.

Look at the top Can You Remember card and lay the single object cards beneath it to duplicate the sequence. Go to the next card. OR

Look at the top Can You Remember card and memorize it. Turn it over and use the single object cards to duplicate the sequence. Go to the next card.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lacing Shapes

  • craft foam
  • shoe lace, yarn or other string for lacing
  • scissors
  • hole punch

How to make: 
Instructions for making the lacing shapes activity can be found on the blog Tot School.

Allow your child to decorate the lacing shapes with markers, stickers or even glueing smaller shapes inside the lacing area.

Use permanent marker to list numbers (1-2-3 etc), Shapes (triangle, square, etc) or letters (a-b-c, etc) next to each hole. Say the number/letter/shape as they lace that hole.

Use 2 strings in opposing colors to lace the entire shape. Illustrate how to "tie" a bow.

sample laced card

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ABC Puzzles

  • 1 printed cardstock alphabet guide
  • 1 set of upper and lowercase alphabet letters
  • 1 set of picture puzzle pieces

Activity Ideas: 
  1. Have children match the capital letters with the lowercase letters (you can start with just a few of the letters at a time)
  2. Have children match the picture pieces to make the picture
  3. Have children match the pictures with the letter of the alphabet.

Other ideas for learning the Alphabet:
  • Have children find items in the room that start with the different letters of the Alphabet.
  • Have a "letter party" - choose a "letter of the day" and do activities and eat foods that start with that letter. (For example, B: you could Bake Bread, make Butter, play with Balloons, eat Beans & Brats, etc.)
picture puzzle pieces (correspond to a letter of the alphabet)

Jillian, 20 months old
Jillian doesn't understand the alphabet yet, but liked looking at the cards and holding them in her hands. She matched the pieces on her own terms. I think if I pick out pictures of things she recognizes out of the picture puzzle pieces, she'd be able to pair them together.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Designing a Sandscape

  • Full sheet of sandpaper
  • various pieces of yarn, small pom poms, feathers

How to make: 
Let your child unleash their artistic expression and design their own sandpaper artwork using the supplies that "stick" to the sandpaper.

For younger children, talk about different textures (rough sandpaper, soft feather), lengths of materials, colors of materials, shapes, etc. and allow the child to "freely design;" talk to your child about what he/she is creating.

For older children, give them specific designs to create (i.e., a house and tree, a beach scene, a bird)

As an extra activity, find other materials and scraps around your house that "stick" to the snadpaper to add additional color and flair to your design.