I thought I’d share something my husband did while practicing counting with J on the fly after dinner. He would hold an orange and say “How many oranges is Daddy holding?” J would answer, they would count them out together and then he would ask if J wanted to hold the same number of oranges. They started at one and worked their way up until there were no more oranges They counted out the number of oranges in their hands each time. J had fun trying to hold all those oranges like Daddy could. It made it a game for him.
It was simple but effective. Gotta love a dad that sees the opportunities to teach during an after-dinner snack!
Age: 26 months
I read about this idea in the Parenting Magazine back when J was a baby and finally tried it out. If I remember correctly the original idea was to print and cut out various pictures of products needed at the grocery store. Place them in a bag and have your child choose one picture, search it out together in the store and when found place the picture in a second bag to mark as completed. I changed this a bit since #1, I was in a rush and didn’t have time to cut out the pictures and #2, I imagined J simply playing with and losing the pics around the store.
Instead I just printed out a list of products we needed at the store, with both the written word and the pictures. I only put a few items on the list because I didn’t expect him to stick with me through my actual list. I explained to J before leaving the house what the list was and he seemed excited. He held his list all the way to the store, all ready to help! It worked really well. I listed the items in the order that I knew we would come upon them while shopping, giving me time to get the other productsI needed in between. I showed him how to cross off each item as we placed it in the basket and then how to find out the next item needed.
Age attempted: 26 months
Try Again: yes, but I will bring a clib board next time since it was rather difficult for him to cross off the items in the cart
For older kids: remove the pictures to allow for practice reading; add quantities to the list
I’ve decided to take a little different approach to reading the Bible with J. We were reading his entire toddler Bible through, one story each day. When we finished, we read through his second children’s Bible. This was fine and he enjoyed it, but I knew we could do better.
I decided instead to focus on one story for an undetermined amount of time (until we’ve exhausted it; until he knows the story and is showing that he understands certain lessons from it,…)
We’ve been focusing on the story of Joseph in the Bible for the past month or so (we did take a little break while on vacation). I read the stories from both The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers multiple times throughout those weeks. I love both of these children’s Bibles for different reasons. In the case of Joseph, the rhyming Bible does an excellent job of putting the story on J’s level. Focusing on one story for so long really helps me to start recognizing opportunities throughout the day to reinforce the lessons from the Bible story. I keep reinforcing it for weeks. J is doing so well with this. He now knows who Joseph was, what happened to him, and can tell you a few of the lessons he’s learned from the story.
Here are the lessons we’re learning from Joseph…
- How to respond when we get a gift from someone (like Joseph received his coat from his dad)
- How to respond when others get a gift and we don’t (like Joseph’s brothers… or rather NOT like Joseph’s brothers)
- How to respond when others aren’t kind (like when Joseph’s coat is destroyed and he’s sent away)
- How to take care of our belongings.. and other people’s belongings (NOT like Joseph’s brothers handled the coat)
- We can trust God no matter our circumstances
- We should work hard and do our very best (like Joseph did in Egypt)
- We can keep a happy heart even when circumstances aren’t going well
- If we do something wrong we should ask for forgiveness (like the brothers did in Egypt)
- How we should respond if someone apologizes to us
You’ll notice this list is still lacking. I am trying to pinpoint the lessons that apply to J, at his age and developmental age. I’m trying to give him the milk before he chomps down on the meat to reference a bit of scripture! If I hadn’t been focusing on one story for so long, I wouldn’t missed TONS of teaching opportunities. At this age, they love repetition anyway. He has no problem reading the same story over and over. He even requests Joseph a lot on his own. I’m learning that it was really me that wanted to move faster through the Bible, not J. So for his sake, slower it is!
(By the way, this serves as a good lesson for me too. How many times do I move onto the next scripture in my own quiet time before really grasping and practicing what I read in the previous one!!)
We did make a few crafts when we first started Joseph. We made Joseph’s coat by gluing fabric (and construction paper) squares on a picture I drew and then we did a second craft with dot markers.
You’ve heard me mention these CDs from Seeds Family Worship before. As a little reminder, they are great children’s worship songs that put scripture to music. They aren’t just for kids either. I love them. J loves them. My husband loves them. As my husband put it, “You can’t get better than divine lyrics.” (See this post for more info on them)
We currently have all five of their CDs. They literally rotate from one to the next. We love each one. And we’re all learning scripture!
Here’s the good news, Seeds Family Worship is offering a great deal to all my readers. You can get 20% off of your cd purchase by using this coupon code at checkout, ENGAGINGTODDLERS. This offer expires in 6 months, December 14, 2010. This discount is good for everything except clearance prices. Since Seeds Family Worship already offers a free cd for every one that you buy, this extra 20% makes a good deal even better. If you want to hear some of their songs, check out this link.
In the interest of full disclosure, I do receive a free cd after the purchase of 10 cds using this code. Since I have all 5 of their cds anyway, I’ll be giving any free cd away to others.
You really won’t be disappointed with their cds. I hope you find the coupon code helpful! Check out their website at http://www.seedsfamilyworship.net/
Posted in Age Range, Babyhood (6-12 months), Bible, Childhood (5+ years), Early Preschool (3-4 years), Early Toddler (18-24 months), Infancy, Pre-Toddler (12-18 months), Preschool (4-5 years), Subject, Toddler (2-3 years)
I put together these activities for a friend’s little girl. While mommy is serving in Iraq, I thought this busy box might help to keep her little one busy and hopefully even allow her dad some much needed time off from entertaining. Most of the activities are homemade, repurposing items from around the house as is my norm. I housed them in a simple decorative box. J’s own “busy box” is kept in a closet and the activities are only brought out at certain times throughout the week. This helps keep it’s novelty. Some of the activities are repeats from the 1 year old Busy Box I made my niece awhile back, though I tried to make them a bit more difficult for the older age. You’ll also notice that these activities are mostly ones I’ve mentioned in previous posts. When I make a busy box, I try to pick the most successful activities from J’s experience, many of these are motor skill activities. Some of these activities are things Ella can enjoy now and some she will grow into in the next few months.
You’ll have to excuse my poor decorating abilities. That is certainly not my forte. Most of the original toys that I made for J aren’t decorated at all. J never seemed to mind, so hopefully little Ella will look past the covers and still enjoy the meat of the activities!
1. Pushing Puff Balls – this is a fine motor activity and has always kept J entertained; see this post for more info
2. Color Sorting Pipe Cleaners – again a fine motor activity and I added practice with colors; this is probably the favorite homemade toy for J; see this post and this post for more info
3. Color Wheel – practice with colors and fine motor skills; you can use the wheel in other ways too. See this post and this post fore more.
4. Puzzles -These foam puzzles were one of the best buys for J. They were just $1 at our local grocery store and I picked them up on the fly one time. When I saw them there months later, I bought a few more as gifts. I bring the color puzzle on plane trips sometimes since there are few pieces and it’s very light.
5. Family Bag – this is similar to J’s family magnet pics. I added each family member’s name to Ella’s pics, laminated them (with contact paper) and gave her a little purse to carry them in. J has loved his family pics since before he was one. I thought adding the names could encourage name recognition.
6. Seed Family Worship CD – I had previously sent one of their CDs to my friend while she’s in Iraq, but thought her daughter might like one too. These cd’s are really great and not just for kids IMO. They are an excellent way to help us write God’s Word on our hearts. See this post for more.
7. Fish Counting and Matching file folder game – J has a similar matching game, I just made this one a bit more durable by adding it to a file folder for safe keeping. The envelope holds the laminated fish cards to match as well as the fish to place on the counting page. I found the counting template here from Tot school and have used it many times with J.
8. Sponge Jewelry – a fine motor activity and again a favorite of J’s, simply thread the sponges onto the pipe cleaners. I found a greater variety of sponges for Ella’s jewelry. A girl needs to match! See this post for more info.
Posted in Age Range, Birthday, Colors, Counting, Early Toddler (18-24 months), Games, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Toys, Letters, Math, Motor Skills, Music, Patterns, Products, Reading and Writing, Subject, Table Time
Tagged Busy Box, Colors, Counting, Great Products, Homemade Toys, matching, Motor Skills
So we’re headed out again on our typical 3.5 hour long flight. Since he’s now 2 years old, he is guaranteed a seat on the plane. Of course we also are now forced to pay for that seat. No more free seats for J. Come to think of it, not much is free for my 2 year old!
The flight is right after nap; we might have to end nap a little early but not by much. We’ll also be arriving at our destination about an 1.5 hours after bedtime, so we will be pushing him a bit. This is usually the best flight for us though, since he is fresh from a nap and my husband can still work half a day in the morning before we leave. Leaving in the morning is ok, but it kinda wastes one of his vacation days since it’s spent traveling, arriving at our destination only to nap. For shorter flights, we’d rather do it in the evenings.
The coloring book, crayons and cars are missing in the picture AND the puzzle was only brought on the return flight; all items are placed in a large ziploc
What I packed (remember, I like to be over-prepared!!)
- Color activity with stickers (new activity that he’s never seen/done)
- Coloring book with 4 colors (saved for flights to keep it’s novelty)
- Vinyl Sticker scene
- 3 books
- 2 cars
- Pipe cleaners in a bottle (this toy is mostly saved for flights to keep it’s novelty)
- Cars activity (this is something he’s never seen before)
- DVD player with video
- Sandwich meat
- Empty sippy cup to be filled on plane (FYI: you CAN bring a full sippy cup/bottle through security, even over 3 oz.. They will simply do an extra scan of the liquid. With J getting older, I’m now just waiting to fill it until after security to save the extra couple minutes. I choose to bring a sippy still b/c I don’t want his drink spilling in flight.)
- 4 diapers and wipes (I always bring 4 diapers and yes there have been times where all 4 were used on a 3.5 hour flight… plus delays)
- Antibacterial wipes
I can’t remember if I mentioned this on a prior post, but I use ziplocs to separate the items… one gallon size ziploc for toys/activities, one for snacks, and one bag for diapers.