Monthly Archives: April 2010

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Pencil Topper Stamps

Ok, so pencil topper stamps don’t sound all that impressive.  But for my 1 year old, they are the absolute coolest!

I originally bought some regular wooden stamps (I found on clearance) for J to try out.  I have never been brave enough to try them.  🙂

So I happened across these pencil topper stamps at Target in their dollar section.  (By the way, it was genius for Target to add a dollar section!  The person who thought of that needs a huge raise!)

These stamps are perfect…. a perfect fit in J’s hand, easy to use (don’t require a separate ink pad, so they’re really no different than dot markers), colorful, and they have really cute designs.  J currently has 3 sets already (vehicles, valentines, and aliens/monsters).  There are six stamps in a set, so $1 brings more than enough enjoyment.  I keep my eyes open for more each time I go to Target.

I will say, I bought one set at Michael’s craft store (in their dollar section) that looked like they were made identically… but they are not!!  Three of the six fell apart immediately and the ones that worked didn’t last long.  They were awful.   So I’m sticking with the Target brand, every one of them still work after a ton of use. 

As for how to use them… I have no creativity here.  J loves just stamping away!  He also loves taking them out and returning them to the clear packaging they came in. Gotta love one year olds!

Age attempted:  around 14 or 15 months at first; he still loves them at 23 months

Teachable moments:  having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot (my personal teachable moment); J has learned that you only stamp on paper, not fingers, clothes, tables,…  and to have fun 🙂

Try again?  over and over and over


Letter of the Day Activities (I day!)

We focused on “I for Ice” today and included some science in our lessons!

Ice Painting: This was how I introduced the letter I to him.  It was a hit. I gave J a piece of paper with both the upper and lower case letter I and we talked about the letter, it’s sound, and then let the LeapFrog fridge phonics toy repeat the letter and sound. We also filled in the block letters with stickers.

 Since “ice” was our I-word for the day, I gave him some homemade popsicles (made from Kool-aid) and showed him how he could paint with them.  I got this idea from the Toddler Busy Book.  Surprisingly, he was so interested in painting that he did not consider eating the popsicles until the very end.  (During this activity, he pointed out that the paper was wet, so I started our science lesson by telling him as the ice gets warm it melts and becomes water)   **You could also use plain ice and construction paper to paint similar to this.

Ice Melting Bags:  This was our science activity that went well with I for Ice day.  I had already made several different colored ice cubes the night before using food coloring.  I had J separate the different colors into sandwich bags and we taped them to the dishwasher so they would be at his eye level.  We described the ice together (cold, hard, heart-shaped in our case).  I opened the freezer door and had him feel inside.  He noticed that it was cold in the freezer.  I told him that ice needed to be kept cold or it would melt, so we kept it in the freezer.  I asked him if he remembered what happens to ice when it gets warm and he did!!  He replied “water!”  By this point our ice bags had already begun to melt, so I had him look for water in the bags.   He was excited to find some in a couple of the bags!  Throughout the afternoon, we kept an eye on our ice bags.  I pointed out that the ice was getting smaller and the water in the bag was increasing.  We talked about the different properties of ice and water.  By dinnertime, he was excited to show daddy his bags (of now colored water) and to tell him that the ice had become water because they got warm.  I got the general idea from

You could easily turn this into a color mixing activity or get more specific by placing more ice in one bag and noticing how it melts slower this way, discuss why,… 

Ice Blocks – This was a simple activity with really no prep and no clean up.  I gave J a bowl of ice cubes and he built with them…. kind of.  At first we made letters and shapes with them (of course we made the letter I) but as they melted a bit, we could start stacking them to create walls/towers. 

Other things we did:

  • I pulled out all of J’s letter books and had him search for the letter I page.  He then wanted to show his stuffed Pooh all of the letter I’s.
  • I had printed an extra Letter I page (they were big block letters) and I had him fill in the letters with blocks, pompoms, stickers, and paperclips.\
  • It’s raining AGAIN, so I used painter’s tape to write both the upper and lower case letter I on our kitchen floor.  (I reused last weeks triangle tape because painter’s tape can get expensive!!)  Our letter I will stay up all week.
  • He got a popsicle as a special snack (probably his favorite “activity” of the day.  He was VERY engaged while eating his popsicle!

Age attempted: 23 months