So today we did the first few activities from my 4th of July list. I thought if we’re gonna celebrate Independence day, he needs to know a little more than red, white, and blue 🙂 So we started with the country we live in. My goal was for him to recognize the map of the U.S., know that he lived there (and maybe even pinpoint the location on the map), know our country’s name (shortened to USA since he is a toddler!) and recognize our flag. Too much? I figured it doesn’t hurt to try. There is no test in the end, so we succeed no matter what. And I’m a former history teacher, so we’re stepping into mommy’s interests!
1. Introduction to U.S. map – I found a dry-erase map of the U.S. in the dollar section at Target and finally put it to use. I explained that it was a map of the U.S., we traced around the borders with the dry-erase marker (his first time to use one and he thought it was cool!). I then explained that this was where we lived. We drew a dot there and I set a small picture of our family next to the dot (I use pics a lot to help him visualize). I then put a dot where J’s grandparents live and we placed a small picture of them next to the spot. I drew dashes to connect the two spots and pulled out J’s toy airplane to show how we fly back and forth to visit. He connected the dashes (kinda) to create a line between the two spots and then just drew all over the map! At some point he noticed that the backside had a map too and wanted me to point our home and Grandpa’s home out once again. When dad got home that night, I brought the map back out and J was excited to show off where everyone lived and how we fly from one place to the other.
**I’m excited to go back to the map some time in the future and learn where other close family members live, but for now I thought 2 was enough!
2. U.S. poster (letters, flags, and map) – I printed out a simple map of the U.S. and we again labeled where we live as well as J’s grandparents. I had some USA stickers that he placed on the paper, allowing me to emphasize our country’s name. Then I let him glue a few printouts of the U.S. flag on the page too. My goal was for him to start connecting the three (map, name, flag) together.
3. U.S.A. letter activity – I wrote down USA at the top of the paper and he used that as a model to glue letter printouts in order. It was the first time I’ve introduced the letters U and S, so it was a lot at one time. It really became practice in following directions for him more than anything.
**We taped both #2 and #3 activities on the front door so that there will be lots of opportunities to review.
5. Decorated the storm door with 4th of July gel stickers
6. Counting stars and stripes – We’ve been focusing no the number 3 recently, so I included some stars and strips in our counting practice. We have some sliding doors that have molding throughout to create multiple rectangles in the windows (that’s the best way I can think to explain it, I’m sure lots have something similar). I taped the number 3 inside one of the rectangles and then had J place 3 stars and 3 stripes inside each rectangle. We used gel stickers for the stars and I just cut the stripes out of red construction paper prior to the activity.
All the activities combined probably took a grand total of 30 to 40 minutes tops (with the exception of #5 and #6 which were done a few days prior). They were all spaced out throughout the day rather than all back to back.
Age: 26 months