Tag Archives: Categorizing

Toddler’s First Chart

This is another of my beloved sticker activities (gotta love cheap, easy and educational!).  J did this on one of our plane trips and it worked beautifully. 

Sorry the picture isn't very clear; I was using my iphone on a dark plane

Prep: I created a box chart for J to fill in with the number of columns corresponding to the number of colors I had on a sticker sheet.   Since he was charting colors and this was the first time he had ever charted anything, I outlined each box in the correct color.  Honestly I think I made it too easy for him with this.  I just didn’t want to be stuck on the plane with him getting frustrated by an activity that was too difficult.  Sadly I underestimated him!

I gave J the long sheet of smiley face stickers of all different colors and he was throughly focused on charting them.  The sticker sheet had different shades of each color, so it was also good practice combining the various shades of purple/green.  After he was finished, I had him point out the longest line and the shortest line and explained how this helped us gather information about the stickers (which had the most and the least).  We then counted and labeled each bar to see if our deductions were correct.  Of course, he didn’t understand it all completely.  That’s ok.  To me, it’s a matter of introducing words and concepts that we’ll build on as he gets older. 

Look through your sticker collection to see what you can chart!

Age Attempted: 32 months

Categorizing Transportation

J is really into transportation right now.  Anything that goes vroom vroom catches his eye. So I thought I’d design a learning activity around this love.  To prepare, I printed out three pictures from the internet (a road, the sky, and the sea) and then gathered a box of cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, and boats.  (Do you notice that most of the activities I do have little prep!!)

If this works, here’s the link to the ppt I made with the pictures.  Categorizing transportation ppt  If you can’t get the link to work, it literally takes a minute to search for images on Google and paste them into a ppt.  I should’ve thought to add one more category for trains.

With J, I set out the three pictures, having him describe what was on the picture.  I then showed him the transportation box, pulling one toy out at a time, and he placed them on the appropriate picture.  It was probably too easy for him, but he liked the activity.   In fact, he went babk to the activity tray on his own twice more that day and the next when I wasn’t with him.  He pulled the tray down and had everthing categorized by the time I noticed.  He was quite proud to show dad his accomplishment that night!

Age attempted: 26 months

Other options: You could use pictures of transportation instead of the toys; I think I’ll try more categorizing activities in the future

Letter of the Day Activities (H day!)

Today was H for Hat day.  These are the Letter H activities we did today.  You’ll notice that some of them are focused on the letter and some on the sound of the letter.  The activities were not done back to back, but spaced out throughout the day!  You could also space them throughout the week.

1.  H for Hat craft – This is the way I introduced the letter H to him.  I presented a blank color sheet with both the upper and lower case letter.  We discussed the name and sound of the letter.  Then I showed him his Leap Frog fridge toy and had it tell him the name and sound of the letter too (it has a cute sing-song version that J loves).  We colored the color page and I talked about words that start with the letter H.  We focused on hat.  While he was coloring, I gave him a hat to wear.  Then I brought out some cutouts of hats (from clipart) and he glued the pictures on his coloring page.  He really liked this and wanted more hats when he ran out!  A lesson is small disappointments turned out well too!  

For an older child, you could have lots of different possible H pics or even a mixture of some that start with H and some that don’t so they have to separate them. 

2.  Hat Hunt in the Dark  – I mentioned a similar version of this game in this post. I just revamped it for “H is for Hat” day.  I prepped this activity by setting up hats all over his room, turned the the lights off and had an empty box and a flashlight by his door.  Before we walked into his room, I explained the game.  “Mommy has hidden hats all over your room.  I want you to use the flashlight to find all the hats and place them in this box!”  He did a great job.  He loves using a flashlight so that made the game extra fun for him.  After he filled the box with all the hats, we both tried them on together.  Then he lined them all up and walked back and forth straddling them (his own addition to” H is for Hat” day activities!). 

3.  Playdoh – I bought this great set of cookie cutters from Target that have letters, numbers, shapes, animals, vehicles,… (101 pieces).  So I brought out the letter H to let J stamp with.  As a good review we made letters A-H and sang the alphabet song.

4.  Hats or No Hats game – I found a lot of great smiley face figures in clipart and printed them out.  Half of the smiley faces were wearing hats and the other half were not.  I cut them out and laminated them (with contact paper) to create little cards.  I made a simple table using painters tape on our kitchen floor and labeled one column “Hats” and the second column “No Hats”  (using his stuffed animals as an example).  He had to categorize the picture cards in the correct column.  I will say he lost interest in this midway.  I think the problem was he felt sorry for Doggie because he didn’t have as many smiley faces as Teddy did.  J hit a point where he wanted to give more smileys to Doggie.  When I asked him to look again to see if that smiley was supposed to go to Doggie (because it technically wasn’t), his response was to remove the hat from Teddy’s head and place it on Doggie…. so Doggie could now have the smiley and mom could be satisfied too!  The game ended at this point.  I was too busy laughing 🙂 

5.  Sidewalk Chalk – if it had not been raining, I would’ve reviewed with this as well.  Instead I reviewed with his magnetic letters… and then we spent some extra time playing with J’s train set instead.  See this post to discover why sidewalk chalk helps so much that Mondays are designated sidewalk chalk day in our house. 

Throughout all the activities I refreshed his memory on the look and sound of letter H.  I keep up the reminders throughout the remaining week.