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Oh, These Are the Shapes in Our Neighbourhood….

Goodness me!  We have come to the last day of the entire Clever Clovers curriculum!  It has been a wonderful 3 months – thank you for sharing in on our experiences!  I have had several emails from our readers asking when the next program, Reaching Roses, will be ready for purchase.  I apologize, but it is not quite ready for publication yet! I am going to release it in two parts (because this stage of developmental growth is 6 months long; 18-24 months).  Some of you don’t need 6 months of activity plans, so I am going to release it in two, 3 month packages.  The first package will be ready ASAP….  and I will start the Reaching Roses program with my girls on Monday.  I am looking forward to working with a new set of skills and objectives.

On alternating Fridays I blog about our final activity (starring my twin babies)

This week’s Theme: Basic Shapes

Activity Description: Go on a photo scavenger hunt in your neighbourhood to find shapes.  Take at least 4 pictures of each shape and make a “My Neighbourhood Shapes” book with the pictures you take.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language, cognitive, creative, gross motor, fine motor, social

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 18 months + 1 week

1. As a precursor to the project, I explained that we would go for a walk and try to find shapes so we can take pictures of them.

2. Off we went!  As we walked, I pointed out shapes to reiterate what our purpose was.  From then on I would ask, “Can you find a triangle?, for example.  It ended up being that I pointed out all of the shapes we found (except for one).  They would repeat what I said and sometimes trace the object with their fingers.  They really enjoyed interacting with the objects (though sometimes it wasn’t possible).

Circles:

Pedestrian crossing button

Pedestrian crossing button

M presses the button

M presses the button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water sprinkler

Water sprinkler

Tail pipe on a truck

Tail pipe on a truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I asked, "can you find a circle?" She brought me this and said "kerkel"!

When I asked, “Can you find a circle?” M brought me this and said “kerkel”!

I'm not exactly sure what it is, though it fell from a tree.

I’m not exactly sure what it is, though it fell from a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars: (we only found two so I will add a couple of pictures from our home)

Movie theater

Movie theatre

Hub cap

Hub cap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squares:

Street sign

Street sign

Somebody's driveway

Somebody’s driveway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are these things anyway?  I've always though telephone or electrical wires.

What are these things anyway? I’ve always thought telephone or electrical wires.

Somebody's window

Somebody’s window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triangles:

3. Now it’s time to make the book (P.S. This template I made is provided in the curriculum. Just add your own pictures!) Visit our shop!

book coverpages of book 1pages of book 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Last but not least, print, laminate, staple and enjoy reading it together!

…Near the beginning you will see M patting her head (she’s communicating that in the picture she is wearing a hat) also she starts saying “beep beep”, this is indicating that she sees the pedestrian crossing button that she pressed and heard a “beep”.  O quite enjoyed the book also but was not keen on the video camera so you don’t see much of her.

Want to see other culminating projects from the Clever Clovers curriculum? Click here. 

We Like to Make a Good Impression

It’s that time again!  We have come to the end of another Clever Clovers activity plan (Hands & Feet)!  That means we only have one activity plan left (Simple Shapes) and then we are moving on to the next curriculum, Reaching Roses!  I am really looking forward to moving on to the new phase of development (18 – 24 months) and new sets of skills.  Wowzers!  They are growing up quickly!

On alternating Fridays I blog about our final activity (starring my twin babies)

This week’s Theme: Hands & Feet

Activity Description: Make a hand and footprint keepsake out of home-made plaster

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language, cognitive, creative, gross motor, fine motor, emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 3 weeks

1. To warm up I tried to explain what we were going to do.  I don’t think they really understood but they were excited because they knew something fun was going to happen!  I wanted to involve them as much as possible so I made some adjustments to the recipe that is included in the activity plan.  I made the quantity smaller and I didn’t boil the water because I wanted them to be able to manipulate it right away.  Instead, I had them add the salt to the flour and then the water to that mixture.

2.  I knew it was going to get messy so we did this in our pj’s (since they were covered in breakfast anyway).

3.  I realized that I don’t really have toddler friendly cooking tools.  The poor things, were trying to lift heavy glass measuring cups and bowls.  I’m going to start including them a lot more in cooking and baking so I think I’ll invest in some cookware/kitchenware that is more toddler friendly.  If anybody knows of any please leave a comment.

Let’s Get Started!

  • Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and one cup of water together
O pours the flour into the bowl

O pours the flour into the bowl

M adds the salt

M adds the salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O gives it a whisk

O gives it a whisk

M's turn to mix

M’s turn to mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O awkwardly pours in the water but manages to get it in!

O awkwardly pours in the water but manages to get it in!

Opting to stir at the same time rather than take turns

Opting to stir at the same time rather than take turns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Knead the dough, roll the dough and form/cut/press into the desired shape (we did a circle)
M kneads the dough in the bowl

M kneads the dough in the bowl

Each kneading their own dough

Each kneading their own dough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I rolled it out for them

I rolled it out for them – about 1/2 inch thick

O presses the bowl to cut out a circle

O presses the bowl to cut out a circle

O's circle is ready to go!

O’s circle is ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M's turn!

M’s turn!

M with her perfect circle

M with her perfect circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Make an imprint/impression of hands and feet (press firmly but not all the way to the bottom or it will be too thin and breakable)
O's footprint

O’s footprint

O's handprint

O’s handprint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M's footprint

M’s footprint

M's handprint

M’s handprint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taa Daa!

Taa Daa!

 

  • Bake at 225 F for about 3 hours (check now and then to see if it has hardened completely)

 

After baking

After baking

  •   Finishing Touches (There are a lot of options here.  I used acrylic paint and sealed it with a varnish.  The sky’s the limit though so feel free to get crafty!)  Also, I did consider letting the babies do the painting, but I wanted a cleanly finished product.  In retrospect, I would have made two each, one for them to paint and one for me to paint.  They didn’t mind, they liked watching me paint them.
Painted hands and feet

Painted hands and feet

Painted background

Painted background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seal with varnish & embellish

Sealed with varnish & embellished

  •  Final Product (Again, there are options here.  I chose a shadow box, though I think I might get bigger ones and also place in pictures of them making these.  Before baking you can use a pencil or large straw to put a hole in the top so that you can lace some ribbon through to make it a hanging ornament instead.)
Placed in shadow boxes

Placed in shadow boxes

These will look great hanging in their room; the paint colours coordinate with the existing décor.  Also they are at an age now where they remember participating in things.  Every time they see these they keep showing me a hand and foot pressing motion (to indicate that is how they made them).  It’s really sweet & it will make them happy to see them hanging on their wall!

If you are interested in other culminating projects from Clever Clovers, click here.

Have a nice weekend!

Down on the Farm

We have come to the end of the Farm Animals activity plan from Clever Clovers.  What better way to culminate all of our mooing, baaing and cock-a-doodle-dooing, than by visiting a farm!  The weather was a bit more frigid than anticipated and the pig pen was dismantled, but other than that, we had a lovely time!

On alternating Fridays I blog about our final activity (starring my twin babies)

This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Visit a farm, petting zoo or winter fair (where livestock is present)

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive, Gross Motor, Language, Social, Emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 week

1. We had to drive about an hour to get there so when we were in the car, I was explaining to them that we were going to a farm, where they could walk around and see ducks and cows and sheep!  They were excited.

2. When we arrived, as we were walking towards the farm, I was saying, look!  There is the big, red barn.  (I’m not sure how much they heard because they saw a bunch of Canadian Geese and starting yelling “duck & quack, quack!”)…. LOL!  If you’re not familiar with our visit to feed the “ducks” a couple of weeks ago, click here.

Sitting outside of the big red barn
Sitting outside of the big red barn

Here are some pictures from our visit:

O was waving "hello"

Curious beings

O being brave with the "horse"

O being brave with the “horse”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M's favourite: Rooster (it wasn't even one of our weekly words, she picked it up through stories and such.

M’s fave: Rooster (it wasn’t one of our weekly words), she picked it up through stories.

Cock-a-doodle-doo!  The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn't refer to as a duck.

Cock-a-doodle-doo! The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn’t refer to as a duck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O spies some baby chicks.

O spies some baby chicks.

 

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are chickens)

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are hens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

 

M with the ducks (and other birds)

M with the ducks (and other birds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So where are the videos you ask?  It seems that when I thought I was recording, I was not.  AND when I thought I was not recording, yup, you got it….I was.  So there’s a whole lot of feet and ground footage….I am pretty disappointed because there was so much excitement that I thought I was capturing.

I think taking children to a farm or petting zoo is a pretty common thing to do and obviously provides so much opportunity for exploration and learning.  But, because we have been learning about farm animals for two weeks, this outing was even more beneficial to learning.  That is, because the target language was needed/used in context (in a fun and natural way), this will help solidify their understanding.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

 

 

 

Colour us Happy!

We have come to the end of our third week using the Primary Colours (+1) activity plan from Clever Clovers.  (We decided to do a third week to give them more practice).  I can definitely say they have not mastered the four colours presented to them but it’s been a good start (colour is probably the most abstract thing I’ve tried to teach them, and was bound to take time).  Anyway, it’s time for our final project today which is making coloured sensory toys!  So much fun…..and a bit messy!

Every other Friday I blog about our final project (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Primary Colours (+1)

Activity Description: Create colourful sensory toys! Allow your baby to participate as much as possible in the creation of these toys.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative, Cognitive, Fine Motor, Language, Social, Emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 16 months + 3 weeks

M looking at the materials for today's project with anticipation and a good amount of restraint!

M looking at the materials for today’s project with anticipation AND a good amount of restraint!

Sensory Toy #1: Oil and coloured water (we did yellow)

Use any colourless oil (baby oil works well). Pour about 1-2 cm of oil into the bottle and add coloured water. (don’t fill it completely). Hot glue the lid on. Have fun shaking it and watching it separate.

M adding yellow food colouring to water

M adding yellow food colouring to water

M pours colourless oil

M pours colourless oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O pouring in the yellow water

O pouring in the yellow water

 

O points to the oil that is separating

O points to the oil that is separating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Toy #2: Water, glitter and beads (we did blue) 

Place clear water, glitter (visual effects) and beads (audio effects) into a bottle (glitter & beads should be the same colour). Quantities are up to you but allow for movement in the bottle. Seal lid with hot glue.

O pours the water

O pours the water

M putting in a blue bead

M putting in a blue bead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O spoons in blue gravel

O spoons in blue gravel

 

Mom gives a helping hand with the sparkles! (We all know how messy those things are!)

Mom gives a helping hand with the sparkles! (We all know how messy those things are!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O playing with the blue bottle

O playing with the blue bottle

 

Sensory Toy #3: Soap and coloured water (we did green)

Place coloured water into the bottle and add a big squirt of dish soap (the colour of the soap could affect the overall colour so using a soap the same colour as the coloured water would be best). Seal the lid with hot glue. Have fun shaking and making bubles!

Mom demonstrates how to squirt the food colouring. O & M amazed at the diffusion!

Mom demonstrates how to squirt the food colouring. O & M amazed at the diffusion!

Pouring in the green water

Pouring in the green water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O squeezes in some green dish soap

O squeezes in some green dish soap

M shows off the green bottle

M shows off the green bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Toy #3: Coloured rice (we did red)  

Place 1 teaspoon of water and some food colouring into a zip-lock bag. Pour in desired amount of rice (you don’t want the bottle too full of rice because you want it to make a sound when shaken). Mix the rice so it is all covered in colour. Pour it out onto wax paper in a thin layer and allow it to dry. Place in the bottle and hot glue the lid shut.

M spoons in the red rice

M spoons in the red rice

O shows the red bottle

O shows the red bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYING WITH OUR NEW, COLOURFUL, SENSORY TOYS

 

Mommy-led play: (you’ll see them repeating the language a bit and following instructions)

 

Baby-led play: (you’ll see them playing on their own with the toys)

 

Click here to see more activities on learning colours.

A Counting We Will Go….

We have come to the end of our second week using the Counting to 5 activity plan from Clever Clovers.  This means it is time for our final project!  We were hoping to go outdoors for some adventure and discovery but alas….the Arctic winds are back and I could just picture myself with the camera and the two of them all snow-suited up tripping everywhere and taking off their mittens every five seconds…..needless to say, we decided to do the project inside.

Every other Friday I blog about our final project (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Counting to 5

Activity Description: Go on a photo scavenger hunt & make a personalized number poster

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative, Cognitive, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Social, Language

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 15 months + 3 weeks

1.  The idea is to find items in multiples of 1-5 and take a picture with the items in order to make a personalized number poster.  For example, perhaps you come across 2 flowers – you would take a picture of your baby with the two flowers; or your baby finds 5 sticks, take a picture of your baby with the five sticks.  Take a picture for each number from 1-5.  Once completed you use those pictures to make a numbers poster.  (You can make your own or use the template provided in the Clever Clovers activity plan)

2.  As I mentioned, we stayed indoors which somewhat limited the exploration part of the activity but we still had a lot of fun.  We warmed up with a couple of songs and then I explained that I was going to take pictures of them counting.  To start, I thought asking them to find two of something would be easier to understand than one….. I was met with blank stares.

3. I decided I needed to add more support so that they could understand what I was asking of them.  I said, “let’s find two”.  Then I found two socks, “one, two”.  Next, I said, “now you find two”…… I was met with blank stares and M putting her hands in the questioning pose – palms facing up – meaning she didn’t understand.

4. Since it was clear that “find something” was not making sense to them, I decided to tell them exactly what to find.  This worked well; they had fun searching all around for the items and counted them, so it was really great!  For example, I said, “M, can you find 3 blocks?” And “O, can you find four books?”  Once found, they would bring them to me and I would take a picture.

5. I put the pictures all together using the numbers poster template provided in the Clever Clovers activity plan and…..

Voilà!:

O's Number Poster!

O’s Number Poster!

M's Number Poster

M’s Number Poster

..it’s a bit disappointing how pixelated they look on the website (it has something to do with the way I saved them in order to upload them to the website).  The actual posters look fab!!! (We are going to blow them up and put them on the wall as reference posters)

Have a great weekend!