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Shadow Box Puppet Theater

A very important factor in your toddler’s development is taking part in imaginative play.  This is partly because imaginative play is a natural way for children to both learn about and express their understanding of their world.  So what exactly is imaginative play?  Imaginary play happens when children use their imaginations to create pretend and make-believe scenarios.  One way to encourage imaginary play is through the use of toy figurines, puppets and dolls, for example.  Today’s post is a great way to get your tot excited about using puppets because it has the added elements of light and shadows!

 

On alternating Fridays I blog about the final activity of our current theme 

 

This week’s Theme:Dinosaurs

Activity Description: Make a shadow box puppet theater

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 2 years + 5 months

 

  • Make your shadow box puppet theater (Find a medium sized box to use)

1.   Use a box cutter knife to cut out the front and back of your box but leave a boarder so that your box will retain its structural integrity. (Our box already had one side removed, so we only cut out the front).  Also if you desire you could cut out the sides too, to see the shadows from different angles.

Cut a large rectangle out of your box

Cut a large rectangle out of your box

O & M decided to get their toy tools to help Daddy cut the box

O & M decided to get toy tools to help cut the box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O & M remove the cut rectangle

O & M remove the cut rectangle

2.  Use lightly coloured poster paper to cover the hole.  Measure, cut, and secure with tape (ensure there are no wrinkles or holes in the paper)

Measure out your paper and cut

Measure out your paper and cut

Cover the hole with paper and tape it down to secure it.

Cover the hole with paper & use tape to secure it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Puppets – You can make puppets and place them onto a popsicle stick or straw, or you can gather figurines and tape a stick or straw to them.
  • Play! – Find a darkened area, use a flash light or similar to shine into your shadow box puppet theater and have fun making & watching little scenarios.
Gather figurines (puppets) and shine a flash light to create shadows

Gather figurines (puppets) and shine a flash light to create shadows

 

Have a great weekend, we’ll see you on Monday with a new theme and lots more fun learning!

Our Going to Bed Book

Being able to read or listen to a story requires a lot more than saying or listening to words on a page.  Reading/listening to a story in a meaningful way, requires something much more…..comprehension.  In short, reading comprehension is being able to make meaning of text.  One very important strategy for helping to develop reading comprehension is by making connections between the text (story) & self (your tot) so when you read stories together make an effort to point out or ask questions based on similarities or differences between the story line and your tot’s life.  And…… when you get the opportunity, make your own story books starring your tot and your family!  Your child will love to read these stories independently (and will be able to read them, because the link between the text and self is so strong).

 

On alternating Fridays I blog about the final activity of our current theme 

 

This week’s Theme:Bedtime

Activity Description: Make a personalized going to bed book describing your bedtime routine

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 2 years + 5 months

 

Lets get started!

  • Plan out your going to bed book! (Brainstorm with your little one)

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Have a bath
  2. Put on our PJ’s
  3. Brush our hair
  4. Brush our teeth
  5. Read a story
  6. Kiss good-night
  7. Get tucked in & sing a lullaby
  8. Have sweet dreams!
  • Take pictures for your going to bed book! 
We have a bath!

We have a bath!

We put on our pyjamas.

We put on our pyjamas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We brush our hair.

We brush our hair.

We brush our teeth.

We brush our teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We read a story with Mommy.

We read a story with Mommy.

We give a good-night kiss!

We give a good-night kiss!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We get tucked in.

We get tucked in under our covers.

We get cozy in our beds.

We get cozy in our beds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M fast asleep!

M fast asleep!

O fast asleep!

O fast asleep!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Make/find a book template and insert your pictures!  (The template below is included in the Leaping Lilies curriculum) 

O&M Going to bed book_Page_5O&M Going to bed book_Page_1

 

 

 

 

 

O&M Going to bed book_Page_2

 

O&M Going to bed book_Page_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

O&M Going to bed book_Page_4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Enjoy reading your Going to Bed Book for months/years to come!  (We have made a few books together that we enjoy reading over and over)

Click here to see another post about making a personalized book

Click here to see a post about how to read stories to young children

 

P.S….this has recently become a part of our bedtime routine!!!  Anybody else have to do this??

Bedtime Band-aids on non-existent boo-boos!

Bedtime band-aids on non-existent boo-boos!

 Have a great weekend, we’ll see you on Monday with a new theme and lots more fun learning!

 

 

 

A Fish in Bubbled Waters

Wow!  We are already at the end of our first activity plan from the Leaping Lilies curriculum; Bath Time!  We’ve had a lot of fun learning over the past two weeks….and boy are we (and our dolls) clean!  Today’s post demonstrates how to turn any simple, one dimensional activity (like a craft) into a whole-learning experience.  (Meaning that all areas of development are being challenged or addressed in a meaningful way)

 

On alternating Fridays I blog about the final activity of our current theme 

This week’s Theme:Bath Time

Activity Description: Make a soap fish to use in the bath

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 2 years + 4 months

 

Lets get started!

  • Make your soap fish!

You will need:

  1. Wash cloth
  2. Bar of soap (oval shaped works best)
  3. Craft foam sheets
  4. Elastic band
  5. Piece of lace or ribbon
  6. Needle & thread (or crazy glue… I tried it for ease and speed – it seemed to work just fine)

Instructions:

Place the soap in the centre of the cloth

Place the soap in the centre of the cloth

Gather the cloth around the soap

Gather the cloth around the soap (Mommy helped!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secure with a strong elastic band

Secure with a strong elastic band

Cut out foam pieces for eyes, fins and mouth

Cut out foam pieces for eyes, fins and mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secure foam pieces with a couple of stitches.  (I also tried crazy glue for ease and speed - it seemed to work)

Secure foam pieces with a couple of stitches.

Tie decorative ribbon around the elastic

Tie decorative ribbon around the elastic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taa Daa! Finished soap fish!

Taa Daa! Finished soap fish!

 

 

Excited to use these in the bath!

Excited to use these in the bath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Use this activity to create a whole-learning experience

Language Development:

The entire process encourages self-expression and conversation.  Teach new words as they come up in context.  Make conversation around the parts that your tot finds interesting or curious.  Ask questions that require an opinionated response.

Creative Development:

Have your tot take participate in the creative process (as much as possible).  My girls chose the materials; the cloths, the colours for each of the foam elements, the ribbon and they helped assemble the fish.

Fine Motor Skills:

Manipulate the cloth (folding & gathering)

Manipulate the cloth (folding & gathering)

Scissor skills (cutting the foam pieces)

Scissor skills (cutting the foam pieces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross Motor Skills:

Encourage your tots to wash themselves.  Give them instructions that are more physically challenging for them.  (Such as, wash the back of your neck, under your arms, the bottoms of your feet, use the opposite hand)

Emotional Learning:

Obviously your tot should never be left alone in or near a bath but there are elements of bath time that can be used to encourage self-reliance (such as, undressing independently, testing the water before getting in to see if it is suitable and self-washing).  Parts of the activity also help to develop patience (such as, waiting for and adult to do certain parts before they can continue).  This is also the appropriate age to start learning the importance of personal hygiene. (What is it?  Why is it important?)

Social Learning:

In our case, this activity provided exposure to new situations/activities because I am NOT overly competent with a needle and thread so it was something different for them to see me doing.  Also, I’m pretty sure they have never seen a bar of soap before (only liquid).  In story books, the soap is always pictured as a bar of soap and they are always confused when I tell them that the image/drawing is soap!

VERY interested in what Mommy is doing.

We’ve never seen this before!  VERY interesting!

Cognitive Learning:

First there is the sensory component (touching/feeling all the different materials, choosing colours, smelling the soap..and yes, one of them even tasted it, despite my warnings).  It is also necessary to follow instructions (several multi-step instructions) to complete this!  Finally, this is a great activity to develop awareness of sequencing (first, next, last) because this is a step by step process that is completed in a specific order.

The girls really enjoyed using the soap fish to wash themselves but, I chose not to share pictures of the girls in the bath.

 

Want to see culminating projects from Clever Clovers?  Click here!

Want to see culminating projects from Reaching Roses?  Click here!