Search Results for: colour

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.

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!

Toy Rotation

Are you tired of cleaning up a zillion toys each day?  Tired of surrounding your tot with those zillion toys only to find there is little that arouses a sustained amount of interest?  Tired of buying a zillion more toys to entertain your tot?  I have a solution!  Really!  The solution to this dilemma is something I get asked about quite regularly so I thought I would repost this blog entry from March 11, 2014 (with some amendments).

On alternating Fridays, I blog about parent/teacher

hot topics & interesting info or Q&A

 

Today’s Topic: How toy rotation and changing our physical environment can benefit learning.

“Change can open our minds to new ways of viewing ourselves and our relationship to the world, and renew our pleasure in living.”  – Tarthang Tulku, Knowledge of Freedom

 

1. On toy rotation :

A lot has been written about this so I will not overwhelm you with fine details but I will write from my experience, the benefits of toy rotation and also how I approach toy rotation.

The benefits are many, here are a few:

  • Less clean-up
  • More engaged play with toys –> mastery of toys –> inventive use of toys
  • Toys retain excitement –> less boredom with toys –> less need to buy more new toys

When & what I rotate:  I do a toy rotation every two weeks and this coincides with the changing of our activity plan (visit our shop to view our curricula).  I choose toys that specifically relate to the topic we are learning, plus I have 8 staple categories I always include.  Our toys are available in bins.  We have 12 bins.

  1. Building toys (blocks, mega-lego, etc)
  2. Imaginary play (toy cars, figurines, puppets, dress-up, etc.)
  3. Problem solving toys I (puzzles, lacing, sorters, stackers, etc.)
  4. Problem solving toys II(puzzles, lacing, sorters, stackers, etc.)
  5. Sensory toys (balls, crinkly toys, squishy toys, play dough, etc.)
  6. Books
  7. Music toys
  8. Cause and effect toys (we have a few we really like: Peek-a-Shoe, Pound n Pop Carnival Elephant, Pop n Pals)
  9. Specific to topic and activity plan
  10. Specific to topic and activity plan
  11. Specific to topic and activity plan
  12. Specific to topic and activity plan
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our main play area

In the picture above, our weekly topic was colours so the four “specific to topic and activity plan” bins were one for each colour.

Since we first posted this we have added two new play areas: As children grow older, dramatic & imaginary play become a central part of playing (it becomes more and more complex and developed) .  To accommodate this growth in our children, we added a play kitchen area and a dress-up area.

Our play kitchen

Our play kitchen

Our dress-up area

Our dress-up area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Also, since our girls have grown older, we do the toy rotation together. I get their input on which toys they would like to have out for the next two weeks.  I give the guidelines, such as building toys, then I let them choose which building toys.  Whenever it’s time to ‘change the toys’, they get really excited.)

 

2. On toy storage: I think it goes without saying, that if you’re not going to have all of your toys available in your play area, you need a place to put the toys that aren’t being used.

Tips:

* Store toys in an area that your tot doesn’t have access to

Toy closet with child proof door knob

Toy closet with child proof door knob

*Ensure you have easy access to them (so that toy rotation is not a major ordeal)

I can get any toy with minimal effort

I can get any toy with minimal effort

*Ensure they are organised (so they are easy to find)

Chalk board toy organizers

Chalk board toy organizers

*If you feel you have no use for them any more, donate toys that are too immature for your tot’s age

 

3. On changing the physical environment:

This can range from changing the layout of furniture in a room to the actual décor in a room and in a classroom; the seating plan.  When possible/suitable, change the actual location of the learning environment such as going outside or to a gymnasium.

 

4. Why is change so beneficial for learning?

It’s not something that is easy for me to describe but I will do my best to be concise and not blabber on.  Weather we are people who like change or not, it is undeniable the everything inside and outside of us is constantly changing.  Embracing this simple principle can help us to lead less fearful and more fulfilling lives.  Offering change to your students and children, if nothing else, will bring about a certain amount of comfort and acceptance of change.  However, there are many more benefits.  Change brings with it, a lot of energy, momentum and creativity.  It can bring about excitement and stimulation as a result of the unknown or “newness” of something (it’s not stagnant).  Once a person begins to recognize the energy of change, it is possible for them to harness that energy and use it to achieve things they never thought possible……….

…………………….I would suggest that this possibility begins with you offering the gift of change in the first place (even if it’s as simple as changing a seating plan, toy rotation, or hanging new pictures on the wall).

Language Development That’s Beyond Comparisson

Remember that Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the other, some of these things are kind of the same….”?  Why was it a staple part of the program?  Because….being able to identify & express similarities and differences has much bigger implications than may appear.  This skill helps to strengthen memory, develop higher-order thinking skills, increase comprehension and helps promote thinking & communicating with clarity and precision.  Also as children grow, being able to compare and contrast will enhance their writing skills.  Today’s post provides and example of how to begin developing this skill with your toddler.

Here’s one activity we did today from the Leaping Lilies curriculum

 This week’s Theme: Dinosaurs

Activity DescriptionLet’s Talk: Use dinosaur figurines to engage your tot in conversation.  Encourage your tot to articulate the similarities and differences between the dinosaurs.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language Development

Specific Skill: Compare and contrast

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

 

  • Vocabulary (Review some vocabulary before-hand)

– Review vocabulary that is specific to dinosaurs.  We did spikes, horns, claws, scary, friendly.

– Review ‘same’ and ‘different’.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

  • Provide an Example (Show your tot how to compare and contrast)

– Modelling (meaning you do it first) is a good way to give an example.

– Doing one together can provide a guided example (they have help vs. doing it independently).  This is what we did (see video below)

 

 

  • Try it Independently (Encourage your tot to discuss the similarities and differences on his/her own)

– Gently correct mistakes and remind them of vocabulary. For example, if your to says the wrong colour or says something is the same when it really is different, you would just quickly review what the words mean.

– If your tot needs assistance, you can give clues.  Ex. (“I see this one has big sharp teeth.  Does that one have the same teeth?”)

– Let your tot choose the dinosaurs he/she would like to talk about.

 

Here are the girls’ attempts at comparing and contrasting independently.  It was fairly challenging for them so I gave them assistance (usually in the form of a question).

In case you can’t understand M in the video below: To contrast she notes the colours.  To compare she says they are both dinosaurs, they are both scary (and one is not happy).

 

This video starts out with M asking O which one she likes.   In case you can’t understand O in the video below: To compare she says they have long teeth, long arms and long claws.  To contrast she notes the colours.

 

The girls already compare and contrast things often when it is in relation to their life such as, “that girl has the same colour coat as me”, etc.  This also occurs frequently when reading books – click here to see a post about making connections between storybooks and self.  This idea of comparing/contrasting two things to each other vs. comparing/contrasting themselves with something is new and will continue to improve with practice.

Click here to see language development posts for 15-18 months

Click here to see language development posts for 18-24 months

Exploring Measurement: A Reggio Provocation

Here it is! Another example of the amazing results of a Reggio Emilia provocation.  No matter how many times I do this, I am in awe of what transpires.  A Reggio provocation is characterised by its unbounded, limitless potential – a true reflection of a child. It is just so exciting to watch unfold!  If I haven’t expressed it enough, PLEASE, try a Reggio provocation with the children you love – they will astound you in more ways than you could imagine! – In more ways than they already do!  Children have so much to express, give them the opportunity!

On alternating Wednesdays I blog about a Reggio Emilia Provocation

This week’s Theme: Bed Time

Description of Provocation: Exploring Measurement: Provide measuring cups, rulers, soft (tailor’s) measuring tape, numbers (plastic, foam, magnets, etc.), feathers (variety of sizes and colours)

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

 

Initial Topic (Observe and question your tot about a topic of interest)

  • The girls have shown a significant amount of interest in bird nests over the last couple of weeks.  Also, we went shoe shopping for Mr. Y, and the girls LOVED measuring their feet at the store.  Last, they really enjoy putting measuring cups in order.

Materials (This can include anything)

  • For the measurement component, I chose measuring tools (measuring cups (plastic & ceramic), straight rulers & a tailor’s tape measure)
  • I chose a variety of bird feathers because I felt that would relate to both the bird nest interest and our bed time theme (because feathers are often used to make pillows, blankets and even beds!)

Set-Up (This should be visually appealing and intriguing)

  • Where?:  I chose a space with natural light in a fairly open area.
  • Workspace: I defined the workspace using place mats.  I laid a ruler on the mat horizontally and I also placed some magnetic numbers vertically along the side of the mat.
  • Display:  I displayed the measuring cups on the wall using hooks – to add a 3D element – (plus they like manipulating things on and off hooks).  I displayed the feathers in blocks of colour on a clear plastic tray (or in small buckets)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observation (Observe your tot interacting with the provocation you have set up.  Remember not to interfere or ‘teach’.  If you stay out of the way, you will be pleasantly surprised!)

  • What was interesting?  Initially, M was interested in the feathers and O was interested in the measuring tools
initial contact

Initial contact

"measure," said O

“Measure,” said O

O inspects the ceramic measuring cups

O inspects the ceramic measuring cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What is this?" asks M

“What is this?” asks M

M manipulates the feathers

M manipulates the feathers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What was asked? The only question I recall from them was M asking, “What is this?” (in regards to the feathers.)  I answered her and asked her, “Do you know what a feather is?”  “No,” she said.  So I gave a brief description (including that we use them to make pillows/blankets etc.) – this did not incite any interest at all.
  • What was said? So much was said, it’s really difficult to relay.  I think it’s best to illustrate some of the main ideas of what was said, into the ‘What was done’ section below.  This is why it is really important to take notes!  You cannot remember it all!
  • What was done? A LOT!!!  None of which I anticipated.  (I haven’t written them in order of occurrence, I’ve written them from smallest amount of interest to largest.)

#1 – Butterflies!  O makes the connection that feathers are used to fly and butterflies fly so we can make butterflies out of these feathers:

"I make a butterfly!" says O

“I make a butterfly!” says O

 

#2 – Time for a pedicure!  M decided to use the feather as a nail polish and then decided that the other feathers should be my toe separators!  (I can’t believe I’m showing the world pictures of my unkempt toenails…but in the name of education, and M’s brilliant idea, I am!)

M carefully places the toe separators

M carefully places the toe separators

M paints my nails green

M paints my nails green (I paint their toes green!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 3 – O’s invention.  O strung the measuring tape through the cupboard handle, stood back and said, “Watch!”.  Then she pulled the door open proudly.

O pulls the measuring tape taut

O pulls the measuring tape taut

1-2-3 Pull!

1-2-3 Pull!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 – Measuring.  This was mostly driven by me.  I asked O, “You said measure before, what is measure?”  She said, “I can measure all my things!”  “Yes you can!  But what does measure mean?”  “I don’t know,” she said.  So I gave a brief description, “Measuring is how big or small something is.”

I said, "This feather goes to 7, and this one goes to 4.  Which one is longer?"

I say,”This feather goes to 7, this one goes to 4. Which is longer?”

"Which measuring cup holds more?"

“Which measuring cup holds more feathers?”

M wanted to wrap the measuring tape around her. (6 times)

M wanted to wrap the measuring tape around her. (6 times)

 

#5 -IMAGINARY PLAY (this was the big one!)  They decided they were going to make a castle.  The play then revolved around Santa coming to visit this castle.  It went on for ages!  I got to sit back and watch.

"We make a castle here." (The measuring tape is the main structure)

“We make a castle here.” (The measuring tape is the main structure)

"We decorate the castle."

“We decorate the castle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I make a map so Santa can find us"

“I make a map so Santa can find us”

"This is where Santa can sit"

“This is where Santa can sit”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Shh! Hide under here. Santa will come and we can see him."

“Shh! Hide under here. Santa will come and we can see him.”

 

Extension (Based on your observations, add new materials as needed)

  • New Materials: Because the bulk of the initial interaction revolved around a castle, we did a bit of picture research on castles (Google Images search).  They pointed out their favourites – coincidentally, one they chose was a castle I used to live near! (I didn’t even see it until they pointed it out).  I also added blocks.  Next, I lessened the amount of feathers and measuring equipment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What Transpired?: Castle building……
"This one the best"

“This one the best”

"This one my favourite"

“This one my favourite”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle #1

M builds

M builds

M adds 'flowers' to the castle garden

M adds ‘flowers’ (feathers) to the castle garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M uses a green feather as a hose to water the flowers (making a sound effects as she did it)

M uses a green feather as a hose to water the flowers (making sound effects as she did it)

M is jumps  'because the castle is so strong, so it won't break when I'm jumping'

M jumps “because the castle is so strong, so it won’t break when I’m jumping”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle #2

O & M made this catle together

O & M made this catle together

O says, "this is where you skate" (I think she was referencing Disney's Frozen)

O says, “this is where you skate” (I think she was referencing Disney’s Frozen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle #3

O explains "this is trick door"

O explains “this is trick door”

"I open trick door, people is coming out"

“I open trick door, people is coming out”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M adds Princess Ariel "to live in the castle"

M adds Princess Ariel “to live in the castle”

I mention that where Ariel is sleeping, looks like this bridge

I mention that where Ariel is sleeping, looks like this bridge (the castle that O said is the best)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..after I said that….. O decides to make it.

Castle #4

O carefully constructs

O carefully constructs

The castle's bridge

The castle’s bridge

O's bridge (same rectangular shape)

O’s bridge (same rectangular shape)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The castle's door

The castle’s door

O's door (it has the same arched shape)

O’s door (it has the same arched shape)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O's towers (same cylindrical shape)

O’s towers (same cylindrical shape)

M came over with a tiaras for us to live in the castle.  So that makes me the Queen Mum! LOL!

M came over with tiaras “for us to live in the castle.” So that makes me the Queen Mum! LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I found when I woke up this morning:

O does some sorting

O had done some sorting

 

Once again, their ability to independently blend their creativity and knowledge astounds me!

 

Click here for more Reggio Emilia!

Click here to see how Reggio fits into The Crystal Teaching Method’s overall philosophy!

Click here to visit our shop!