Tag Archive | bed time

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!

 

 

 

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)

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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.

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  • 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!

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Keeping up the Good Work

Today’s post is about purposeful and meaningful work for children.  What qualifies as meaningful work for children?  How will your tot benefit by engaging in these types of activities? How can you incorporate meaningful work for your child into daily life?

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

 This week’s Theme: Bed Time

Activity DescriptionChores: Teach your tot how to make his/her bed.  Make it his/her responsibility each day.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional Learning

Specific Skill: Doing ‘real’ work

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

 

  • What is meant by real work?

– It’s Not Pretend: Real, meaningful work for children is not the kind where you are sweeping and your little one is sweeping beside you with a toy version of a broom.  It’s not when you give your tot a menial ‘task’ to keep him occupied while you actually do the ‘real’ work.  Real work is completing jobs that are useful and actually need to get done.

– It’s Done Independently: While it may be necessary to help and guide the first couple of times a job is attempted, eventually real work is something your tot can do independently.  However, even though your tot is doing things independently, this doesn’t mean that you can’t work together.  Take gardening as an example.  You can be gardening together, but you are not standing over your tot saying what needs to be done.  Your tot has a meaningful job in the garden (a job that needs doing) and she does it (while you are also in the garden doing your job).  It could even be the same job (like watering) but you are not holding the watering can together.  Your tot has a watering can and is responsible for a certain portion of the garden while you have your watering can, watering another portion of the garden.  Thus, you are working together, but also independently.

– It Benefits Others: Real and meaningful work for children is not simply done for reward or personal gain, it affects and/or helps others.  It’s not something like cleaning up toys to earn a sticker or a ‘plus’ on the reward chart.  We can use gardening again as an example where many people would benefit from their work.  (Children who consistently engage in this kind of work continue to be of benefit to their families and communities throughout their lives because they have experienced and realized the importance and joy of benefiting others, rather than only themselves.)

 

  • How can doing ‘real’ work benefit my child?

– A Sense of Purpose: Engaging in useful work provides a sense of purpose and pride (the same goes for adults!). Your children will  feel productive and see that they are a valuable and contributing member of your family.

– Overcoming Obstacles: Challenging  your children with meaningful work provides you with an opportunity to encourage them to persevere through difficulties, instilling in them a feeling of achievement.  By providing an opportunity to achieve something more difficult, you can raise their self-esteem in a very concrete way.  They will realize, through action, what they are capable of.

 

  • What kinds of work?

The types of meaningful work for children is varied and really depends on the age of your child and your family circumstances.  For very young children (like mine) it could be simple chores. For school aged children perhaps things like cooking and gardening.  For teens it could be house repairs/maintenance or even paid employment.  In all cases, the work should be safe (or in the case of older children, they should know what the safety concerns are, how to avoid accidents and what to do if an accident occurs).

 

  • M making her bed – The girls really enjoy doing this and I am often surprised by how much attention to detail there is. It was  a bit slow today but M got there in the end (with a bit of grunting to help her through the more difficult parts!)

 

Looking for emotional learning activities for 15-18 months?  Click here!

Looking for emotional learning activities for 18-24 months?  Click here!

Looking for more emotional learning activities for 24-30 months?  Click here! 

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Know When to Fold’em

When it comes to toddlers, we often think of cooperation as them doing what we want (but this is really just obedience); real cooperation is a joint-effort involving ‘give & take’ that is mutually satisfying.  In order to develop a cooperative spirit in your children, you can give them the opportunity to work together with yourself and others. Let your tot grow up experiencing first-hand, the benefits of working cooperatively; doing simple chores together is a super-easy way to get started!

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

 This week’s Theme: Bed Time

Activity DescriptionI Can Help!: Your tot will love to help you fold up large sheets and blankets.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social Learning

Specific Skill: Working cooperatively to complete a task

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

 

  • When to fold’em:  Do this activity when you are folding laundry, cleaning up from a fort/castle building session, after a picnic, or in our case after “we made a giant bird nest” -their words (on the living room floor, with every blanket that was in reach).  I kind of wish I took a picture of the “giant bird nest”, it was well-made & cute!

Practice: The girls are like most toddlers their age, in that they always want to help.  They have been folding blankets and sheets with me for a while now, so today was not their first time.  Get practising, your tot will love it!

Tricks & Tips: 1) It helps to start out with a blanket laid out on the floor 2) After each fold, you may need to help your tot adjust the hand grip (this is the trickiest part)

Start out on the floor

Start out on the floor

Fold completed. Now help readjust the grip.

Fold completed. Now help readjust the grip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Folding: This does not require any explanation so a quick few pictures should do it!

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……Just like that, the giant bird’s nest is tidied away (and the best part is, I didn’t lift a finger; they eagerly did the folding AND they were working cooperatively to accomplish something – which is lovely to see since there can be a lot of arguing some days!)

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Want to see social learning activities for 15-18 months?  Click here!

Want to see social learning activities for 18-24 months?  Click here!

 

It’s a Toss Up!

Playing physical games gives children opportunities to develop confidence in managing movement challenges.  One such challenge is being able to  perform basic ball skills.  Ball skills help children develop body control, strength and coordination.  Ball play also helps children to learn how to track objects as they move and to judge distance.  Today’s post is a bit of twist on a classic ball toss activity.

 

**Housekeeping:  Today we are beginning a new activity plan from Leaping Lilies with the theme of bed time.  A couple of weeks ago I explained that the first Monday of our two week rotation would now be a Reggio provocation, however, it quickly became clear that it doesn’t make sense to organise it that way because then I would not be able to share the projects that stem from the provocations (because those activities would take place on subsequent days).  That being said, from now on, I will post the Reggio provocation on the second Wednesday of our two week rotation.

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

 This week’s Theme: Bed Time

Activity DescriptionToothbrush Toss: Gather old toothbrushes and try tossing them into bins (labeled with different numbers of points). Use a chalkboard, white board or piece of paper to keep a tally of points.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Gross Motor Skills

Specific Skill: Throwing to a target

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

 

  • Set Up:  I explained the game to the girls and encouraged them to help set up.

Point Cards – The girls chose the numbers, I drew them, and they coloured them.

Helping make the point cards

Helping make the point cards

 

Bins – Using bins of different shapes and sizes can provide an extra challenge.  Also placing them at different heights can help make it a more dynamic activity.

Ready to get started

Ready to get started

     

  • Play!: Use tape to mark  a throw line and start throwing to a target!  Encourage your tot to be supportive of other participants’ efforts (including yours!).
That was a high throw M!

That was a high throw M!

So close O!!

So close O!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Adjustments: The way we set it up was too challenging for them, so we moved the throw line closer to the bins, which helped our success rate!
Good try M!

Good try M!

You did it M!

You did it M!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Keeping Score: Keeping a tally is a great way to practice counting and introduce early Math skills
Hooray, I did it too!

Hooray, I did it too!

Keeping a tally

Keeping a tally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for gross motor development for 15-18 months?  Click here!

Looking for gross motor development for 18-24 months?  Click here!