Tag Archive | emotional learning

Get Dolled Up!

Many caregivers underestimate the value of playing with dolls, especially for boys!  However, regardless of gender, playing with dolls teaches children valuable life lessons and provides growth opportunities in all areas of child development.

 

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

 

 This week’s Theme: Bath Time

Activity DescriptionPlay Time (Sensory): Using a water table or sensory bin, give your dolls a bath.  Provide soap, sponges, etc.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional Development

Specific Skill: Developing self-confidence

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

 

  • Set up – Since this was an exercise in developing self-confidence, I had the girls take the lead in setting up.  I asked them to think of the things we would need in order to bathe the dolls and instructed them to collect the items.  They tested the water to decide weather it needed to be warmer or cooler, they added the bubble bath and swooshed it around to make bubbles and they placed towels on the floor to catch any spilled water.
    The girls set up most elements of this play area

    The girls set up most elements of this play area by themselves

     

  • Play – When playing with dolls, children often mimic their experiences and daily routines (this is what makes it a great confidence booster); it provides an opportunity for them to practice and demonstrate that they know what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.  You can see evidence of this in both the physical and linguistic components of their play.
"Time to wash your legs," says O

“Time to wash your legs,” says O

"Close eyes, I rinse the hair," says M

“Close eyes, I rinse the hair,” says M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I dry you," says M

“I dry you,” says M

"Get warm in a towel," says O

“Get warm in a towel,” says O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extension – The girls actually extended this activity on their own.  They decided that after the bath was finished the dolls needed to get ready for bed, so they proceeded to carry out elements of their bedtime routine also.

O brushes the doll's hair

O brushes the doll’s hair

M puts the dolls to bed

M puts the dolls to bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
**We recently received these dolls as a lovely hand-me-down gift from a dear friend (Auntie A).  We hadn’t purchased this type of doll for them before and we were surprised to find how much they enjoy them.  They particularly like them because they can be manipulated into so many different positions.  In any case, it doesn’t matter if you have this type of doll (or wish that your children never play with this type of doll), all you need is a plastic-type doll whose hair you don’t mind getting wet!  You can even use action figures if you want!

 

Interested in Emotional Learning Activities for 15-18 months?  Click here!

Interested in Emotional Learning Activities for 18-24 months?  Click here!

There’s Orange on Your Face!

Halloween provides a wonderful opportunity to teach and reinforce the colour orange!  Today’s post is an amalgamation of two activities that centre around pumpkin carving. One is an emotional learning activity that involves looking at pictures of jack-o-lantern faces and interpreting the different emotions that are displayed in each (a template is provided in the curriculum package) – then choose one to carve!  The other is a social learning activity that involves reading a book to help explain sustainability concepts and how to reduce waste (this also becomes a part of the pumpkin carving experience – the reason I could not separate the two activities).  I chose to focus on the social learning activity for this post.

 

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: More Colours

Activity DescriptionStory Time: Before carving a pumpkin face [Today’s Emotional Learning Activity] read a book that explains how pumpkins grow and about what can be done with the flesh and seeds (instead of just throwing them away).  Roast some pumpkin seeds, make a pie, save some seeds for planting.  Book Ideas: Pumpkin Circle (Levenson), My Pumpkin (Noonan), From Seed to Pumpkin (Pfeffer), I Like Pumpkins (Smath)

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social Learning

Specific Skill: Learning about sustainability and reducing waste

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 23 months + 3 weeks

 

1.As the activity describes, we read some books together to discuss the life cycle of a pumpkin, the parts of a pumpkin and all the things that can be done with a pumpkin.  Here are two of the books we read.

Pumpkin Circle, by George Levenson

Pumpkin Circle, by George Levenson

From Seed to Pumpkin, by Jan Kottke

From Seed to Pumpkin, by Jan Kottke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  We began the pumpkin carving exercise.  For the sustainability/reducing waste theme, we focused on collecting the seeds for roasting/eating and for planting…..

The first glimpse…. I kept telling them, oooh, look, it’s just like in the books we read!  They were saying “seeds”, “seeds in here!”

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Scraping & separating the seeds…. “Yucky”, M kept saying.

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Washing & straining the seeds… “Clean the seeds now”, says M.  “Get soap?”, asks O!  “No, just water.”, I tell her.

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Set the seeds to dry… We will roast them once they are dry.  I don’t think they will be able to eat them (choking hazard) so I guess I’ll cut them a small piece to taste and then ask them if we should package the rest up as a snack for Daddy to take to work.  (I know they will say yes…anything for Daddy!)

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2.  After completing the emotional learning exercise described in the introduction of this post, we set to carving the pumpkin face.  They chose a happy face.

Daddy carves, we poke/pull out the pieces…

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Taa Daa!  We learned about emotions, about sustainability and reducing waste, we had fun, and now we have this mesmerizing  jack-o-lantern (our first ever!)

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Happy Halloween to all of our readers who enjoy this tradition!!

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

Neat & Tidy

Toddlers are at a perfect age to begin practising responsibility because they love to help you and mimic what you do.  A very simple way to get started (and make your life a little easier) is to begin by encouraging your baby to clean up toys independently.  Now is a great time to start putting one toy away before getting out another and making sure all is tidy at the end of the day.  Here are some tricks and tips to making toy clean-up simpler…..

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: African Animals

Activity DescriptionClean Up: After play time or doing an activity, encourage your baby to clean up independently.  Ensure it is easily done and do this daily.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional

Specific Skill: Being responsible

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 22 months + 2 weeks

1. The only warm-up to this activity is playing!!  This evening the girls had mainly two sets of toys out: puzzles and music toys.  When it was time for the bath, I asked them to clean up.  I don’t help them but I encourage them with praise and say things like, “I see one under the chair! Who can help get it?”

Before

Before

O gets started on the puzzles

O gets started on the puzzles

M helps with the music toys

M helps with the music toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can I get my baby to clean-up the toy mess?

  • Make it part of your daily routine
  • Add an audio cue (sing a clean-up song, ring a bell, etc.)
  • Ensure that it is easy for your baby to put away the toys (Can your baby easily access the toy bins?)
  • Allow ample time for clean-up.  If you start clean-up five minutes before you need to leave, you’ll probably end up frustrated at the pace and manner which your baby cleans!
  • Praise your baby’s efforts to clean-up the toys (If you have a reward chart, include clean-up)
  • Toddlers love to help so say things like, “Can you help me?” OR “Who can help put these toys away?” OR “What a great helper!”….you get the idea…
  • Toddlers love to play games so try saying things like, “Can you be a lion who cleans up?” or you can be the ‘goalie’ guarding the toy bin and they have to get by you to put away the toys… be creative!
  • Don’t expect perfection.  Your baby’s thought process, effort and improvement in clean-up skills are most valuable so remember to complement and encourage those things, not just completion of the task.

What are the benefits of encouraging responsibility in young children?

  • Aids in teaching time-management skills
  • Makes daily routines simpler and smoother for everybody
  • Encourages independent thinking
  • Encourages problem solving
  • Encourages focus & concentration
  • Increases self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Allows for meaningful contribution to the family and eventually society

 

Click here to see a helpful post about the benefits of rotating your baby’s toys

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

A Moment in Time

We’ve come to the end of the Clothing activity plan from the Reaching Roses curriculum (which is now available for purchase!…apologies to those of you who have been waiting).  This activity provided a lot of learning opportunity and enjoyment for today but will also serve us well in the future! …. I’m already imagining the fun and educational activities we could do with this in ten years time…

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

 

This week’s Theme:Clothing

Activity Description: Make a family time capsule about clothing!

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 22 months

 

1. Get a sturdy box (insulate it with a plastic bag if you wish)

2.  Decorate the box

Decorating with stickers

Decorating with stickers

Making wrapping paper

Making wrapping paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Insert clothing articles.  Here’s what we included:

  • Baby’s clothes at the time of making the capsule (for size) – we put in the onesies “shirts” they made this week
  • Pictures of current fashionable and trendy clothes (to laugh at in the future!) – we put in a recent copy of Rolling Stone
  • Pictures of your baby  and family members in relevant clothing – we put a small photo album in with the following pictures:
      • a recent family photo
      • a photo of them in their first pair of underwear (we started wearing them a few weeks ago)
      • photos of them playing dress-up this week
      • a photo of them wearing the onesies they made this week (which are also included in the box)
      • a photo of them in their favourite pj’s
      • a picture of them in their bathing suits and water shoes and sunglasses (this summer’s favourite ensemble)
      • pictures of them with other family members (aunts, grandparents, cousins)
      • a picture of us the day we made the time-capsule

We also included some items not related to clothing:

  • a letter from Mommy
  • some of their recent artwork
  • certificates of achievement from the summer gymnastics class they just completed
O adds her papers

O adds her papers

M adds her papers

M adds her papers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding their "shirts"

Adding their “shirts”

Making sure they're snug in the box

Making sure they’re snug in the box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M adds the photo album

M adds the photo album

O adds the Rolling Stone magazine

O adds the Rolling Stone magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Seal the box (very well) – you can make it prettier but since we were wrapping ours, I wasn’t concerned with that

Good ol' duct tape

Good ol’ duct tape

Showing how to place tape

Showing how to place tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping mommy with the wrapping

Helping mommy with the wrapping

M helps with the tape

M helps with the tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Add a clear label on the box that says this is a time capsule created on such and such day and is not to be opened until (insert date)

 

Mr. Y & I decided to open it in 10 years

Mr. Y & I decided to open it in 10 years

All done!

All done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Store in a safe place

I hope you enjoy doing this with your family as much as we did!  Leave us a comment to let us know what things you included in your time-capsule.

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

 

 

There’s Veggies All over Our Faces!

Have you ever been in the middle of reprimanding or disciplining your toddler only to get laughed at by him/her?  What’s that all about?  Well, of course there is the possibility that your toddler is being mischievous but it is also important to note that often our toddlers are not able to interpret our facial expressions; this is a skill learned over time.  There is research to suggest that children who have difficulty identifying emotion in faces are more likely to have peer problems and children who have better face-reading skills may be more popular among peers, raising their self-esteem.  While I don’t think we need to worry about popularity contests for our children, it seems that helping our toddlers and children identify facial expressions can only benefit them.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Vegetables

Activity Description Veggie Faces: Use cut up veggies to create different faces that show different emotions (use a round plate as the head).  After you’ve made your creation, name the emotion, make the expression on your own face, see if your baby will mimic and repeat with a different face.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional

Specific Skill: Identifying facial expressions

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 20 months + 2 weeks

1. To warm up, we reviewed and described the primary vocabulary for this week (peas, carrot, corn, potato).  I showed them their toy version matched up with a real version and let them explore the differences.

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2. Next we did some facial expressions with our own faces.  I would make a face and ask them what it is.  They say “happy” for a smiling face, “No” for an angry face, “Cry” for a sad face, and they don’t know scared/surprised…it just makes them laugh.  Because they are on the right track with “No” and “Cry”, I would say something like, “Yes, you’re right.  A person who is crying is sad.  It’s a sad face.”  This is obviously a very simplified explanation – there are many reasons why somebody might cry, but for our purposes this explanation of “cry” will suffice.  I also asked them to try to make the faces…they can do it sort of and we always end up giggling.

3. Next, I showed them a platter of vegetables and a plate and I explained that I was going to make a face with the vegetables.  I verbally described what I was doing.  For example, “I am going to use these two carrot circles for eyes and these green peas to make a smile”, etc.  I would ask them to identify the completed face and then they could eat some!

4. Lastly, I gave them each a plate and the platter of veggies and told them to make a face of their own.  This was too abstract a concept for them so I verbally told them to find two things to make eyes and put it on their plate, find something for a nose….etc.  This worked much better.

M's Veggie-Face

M’s veggie-face

O's veggie-face

O’s veggie-face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Another great aspect of this activity is that they ended up eating a tonne of raw vegetables for their snack (without any prodding or coaxing)!

M enjoys some broccoli

M enjoys some broccoli

M likes carrots

M likes carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O eating sugar-snap peas

O eating sugar-snap peas

O chomps on some cauliflower

O chomps on some cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in other food related activities?  Click here!