Tag Archive | family activity

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!

Walk a Brown Mile

We’re back!  Thanks for being patient with us during our hiatus!  It’s a shame we had to take one because we have done so many wonderful activities from the Reaching Roses curriculum that I wanted to share – but such is life, I suppose!  This week we are learning about colours again.  The ‘Colours’ activity plan from the Clever Clovers curriculum focused on blue, red, yellow and green.  This time we are using the ‘More Colours’ activity plan from Reaching Roses; we are learning about pink, brown, orange and purple!  Today our focus is on the colour brown.

 

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 DescriptionNature Walk: Go for a walk in nature and have your baby collect things that are brown.  Bring them home to share with others or use in other activities.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social Learning

Specific Skill: Awareness of nature

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

This is a pretty straight-forward activity that doesn’t need a lot of explaining.  Here are a few suggestions I do have though:

  1. Try not to be afraid to let your babies explore and touch things; that’s how they learn!  – When you see them touching something, ask them about it and comment on it (what is so interesting about this object that drew them to it?).  My girls still have a tendency to put things in their mouths when exploring so it is important that I stay close by when doing activities like this.

    O feels the brown tree bark

    O feels the brown tree bark

  2. Let your babies ‘lead’ the walk as much as possible.  – If they want to stop, stop.  If they want to walk in a certain direction, go that way.  Don’t rush them.

    Our leads the way

    O leads the way

  3. Bring a bag to collect items of interest. – This is really great because you can do a lot of follow-up activities with the things they find.  I allow most items in the bag, and if it’s not appropriate I don’t say “No”, I say something like, “Wow!  That is a really interesting giant stick you have found.  I can see why you want to bring it home, but it’s too big to fit in this bag, so I think we’ll have to leave it here.  Do you want to look at it for a while?  Do you want me to take a picture of it so we can look at it later?”

    Daddy carries a milk bag to collect things in

    Daddy carries a milk bag to collect things in

  4. Elaborate, elaborate, elaborate! – A toddler’s vocabulary, as I’m sure you have noticed, expands at a very rapid rate.  If your baby shows you something, talk about it – a lot!  For example, “Oh, cool!  You found some brown mud.  Do you know how this brown mud was made?  The rain fell from the clouds in the sky and made the dirt all wet.  Now the trees and flowers can drink the water from the ground.  Did you know that trees drink water too?”  – Talking this way helps to encourage a wider vocabulary and builds comprehension of words and concepts.  My girls often repeat what I said or ask questions about what I said which leads to even more conversation.

    "Brown mud!", says M

    “Brown mud!”, says O

When we arrived at the nature trail, we explained to the babies that on today’s nature walk, we were going to try to find things that are brown.  This doesn’t mean that we would ignore other interesting parts of our walk, just that we would make an extra effort to point out brown things and remind our babies to look for brown things.

Here’s what transpired!

M was all about the brown leaves….

 

Other brown things we found…

Some of our favourite pics of they day..

The ladies!

The ladies!

We love Daddy!

We love Daddy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O, deep in contemplation

O, deep in contemplation

 

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!