Tag Archive | outings

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!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles….(and Boats)

Research shows that words and phrases need to be learned in context in order to give language meaning.  When something is meaningful to somebody, it makes it’s way into their long term memory.  So, simply put, the more you can put language into context for your children, the more meaningful the language becomes and the more likely they are to remember and use the language!  (Indeed this forms the foundation of The Crystal Teaching Method philosophy and curricula)

Today’s culminating activity is an example of putting language into context.  I plopped the babies right into the middle of the language they have been learning, which made the words make more sense (more meaningful). Plus, it was super exciting, which made them want to use the language to express their experiences!

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

This week’s Theme: Transportation

Activity Description: See and experience transportation in action

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 19 months + 3 Weeks

 

Planning

There are several different options for this activity.  Here are a few that I came up with:

  • Go to a train or subway station, ride the train!
  • Take a local ferry somewhere, go sailing, canoeing or visit a harbour!
  • Visit the airport or sit somewhere where you can see airplanes taking off and landing…or go on vacation and take a plane….wouldn’t that be nice :0)
  • Go to a car show or go on a small road trip.
  • Go to an amusement park and ride on boats, cars, planes and trains!

 

We chose to go to an amusement park!  And boy oh boy, did we have fun!

Train!

Train!

Choo-choo!

Choo-choo!

O riding the train

O riding the train

M lovin' the train ride

M lovin’ the train ride

Boat!

Boat!

Do you like this one?

Do you like this one?

Car!

Car!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the front seat for once!

In the front seat for once!

Plane!  They were too small to ride this.....

Planes! They were too small to ride this…..

... so we did a different one that went up in the air...

.. so we did a different one that went up in the air

...and talked about how it flies just like a plane!

…..and talked about how it flies like a plane!

 

Relaxin' in the shade

Relaxin’ in the shade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S….

Interested in some of the context-based activities we did to learn this language in the first place? Click here!

Dinner is Served!

We’ve come to the end of the Meal Time activity plan from the Reaching Roses curriculum and our culminating activity is going out to eat!  When it comes to taking toddlers to restaurants it can sometimes seem like it’s more effort than it’s worth.  As a friend of mine put it, “Why would I pay to put myself through torture?”…..here are some tips on how to make eating  out with your toddler a more enjoyable experience (and of course a learning experience ;0).

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

This week’s Theme: Meal time

Activity Description: Go out to a restaurant for a meal and involve your baby in the experience as much as possible

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 19 months

 

1. As a precursor to our outing, we read two stories “Going Out”, (Oxenbury) and “Froggy Eats Out” (London).  We talked about appropriate behaviours, manners and social interaction (like being seated, choosing food from a menu, etc).  I explained to them that we were going to go to a restaurant to eat dinner too. They were wiggling with excitement.

2.  I checked the menu a head of time and printed out a couple of food options for the girls so that when it was time to order, they would have a picture to look at in order to make a choice (in case the menu didn’t have many pictures).

3. We had a very enjoyable meal (the best dining-out-as-a-family outing so far)…because we changed our strategy to involve them in the experience.  Here are some things we did:

 

  • We allowed them to choose their own food (Cognitive learning: decision making)

 What a concept!  I don’t know why we never did this before.  Luckily the menu had lots of pictures so I didn’t need to use the ones I printed.  We explained again that this is a “book” where you can pick what you want to eat.  They both chose the same thing.

Looking at the food options

Looking at the food options

M knows straight away what she wants

M knows straight away what she wants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • We encouraged interaction with the server (Social Learning: common social settings, Language: using language in context)

We encouraged them to say hello, order their own food, say thank you to the server when things were brought to the table – you could even let your toddler pay.  (When our server came, I just let her know that the girls would try to order themselves.  She was very obliging.)

Ordering their own food!

Ordering their own food!

  • We encouraged them to self-feed (Emotional learning: self-confidence, Fine motor skills: eating)

Actually this was easy for us because they ordered mostly finger foods BUT…. I brought along our own plastic utensils (that they are used to feeding themselves with and even a couple of plastic bowls).  Don’t be embarrassed to do this, it can really make your toddler more comfortable and therefore, your life a lot easier.  Often at restaurants the dishes are very heavy, breakable and too big for a toddler to easily manage them.

M drinks using a straw

M drinks using a straw

Yummy finger foods!

Yummy finger foods!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for dessert

Time for dessert

Well done O!

Well done O!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M likes ice cream

M likes ice cream

Good job M!

Good job M!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • We practiced table manners (Social Learning : social norms)

If they started to be loud, I reminded them of the books we read before.  (I used the same phrasing as I did in the book).  I told them to look around the restaurant and see that there were other people who don’t want to hear yelling and that nobody else is sitting at their table yelling.  This seemed to work.  Although there was a baby somewhere that was crying and they kept saying “baby, cry, cry”..(I’m not sure if they were just expressing their understanding of a sound or weather they were trying to argue by saying that somebody else was being loud)…LOL!

We all really enjoyed ourselves!

We all really enjoyed ourselves!

As I said before, this was the best restaurant experience we have had so far (with the babies in tow).  We didn’t have to get out a single toy, we didn’t have to offer them appeasement to keep them quiet, we weren’t apologizing to people, we weren’t fussing about them the whole time.  As a matter of fact, Mr. Y and I actually had a couple of  interesting adult conversations!

Try this out with your toddler and leave us a comment to let us know how it went!

P.S. Want to see a few of the activities from the Meal Time! activity plan?  Click here.

Oh, These Are the Shapes in Our Neighbourhood….

Goodness me!  We have come to the last day of the entire Clever Clovers curriculum!  It has been a wonderful 3 months – thank you for sharing in on our experiences!  I have had several emails from our readers asking when the next program, Reaching Roses, will be ready for purchase.  I apologize, but it is not quite ready for publication yet! I am going to release it in two parts (because this stage of developmental growth is 6 months long; 18-24 months).  Some of you don’t need 6 months of activity plans, so I am going to release it in two, 3 month packages.  The first package will be ready ASAP….  and I will start the Reaching Roses program with my girls on Monday.  I am looking forward to working with a new set of skills and objectives.

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

This week’s Theme: Basic Shapes

Activity Description: Go on a photo scavenger hunt in your neighbourhood to find shapes.  Take at least 4 pictures of each shape and make a “My Neighbourhood Shapes” book with the pictures you take.

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

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 18 months + 1 week

1. As a precursor to the project, I explained that we would go for a walk and try to find shapes so we can take pictures of them.

2. Off we went!  As we walked, I pointed out shapes to reiterate what our purpose was.  From then on I would ask, “Can you find a triangle?, for example.  It ended up being that I pointed out all of the shapes we found (except for one).  They would repeat what I said and sometimes trace the object with their fingers.  They really enjoyed interacting with the objects (though sometimes it wasn’t possible).

Circles:

Pedestrian crossing button

Pedestrian crossing button

M presses the button

M presses the button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water sprinkler

Water sprinkler

Tail pipe on a truck

Tail pipe on a truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I asked, "can you find a circle?" She brought me this and said "kerkel"!

When I asked, “Can you find a circle?” M brought me this and said “kerkel”!

I'm not exactly sure what it is, though it fell from a tree.

I’m not exactly sure what it is, though it fell from a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars: (we only found two so I will add a couple of pictures from our home)

Movie theater

Movie theatre

Hub cap

Hub cap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squares:

Street sign

Street sign

Somebody's driveway

Somebody’s driveway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are these things anyway?  I've always though telephone or electrical wires.

What are these things anyway? I’ve always thought telephone or electrical wires.

Somebody's window

Somebody’s window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triangles:

3. Now it’s time to make the book (P.S. This template I made is provided in the curriculum. Just add your own pictures!) Visit our shop!

book coverpages of book 1pages of book 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Last but not least, print, laminate, staple and enjoy reading it together!

…Near the beginning you will see M patting her head (she’s communicating that in the picture she is wearing a hat) also she starts saying “beep beep”, this is indicating that she sees the pedestrian crossing button that she pressed and heard a “beep”.  O quite enjoyed the book also but was not keen on the video camera so you don’t see much of her.

Want to see other culminating projects from the Clever Clovers curriculum? Click here. 

Down on the Farm

We have come to the end of the Farm Animals activity plan from Clever Clovers.  What better way to culminate all of our mooing, baaing and cock-a-doodle-dooing, than by visiting a farm!  The weather was a bit more frigid than anticipated and the pig pen was dismantled, but other than that, we had a lovely time!

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

This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Visit a farm, petting zoo or winter fair (where livestock is present)

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive, Gross Motor, Language, Social, Emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 week

1. We had to drive about an hour to get there so when we were in the car, I was explaining to them that we were going to a farm, where they could walk around and see ducks and cows and sheep!  They were excited.

2. When we arrived, as we were walking towards the farm, I was saying, look!  There is the big, red barn.  (I’m not sure how much they heard because they saw a bunch of Canadian Geese and starting yelling “duck & quack, quack!”)…. LOL!  If you’re not familiar with our visit to feed the “ducks” a couple of weeks ago, click here.

Sitting outside of the big red barn
Sitting outside of the big red barn

Here are some pictures from our visit:

O was waving "hello"

Curious beings

O being brave with the "horse"

O being brave with the “horse”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M's favourite: Rooster (it wasn't even one of our weekly words, she picked it up through stories and such.

M’s fave: Rooster (it wasn’t one of our weekly words), she picked it up through stories.

Cock-a-doodle-doo!  The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn't refer to as a duck.

Cock-a-doodle-doo! The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn’t refer to as a duck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O spies some baby chicks.

O spies some baby chicks.

 

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are chickens)

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are hens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

 

M with the ducks (and other birds)

M with the ducks (and other birds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So where are the videos you ask?  It seems that when I thought I was recording, I was not.  AND when I thought I was not recording, yup, you got it….I was.  So there’s a whole lot of feet and ground footage….I am pretty disappointed because there was so much excitement that I thought I was capturing.

I think taking children to a farm or petting zoo is a pretty common thing to do and obviously provides so much opportunity for exploration and learning.  But, because we have been learning about farm animals for two weeks, this outing was even more beneficial to learning.  That is, because the target language was needed/used in context (in a fun and natural way), this will help solidify their understanding.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!