Tag Archive | social learning

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!

 

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!

 

 

Drop It Like It’s (a) Hot Potato

One of the most challenging social issues toddlers face is learning how to play with other children.  It takes a lot of time and practice.  There are two main facets to playing with other children; one is sharing and the other is playing cooperatively.  Many people think that cooperative play and sharing are the same thing but actually they are slightly different, so both skills need to be developed at this age.  Sharing, in essence, is taking turns or splitting something into equal parts. For example, there are some blocks; one baby plays with them and passes them on when finished or each baby gets an equal number to play with.  Cooperative play is working together in order to do something.  For example, everybody has access to all of the blocks and works together to make one big tower.  Today’s activity is a very simple way to begin practising cooperative play.

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 Hot Potato: Put on and sing the song “Hot Potato”.  Pass a potato wrapped in foil around.  When the song ends, the person holding the potato gets to unwrap a piece of foil.  The person who takes off the last piece of foil, wins a prize.  (repeat if you like)

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social

Specific Skill: Cooperative play

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 20 months + 3 weeks

1. To warm up, we read a book about potatoes.

2. I showed them the foil ball and explained how to play the game.  In the first round we had no problems passing the potato.  When the song comes to an end, the person holding the potato gets to take off a piece of foil.

Passing the potato

Passing the potato

O takes off the first layer of foil

O takes off the first layer of foil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Once it was realized that part of the game is taking off a piece of the foil, that is the part of the game that interested them the most.  So the next several rounds required a lot of encouragement on my part to get them to pass it along (rather than take off all the foil).  This is exactly where the cooperative play comes in.  If any participant stops doing what is required, the game falls apart; everybody has to do their part in order for the game to be successful (which in this case is simply passing a potato until the song is over).

O contemplates passing it or taking off the foil

O contemplates passing it or taking off the foil

With a lot of encouragement, she passes it

With a lot of encouragement, she passes it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….the final layer of foil….lands on M…

The final reveal!

M gets to peel the last layer!

O spots something and has to get involved.

O sees something and gets involved

Look!

Look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato!!  Yells, O!

Potato!! Yells, O!

Yay! M wins!

Yay! I found a potato!

Wow. A potato.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anybody this happy to see a potato.  So much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. We played the game several times making sure that everybody won a sticker at least once.  As they realized that they would have plenty of opportunity to peel a layer, it required less and less encouragement for them to pass it along (at which point we added other elements like passing it really fast or really slowly)