A few weeks back I posted on the kids themes each week, and I thought it might be fun to blog regularly about what we've tried. I'm always on the lookout for fun, new activities - as well as any "war stories" about what I may want to avoid, haha!
To keep it "real", I am posting after the week is over instead of before. I think this keeps me honest as a blogger. I may have lofty plans for the week, but lets be real - we never accomplish all we set out to and nothing ever goes perfectly.
So you will be getting an honest version of the week - what worked, what didn't, and what was left.
To recap Dinosaur/Farm Animal week:
This week was a hit and it led in perfectly for the first week of school, when - what do ya know, they chose their first class book to be How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? I must be psychic or just plain lucky. We had already read How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? all week, and Hayden love trying to learn the names of the dinosaurs. Although he learned three dinosaur names, he still couldn't differentiate between all the different types by the end of the week. Which is ok! I'm sure we'll be doing more dinosaurs in the future. The only one he could pick out was the Pteranodon - but that was because of repeated exposure to Dinosaur Train.
There are LOTS of great (and free!) resources online for dino-exposure. The PBS site had fun printouts from Dinosaur Train that I will be using next time. Hayden also loved the interactive games they had on the show site (which also teach letter recognition and pattern matching).
We ended up watching The Land Before Time twice, but only by fast-forwarding through scary and sad parts. Unfortunately for Hayden, Dinosaur Train comes on right before we leave for school, so he won't be able to watch that one again if we do another Dino week. There are a few episodes online at PBS though, so that's one option.
I decided to extend Corbin's Farm Animal week into 2 weeks because he needs longer exposure to things to really get into them. He really loved F is for Farm (Baby Touch and Feel) and we read it every nap time and bedtime for 2 weeks. He is just now getting tired of it and we are starting to move on.
We also added Farm Friends (Guess Who?), which is a great "peek-a-boo" style book. It's a bit wordy for Corbin's level, so instead of their text, I just said " Peek-a-boo, guess who? It's a cow! Mooo." for each animal. And voila! He loved it.
I put his barn and farm animals out on the coffee table all week to encourage animal play. I also added ducks to the bathtub toys as well. And we watched Word World and Wonder Pets (which is on Netflix right now) for more animal exposure.
In the second week we got Corbin quacking like a duck in the bathtub and clucking like a chicken (including arm flapping) while watching a show - which was our goal - animal sounds. We're hoping that it wasn't a "fluke" and he will continue imitating noises.
I like the laid back pace we're doing - if I think we need more time on something, we'll take another week - or we may move on. Spending two weeks on animals was definitely the right choice and Hayden was pretty much done with Dinos after only one week.
I'll post tomorrow about Hayden's second theme: Nature!
What activities are you doing with your little ones? I'd love to hear them!