It is August 1st & a few days ago I realized that I needed a new Calendar template for my “To Do” board but also a calendar template that my little man could explore with. So, I spent a good chunk of time developing calendar templates that I liked and that also had TRACEABLE month titles and also included the identical set in the printable with regular month titles.
[Click HERE to become a member – get unlimited access to ALL The Mommy Teacher Printables including this one!
OR CLICK HERE to purchase any one of these Calendar Templates individually from my TeachersPayTeachers Store.]
What can children learn from calendar exploration?
Patterns – The days of the week repeat their same order every week.
Vocabulary – Yesterday, today, tomorrow, weekend, days of the week, month, months of the year, holidays, etc.
Organization – Graphic organizers (like calendars) are so great for kids to be exposed to. They show order and give meaning to our everyday routines.
One-to-One Correspondence – We wrote one number in each square.
Weather Recording – Check out my weather tracking post with the September template attached for free!
Ordinal Numbers – When you say the days of the week in a sentence you would say “Today is August FIRST, tomorrow is August SECOND,” etc.
What did my calendar experience look like with my 3 year old?
I put our calendars on clipboards and we sat down at the playroom table and talked about them while we doodled on our calendars. I sang the days of the week song, the months of the year song, and then we counted how many days were in August. We “x’d” out the days that had already passed. We marked upcoming events with stickers. I prepared him in advance for days that mommy or daddy had something to do so that I can remind him by pointing to the calendar and he can visually see that the event will come and go.
Sean Patrick felt so “official” with his calendar on his clipboard. While I wrote the numbers and upcoming events on my calendar attached to the clipboard, he “wrote” what he wanted to do on his.
He made a lot of markings and said things like “I will go to Maya’s house on Friday, and MeMe will be 70 on Tuesday.” Haha I loved his made-up events. And his MeMe is only in her mid-50’s but one of her sisters told Sean Patrick that she was almost 70 haha.
He even asked me for another “August calendar” yesterday so that was my indicator that he actually had as much fun as I did with this activity.
A friend of mine asked me if I made name labels to keep track of school supplies… well, I didn’t but I do now! As a former teacher, I would have been grateful if parents would have used labels instead of a sharpie to personalize their child’s belongings or supplies and as a parent I am excited that this will save me time.
I like to edit these with a tracing font to get my little one to help!
I have a (semi) love-hate relationship with stickers. My kids peel them off and stick them all over the place and I am unsure what their purpose is at times other than leaving residue on things they stick to. Having said that, I have YOUNG children who don’t exactly keep track of small items or use things practically.
Sean Patrick got some cool toys at his birthday party this year, but I hid several of them because I wanted to use them sparingly. When I pulled out this sticky mosaics activity last week, it turned out to be a real gem.
There were 5 different vehicles made up of different colored shapes, and he picked the helicopter.
We decided early on to make it for his uncle who works for the US Aviation so it was really special to encourage him to finish so we could give it to his Uncle Nathan.
The best part is that we have been working on this a little every day ALL week and have only finished ONE vehicle template. I have been waiting until Mckayla falls asleep because she likes to destroy Sean Patrick’s art projects so it has been super fun one-on-one time working with him on this project.
This is what happens when the 19 month old is around the stickers.
And here are just some of the things he has been practicing with this activity:
Fine motor skills – Strengthening his control and coordination in his hands in order to peel the stickers off their backing and to stick them carefully onto the outline of the shape. Shape and Color identification – Identifying the shapes and colors needed in each part of the project. Spatial Awareness – Turning the sticker until it covers up the whole shape. Matching – Matching the accurate color and sticker to the individual outlines. Visual Discrimination – After selecting a sticker, trying to find that particular colored shape “hidden” in the page. Counting Practice -Counting how many more blue triangles you need to fill a space we were working on at the time. One-to-One Correspondence – Having manipulate one sticker to one outline at a time took lots of discipline as well.
Daddy helped with the very last part of the project to complete the tail of the helicopter. When he finished he was so proud and he asked “Now I get to work on another one?” Well, that was an easy one to answer.
So proud of himself for finishing 🙂
I seriously think I am going to order two more of these (one masculine and one feminine), stick them in the closet where I store my gift bags, and have a go-to present for the next birthday party we go to!
Here are the other ones they have on amazon:
I really love to hear from you…
Do dread having another sticker activity in your house?
Do you think your little one is at an age where he/she would enjoy this?
Do you know of any other sticker activities that are worth checking out?
I had planned to do a different Easter craft activity every day this week, but you know what? This week FLEW by and we were never home!
Being Spring Break, I knew my kindergartner would want to be on the GO so I planned the week chock full of stuff… play dates to the park, zoo, arcade and more! So needless to say that by the time we got home, took naps, woke up, it was already dinner time!
Tonight we will be having a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt with all of our friends at our house! It will be so much fun! (If you want to do this, simply get a package of LARGE plastic eggs and glow in the dark bracelets to fill them. Then throw them in your yard. Bam! Glow in the dark Easter egg hunt).
Anyway… onto the ONE Easter craft we were able to d
o – and we were able to complete it in about 15 minutes before we left for a play date one day this week! My kids call them Sun Crosses, for lack of a better name.
2 sheets of paper per kid, scissors, tissue paper and stick glue
Step 1. Fold the 2 sheets of paper in half long ways together.
Step 2. Draw half of a cross on the fold.
Step 3. Cut out the 1/2 cross.
Step 4. Flatten one cross and cut 3-4 inch strips of tissue paper (or use one large sheet of tissue paper for your entire cross).
Step 5. Put the stick glue around the outside edge of the cross.
Step 6. Place the tissue paper across the opening for the cross. Do not leave any gaps.
Step 7. Take the other sheet of paper with the cross cut out and cover one side with the stick glue. Then glue it directly on top of the other cross on the tissue paper side.
Step 8. Add your own artistic flare around the crosses.
Step 9. Place in a sunlit window and watch the light shine through the cross!
I threw out the uppercase A-R-T in the title of this post because even though my friend and I had a blast decorating plates with our kids, the following images do NOT show plates that you can eat from or really even wash. They will be on a plate stand in the kitchen most likely 😉
My friend Allie and I are both 24 weeks pregnant, we both have a two year and a half year old, and we both have a one year old (this was not planned by the way). So, we have had a sleepover this weekend to let our crazy worlds come together for a few days. It has been so sweet, and funny, and crazy of course. We decided it would be fun to let the little ones do an art activity together.
We found some pefect small, white melamine plates at Target and purchased some colorful sharpies, we headed back home to let our little ones decorate away. (PS – we learned the hard way that the bamboo melamine plates we found at Big Lots were a NO GO! Just trust me on this one.)
My friend Allie can write really cutesie and I can NOT write cutesie at all so she personalized all of the plates for us. Thanks Allie ! 🙂
We threw aprons on the little ones and let them color on their plates….
Then, we threw aprons on the one year olds and let them color on their plates (without their names on them), and we found out that this actually worked better to write the name AFTER coloring.
This next low-quality shot is just showing that I traced my little ones’ hands on the back and wrote the date.
I had originally intended to make dinner plates, but it didn’t quite workout that way. And after researching melamine and the process of making dinner plates, I was even more happy with the final product as a keepsake. We wanted a fast and funky activity to do so this was perfect for the weekend. But I found this if this is your kind of thing….. http://www.ehow.com/how_6913770_paint-melamine-dinner-plates.html – I’m sure I’ll make this happen in the future too 😉
Once again…here are my two kiddos plates…..up close and personal: