Thursday, March 31, 2011

c is for cow

Sign Language & Vocabulary

We reviewed the sign for cow. We also talked about how baby cows are called calves.

Books & Poetry 

The Cow that Went Oink by Bernard Most

This is a simple story about a cow that cannot say "moo" but says "oink" instead. The cow is laughed at by other cows and feels sad until she meets a pig that cannot say "oink" but says "moo". The two animals help each other learn how to say the proper sound. It is such a silly story, that Jonathan picked up on the humor of a cow saying oink right away. He also liked the sounds the other animals would make in laughing- such as "baa-ha". We used the story to talk about being nice to those who are different from us.

Little Calf by Kim Lewis

This is a sweet story about a little girl who lives on a farm. Together with her daddy, she watches a little calf be born and take its first steps. It's a short quick read with beautiful realistic pictures. We talked about "calves" being baby cows. Jonathan seemed to enjoy this simple story, although it wasn't one he wanted to return to.

The Cow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Pretend Play 

We acted out the story The Cow that Went Oink with our puppets. Here's Jonathan showing off his puppets-- this is the first time he really engaged with our puppets:


We played the How Many Spots? game from 2 Teaching Mommy's farm unit. In this game, we used black pom poms (they also recommend black beans) and would put the appropriate number of spots on the cow. Jonathan didn't get too into this activity- he wanted to throw around the pom poms. Oh well! He had fun, I guess. :)


We played with a cowbell and mallet and experimented with tapping the cowbell softly, loudly, quickly and slowly. This was part of a musical literacy kit that we got from the library.

My old cow is singing loudly
Moo, Moo, moo-ing all day long.
Then she moos so very softly
Moo-ing 'til the day is done. 

Moo-ing loudly, moo-ing loudly,
Moo-ing loudly all day long.
Moo-ing softly, moo-ing softly,
Softly 'til the day is done. 

In the kit it said to tap the cowbell loudly and softly as indicated in the song. Then, you can substitute hitting the cowbell quickly and slowly. Jonathan loved experimenting with the cowbell.

Library Links 

Little Calf
The Cow that Went Oink 

Web Resources 

C is for Cow @ First School
Cow Progressive Printable Puzzle @ First School
Cows Lesson @ Letter of the Week Preparatory Page

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

c is for carrot

Sign Language 

We reviewed the sign for carrot.


The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

This classic book was a great read for both Jonathan and Grace. It is short story about a little boy who plants a carrot seed and carefully takes care of it. His family tells him that the seed won't grow but the boy is persistent and is rewarded in the end with a huge carrot. Jonathan read this book with his papa this week and enjoyed reading it again with Mama and Grace.

The Enormous Carrot by Vladimir Vagin

This is a book based on a Russian folk tale. Two rabbits find an enormous carrot growing in their garden. When its time to harvest the carrot, they cannot pull the carrot out. They pull and pull, but "the carrot stayed put. It wouldn't come out." One by one their friends join them "but the carrot stayed put. It wouldn't come out." That is, until the smallest friend of all joins them- and then all the friends enjoy a carrot feast. Jonathan really got into this story-- he would repeat the refrain and try to "pull" his carrot out of the dirt. It's a great lesson on working together and asking for help- something my independent toddler needs to remember at times!


We used our carrot books to talk about sizes. I printed out the Carrot Sizes tri-fold book from Homeschool Share and we talked about which carrots were big-medium-small. We also compared the size of carrot seeds and pumpkin seeds when we did our planting activity. Jonathan has gotten the concepts of big and small before, but medium was a new concept for him. We also talked about the word enormous meaning something really big.

We also did a vegetable pattern file folder game from homeschool share. Overall, this wasn't a hit. Jonathan isn't interested in patterns yet. He did match the vegetable cards with the pictures on the pattern, but that only lasted five minutes.


We colored a "c is for carrot" coloring page I found over at Twisty Noodle. He wasn't as interested in coloring today either.

We also used glue to glue down pictures of produce that begin with the hard C (/k/) sound- cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, and corn. I found that activity at Homeschool Share as well.

Practical Life 

We planted seeds with Nana. We planted carrot seeds and pumpkin seeds. Jonathan wasn't overly enthusiastic, but he still helped Nana pat the dirt and sprinkle the seeds. He didn't really want to touch the dirt though. He doesn't like getting very messy, so he insisted that a washcloth be right next to him.

We talked about how the carrot seeds were small and the pumpkin seeds were big.

If we do "c is for carrot" again, I think I'd love to make a carrot cake with the kids. And maybe use raw carrots to do some carrot stamp painting... so many great ideas, so little time!

Library Links 

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
The Enormous Carrot by Vladimir Vagin

Web Resources 

The Carrot Seed lapbook & resources @ Homeschool Share
C is for Carrot @ Walking by the Way

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tot School- c is for car and cat (26 Months)

Tot School
Jonathan is 26 Months
This week we started learning about the lowercase letter c. We're focusing on the hard c sound such as in "cat" and "car".


We have a new memory verse this week from the Songs for Saplings CD:

"We will be changed into his likeness" 2 Corinthians 3:18. 

We printed out the memory verse from the Totally Tots printable. Right now, all we personally do is sing the song together and look at the memory verse page.


We read lots of books this week about cars and cats. Here were some of our favorites- click on the links to see our reviews!

My Car by Byron Barton
Have You Seen my Cat? by Eric Carle
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
Cool Cars by Tony Mitton
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen

Motor Skills 

We started out with nice weather this week, but ended up being in the 20s and 30s by the end of the week. I think this is the longest winter I can remember. I can't wait for Spring.

Still, we got to play outside at the beginning of the week. Jonathan used his new crazy coupe car:

We also tried to move and stretch like cats on one of the colder days. And we played with our basketball hoop quite a bit.

For fine motor skills, we did a lot of work on puzzles. We did some chunky puzzles by Melissa & Doug which featured cars and cats. These puzzles are too easy for him now, but he still enjoys putting the pieces in:

We also did a three piece cat puzzle that Carisa over at 1+1+1=1 provided as part of her new tot school printables page. It took him a couple tries, but he figured out how to put the pieces together to make the cat picture. We also used her cat lacing card and he really enjoyed that activity too.


We did a couple math activities this week. I downloaded some printables to go along with the Cars movie from 1+1+1=1. We used her Counting with Cars activity and counted how many cars were on each card. This gave us good practice of counting 1-10. Jonathan has the sequence of 1-10 down, but he doesn't always keep track of which items he's counted. So this was a great activity to give us practice counting.

We also have been using the Parking Lot Game printable from Happy Brown House to line up Jonathan's new matchbox cars and count them. He puts one car in each space, which helps him visualize and count the cars.


We've been driving Jonathan's matchbox cars on some Highway Letter Cards from Making Learning Fun. He loves driving his cars on the roads and it's great practice for getting the motion of the letters down:

We also did some "C is for Cat" printables from 1+1+1=1. I laminated a few of her "C is for Cat" pages and gave Jonathan a dry erase marker. We did the "Find the Cats" page where he tried to connect all the cats by making lines on the page.

We also did the Connect the Cats page where he traced the dotted lines. He actually did surprising well at this one. While the lines weren't perfectly straight, he got the concept down pretty well!


We played with paint, by rolling his toy cars through paint and then onto paper. We also used a car cookie cutter and stamped cars onto the paper using the paint.

We used our Do-a dot markers to find uppercase and lowercase Cs on another one of Carisa's C is for Cat printables. We also used her printables to color cats different colors.

And we played with yellow playdough using a Cc Playdough mat from Homeschool Creations. We used our car and cat cookie cutters.


We had Cars movie night(s) last weekend, where we watched the Disney/Pixar movie. Jonathan was really enthralled with the story. He liked Lightning McQueen!

We also watched "Millions of Cats" on a Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD.


Jonathan's favorite song this week was the "Car Car" Song by Woody Guthrie. We listed to a version of the song on a Kimbo CD.


We used another one of Carisa's printables to play a Memory game. I printed out two sets of the cat shapes printable from 1+1+1=1 and we played a memory-style matching game with them. He already can name the shapes, so we worked on finding "matches". First we matched the shapes with all the shapes facing up. Then we attempted the "memory" style game with the shapes facing down. That was a little harder of a concept for Jonathan to grasp- the taking turns and turning one set of cards over at a time. But, he still had fun and got the concept of matching.


We made cupcakes to go along with our "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" story. Jonathan had fun helping me ice the cupcakes:

and eating them too!

Practical Life 

Jonathan made a big step in potty training this week-- he's at least using the potty every time I ask him if he needs to go. He was holding it in until after he got his diaper back on.

I realized he kept leaving the room when he needed to go potty, so this time I started closing the door partway when he would sit on the potty. I think having the privacy has helped him! He isn't initiating going potty, but it's a big step forward! We've been using M&Ms as rewards and he loves picking out what colors he wants.

So we've had a busy week

I'm linking up to:

Link & Learn @ No Time for Flashcards
Tot School @ 1+1+1=1
What My Child is Reading @ Mouse Learns, Mouse Grows

Friday, March 25, 2011

c is for cat

Image Source
We had fun talking about cats for a couple days. I even pulled out a beanie baby cat I had and he named it "Reilly" after the his nana's dog. He had fun toting it around for a couple days.

Sign Language 

We reviewed the sign for cat.


Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

This book is consistently referenced on lists of best picture books. Written in 1928, it was awarded a Newberry Honor Award in 1929 (one of very few picture books to do so). It's a simple story about an older couple who wish to adopt a cat. The man sets out to find his wife a cat, and ends up bringing home "hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats" because he can't decide which one to bring home. The cats fight over which one is the most beautiful until only one is left. It's a great story for discussing pride and humility. Jonathan, however, wasn't as drawn in to the black and white illustrations. Watching the video (see below) made him appreciate the story more, but I think it may be more suitable for older children.

Have You Seen My Cat? By Eric Carle

In this story, a little boy has lost his cat and begins to look for her. His search takes him around the world, encountering many different types of cats. The text is very simple and repetitive, but it engaged Jonathan and he would participate in the story. It also helped his vocabulary as we encountered lions, bob cats, pumas, jaguars, etc. He would name each animal as we would see Carle's vivid illustration. This was a story he wanted to read over again- it was a definite hit!

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

This is a cute story, similar in style to the other "If You Give" books. However, I really didn't enjoy it as much as the other stories (particularly If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). The story didn't flow very smoothly to me. Jonathan, however, did like the story and kept saying that the cat was silly.


We watched Millions of Cats, part of one of the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs.


Carisa at 1+1+1=1 has just this week launched some free Tot School printables for each letter of the alphabet. I was very excited to make use of some of her resources. I laminated a few of her "C is for Cat" pages and gave Jonathan a dry erase marker. We did the "Find the Cats" page where he tried to connect all the cats by making lines on the page.

We also did the Connect the Cats page where he traced the dotted lines. He actually did surprising well at this one. While the lines weren't perfectly straight, he got the concept down pretty well!

Motor Skills 

By the end of this week, the weather turned cold again- we were in the 20s and 30s and there was no hope of going outside. So we pretended to stretch and move like a cat to get a little bit of his energy out.

We also did some work on puzzles. We used our Melissa & Doug chunky pets puzzle which, at this point, is too easy for him. He still had fun with it though.

We also used the cat  puzzle printable that Carisa provided at 1+1+1=1. This was a three piece picture that he had to put together and he did a great job! It took a couple tries, but he got it.

We also did the lacing card from Carisa's printable as well. He really enjoyed poking the lace through the holes- I think he was pretty proud of himself. He also enjoyed dragging the cat card behind him as he walked. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a picture of that one.


We used more of Carisa's printables- I printed out the dot painting page and we dot-painted the upper-case C and lower case C's. We also used the Colored Cats page. I told Jonathan what color to color each cat and then he picked up the appropriate marker and colored on each one. It was a very simple activity, but one that he seemed to enjoy. He knows his colors, so I was mostly working with him on following directions. He did a pretty good job and had fun using markers.


I printed out two sets of the cat shapes printable from 1+1+1=1 and we played a memory-style matching game with them. He already can name the shapes, so we worked on finding "matches". First we matched the shapes with all the shapes facing up. Then we attempted the "memory" style game with the shapes facing down. That was a little harder of a concept for Jonathan to grasp- the taking turns and turning one set of cards over at a time. But, he still had fun and got the concept of matching.


We made cupcakes after reading If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Jonathan had fun trying to help me ice the cupcakes.

He wanted to eat the cupcake upside down though!

Library Links 

Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

Web Resources 

Shape Cat Art Project @ A Mommy's Adventures
C is for Cupcake @ Totally Tots
C is for Cat printables @ 1+1+1=1
Cat puppets @ No Time for Flashcards

Thursday, March 24, 2011

c is for car

Image Source
(I am in love with this Etsy store!)

Sign Language

We reviewed the sign for car


My Car by Byron Barton

Jonathan has really liked Byron Barton's books with their bold illustrations, and this one was no exception. This book is about Sam, a guy who loves his car and takes good care of it. The book explains how Sam drives his car, checks the oil and the gas, and obeys the laws as he drives. Jonathan loved this book and kept asking to read it again. It's the perfect book for the car-loving child!

The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca

This is a very imaginative book that goes through the alphabet with alliterative words related to car racing. The detailed watercolor illustrations depict 100 years of history, featuring racecars of differing decades. The 26 cars race and zoom around the track in an exciting race. This is such a fun book but the details were still a little above Jonathan's head. I think it's one that we will appreciate even more as Jonathan gets older.

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen

This is such an imaginative book! In this book, a little boy tells his father about the fancy car he would build- complete with swimming pool and the ability to fly and go underwater. The story is told in a rhyme that is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and the illustrations are fun and detailed. Jonathan enjoyed this book a lot and wanted it read over again- the highest praise from my 2 year old!
Cool Cars by Tony Mitton

This is our second book from Tony Mitton's Amazing Machines series. The book shows animals riding in different types of cars. The illustrations are vibrant and the rhyming text describes what cars do. It's a fun, informative read and it was probably among my favorites for the week.

Motor Skills 

I found a Crazy Coupe at a local consignment sale. We were blessed with some nice Spring weather at the beginning of the week, so we were able to play outside:

He loves his new car! 

Movie Night 

We watched Cars of course-- this was Jonathan's first feature length animated movie and he was really drawn in. We broke it down into two nights, and he seemed to really enjoy it.


We downloaded some Cars printables from 1+1+1=1. We used the Counting with Cars printable the most, to practice counting 1-10.

Jonathan got some new little cars last week for giving up his pacis and he absolutely loves playing with them. So we also have been using the Parking Lot Game printable from Happy Brown House. Instead of using the dice, we've been using the game boards in two different ways- the numbers board to help him count how many cars he has. And the colors board to help him sort his cars by color. He loves parking his cars!


I printed out some Highway Letter Cards (A-C) from Making Learning Fun and Jonathan's enjoyed moving his cars along the "roads". It's great practice for learning the motions of writing letters someday.


We played with paint by rolling our cars through red and blue paint. We also used a car cookie cutter to stamp cars onto our painting:


We listened to a rendition of Woody Guthrie's "Car Song".

We had a lot of fun with this-- Jonathan loves cars!

Library Links 

Cool Cars
If I Built a Car
My Car
The Racecar Alphabet

Web Resources 

C is for Car @ First School
Cars Tot Pack @ 1+1+1=1
Racecar Activities & Printables @ Making Learning Fun
Parking Lot Game @ Happy Brown House
Cars @ No Time For Flashcards

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Letter Bb Books

We've finished up learning about the letter b and have moved on to letter c. Before I start showing you what we've been doing, I thought I'd highlight a few books that we looked at throughout our Bb lessons:

My b Sound Box by Jane Monclure

This is a new edition of a series that has been around for a while. The series is just perfect for helping toddlers recognize starting sounds and build vocabulary. The story is very simple- a little girl (little b) finds items that begin with her sound and puts them in a box. There are pictures above the vocabulary words used in the story to help your child become familiar with the way the words look. At the end of the book, there's a list of the "b" words used in the story, as well as other "b" words you can talk about. Jonathan sat and paid attention to the story and wanted it read often enough that he began to make connections between the words and the sounds. We plan on looking at more books in this series!

The Berenstain's B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstain

This is a classic book that I remember from my childhood. It's not a book featuring the popular Berenstain Bears. It's a book that uses about thirty three different B words to tell a zany story. Each page adds to the story and it's just a fun read. Try reading the story fast- that will challenge you and bring giggles from your tot! Jonathan enjoyed this story as much as I remember enjoying it!

Bob Books- Alphabet (My First Bob Books)- AB Book

This set of books contains 12 small books featuring two or three short stories. Each story focuses on a particular letter of the alphabet and introduces some basic vocabulary. They are simply illustrated and use only a few words per page. For Bb some of the words we focused on included bear, beaver, bunny, bed, breakfast. Jonathan is drawn in to the stories and seems to really enjoy them a lot. I think we will really enjoy more of this series!

Baby Einstein Alphabooks

We received these from a friend at church and both Jonathan and Grace really enjoy them. There's a little board book for each letter of the alphabet with three pictures inside. The pictures are a combination of cartoons, paintings and pictures. Jonathan does very well at naming the different items and Grace just enjoys looking at the pictures. It makes this a nice supplement to the letter we're looking at.
Note: The biggest "issue" with the books is that the animal character on the cover of the book does not always match the letter. This could confuse some children, especially if they are not familiar with the Baby Einstein character names.

Library Links 

My b Sound Box
My First Bob Books (Alphabet)
The Berenstain's B Book

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reading Our Library- Frank Asch's Moonbear

Frank Asch is best known for his Moonbear series of books. I was sent a couple of books from this series by my sister-in-law and we've really enjoyed the books. Moonbear is the protagonist of the stories along with his friend Little Bird. I try to make different voices for the characters and this has entertained Jonathan as we've read them.

The stories are simply told and illustrated, but they also combine elements of science/nature appreciation. Frank Asch sets up the simple science lesson in four small square pictures at the beginning of the book.

Moonbear's Bargain (formerly titled Bear's Bargain)
In this book, Moonbear makes a bargain with his friend, Little Bird. Moonbear wants to learn how to fly and Little Bird wants to learn how to be big. The story is all about how the friends creatively solve these problems to help one another reach their goals. The science lesson is seen in watching a big pumpkin grow from a tiny seed.

Moonbear's Skyfire (formerly titled Skyfire)
In this Moonbear adventure, Moonbear sees his first rainbow and thinks the sky is on fire. Moonbear wants to go put out the fire. Little Bird, however, wants to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is a cute story that is perfect for this time of year (March/St. Patrick's Day). the science lesson is seen in exploring rainbows.

Moonbear's Shadow (formerly titled Bear Shadow)

In this adventure, Moonbear goes fishing but finds that his shadow frightens the fish away. So Moonbear sets out to get rid of his pesky shadow. It's a great story for talking about shadows and the position of the sun.

Happy Birthday Moon

This story explores echoes. Moonbear wants to know when the Moon's birthday is. In talking with the moon, he hears his own voice echoing and learns that the moon shares his birthday. So, Moonbear sets out to give the Moon a present. It's a very cute story about friendship and forgiveness as well as seeing the position of the moon.

There are many more books in the Moonbear series as well as many other titles by Frank Asch. These books are so cute and very toddler friendly. I think we will be enjoying these books well into Jonathan's preschool and elemenrary school years!

Find These Books in Your Local Library: 

Moonbear's Bargain / Bear's Bargain
Moonbear's Skyfire / Skyfire
Moonbear's Shadow / Bear Shadow
Happy Birthday Moon!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tot School- b is for ball and boat (26 months)

Tot School
Jonathan is 26 Months
After having RSV last week, we slowly got back into gear this week. We finally finished up our letter b activities by having fun with balls and boats!


We continued to review our memory verse from Songs for Saplings.


We read lots of books this week about balls and boats. Here were some of our favorites- click on the links to see our reviews!

Yellow Ball by Molly Bang
Boats by Byron Barton
Froggy Plays Soccer by Jonathan London
Busy Boats by Tony Mitton

Jonathan's B Book
And we also made our own "B" book. I downloaded the template from Alphabet Avenue, but then added some of our own pages to focus on "b" words that we learned about. I searched and found free clip art to use in our pictures. Jonathan really enjoyed looking through his very own "b" book and would tell me the items on each page. He also got very good at pointing out that each word began with b!

Our Bb book

b is for boat

Motor Skills 

We had a burst of Spring this week! Midweek we went to our local park and Jonathan had so much fun climbing and using the slide. He's so much more confident than he was last fall-- he did the climbing wall all by himself!

We also went to our local forest preserve and played at the toddler playground with a friend. Jonathan loved a feature called "the cave"-- they carved a small tunnel in the rock that toddlers could run through. I think it reminded him of the bear hunt- and he wasn't scared at all!

We also played with balls quite a bit this week-- Jonathan really enjoys his basketball hoop. We also made a little ball pit using his wading pool and all his different balls around the house:

Jonathan in the ball pit
Gracie playing with her ball


We were lighter on math this week. I tried to work on patterns with Jonathan, using foam ball shapes I picked up on clearance at Michaels-- but he was more interested in playing than with patterns.

We also played with our Melissa & Doug beginner pattern blocks. There is one pattern that makes a boat, so we worked on that one this week. 


We played with paint, using a bouncy ball in a box.

Our ball painting-- nothing fancy!
We put ball stickers on a letter b, which was good fine motor practice!

We played with blue playdough using a Bb Playdough mat from Homeschool Creations. Jonathan still doesn't really get the concept that he can make the playdough into something. But he likes mashing the playdough around. :)

And we made a boat craft by folding shapes in half. He wasn't too interested in this one though. Folding doesn't catch his interest as much as stickers and glue!


We sang several classic songs this week such as: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, & Row Row Row Your Boat.

Practical Life 

Our biggest change is that Jonathan gave up his pacifiers this week! He's only used them at nap time or night for over 6 months now, but I've really been chicken to take them away for good. However, his pacis were so well loved that in the past month, he had chewed little holes in some of them. I'd heard that this takes all the enjoyment out of them.

I'd been telling him for about a month that we were going to say bye bye to the pacis soon. Since he was getting so frustrated with them, I thought he could say bye bye to the broken ones. I got a little box and had him put 2 pacis in the box. We gave the box a little kiss and said bye bye to them. When I got downstairs, he was still crying and I had second thoughts. I was going to just leave the box on his dresser so he could see the pacis, but he decided that he wanted to put them all  in the box. And then he went right to sleep with his teddy bear!

When he woke up, he found several little matchbox cars in his box. He was so proud! He lined them up and started playing with them on his rug.

The first night, he still was a little sad, but understood he said bye bye to the pacis. He's never even asked for the pacis again! Here I was so worried that it would be a big deal, and he practically did it himself. He's played with his cars constantly the past few days-- I think he's really going to like the c is for car activities I have lined up for next week!

Mom's Favorite: 

I love that they are actually smiling at each other! 

I'm linking up to:

Link & Learn @ No Time for Flashcards
Tot School @ 1+1+1=1
What My Child is Reading @ Mouse Learns, Mouse Grows

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...