THE COW’S WEEK
The plan I’m following with Noarai is in http://www.ourpreschoolhomeschool.blogspot.com/ as well as all the resources they offer. But this plan is for children from 2 to 4 years and I’m trying to adapt it for my 14 month old toddler. The Cow’s week is the first one of the planning and I’m going to describe the work we did for each day. Here you can see the learning poster completed, but each day of the week we were filling it with the subject worked. As a toddler it’s very easy to distract so when we are in learning time I also keep her sitting on my lap with my arms at both sides, this way is easier for her to keep focus on the activity.
Monday: The cow’s day
1º ACTIVITY- We started this day with three videos I download from “you tube”: a) The first steps of the calf: it’s a good introduction to the vocabulary word of the week Calf. The first day Noarai enjoyed it but the next days I had to cut it. It’s a bit long for toddlers.
b) Ryan’s farm: is the “mooing” video. It’s a real sound of cows and this was Noarai’s favourite this week.
c) The Cow Song: it has a very simple chorus and they can practice the hello movement they already know and the “mooing” sound, it also has lots of pictures of cows and it’s pretty nice. This video activity was the first thing we did every day of the week.
2º ACTIVITY- After it, we took the Cow and Calf linked in the material of ourpreschoolhome and put it in our learning poster as you can see below.
3º ACTIVITY- Then we printed the Cow for colouring and we use finger painting to colour it, we did it in blue (because Noarai wanted) but it would be better to do it in yellow because it is the colour of the week. For painting with fingers I put her an old shirt, I sat her down on the highchair, and controlled the amount of painting she was taking each time and had near wipes. Noarai was pretty good not eating the painting J (most of the times) so that wasn’t a problem.
Tuesday: The square day
1º ACTIVITY- Videos
2º ACTIVITY- Square hunting. I showed her the shape of the week with an square cooking molded she just love. Then we went through the house trying to find more squares (pictures, books, mirrors for example) and telling this rime: Let’s have a walk, have a walk and see if we find some square. You can put your own tune. She enjoyed this game.
3º ACTIVITY- I got this cows from http://www.kiddyhouse.com/farm/cows/, and cut them in the shape of squares. I presented them to Noarai and she gave me a big smile. She glued one cow to the yellow square I made for the poster and we put it on the poster as you can see below.
4º ACTIVITY- I gave all the rest of the cows to her and we mixed them together in a bowl with dried pasta as you can see. The activity was to separate the cows from the pasta and put them in the small tin. But she only made three and then began to play with the pasta. This activity didn’t worked well. But as you will see with children and specially with curious toddlers not everything works and I have also to recognize that playing with the pasta was a lot more fun for her. If I would do it again I will give her a lot of cows and different bowls to play with them and don’t introduce a new material (in this case the pasta) this way would be easier to keep her focused in the square cows and playing with them in an out of the bowls that is the objective of the activity.
Wednesday: Review yellow and Squares
1º ACTIVITY- Videos
2º ACTIVITY- I showed her the yellow square of the poster and we put it in the poster together. She helped with the sticky tape pulling it out. We also reviewed that this color we worked last week. Last week we made a yellow hunting as you can see in the picture. We put these objects in a box in her bedroom with a yellow card and this picture in it. This way she can play with them in her independent time. In this activity we went to her bedroom and took all the objects and searched them in the picture repeating yellow often.
3º ACTIVITY- I printed again the same cow we used for finger painting and I also gave her some yellow squares sticks. She loved playing with sticks and this way we were working shape and color. I gave her the instruction of putting the sticks inside the cow, sometimes was hard but as you can see she did it pretty good. She then saw the square cows and wanted to put them in the picture, and I let her do it she just loved to put glue stick and this was a good opportunity. As you can see I direct a lot her learning time, and when she propose something I try to satisfy it because she is keeping lots of instructions and I also have to develop her creativity and independence.
Thursday: Number one’s day
2º Activity: I presented her the number of the week and we put one yellow square stick and one square cow. Put it in the learning poster.
3º Activity: I presented her the card number one with one monkey. Next to it I prepare a small cup and some material Noarai likes to count one (as you can see, a yellow stone, a pasta, and a balloon) We count one filling the cup with each item. When we arrived to the balloon she asked to blow it for her, and this way I introduced her proposition in our activity.
4ª Activity: I put a big one on the floor with paper and we passed through it, first fast, then slowly, then like birds, then like monkeys. You can use whatever your child loves, but the important thing is to pass through the number. She got tired soon and started to look for another activity, I tried to keep attention to her signs to change the activity or to stop learning time because it always has to be fun for her and for you.
5º Activity: I drew squares in a big paper on the wall to make vertical lines joining them. We have been working up and down all week in bath time. She has some animals they stick with water on the wall so we were playing with them all over the wall, saying up and down. Then we just move our arms up and down with the rubber animals. So she was prepared to this movement. I gave her a crayon and she matched them easily, because they were in a big surface. At first is difficult to control small surfaces and I found it true with Noarai. The same activity in a normal sheet wouldn’t worked.
Friday: The review day
1º Activity: Videos
2º Activity: Cows craft. I download this picture from http://www.coloring-pages-kids.com/ and stick it in a cardboard, I also drew a big square next to it. We filled the square with liquid glue (Noarai helped but it was too big for her attention), then we filled it with noodles. The instructions were to fill in the square. I used noodles because they are yellow and similar to the hay cows eat, but it would be great to fill it with hay. When we finished Noarai wanted to use the glue stick so I let her do it on the picture and then we sparkled some yellow glitter on it. She also wanted to use the yellow square sticks so we put one with the number, this way I respected her propositions and joined it with the work.
3º Activity: Finger wall painting. I used again the wall paper we used the day before. I put her a bin bag and prepared wipes. I kept the finger paint and controlled the amount of paint she’s taking, I also stayed behind her and prepared to stop her right hand. This activity requires a lot of obedience from the toddler, so keep sure he’s not tired and it’s prepare to follow your rules. And of course be prepared for any mess. But I have to say that she just loved this activity and it’s pretty obedient. You know your toddler and if he/she is not used to follow rules this is not a good activity to start.
This way we finished our work. Now I would like to share some tips I learnt: - Sing the songs as much as you can: bath time, lunch time, changing diapers, on the car. Be funny and your toddler will be soon singing. For mine, it takes four days to start singing or signing it. - Enjoy! And watch your baby for signs of tiredness to change the activity or stop. Maybe the activity it’s not interesting for her/him. Adapt always to her/him. Also control the amount of time you use, for Noarai it works well 30’-45’ minutes, look what works for yours. - Try to introduce their propositions in the learning time. You want them to follow rules but also you want them to be creative and independent. And if they propose something interesting, you can use it to help her/him learn what you want. - Try to keep him/her focused. If it’s possible sit him/her on your lap and close the circle of attention with your arms. - Try to keep the table or place you are working clean of anything attractive for your toddler. I use a table next to the wall so it’s easier to control it.
- Stick all your crafts in a special place so that your toddler can see them and show them to daddy, parents or friends.