LITTLE WONDERS – TODDLER PINK

July-August 2010

Hello, Toddlers! Hello Parents!

This month’s learning theme for Little Wonders’ Toddler Pink class is “In the Garden and Weather” This means lots of fun exploration and discoveries in the great outdoors! You don’t have to go too far. Your very own garden would be a perfect learning spot.

Toddlers are “sensory creatures” which means that they develop concepts by trying to make sense of what they see, hear, feel, touch, smell, or taste. Oooh! But watch out for whatever your kid puts in her mouth when she’s busy exploring!

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT and EXPLORATION

There are lots of things to learn in the garden. Take your cues from your child and maximize those “teachable moments.” What is your child pointing to? Does he like to run after birds and butterflies?  Or is your child the contemplative type who sits still and stares at the clouds up high or the ants crawling on the ground or around flowers. Just remember to respect your child’s pace of learning and personality type.

Of course, nobody learns everything in just one day, so we need to break our lessons into smaller learning topics and activities. But if you feel that your child is ready for a little more challenge, then feel free to present more learning challenges.

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT & EXPLORATION (CDE- WEEK 2)

Let’s go to the next level of our learning adventure through this month’s theme of “In the Garden”.

This week: Fun with Flowers

Sensory Learning: Let’s go to the garden and fill up our senses. Point to and name each colour that you see.  Grass is green. The leaves of trees are green. The leaves of plants are also green. And then…what are those fluffy round and colourful things—red, pink, white, orange, yellow? They make the garden look so beautiful. They are called flowers. Can you say the word “flower”? Touch flower petals. Are they rough or smooth? Soft or hard? And how about those sharp things on their stems? Watch out! They can be prickly. They are called thorns. How do flowers smell like?

Names of Flowers: Just like each person has his or her own name, flowers also have different names. Let’s learn them. Let’s sing this song:

Lily, Lotus, Pansy

By Teacher Satria

Lily Lotus Pansy

Roses Jasmine Tulips

In the garden there are more

Teach me all their names

Yellow sunflowers and marigolds

Dahlias with colours bold

In the garden there are more

Teach me all their names

White daisies, yellow daffodils

Purple saffron, lavenders:

Beautiful flowers in the fields,

How wonderful they make me feel.

Active Games: You can play a running game with your kids. Let’s play “Touch the Flower”. The leader calls out a name of the flower and the players race to be the first one to touch that flower. Or you can do the classic Ring-around-the-Rosies with your family members.

Let’s Read:

  • Picture Book: Read a picture book of flowers.  Read a storybook or watch a video about flowers. (The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast features a magical rose. The Disney version of Alice in Wonderland features different kinds of flowers and different objects found in the garden.)
  • Alphabets: If your picture book features names of flowers in print, do a letter search or a letter-naming activity. Focus on the initials of each word. Example: Daisy starts with “D”.  Daffodils also start with “D”. “Dahlias” also start with “D”. Aster starts with “A”. So on and so forth…

Learning sheets: If you’re interested in accomplishing Little Wonders colouring and learning sheets, send us an email of your request or call the school number.

Culture: In Kashmiri, flowers are called “posh”. “In Urdu, flowers are called “Phool”. There are flowers that are very popular in Kashmir. Let’s learn some Kashmiri names for flowers:

  • Zafran”-Saffron
  • “Yemberzel” – Daffodil

ARTWAY: Choose one or two artway projects to do with your child at home

  • Paint your favourite flower. Do finger-painting, tracing, or brush-painting.
  • Be environment-friendly. Make a flower collage or a model of a flower with reused items such as old coloured magazines and sticks.
  • Make a pressed flower greeting card.

Merry Maths

  • Numbers of the Week: 5 and 6
  • Put five roses in one vase. Count the roses with your child. Example: Let’s count the roses in this vase…1..2..3…4..5.. Five roses in this vase!
  • Put six daisies (or any other set of flowers) in another vase or pot. Count the flowers and stress on the last number.
  • Continue practicing rote counting from 1-20 or beyond, depending on your child’s learning level.
  • Sing counting rhymes such as Five Little Monkeys, Five Little Ducks, etc.
  • If you’re interested in working with Little Wonders learning sheets, please send an email of your request.

Fine-Motor Skills integrated with General Knowledge (Shapes)

Drawing

Do you know that most flowers have round heads? So, if you want to learn to draw a simple flower, you can start by drawing a circle in the centre of your paper. And then, draw petals around it. Then, draw a standing line for the stem. To draw leaves, start at the middle of the stem/standing line and draw triangles pointing to the sides. Let’s do this again!

Draw a circle on the upper corner of your paper. Color it yellow. What does it look like now? Now, you have a sun in your garden-scene drawing.

Perhaps, you’d like to draw your house and a garden. A house can be drawn easily using basic shapes such as square or rectangle and triangle (for the roof). Then draw flowers beside the house.

Writing

If your child is a cooperative learner, has a workable attention span, and has good pencil grip, then he or she may be ready for formal lessons/tasks in writing. In the beginning, introduce simple strokes such as standing line, sleeping line, slanting lines, circles, and curves. Give your child several opportunities (several days) to practice just one stroke within the lines/squares of the writing notebook page before introducing a different one. Give lots of  tracing practice.

For children who are already writing in notebooks at school, please continue with the format of lessons given by the class teacher.

Parenting Tips:

The process of developing fine-motor skills is closely interlinked with the development of a child’s attention span. As you will see, fine-motor activities require some degree of focus or attention as well as eye-hand coordination. In addition, a child’s behaviour plays a role. There are children who are very cooperative and are quite easy to motivate to complete a fine-motor task. There are children who are not very cooperative to finish a directed art project although they might be interested in handling the art materials. If your child starts misbehaving in the middle of the art/drawing activity, very gently remove the materials from his reach. It is not safe to allow an uncooperative child to mishandle art materials. Perhaps, your toddler can do it some other day. Parents have to set a proper time and create a favourable mood/atmosphere for fine-motor activities such as drawing, writing, or painting. Do not schedule such activities very close to nap or meal times.

Parent-Teacher Consultation

These days, as children are spending more time with parents inside their homes, parents are more updated with their child’s progress. If you are maximizing the learning program provided to you through our website, kindly send us an email to let Little Wonders know how your child is progressing at home.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Week 1

This week’s topic: Names of Things in the Garden and in the Morning Sky

How we learn:

  1. Name objects seen in the garden. Say the names of things for your child to hear and repeat. (Look! There’s a butterfly! Let’s run after it.)
  2. Describe objects seen by color or size (The grass is green. The leaves of trees are also green. This tree is big. This plant is small.)
  3. Compare objects by size.
  4. Draw and paint a garden scene.
  5. Differentiate between garden and other areas in and around the house.
  6. Learn names of different flowers (daisy, lily, pansy, rose, tulip, dahlia).
  7. Fill-up a vase with fresh flowers and decorate the living room.

This class is the group of “bigger toddlers” and are ready to learn more. They are ready to learn the concepts of “parts of a whole”. So, even though other group of Toddlers have the same monthly theme, the lessons of this class are a bit more challenging.

Sub-Topic: Trees

  • Parts of Trees – learn names of parts of trees, such as roots, trunk, branches, leaves, fruits, or blossoms (if any). Describe each part (by color, location, texture e.g. soft, hard, smooth, rough)
  • Trees that grow in Kashmir: Chinar (Maple) tree, Poplar tree, Willow tree Fruit or Nut-bearing trees such as Apple tree, Almond tree, Cherry tree, Peach tree, Plum tree
  • Trees that are not found in Kashmir: Coconut tree, Banana tree, Other palm trees
  • Explore with these questions:
  1. How would you describe and define trees?
  2. What do you call a place where there are more trees than houses or people?
  3. What are the uses of trees?

ARTWAY PROJECT:

  1. Choose project 1 or project 2 and have fun completing the project:
  2. Using old magazines, newspapers, cereal cartons, make a model of a tree.
  3. Using sticks, strings, and your own drawings, make a hanging mobile of your favourite things in the garden

MERRY MATH

  1. Rote Count up to 10 or 20
  2. Apply your counting skills to reinforce CDE lesson: How many suns do you see? How many clouds do you see? How many trees do you see?
  3. Learn to identify numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

To Parents: Use any number book or cut up big numbers and use them as flashcards from magazines or wall calendars

  1. Recognize Shapes (Circle vs Oval, Square vs. Rectangle, Pentagon vs Hexagon, Triangle vs Diamond)

EARLY READING

Toddlers have naturally short attention spans. They are not expected to sit and focus on a task for more than five minutes. However, various studies show that there are ways to increase a child’s attention span without the “burden” and “stress” of formal learning. Children respond extremely well to music, movement, and art. This is why Little Wonders makes full use of these media in our efforts to provide your children with child-friendly, child-centered, fun-filled learning play.

  1. Sing the AWS song: a for apple, b for ball, c for cat, d for duck, e for egg, f for fish, g for goat, h for house, i for igloo, j for jam, k for key, l for leaf, m for mango, n for nose, o for orange, p for pot, q for queen, r for rose, s for sun, t for telephone, u for umbrella, v for van, w for watch, x for x-ray, y for yoyo, z for zebra.
  2. Go on a search around the house. Look for alphabets on people’s clothes, cars, walls, etc. Point and read letters with your child.
  3. Read an alphabet picture book with your child.
  4. Identify uppercase alphabets A up to G or beyond (depending on your child’s learning level) .

Fine Motor Skills

  1. Using crayons, color-in pre-drawn theme-related objects (sun, flower, tree, etc.)
  2. Write big letters A, B, and C with a crayon
  3. Write numerals 1, 2, and 3 with a crayon
  4. Some children may have already started formal writing lessons using pencils and big-square or four-line notebooks. Please continue with the exercises provided by your child’s teacher. Parents may opt to teach the next number or alphabet if they feel that their child has mastered the previous lessons given at school.

Please do not force your child to write. Do not scold an uncooperative child. This will only increase his dislike for writing. Instead, you may offer rewards (stickers, stamps, etc) or other child-friendly means to motivate your child to write.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Using real objects or picture books, learn the names of different fruits. Learn as many as you can.

Learning Challenge: Learn to say a list of names of ten fruits in alphabetical order by memory. (apple, banana, cherry, grapes, guava, mango, pear, pineapple, strawberry, watermelon).

Discussion Points: What is your favourite fruit? Which fruits grow naturally in Kashmir? Which fruits do not grow in Kashmir? Which place in Kashmir is called “Apple Town”?

STEP (Self-Reliance Training and Exercises in Practical Life)

  1. Encourage your child to eat a small bowl of food (cereals/oatmeal/halwa) on her own using a small spoon.
  2. Dressing – Learn to remove and put on slippers/shoes without help.
  3. Hygiene -Learn how to lather up soap while washing hands.
  4. Grooming – Learn how to wipe face with a towel/ tissue.

Songs and Rhymes

(See video links)

Oh, Mr. Sun

Oh, Mr. Sun,

Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Please shine down on me

Oh, Mr. Sun,

Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Hiding behind a tree

These little children are asking you.

To please come down

So we can play with you

Oh, Mr, Sun,

Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Please shine down on me.

Lily Lotus Pansy

Lily Lotus Pansy

Roses Jasmine Tulips

In the garden there are more

Teach me all their names

Fly, Fly, The Butterfly

Fly, fly, fly, the butterfly

In the garden, flying so high

Kissing roses, pansies too

Fly fly fly, the butterfly

Out in the Garden

To the Tune of Down by the Station:

Early in the morning

See all the flowers

Standing in a row

See the sun shining

High up in the sky

See the tall and strong trees

Standing by

See the bees and butterflies

Flying high

See the little ant

Crawling by.

Slowly, Slowly

Slowly, slowly, very slowly (walk fingers up arm slowly)

Creeps the garden snail

Slowly, slowly, very slowly

Up the wooden rail

Quickly, quickly, very quickly

Runs the little ant

Quickly, quickly, very quickly

Around the mound of sand

The Beehive

This is a beehive.

But where are the bees?

Hidden inside,

Where nobody sees.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Out of the hive

And the bees fly away….. bzzzzzz.