I took a week off from our Letter of the Week theme to focus on fall and Halloween crafts, but here we are in R week, having lots of fun discovering what words fit our letter.
Rings: Stacking rings are an oldie but goodie, and you’ll probably find that your toddler will play with them in novel ways if they’ve been banished to the “baby bin”. We had fun stacking them in reverse-size order, rainbow order etc.
Then we played a version of toddler ring-toss, using all my bangles! Travis loved it so much that I kept the post and bangles out all week so he could play again.
Ribbon: We pulled out another old game, great for fine motor skills, adding varying lengths of ribbon into a bottle. Even more fun, cut strands of ribbon long enough for movement fun, dancing and running around the house. The running is the perfect gross motor activity of the week of course!
Do always be sure to supervise ribbon play closely, if lengths are long enough to wrap around your child’s neck.
Register/restaurant: One of the joys of this age is watching games become ever-more imaginative, instead of just about manipulating objects or buttons. So while we played with his toy register, we invented games of “restaurant,” with paper-plate meals.
We finished with a real trip to a restaurant for vegan smoothies; Travis was very proud to connect the dots to it as our R week field trip.
Rain(bow): We’ve done so many rainbow crafts that I more wanted to focus on rain itself. Luckily the weather cooperated! A dreary drizzly day was made much brighter with the help of some “rainy paintings.” Squirt food coloring onto paper plates, then take outside and let the rain finish the painting for you.
Don’t forget to puddle stomp while you’re out in the rain, of course!
Radio: Here’s a word I would never have turned to if it wasn’t R week, but it was a fantastic prompt! I sat Travis on my lap in the car (parked, of course) and let him explore radio buttons. He was absolutely fascinated, and loved being able to switch between songs and turn dials. If you still have an old radio at home, now is the time to play with it.
Reptile: What perfect timing for the arrival or our reptile-themed Koala Crate! In addition to the crafts in our crate, we acted our reptile charades, painted clay turtles, and had fun making play dough reptiles, adding craft store beads for the scales.
Rough: Not all words need to be nouns; we focused on the adjective “rough,” doing a texture walk around the house to discover what was rough and what was smooth. Then we made “rough art” – seeing how chalk felt on various grades of sandpaper.
And for our weekly extras:
Fine art: A simple task but a real milestone; I wanted to see how well Travis could color inside the lines these days. I outlined a rainbow for him, and then had him fill in each color only in the designated area. Not bad for two and a quarter!
Food: Travis met his first radish!
To make this slightly-peppery veggie toddler-friendly, roast in the oven with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and thyme for about 20 minutes. We also snacked on raspberries and raisins. And then of course we had to have rainbow toast.
Books: Travis’s stuffed rabbits joined us for a delightful read of Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes. Read any other rabbit books you have at home, or try Round Robin by Jack Kent (sure to elicit laughter), or Raindrops Roll, by April Pulley Sayre.
Songs: Row Row Your Boat is an old favorite, with a few cute versions available to watch online. We also sang many a refrain of I’ve Been Working on the Railroad while strumming the guitar here at home!
Math: We focused on rectangles this week, of course. Travis knows the shape but it was nice to concentrate on it. First we separated out all his Duplo and only kept the rectangles, to build into houses and cars.
We also had a rectangle hunt around the house before going to bed one night. Travis couldn’t believe how many we found: “The door is a rectangle! The fridge is a rectangle!”
You can also introduce a rectangle “character” like we did recently with Tommy Triangle. Try something like this:
Robbie Rectangle is my name,
I have four sides, but they’re not the same.