S Week!


Welcome to our S week of play! As always, thanks to Letter of the Week for some of the ideas below. Travis was funny about the letter, since my prompts that a word began with a “sss” sound made him think we were in C-week for soft c words. It turned into a joke, me pointing to our S poster, and him still saying “C!” Confusion aside, here’s some of the fun we had.


Shadows: We kicked off the week with shadow dancing! It was such a magical moment that it merited a blog post all its own, so please check out the link above. Shadows are also great for making animal shapes against the wall, or just observing as you walk outside in autumn sunlight.


Sun/Sail/Sand: A few Summer-y words made it a beach-y week here in the fall. Cute sun projects included making a sun on a stick (a yellow painted paper plate with orange construction paper for the center)…


… and magic sun prints.The result was cool even for me as a grown-up!

We then set up an indoor beach day with blankets for water and sand (with our sun on a stick of course!) and pulled out sand toys for make believe inside. To add to the s-themed fun, we turned one of his blankets into a “sailboat” and sailed around the room.


Meanwhile, there was so much to do with sand that I devoted a blog post to it. For simple sand play, just fill an indoor bin with a layer of sand and set out cars and street signs, then have your child draw roads through the sand with a stick or spatula.


Soccer: This word was perfect for our gross motor play of the week. Get outside and kick around a ball!


Shaving cream: As simple as can be; have some good old goopy fun and finger paint with shaving cream. Your toddler will thank you.


Stars: We had fun making a starry starry night painting, using both cookie cutters and sponges in the shape of stars to stamp onto construction paper. Travis added moons too, making for a very creative night sky! To continue the star fun, put together a toddler-sized pair of binoculars and head outside to spot the real thing before bed.

A few other things we did this week:

Fine art: Make a sand anthill! You could do this by sprinkling sand onto glue and pressing down, but we used sandpaper for our hill, and added thumbprint ants. Travis had so much fun that our anthill was soon teeming with denizens.


Food: Lots to choose from… we enjoyed both whole strawberries and strawberry pancakes for breakfast, and had soup one afternoon for lunch.


Books: It wasn’t the right time of year to play games in the snow, but we talked about the word with the help of two books: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Cat and Mouse in the Snow by Tomek Bogacki. Travis also enjoyed Sea, Sand, Me! by Patricia Hubbell and No Sleep for the Sheep! by Karen Beaumont.

Song: It was a no-brainer to introduce Travis to the Snowman, one of the most magical videos from my own childhood! More properly an instrumental video than a song, this classic hasn’t lost any of its beauty. Travis’s smile when the snowman came to life was priceless.

Math: I gently introduced the concept of subtraction with the help of a few more stars. Cut out paper stars and have your child make “shooting stars” flutter away one by one, counting how many remain. I promise it’s a coincidence that Travis was in his star pajamas!


There’s always lots we can’t get to of course. You might also want to play with snakes or go on a safari, or have soapy fun with dish soap. Please add your other S ideas in the comments!

Magic Sun Prints


I have to say, this little project was cool even for the adult in the room! All you need is a sunny day and dark construction page to make magic happen.

Arrange several items on a sheet of construction paper, preferably with interesting silhouettes. Travis helped me select a key, button, block, and CD case.


Now leave the paper out in the sun for at least a few hours. When you’re ready, remove the items and voila! The sun will have faded the paper, leaving darker shadows wherever your items were on top.


A neat little way to show the power of the sun…