Oh what a week we had (sorry, couldn’t resist!). Many O words are very common and simple ones (e.g. on/off, open, old), so it was challenging but rewarding as a parent to devise ways to turn everyday words into games. Here’s what we fit in this week:
Olympics: Too big a word to pass up, even if the time of year doesn’t correspond to the actual Olympic games. Stage a toddler mini Olympics with “javelin” and “discus” throws, bean bag races, and more.
Octopus/Ocean: I made Travis an octopus to swim around the apartment (which, admittedly, looked more like a jelly fish) by wrapping a Styrofoam ball in fabric and tying on 8 ribbons as legs.
We then staged an “ocean dive” for the octopus and other ocean-y creatures, and Travis loved filling up a bucket with treasures from the “ocean.”
Opposites: You can use pretty much any toy and a building block to demonstrate great opposites, such as on/off, up/down, or behind/in front of, but I highly recommend Bunny Boo, which is a great toy for spatial relationships. It fit my agenda perfectly for O week!
Aside from demonstrating opposites with a toy, quiz your toddler on what opposites he or she knows. Travis impressed me getting left/right and more. For preschoolers, consider turning it into a board game or card game of some sort.
Oak: This word made for my favorite moment of the week. We started off reading As An Oak Tree Grows, by G. Brian Karas, and the next day we took a walk among oak trees. Travis loved connecting it to our story from the night before, and we crunched through all the acorns on the ground this time of year.
Open: Simply set out collection of all the things around the house that your toddler can open and close (hey, more opposites!), including some that are a challenge for his or her fine motor skills, like bottle and jar lids. Some favorites were his jack-in-the-box, turtle treasure box, and the mailbox we created back in X week!
Obstacle course: We created such an intricate obstacle course that I devoted a separate blog post to it, but needless to say, this word is the perfect prompt for gross motor skills of the week.
Then we moved on to…
Fine art: Make Olympic rings (perfectly shaped like Os!) of course. See my Toddler Olympics post for more details.
Food: Oatmeal raisin cookies got a happy yes. Olives got a very confused no.
Books: A few titles from the library that fit our themes and games perfectly: Thank you Octopus, by Darren Farrell and Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd (another opposite!). We also read Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea.
Songs: On a whim, I played a download of an oboe sonata; who knew Travis would be so fascinated by the instrument? If you’re feeling ambitious, you might introduce your child to a YouTube clip of opera singers. More toddler-friendly, Travis loved watching My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean and Old Macdonald Had a Farm and we sang lots of rounds of Open, Shut Them (more opposites!)
Math: Ovals and octagons are the shapes we focused on this week. I made a simplified outline match – another convenient O word – tracing octagons and ovals in various colors and sizes. Travis nailed the game on the first try, and then wanted to try tracing on his own!
We’re headed into N week next, so stay tuned.