I Week!

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I was so happy with the items on our agenda this week, continuing our Letter of the Week journey. The letter I happens to lend itself to games that were right up Travis’s alley. So we started with…

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Ice/Igloo: The perfect words for games in the middle of winter, we kicked off the week with icy cold fun, building an “igloo” from ice cubes. When he tired of that, Travis loved watching the ice cubes melt. He would scrape them over a baking sheet, pour the melted water onto a towel, and then return to the task over and over. Endless entertainment!

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After we discussed what real igloos are, we made a life-size one from couch cushions and white blankets that he could wriggle inside of.

Our ice games didn’t stop there. We’ve painted with frozen paint before, but this time we turned ice cubes themselves into the paint brushes. Simply freeze Popsicle sticks into the cubes of an ice cube tray, and sprinkle powdered paint on paper.

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Let your ice “brushes” thaw just a little before applying over the powdered paint; Travis loved watching the colors swirl and mix together.

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In addition, we released toys that had been frozen in ice during bath time…

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…and made ice luminaries and ice towers, projects so fun that they merited their own blog posts.

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Imagine: This word well applies to every week in the life of a two-year-old, but this week I stressed the point whenever we imagined during play. One game that hones imagination is to pull out any hats around the house. As your child dons each hat, have him or her imagine who they are. Travis liked being a “soldier” in a fedora, and also pretended to be the Snowman from the classic video of the same name. We also enjoyed playing with a king’s crown.

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Insects: Travis adores bugs, but this week I taught him that insect is a “fancy” word for bug. We played with the bug kit he has at home, but also took a field trip to the local children’s museum, where he could see cockroaches, stick bugs, and more.

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Indoor: I week was the perfect chance to stress the difference between indoor and outdoor voices. Travis latched right on to the concept, and loved waiting just until we were outside of the library to switch from a whisper to a yell.

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Focusing on the words inside/indoor was also a great way to make indoor winter fun feel special… We set up an indoor beach on a yucky rainy day! We went all out, with palm trees on the wall (use brown construction paper for trunks and green crepe paper for fronds), beach towels, and even bathing shorts worn over pants. I pulled out beach toys and added Hawaiian music in the background as the finishing touch. And of course this was another great game for the imagination.

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Instruments: I made a big pile of our all instruments, and we got in exercise marching around. We also enjoyed the instruments in the sound room of the children’s museum while there on our insect visit.

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Ink: Travis loves stamps and ink pads, so this theme word made for messy enjoyable play. We also talked about how ink can be found in lots of useful things, such as pens and printers.

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Iguana: We paid a visit to the resident iguana at a local wildlife rehabilitation facility. Of course, if there are no iguanas near you, it’s the perfect week to read a book about one.

I Spy: A fantastic game for honing observation skills, I suggest starting out with the book I Spy by Edward Gibbs to teach your child the basics of the game. The book features a hole on the last page, through which Travis said “I spy” about all the objects in our living room. Continue the game on car rides all week, for a great way to keep backseat passengers entertained.

As if that wasn’t enough, here were some extras…

Fine art: My intended project was to make a homemade rhythm instrument from an empty Earth Balance butter tub and rice. Travis helped pour the rice in, after which I glued on the top and let it sit overnight. But when it was time to shake, he just wanted the rice, and peeled apart the glued-on top. So much for that project!

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Instead, we put icing on sugar cookies, fitting in our fine motor skills that way.

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Food: Ice cream was the obvious choice. We headed out for vegan ice cream at a local restaurant for a super special treat. For healthier fare, try making a recipe from Italian or Indian cuisine.

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Books: Travis loved three picks from the library: The Indoor Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown, The Little Island, by Golden McDonald, and Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni.

Songs: Check out an online clip of Ice Cream from Anne of Green Gables, or – of course – Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Math: Travis loves playing with the ruler on his toy tool bench, pretending to measure things, so this week I introduced the vocab word “inches.” We got out different pieces of Duplo and had fun marking off how many inches each piece was.

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That’s all for this time, we’ll see you in Week H.

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