Here we are in H week, still loving the novelty that comes from focusing on a particular letter each week. Without any further ado, here is what we enjoyed:
Hammers: I kicked off H week by pulling out all of Travis’s toys that involve a hammer, including some he hasn’t used in months. Some, meant for younger toddlers (including what I fondly call toddler whack-a-mole), he never paid much attention to before, but loved this week. It’s always a nice idea to bring out old toys and look at them with fresh eyes.
House: H is a great prompt to talk about the words “house” and “home,” including who lives in a house, and what makes a house a home. Dollhouse sets are a great way to learn the different room names or types of furniture, as well as a great prompt for the imagination. We have a neat one that assembles in different configurations and stores flat, but if you don’t have a dollhouse at home, check your local library’s play area.
Horse: Pull out any barn toys you have, with emphasis on the horses this week. Our nice variety includes a latch barn (great for fine motor skills), as well as a Playmobil set that had Travis pretending to care for and clean up after his horses. If the weather is right and there is one in your area, you might consider visiting horses at a farm or sanctuary!
Hibernation: I snuck in a little science with this word, teaching Travis that some animals hibernate (take a long nap) during the cold winter months. We had a berry snack to fortify us, then “slept” in a cozy den of blankets and pillows. When it was “spring,” we woke up, we stretched, and dined on more berries. Invite your stuffed animals to join in for cozy hibernation fun.
Hula hoops/hula dance: Hula hoops make for great play – jumping into, using in an obstacle course, or rolling around the room. Travis looped his over his shoulders and spun in a circle, an adorable first foray into using one around his waist. You can also toss bean bags inside a hula hoop for a color-matching game.
Following up on the word, I made Travis a rather silly hula skirt, simply attaching green crepe paper to a child’s belt. He loved the hula dance party that ensued!
Hats: Play a game of guess-that-hat; show your child pictures of different hats – policeman, firefighter, construction worker – and see if they can identify which profession each one belongs to. To do this, we used the hats on our Joey magnetic doll, but you could also cut pictures from magazines. Try reading the sweet book Which Hat is That by Anna Grossnickle Hines before you play the game.
And our weekly extras…
Fine art: Make handprints of course! This painting project was easily Travis’s favorite moment of the week, impishly getting his hands goopy and slapping them down to make prints.
He liked seeing how the paints mixed together, and turned his hands different colors.
Food: Not exactly the healthiest fare, but Travis dined on Hawaiian pizza (pineapple and Tofurky ham on pizza), and hot dogs (well, tofu pups). In a healthier vein, serve honeydew melon.
Books: Some great picks from the library included: Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell, Hello! Goodbye! by Aliki, and Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na.
Songs: Two songs with H in the title are perfect for interactive and silly fun. First, teach your child the Hokey Pokey. Travis got a kick out of seeing me do the silly dance before joining in. You can also watch online, sure to elicit smiles. Then we acted out the classic If You’re Happy and You Know It.
Math: I introduced the notion of hours, thanks to a new teaching clock toy that Travis received over the holidays. Since he’s only 2 and 1/2, I stuck to hours for now and didn’t bother with the various minute positions of a clock, but Travis took right to it. Then we made a big floor clock with the numbers, and Travis was the “hands” of the clock, pointing to the hour I asked for.
You can also talk about halves: draw the top half of a person and enlist your child to draw the bottom half – legs, feet etc. If this seems too complicated, simply draw shapes and draw a line dividing them in half, or color the halves different colors.
Goodbye until G week…