Animal Bath Time

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We were stuck inside with a late winter snow storm, so it seemed as good a time as any to get messy!

In the bathroom, I laid out several of Travis’s animal toys (definitely use ones that are plastic and washable), along with various colors of paint on a paper plate and a few paintbrushes. He seemed almost disbelieving when I said we were going to paint the animals, but then dove right in!

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He loved choosing which colors each animal should be, including blue cows, yellow donkeys, and purple rabbits.

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After the animals had been covered in his artwork, it was time to give them a bath! Arguable this part was even more exciting than the painting had been.

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I had a bucket of soapy water ready to go in the tub, and Travis loved rinsing off the animals.

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He wanted to run them under the faucet too before we declared the game all done! In sum, a super nice snow day distraction. Although on a summer’s day, you could probably play this entire game out doors with big soapy buckets!

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C Week!

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Wow, just three weeks to go on our Letter of the Week journey – so let’s c what we did in C week!

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Car: Believe it or not, we haven’t taken the time just to play with Travis’s car toys in a while, so this week was a nice reminder! We pulled out our town car mat and garages, set up a race course made from duct tape, drove cars down ramps and through tubes, and more. Want something more crafty? Make a car out of a box!

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Clean: Getting children in the habit of cleaning up should be on your list every week, but this week in particular we made a game of it. Try simple ideas like setting a timer to see who can clean up the fastest, giving clear instructions (“Let’s put all the Duplo away first!”), or – for toys that are especially hard to part with at night – tucking them in to a cozy place to “sleep.” A tot-sized set of cleaning tools makes clean-up even more fun.

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Cardboard: Cardboard is everywhere and it lends itself so easily to the imagination. Check out the two crafts we made this week, with cardboard tubes as the base!

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Camping: Pitch a tent (or a blanket over a stool) and camp in your living room; your child will think they’re in heaven! We added a few cozy blankets, a campfire made of straw logs and felt flames, and then cozied up for books by flashlight. Check out Flashlight by Lizi Boyd or the Shine-a-Light series from Usborne.

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Castle: We headed to the non-fiction section of the library and got out a few neat castle books to help Travis understand more about what they are this week. From there, of course, we had to build our own from blocks at home! Fast Forward Castle and Look Inside a Castle are both neat options.

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Captions: For several art projects this week, we added captions, so that by the end of the week, we had a mini art gallery! I loved this idea so much that I hope to continue it beyond C week. After your child finishes a project, simply ask him or her what is happening in the picture. Write down their words on a little index card. It’s a neat way to get them excited about art and reading.

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Construction: In addition to cars, play with any construction vehicles you have. Better yet, make a construction site sensory bin.

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Cloud: We made a shaving cream cloud on a rainy day, then went cloud watching the next afternoon when the sun came out!

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Caterpillar: Very Hungry Caterpillar delights everyone from babies on up. This week we made a color match caterpillar, and also played with Travis’s other caterpillar toy, which happens to be appropriately named the code-a-pillar, his first foray into computer coding.

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Clock: Toy clocks are great because you can gently introduce the notion of time as your child absorbs a little here and there while playing! Travis loves spinning the hands on his talking clock, and we read clock books like Tick and Tock’s Clock Book and Telling the Time.

For our weekly extras…

Fine art: Colors are the name of the game this week! First, try color mixing with paint. I gave Travis a little each of red, yellow, and blue… Soon enough we had a big goopy mess, but it was a great way to get talking about how colors combine to make different ones.

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Read about colors with My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle or A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, then continue the play by color mixing with ice cubes!

Food: Fun foods this week included carrot-raisin salad, homemade cornbread, crackers, cantaloupe, clementines, and a decadent bite of vegan cheezecake.

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Books: We covered cats and cows in books this week. Some fun titles are The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming, Click Clack Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, and They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. Travis also enjoyed Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.

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Songs: Travis was in hysterics laughing over Never Smile At a Crocodile (from Peter Pan), and also enjoyed the changing pace of Little Red Caboose.

Math: You can try teaching your child to classify this week, or better yet – classify by color! We used our color match caterpillar for this, but there are toys you can purchase such as a color sorting pie as well. It’s also a great week for calendars; daily magnetic calendars are a nice tool to teach about the year/months/weeks/days.

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Be back soon for B week!