Tie a T

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Travis loves the letter T; because it’s the first letter of his name, it’s the one he’s most familiar with and gives him no trouble. So he was able to trace it this morning and then was interested to see what we would make it out of.

First we found a two twigs in the yard. I asked him to think which part of the T needed to be the longer twig and which shorter.

“I know,” he announced, and formed the letter in moments.

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Two ties for lower case t were a bit tougher, only because they had to be folded. But with some folding help, he tackled this one, too.

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Fun with Idioms

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Many Raddish lesson plans that accompany their recipes are quite involved, but this one was fairly straightforward. But it got lots of giggles and introduced my kindergartner to a new term and concept.

I sat Travis down and read through the silly poem “Losing Pieces” by Shel Silverstein, in which he talks about talking off his head, crying his eyes out, and singing his heart out. It concludes:

There’s really not much

left of me.

Travis giggled at the last line but I asked him what was going on here. Had the author really lost his head? Walked his feet off?

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Hmm… We needed more exploration. Travis is familiar with the book Parts by Tedd Arnold, but we hadn’t known there was a More Parts sequel. I showed Travis an online read-through, again producing giggles.

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Once the read-through was complete, I told Travis he’d been listening to idioms. In other words: a group of words that mean something different from what the words actually say.

Raddish also suggested a great clip with illustrations by children showing the literal meaning of an idiom (like ‘holy cow or ‘cat got your tongue’) and then a child steps in to explain what it really means.

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So now it was Travis’s turn! Check out the list of idioms here if your child needs help thinking of one to illustrate. Travis laughed when we got to “chip on one’s shoulder” so we stopped there.

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He drew a person and positioned a little yellow chip right on the shoulder. For fun, show your drawing to friends or family members and see if they can guess which idiom is pictured!

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Does your baby reach for your smartphone all the time? Curb the move by introducing a far safer baby toy… A telephone in the shape of an old-fashioned rotary version!

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These toys are a classic for a reason and it hardly matters that little kids don’t even recognize this as a phone anymore. Between dinging noises, twisting dials and a slim receiver to hold, little babies need no prompt to play.

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But for added fun, today I sat down and made “calls” with Veronika. I pretended to have a conversation with her grandmother, chatting about what we would do that day. Make sure you use big facial expressions and exaggerated voices.

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When she saw me talking into the receiver, she had to be part of the action of course.

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She started babbling along and reaching for the mouthpiece to hold up to her own ear. Games like this are fantastic, since you’ll be playing but also teaching your little one about real-life interactions and etiquette.

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“Cooking” with Flour

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Many parents I know resist flour play, saying it’s either too messy or too much of a hassle. But I love this sensory material for babies. First, it’s edible, so no worries if little fingers make it up to little mouths. Second, as long as you cover your surface, clean-up is a breeze. Set down an old shower curtain or plastic table cloth for this one, and you’ll be able to contain the mess.

I stripped Veronika down to just a onesie (go all the way to the diaper for even easier clean-up!), and gave her a few measuring spoons and cups. She was having fun already, and wondering about this interesting bag.

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I sprinkled a little pile of flour in front of her. In went the hands right away!

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There are so many ways to play with flour and your baby. Demonstrate how to make squiggles in it.

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Use the spoons and cups to scoop and pour.

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Sprinkle a little light dusting of flour over toes and hands for a tickly sensation.

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And just get good and messy!

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She loved wiggling her legs through the flour until her thighs were completely coated!

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Basically she just had a blast, which gave me time to get a few other things done in the kitchen.

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When we were done, I just plopped her right in the bath!

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