Sticky Toys

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This cute game is a great way to test your baby’s “strength”. Veronika seemed to go wild for the slight effort involved, or perhaps just for the novelty of the way the toys were presented.

Use sticky contact paper or double-sided tape to cover part of the surface of a piece of cardboard.

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Arrange a few soft toys along the sticky surface and present to your little one. She immediately trotted over with interest.

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First Veronika seemed the most curious about the cardboard itself. She wanted to pick up the whole thing and wave it around.

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Then she seemed to become aware of the toys. I showed her how to lift one up – with a bit of effort – and stick it back on again. Note: You’ll notice that it helped to hold the cardboard in place for her with my feet!

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She was delighted when she gave a pull to ducky…

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…and was all grins for her big success one it was in her hands.

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In sum, an easy game that can entertain your baby for quite a while.

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Environmental Print

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In the final week of summer, Travis undertook a multi-part assignment to search for the print all around us: on food labels, on street signs, on toys, etc. Such words, known as “environmental print” can be great first sight words for pre-readers, and can encourage kids to learn!

So after concentrating on a letter a day for a little while, the idea now was for Travis to spot and notice full words.

Travis made a collection over a few days, pulling labels from food boxes at home and noticing signs around town.

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Great early sight words include STOP on a red hexagon, the “One Way” of a black and white arrows, or stores your child knows by name.

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Next up, I asked Travis to sort the print we had found. We had two main categories: street signs and food labels. Feel free to add multiple categories though, depending what your child has seen!

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A further great exercise was adding them to the pages of his Alphabet Dictionary.

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This was great both for recognizing the opening letter of each word and for sounding it out. He rightly noted that Fig Newmans could have gone on the “F” page or the “N” page!

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Finally,you can make a few “puzzles” by cutting some of the larger labels into pieces.

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If you are able to make copies of photos or have double of certain food labels, you could even turn it into a game of Memory.

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How else could your child play with “environmental print? Please share in the comments!

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Sight Word Tower

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It doesn’t seem possible, but summer is over and school starts tomorrow! That meant it was time to culminate Travis’s summer sight word practice with one final fun activity.

I wrote each word from our index cards onto the top of a paper cup.

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I challenged Travis to build the cups into towers – any way he chose! – but as he worked, he had to say the word on that cup.

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Not only was this a neat building challenge, but I was able to pinpoint which words still gave him pause.

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The activity is so simple but so beneficial, we’ll keep these cups on hand for the school year!

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Plus it became a race to see if he could blurt the correct word before the resident menace (baby sister) came over to knock down his towers.

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