Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pets Unit for Toddlers

I realize I haven't posted much about Zahavah's units lately. Truth is, I've had to scale them back to both my and her disappointment. We still do activities but they are not condensed into units as much (although she does take part into Adrian's a lot). Until the fall, things will probably remain the same too unfortunately, at which point, I am hoping out situation will be more stable and allowing us to really start her Montessori beginning.

Art: Popsicle Stick Kitties

Cats are one of my daughter's favorite animals. I HAD to find a craft that she'd be able to make and keep, and enjoy on a daily basis. This mini wooden stick one was relatively easy. She painted the sticks  one color and once dried, she added stripes or white paws and belly (these cats are inspired by the neighborhood cats!). Once dried, she applied liquid glue with a Q-tip on top of 8 sticks and then I personally placed the sticks together. Once dried, the head I had pre-drawn was attached and so was the tail. Original idea: Making Friends.

Sensorial: Dog in the Backyard

I thought about making a sensory tub filled with pets and then remembered that we had a pre-made one filled with doggies! "Santa" brought this "My Sandbox" to my daughter and although she plays with it every month, she does not play with it every week so the novelty hasn't worn off yet. Lots of accessories for the sand in this one.

Practical Life: Lacing Pet Cards

Made by Melissa & Doug, these lacing cards are the right level of difficulty for a 3 year old but there are a lot of holes! My daughter starts and rarely completes a card in one sitting despite her desire to do so. She usually gets back to it later in the day once her hand-eye coordination has had time to rest a little.

Math: Pet Puzzles of Various Kinds

These puzzles ar getting to be too easy for my little one yet the giant floor puzzle are still a little too much work for her. She completed these in no time and didn't linger. Seen above are two Melissa & Doug's and one Infantino's Where's My Tail? puzzles. 

Sensorial : Play Dough Birds

Play dough birds is something Adrian did last year during his Angry Bird week. From memory, he loved it far more than Z did. Considering she is a play dough lover, this activity did not seem to click with her. :( She loved playing with the bird I made alongside her to encourage her to try but she just preferred rolling the dough around. Well, that happens...

Zoology: Pet or No Pet?

Older children often know the difference but for toddlers, animals are sometimes just that; animals. I wanted to see if Zahavah could sort these animals into two groups: pets and not pets. I didn't want to label the other animals zoo animals or anything because really, after visiting zoos around the world, zoo animals are quite different from country to country and well, these animals also happen to run free in their homes. What is she gonna think the day she visits Kenya and sees a giraffe roaming about? Will she think the long-necked creature escaped from the local zoo? Anyhow, it was difficult for some animals to be sorted. She sorted as best as she could and left a third group, undecided where to put them. That's when I asked her if the animal would make a good pet. Would it fit in the house? Does she know anyone who owns such an animal? That cleared the third group completely and sadly, the tiger had to move from the pet group...:)

Language: Guess Who and Stamp your Answer!

Who can tell we own a lot of Melissa & Doug products? Haha! These are big stamps with two big ink pads we used to play a little game of "Guess the Pet!". I'd ask a question and Zahavah would stamp her answer down. She loves these games and is always excited to know the answer. Questions examples:  "Way up high in the sky is where I like to fly.", or " "Ride on me and I might Neiiiiigh."

Math: Match by Size & Order by Size

Made these little felt bones for Adrian during his Pet week. I certainly didn't work so hard not to reuse them! :) Zahavah was delighted to see these. First, she matched them by color. Then, she ordered them from smallest to biggest bone. Finally, it was time to go bone hunting in the yard! :)

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  1. I love it all! Sunshine is obsessed with cats and doggies. I'll definitely be coming back to this when we do something like this next year!

    1. Glad to hear! Pets is a classic theme so I'm sure we'll re-visit next year too and hopefully I'll feel more creative then. I felt a bit "prepackaged" this time with all these purchased items! :)

  2. J aime beaucoup, bravo!
    Anna de l atelier Melk

    1. Merci Anna! Au plaisir de vous revoir sur le blogue. :)

  3. So many great activities! I love the dog sensory bin - how cute! My Toddler is pretty obsessed with our friends' dog - that activity would be something he'd really enjoy.

    1. The company makes several kinds of sandbox. My daughter actually wanted the cat themed one but it was out of stock. She loves the dog one though. Lots to do with it!

  4. Love these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Betsy and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment too!