Archive for January 2011
When I saw this post by Jenae over at I Can Teach My Child ( who will be a guest poster tomorrow so don’t miss it! ) my head was running with ideas on how to make something similar. I would be lying if I told you it was easy, maybe it would have been with no kids but I had an infant in my arms while taking every picture and a 4 year old helper wanting to “help”. However the results were pretty cool and it’s a great book to take to church or somewhere else that talking in that not so quiet but really trying to voice. It’s been tested out by a handful of friends already and was quite the hit at a playdate last week. So the effort was worth it. Here is how we made it.
- Gather your materials. This is a long list so take notes! I gathered a bunch of categories of my son’s toys. You can use anything for the pictures but I went with themes because it was easy to just grab bins from his room and the family room. You will also need some back drops. I chose plain jane construction paper, you will need some foam letters and a camera. A good camera would be better but my point and shoot was ok. Once the pictures are developed ( or printed out) you will need some self laminating pages, a hole punch, and some binder rings.
- Start by using the foam letters to write Can You Find and take a picture. This will be the cover page.
- Next do the first lay out. Lay the toys you are looking for on the page. I laid out the whole search page first then picked a few out to lay on the can you find page. Take a picture.
- Replace the objects you used and take a picture of the full lay out.
- Repeat this is a bunch of different toys. I always used the same black paper with ” Can You Find ” in foam letters for the search page. It made the process quicker.
- I took this picture for the back cover.
- Have the pictures developed or print them out on your printer.
- Time to laminate. Now in my dream house I have a craft room with awesome natural light and a laminator. But in reality I have my kitchen and these cool laminator envelopes that are sorta tricky but they laminate so clearly without a machine that they are worth it. I had a few bubbles but nothing too bad. Remember to laminate in order so 2 pictures front and back to each page.
- Punch holes.
- Pop the rings through and you are done! I like using the rings because I have plenty of room to add more pages.
- Time to find things!
More Eye-Spy Crafts
Going away for work is never easy for kids or parents, but activities like this can make an anxious time a little easier on everyone. I will be going to a conference this week and both my son and I have been feeling increasingly anxious about being apart. I came up with this activity when we saw these mailboxes at Target and he begged m for it. I hope this little mailbox and the letters I leave for him give him some comfort and something to look forward to every day while I’m away. We will also have our Kissing Hand Necklaces that we made last year .
- Gather your materials . You will need a little mailbox, paper and envelopes for each day you are away, pens/ markers and stickers if you want.
- Label each envelope with the day. I did it like this so that my husband who will place the letters in the mailbox every night knows which to grab, and it helps teach days of the week as well.
- Write the notes. I tried to hype up what he gets to do every day. I did this because every morning before we are even out of bed my son asks me ” Mama what are we going to do today?” One of the days I included money for him to take my mom out for lunch. He’s been learning about money so he’ll love getting to pay.
- Seal them up.
- Hide them from your child and get someone at home to play postal carrier by placing them in the mailbox every night so in the morning your child has mail.
My daughter loves going to the library with my son and me . She sits happily in front of me while I crane my neck to the side and find books that I could use in a post, or the lone fire truck book we’ve never borrowed before. But her favorite part by far is when we get to the board books where she can grab, lift and chew. So today’s post are a review of 5 books she grabbed and yes chewed at the library . She’s got pretty good taste!
Jet-Set Babies Wear Wings by Michelle Sinclair Coleman is a cute book all about traveling babies that is really more for the adults reading it than the babies. It’s cute and simple but not really simple enough for infants or toddlers to grasp why adults like this book. That said it’s so important to read to your baby that I think there is a great market for books like this. If parents like reading them, find them amusing they are more likely to read to their babies who are still too little to voice obvious opinions. My daughter thought it was tasty and I appreciated the white text on black pages , the high contrast was obviously attractive to my 6 month old. There are a ton of other books in this Urban Babies Wear Black Series
In My Tree by Sara Gillingham is such a sweet book I wish my daughter would let me read it to her . The book is all about a little owl and what that owl does in it’s tree. The novelty is that the pages have cut outs in them and the owl is a finger puppet that is in the middle of the cut outs . My daughter who at the moment is 6 months old, only wants to grab and try to bite the owl. Do not let this turn you off, it’s such a pretty little book and my 4 year old loved it. Perhaps when my daughter is done teething I will read it to her again!
Beddy-bye, Baby: A Touch-and-Feel Bookby Karen Katz is a cute bedtime book for the baby crowd. I like the rhyming text and that it’s a feel and touch book but with the exception of the final page the textured pieces are too small . Fumbly flappy infant hands have a a hard time hitting the small textured sections. Ideally they would be larger so the child can explore as the adult reads. It’s not a huge complaint and I love Karen Katz so I would still recommend this book for families with little ones.
The Busy Little Squirrelby Nancy Tafuri is a great book for babies and toddlers. The readers follow along with a squirrel as she gathers nuts , seeds and berries for the winter. As she hunts for her treasure she encounters many animals who all make their respective sounds and ask her to play, of course she is too busy and continues on. Even though the idea is not groundbreaking I like that this book can be used to introduce animal sounds without simply sitting down with let’s say flash cards and teaching them to your toddler. Even if you have no real animals near by books like this one are a great way to authentically teach very young kids.
Bye-Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick is a great book for toddlers who are anxious about separation. It goes through drop off time at school between a little girl and her dad. When I worked in a childcare setting bye bye time was a huge source of anxiety for many students, books like this one are such great tools for parents and teachers. There are wonderful tips at the back that in my experience are all great advice. This book is just one of many by the same author that are all wonderful tools for families and classrooms. My favorite being Teeth Are Not for Biting and Words are Not for Hurting
Sensory tubs are great for all sorts of learning and you don’t need fancy things to get your kids interested … but it’s so fun to give them a theme! This one is a great one for preschoolers who want to do a little more than scoop and pour. It’s easy enough to simplify using plain rice or beans , only the larger letters and adding cups to fill and spill! Do not feel like you have to be directing your kids while they play with sensory tubs, some kids need it but most do not, just let them play. If they are older and looking for a game to play with it follow our instructions for the letter hunt .
- Gather your materials. For this sensory tub we used a handful of magnetic letters, some huge floor puzzle letters,small foam letters, small letter beads, plain white beans a plastic dish tub , alphabet pasta. If you want to do the letter hunt game, you will also need an ice cube tray and some tongs.
- Start by putting the beans in the tub .
- Next the pasta.
- Now add the letter beads – my son was playing outside and came in to help.
- Next the foam, magnets and jumbo puzzle pieces.
- If you are doing a letter hunt place some letters in your ice tray for your child to find.
- Go for it!
- Found it!
- This was such a big hit that he pulled it back out later that evening.
More Fun with Letters