Saturday, August 24, 2013

Purple Cat Week (22 Weeks)

Parenting with a Purpose... what a powerful statement. I discovered this phrase on a wonderful blog called The Educators' Spin On It.  This quote perfectly depicts our goal as parents in our home.  It's a big job but my husband and I are loving every (sometimes exhausting) minute of raising this little person.

Set Up:
We used a few of the Brown Bear, Brown Bear Printables from Carisa's site this week. I put them up for him to play with and move around, working on his fine motor to get the pieces in and out and also to reinforce our theme.  Purple is not a common color in our house, to say the least. I needed all the purple I could get in order to expose him to it so hanging these color swatches and flash cards was a nice pop of purple in our play area.

I also put out a few simple purple play ideas out for him to play with at any point during his week.  This proved to be very fun for him and, while extremely simple, he went back again and again throughout the week to play with them in new and creative ways.

The purple egg carton has a simple latch to open it and he loved doing this himself.  Inside were two purple rings from when he was little. I put them in connected and he enjoyed trying to separate them las I had demonstrated. This is not something he mastered this week but I will do this again as he enjoyed the challenge.

The purple blocks were simple blocks along side a putting hole from a plastic golf set. He had little to no interest in these at first, even though he loves to stack and knock down blocks.  About half way through the week, i started changing the structure and making new designs with these same piece.  This got his attention and he started trying to recreate some of my structures.  This one below was a favorite... "WOOOOOOOW!"

We continued with using the cardboard pictures as a hide & seek game every day. He still loves to wake up and find the character.  This purple cat was a favorite... I found him "feeding" the cat his wooden food during one of his free play times. So cute. One morning we put the cat "in" a cardboard block tunnel.  Within seconds of finding him, he crawled up and sat in there with the cat.  I could not get the camera fast enough but man, it was adorable.  PS we are NOT cat people so this is as close as he's getting to a cat at home.

Lastly, I had filled the pallet rates with our purple and cat themed books (list of them below).  We read a lot this week and loved every minute of it. 

We had a few lessons that went great and then a few that were a bust. Purple proved to be a tough week for us... however, we had a lot of fun and he did say purple twice.  Mommy was so proud!

We used some of our wooden block set, about 8-10 blocks.  I found the two that had cats and made sure they were in the tray.  We spent time naming all the animals/objects while we looked for the cats.  he enjoyed this a lot... he is really into the I-Spy thing these days.  I'm trying to incorporate new ways to encourage and support this love of finding things.

Another way we did so was on a purple search.  One day, I gave him a tray and we searched the play room for purple items.  He was easily distracted but really did love this activity. We were able to move and explore so this little 22 month old was thrilled.  He loves to move!  I loved doing this with him and we will definitely do this again. Here is what we found... (Like I said before, not much purple around here :))

Yet another hide and seek game coming!  We made a sensory tray out of almost expired white rice from the dollar store and some purple pom-poms and other purple items in the rice.  He played with this three different times throughout the week and was surprisingly tidy with it!  I usually play sensory trays on the floor so its a quick sweep to clean but I gave the tab;e a try and he did great! he was so focused on digging for the pompoms and scooping with the hollow blocks that he didn't even think of the mess opportunity.  Daddy and Mr. Littleman had a blast with this one and spent a lot of time counting the 5 pompoms as they found them... again and again and again.

We used the purple pompoms yet again in a scooping activity.  I put 3 recycled cardboard cups on
a tray with the pom poms and a purple spoon.  He seperated out the pompoms a few in each one and then passed them out to Mommy, his dog and himself  to "eat".  He then collected them, put them into the tray and started again. He is really good with a spoon while eating but these furry pompoms were tough to gather on this small spoon so he sometimes used his hand to guide him.  He was so focused and really enjoyed this tray.

 Along with the big pictures of our weekly theme characters, my friend gave us a big cardboard poster of Mr. Littleman's favorite page in BBBBWDYS.  I put a pom pom for each color in a small container and put this ona  big tray with the poster.  I turned my back for a minute and he had started to match the colors! I hadn't expected him to figure this out without my suggesting it though demonstration but he did! He realized really quickly that it was "funny" to put mis-match the colors and spent the rest of his time making me (and himself) laugh out loud at a green pompom on a purple cat.  He surprised me, I have to admit, at his color matching and it was an awesome moment. It made me feel like even when I think these colors are going over his head, he is retaining it all. This whole this is helpful after all :)

We spent a lot of time outdoors this week because it was really hot!  He loves to run and play but he took a moment to pick mommy a purple flower.

We had the pleasure of sharing tot school with Mr. Littleman's cousin and best friend, Smoochie!  Smoochie just turned 1 this month so the boys are 9.5 months apart.  They are already as close as brothers and love every moment together... we are so lucky to live 10 minutes away! I made Smoochie a tray full of purple items and he LOVED going through the tray.... he must have spent 20 minutes on this tray.  This is a LONG time for a 12 month old!  Mr. Littleman on the other hand did NOT like his tray.  I'd drawn a bunch of grape and the goal was to put the pompoms where the grape outline.  I don;t know if it was that his cousin was here or that he didn't like the tray but he had no interest.  I tried demonstrating and then leaving it for him to see but he still had no interest.  I think I will wait on this concept and try again another time with another week.

Practical Life:
Mr. Littleman continues to "make his bed" on his own after he gets his diaper changed.  This really just means throwing all the blankets and stuffed animals back in his crib but he methodically does this each morning, and after each nap, without me even asking.  I am not sure where this came form, I never make my bed!

He also has officially mastered feeding the dog.  He opens the container himself and gives three full scoops, closes it up and then tells the dog he is released to eat.  I wish I could capture the face he makes while he does this and after the fact.  He has such a sense of excitement and pride that it melts my heart. It is amazing what a little toddler can do if you enable them to...

We also worked on taking off our shoes... which took about thirty seconds.  However, putting them on is a work in progress!

We read a lot this week.  In addition to BBBBWDYS, we read the following books:
Muriel Barclay de Tolly's Puma goes to The Cliff Walk
Paul Galdone's version of The Three Little Kittens
Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon
Laura Numeroff's If You Give A Cat A Cupcake
Amongst some other household favorites.

Mr. Littleman loved the Puma book!  It was a fun story about Newport, Rhode Island and has a black cat on each page named Puma... what do you know, finding the cat on each page was his favorite part!

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1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! I love Tot School. Your blog is so funny and interesting!