Tot Time–A Motley Crew of Activities

Dora has been cutting her bottom two-year molars. This has meant that she hasn’t been sleeping well or feeling herself, so her behavior has been just a tad bit off all week. Several nights, I found myself trying to entertain her at midnight, because she couldn’t sleep. As such, it seemed like we explored a much wider variety of activities than usual.

Outside Activities – Last week, I did not blog a weekly wrap-up, because we had spent much of the week at Great Wolf, which is a hotel with an indoor water slide park. Dora was a bit nervous to play in the water at first, but once she warmed up to it, we had to bribe her to get her to leave. She also finished up her Kindermusik class, which she has absolutely loved. So, I signed her up for another mini-session, as well as some summer symphony playdates. Finally, she also started a gym class. I was a bit hesitant about the class at first, for a variety of reasons, but Dora really enjoyed it and has spent much of the week practicing various skills that she learned in the class.

Gross Motor – Dora started riding her bike on her own! She is using training wheels. I had hoped to use a walking/balance bike instead, but she wasn’t having anything to do with that.

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Fine Motor – I bought Dora two pairs of scissors. They had just been sitting on my desk, unopened for a while, when Dora decided this week that she wanted to use them. She was able to cut paper on her own with both pairs! She was so excited! She has been wanting to use scissors for some time now. She was so happy to use them, she was cutting up any paper that she could get her hands on. So I set up a basket with some heavy duty scrapbooking paper, which I cut into smaller pieces. The papers I chose were very stiff, so she was able to manipulate them much more easily than everyday craft and printing papers. In addition, I chose papers that had some texture to them, thinking that the extra texture would give her more sensory information to help her coordinate the whole process of holding the paper and the scissors at right angles to each other, while also manipulating the scissor.

The first pair of scissors is called My First Scissors and is from by Faber-Castell. It does not have any holes to put fingers in, so requires less coordination. At the same time, hand strength and coordination are still being built. The only negative about the scissors is that they are a bit harder to control for fine cutting (I tried both pairs). The second pair, Maped Koopy Spring Scissors, has holes for the fingers, like traditional scissors, but has a spring which causes the scissors to open as soon as pressure is released. This  is what Dora was really having trouble with before. These scissors require more coordination and sometimes Dora would start using them like they are a pair of the My First Scissors (not putting her fingers in the holes).
 
Literature We finally finished up our farm theme. We read several good books about farms and farm animals, but the two that stood out this week were:
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox – this book reminds me a lot of a Dr. Seuss book. You have a “near sheep”, “far sheep”, “brave sheep”, “scared sheep”, and so on. It teaches about opposites, descriptive words, and rhyming. It doesn’t, however, actually teach anything about sheep. Dora absolutely loved this book and likes to pretend that she is reading it as she has basically memorized the whole thing.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin – we read this whole series, but this book was Dora’s favorite. In addition, last week at Great Wolf they read this story at story time, which excited Dora so much! The whole series is just really, really silly. The books are about a farmer who has some problems with his animals not knowing their proper places. In this particular book, Farmer Brown goes on vacation and leaves his brother, Bob, in charge. He warns Bob about Duck, but Duck still manages to have the last laugh.

Games – Dora also decided to start really playing UNO MOO with me. Up until this last week, she just liked to carry the farm around and play with the pieces. All of a sudden this week, she wanted to play the game, including actually taking turns and using a bit of strategy. I modified the rules some, we did not use the skunks as they are intended to be used, instead we just treated them as another animal. She still could only handle taking turns for a short amount of time, but it was really rewarding to see her so happy when she won for the first time. Equally rewarding was seeing her reaction when I won, she smiled just as much as when she won, clapped, gave me a high five, and said, “Good job Momma, you did it!”
 

Old MacDonald App 2
Apps – Finally, she enjoyed this Old MacDonald app from Duck Duck Moose. Not only is each page interactive, but you can change the music to be vocal, various instruments, no sound, or record your own. I had all of our family record one chorus of Old MacDonald. Dora really loved being able to listen to her loved ones singing when they weren’t around. She especially liked to listen to her daddy who got very silly with his singing. This app also has some fun and unusual things on the farm, such as frogs and construction vehicles.
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Science – Our ladybugs finally completed their lifecycle and we were able to release them. Honestly, this activity was pretty big bust, since Dora was afraid of them (that is Gohan’s hand, not hers). They essentially became extra creatures for me to feed, water, and care for. Unfortunately, two of the ladybugs never emerged from their pupa stages (kind of like cocoons).
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In the Kitchen – For some reason, we did a lot of baking this week. Dora helped me to make this coffee cake, which I really liked because it combines cinnamon with a subtle chocolate flavor. We also made lemon fool, which is essentially lemon curd mixed in with whipped cream and served with waffle cookies. I think lemon fool makes for an awesome summer dessert. It is also fairly easy to make, but looks pretty impressive.
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And, if you are not sick of hearing about apps, we found this wonderful baking game app, called Cookie Doodle from Shoe the Goose. Kids  can make cookies with the app. The ingredients are very realistic and the child “adds” the ingredients by tilting, pinching, or shaking the phone. Then the child “rolls” the dough, “cuts” the cookie with cookie cutters or a knife, and “bakes” the cookie. The cookies can be decorated the cookie with frosting, sprinkles, candy, and/or writing. Then the child can “eat” the cookie, which is Dora’s favorite part. We have wondered if the recipes are real or not and plan to try one to find out.
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So that is a rough summary of our week. How about you? What have you been doing with your child?

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Labels: Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff