April started with a theme of snakes, turtles, frogs, and lizards. A frog finger puppet accommodates a song. It’s fun to match small snakes, turtles, lizards and frogs. It’s cute to put little lily pads on pegs and then place the frogs on top. Frogs, lizards, turtles and snakes slowly make way for eggs, chicks, and bunnies.
The number 8 is in the dropbox providing a sensorial impression of the symbol with the quantity. Toddlers usually understand 1 really well, and they’re starting to really “get” 2 and 3 during their developmental period in our class.
With this in mind, we set snack up in a way that supports this counting. If the crackers are small, we put in a small spoon so they can take two scoops. If the crackers are regular size, we may suggest two at a time. When we first serve snack, we count: one, two! It even helps when we say “one” on a low note, and “two” on a high note to indicate that the counting is done, creating a rhythmic verbal pattern that the child can imitate.
We’ve introduced magnetic/nonmagnetic. The new land/air/water activity is experienced through felt transportation such as vehicles, boats and planes of all sorts, and through land/air/water animals to sort onto their environment. The toddlers love to explore these objects and say their names, even if sorting them into land/air/water categories is still too abstract.
Practical life now includes bubble whisking. It’s a multistep activity that indirectly prepares them for math and science, laying a foundation for sequential thinking and doing step-by-step procedures. The direct goal of every activity is to promote the development of order, coordination, concentration, and independent functioning (learning real-life skills).
All activities we design must have a point of interest, something that will spark the child's interest, enticing the child to want to do it. Amazingly so, one of our children did six cycles in a row, from getting water to whisking, to pouring the bubbles out, to getting more water and starting over again.
Bubble whisking uses water and soap, and makes bubbles and a certain amount of interesting noise. These are all considered points of interest for the toddlers. Just like matching colors is fun when those colors are represented by frogs (currently), and spooning corn makes a pretty sound. Soon, whisking will make space for clothes washing using an old-fashioned washboard.
We have started planting wheat grass to take home at the Spring Festival. We also planted sunflower seeds that the Murphy family brought to all of our toddler classes, along with pots and soil.
There was a little turtle
That lived in a box. (put hands together to make a box)
He swam in a puddle, (make swimming movements)
And he climbed on the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito, (snap your fingers)
He snapped at a flea, (snap your fingers)
He snapped at a minnow, (snap your fingers)
And he snapped at me. (snap your fingers)
He caught the mosquito, (clap)
He caught the flea, (clap)
He caught the minnow, (clap)
But he didn’t catch me! (make a proud face)
One green and speckled frog,
Sat on a hollow log,
Eating the most delicious lunch, yum yum.
He hopped into the pool, where it was nice and cool,
Then there were no more speckled frogs.
I am a baby bird, hatching from my shell,
Out come my legs, then comes my tail.
Now my legs I stretch, my wings I give a flap,
I fly and fly and fly, now what do you think of that?
Down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down.
I saw a little bunny go hop, hop, hop.
I saw his little ears go flop, flop, flop.
I saw his little nose go twink, twink, twink.
I saw his little eyes go blink, blink, blink.
I said little bunny, won’t you stay?
Then he looked at me, and he hopped away.