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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Toddler Fun, Week 25: Letter U, Number 4, Rainbows and Umbrellas

You know what they say... April showers bring May flowers.  It's time for U for umbrella!  Aidan DID have a minor melt-down because pirates got booted for umbrellas... a cause I sympathize with.  But here is how we made this week fun, even though it wasn't full of plundering and treasure hunting.

Week 25
Letter: U
Number: 4
Color: Red
Theme: Umbrella - Rainy days


1. Library
A trip to the library is a perfect rainy day activity!  Our library has story time, toys, wonderful librarians... really, all you could want!  To my delight, this past weekend Aidan was DYING to go to the library.  Of course we were on a 4 hour road trip, so it had to wait.
But on Monday, we headed on over!  We picked up our books I had on reserve, and then spent about an hour and a half playing with these blocks and sorting bears (I'd forgotten how many things you can do with those things!).  I would highly recommend finding out if your local library has a similar set-up!  It's a great, free, indoor thing to do!  Also, starting in May, our location is doing science Fridays.  Yay!

2. Play-Doh
I know, I know.  I'm apprehensive about play-doh too.  If it gets stuck in something, that's it.  It's all over!  BUT it is so much fun for kids!  Right now places like Walmart or Target have little cups of play-doh for something like 60 cents each.  Play-doh is great for developing fine-motor skills, experiencing new textures, imprinting and pre-writing.  I helped Aidan make a "worm", and then showed him how to make a "U".  (By making a smiley face.) I also used play-doh to write out his name, and he had fun naming off each letter.  And then destroying them.  Duh.

3.  Shapes and Numbers
 I found these shape and number themed umbrella activities for preschoolers, and thought I'd share them with you.  The two activities are very similar, the only difference being, that one has shapes, and the other has numbers.  With the first, as you can see, each umbrella has a shape, then it's your kiddo's job to find the matching rain drop, and glue it onto it.  Aidan had fun with this one!  
 He pretty much knows his shapes, so this one wasn't too bad. :)  Also, it was his idea to have them turned over to begin with, a genius addition to the activity, if I do say so myself.
 I made him a little chart. :)
 But now the number one... oofda!  This one was harder.  He can count really well, but doesn't recognize many of his numbers yet, so he wasn't very happy with me for making him work at it.  I can always tell when an activity is stretching him...
 I really have to find a way for it to be fun.  We had a couple "I can't"-s, and some rolling around on the floor, but eventually got it.  For this activity, he glued the corresponding number of raindrops to the correct umbrella.
Then, I wrote the numbers 1-6 on this strip.  Aidan matched the numbers, and I helped him glue them on.  

4. Number/Sorting Re-Try
Okay, since we had such a hard time with the last number activity, but of course numbers are important... I tried again.

This time I made little umbrellas with numbers 1-4 written on them, then gave him Skittles.
This time it was a hit!  Woohoo! He sorted the colors, and put the correct number of Skittles under each umbrellas.  Yay, victory!

5. Planting Wildflowers
Cheerios is doing a campaign called Bring Back The Bees, where they sent out wildflower seeds in an effort to - you guessed it - bring back the bees.  We signed up for it, and our packet arrived this week!  (I am aware of some controversy about the types of seeds, but read both sides, and the statements said that although some seeds may not be indigenous, they are not invasive species.)

So first we tilled the Earth a bit, and found a weed with this very weird, big fat bulb.

Then we spread out the wildflower seeds, and gently raked them in.

Then we watered the ground, placed white rocks around the edge, and now we're just waiting!  The reason this qualifies as a "rainy day" activity, is because I read that the best time to plant is when you know rain is coming, so as soon as there was a little bit of sunshine, we quickly planted them!


1. Umbrella Apple Craisin Snack
For this snack, I used apples, raisins, string cheese and marshmallows.  It was a hit!  Also, Ocean Spray commented on my Instagram picture of it!  So cool!

2. Rainbow Fruit Salad
For this tasty treat, I used strawberries, clementines, apple, kiwi and blueberries and marshmallows.  Ironically, it was raining like crazy when I took this picture, but rainbows are promises, so I guess that's fitting!


1. U is for Umbrella
For this letter craft, I cut out a red umbrella shape and "U", and a white handle.  Then, Aidan put it all together.  It turned out a little plain, but that's alright!  It's got the letter "U", and that's all that matters. :)

2. Painting with Straws

So this one didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped, but in essence you put water colors (Not watered down acrylic like I did.  Messy.  Oh yeah, and permanent.) on the paper, and then they blow the paint with a straw.  Washable paint would've been much better, of course.  It was okay, it didn't turn out quite as cute as I'd hoped, but it kept him entertained for a bit, which is all that matters. :)

Books and Media

We Read:

1. The Umbrella by Jan Brett
I'm a big fan of Jan Brett, so when I found this installment, I was very excited!  The story is similar to the very famous "The Mitten" book, however it is set in the South American rainforest, and a bunch of animals climb into a little boy's umbrella until it just can't take anymore.

2. The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
This wordless flight through fantasy is sure to thrill your little reader!  A small Scottie dog gets swept up with his red umbrella, and travels the world until he safely makes it back home!

3. The Green Umbrella by Jackie Azura Kramer
This is a sweet book about imagination and making friends! :)

4. And Red Galoshes by Glenda Millard
Although it's not in the title, there's an umbrella in most of the illustrations.  This is another sweet book about imagination.  It seems that rainy days inspire the imagination.

5. The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges
This book was a little late in arriving to us, and I almost didn't pick it up, but I'm so glad I got it!  It's a very sweet book about a young Thai girl in a small village, where everyone paints umbrellas.  Not only that, but everyone paints flowers and butterflies.  Noot, the young girl however loves elephants, so that's what she paints.  Until she is told she can only paint flowers and butterflies...

We Watched:

1. Kipper's Rainy Day - This sweet British cartoon is on Netflix currently.  It's about a dog named Kipper, and the first part involves an umbrella. :)  It's definitely for younger kiddos.

2. The Magic School Bus, Season 2 Episode 6 - Wet All Over - Ms. Frizzle and her class go on an adventure to find out where water comes from!

3. Ask the Storybots, Season 1 Episode 6 - Where Does Rain Come From - This is a really great show on Netflix, and if you and your littles haven't seen it yet, you're missing out!  This episode in particular is really fun!

4. Mary Poppins - This is a classic, of course!  And the title character is KNOWN for her umbrella, so it only made sense to introduce Aidan to her!

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