Sunday, June 22, 2014

Green Wrap-up

Well, we have finished our second Color Week.  Here's how we started it, with our color basket.  We played with colored rice, with colored water, and with stickers (see our sensory activities here).  We read several books.  We wore green shirts and talked about green things in nature.

Also this week, we watched a couple of green-themed videos on YouTube.  (They're my secret weapon for getting her hair done.)

First, Tee-Hee Town's Green song.  She wasn't sure about this one at first, but as the week passed, she came to like it more and more.

Naturally, one can't talk about green without thinking about Kermit the Frog!

And we found a funny parody of "It's Not Easy Being Green" sung by Oscar the Grouch.  It was awesome:

Do you have any other GREEN videos we should check out?  Can you think of any other amazing ways to celebrate GREEN?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Green Books

This week we requested and read several books about Green and Green things from the public library and our home library.  We read:

Green, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

"Green" talks about things that are... green.Various types of green.  There were die cuts in the book but they weren't really noticeable (mostly because everything was green).  Toddler was not impressed.

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss

Classic.  It took her a page or two to get into it, but then Jo started to try to "read" along with the rhymes and repeating phrases.

The Little Green Witch, by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Cute version of the little red hen story.  Would be cute to read again around Hallowe'en.  I don't think toddler really "gets" this story yet.  We'll try it again during our Red week with a typical little red hen story.  I did like how this one ends, though. ;-)

Green Wilma, Frog in Space

Story of a green frog just trying to catch a fly when all the sudden it is scooped up into a space ship and the little alien that belongs in the space ship gets left behind.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green, by Keith Baker

Two crocodiles? alligators? and their adventures together going camping, eating pancakes, and going to the fair.  It's three stories in one and we broke it up rather than read the whole thing through.

The Green Bath, by Margaret Mahy

I read through this one prior to introducing it to my toddler.  It's about a boy who is disappointed when his friends get to go to the beach and he has to take a bath, but then he ends up at the beach and all over the world having adventures in a green bathtub.  I got through about a page and a half with my two-and-a-half.  Older kids might enjoy this one more.

Grandpa Green

This story takes you through a topiary garden in which a man has sculpted plants to tell his life story.  My toddler liked looking at the pictures in this one.

Green as a Bean, Karla Kuskin

This was not an exclusively green book, but had you think about "if you were green, what would you be?" "If you were square?" "If you were bright?" It was a creative book and toddler enjoyed hearing it.  I would like to revisit this one in a year or two and do some creative activities and play around some of the ideas it talks about.

Go Away, Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberly

This is a great book for a green unit! ... if you get a full book, that is.  We heard this book at a story time at Hallowe'en last year and I thought it would be great for our green week. Unfortunately, the book we received through inter-library loan was missing at least half of it's pages, which really ruins the book because of the die cuts -- the purple hair wasn't purple, and we never ever saw the big green monster.  It was very disappointing, because my toddler was really excited for this one just based on the cover.  So, if you can get a copy with all the pages, I highly recommend it.  (There's also Nighty Night, Little Green Monster by the same author, same die cut concept, also very cute and would be perfect also.)

Did we miss any great books about the color green?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Green Sensory Activities

1. Colored rice in the sensory bin
The night before our Green Week, I dyed some rice.  We're working on the concept of keeping the rice IN the bucket.  She enjoyed using her scoop and the shapes from her shape sorter.  Another time that we played, we used her measuring cups and spoons, which she thought was a lot of fun.

2.  Frog themed water play
No pictures of this one - I set it up just as my knitting student was coming over.  It was a big, flat container with green colored water, green water beads, and the frogs and turtles from her bath toys.  She also used her measuring cups and spoons to scoop and pour water.  Jo played and splashed while I taught my lesson.  I put down a towel but she easily over-splashed.  Later when we played, I put down several towels.  Jo discovered that sitting on a package of paper towels was the perfect height so that she could dip her feet and splash in the water.

3.  Stickers
Jo worked on this one over the course of the week.  I pulled out a bunch of stickers from my stash and put them and a green sheet of paper on a cookie sheet.  Jo would peel the stickers off their paper and stick them to the green paper.  We talked about the different things she was sticking that were green.

What else would/did you do with the color green?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Color of the Week 2: Green

Week two of our Colorful Summer!  Our color of the week is GREEN.  We started out our "school" day on a green blanket and sang a few of our favorite songs (this week included several verses of the Wheels on the Bus) and then we pulled out the basket.  Jo was all set for "Yellow Things!" and was surprised to see that the contents of the basket had changed to green.  (I filled it the night before with toys and other things from around the house.)

Our basket contained the following things:
Overall, counting each object as one, there were 75ish objects in the basket.  She enjoyed wearing her scarf, building with the Duplos and counting various objects.  We pulled objects from the basket several times over the week for other activities (look for another post!) and she returned to look through the basket several times.

Stay tuned for more about our Green Week!  What would you put in your green basket?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yellow Wrap-up

We have enjoyed our first Color Week. In case you missed a post, here's how it started. We played with colored rice, in the pool, with lemon cloud dough, and with stickers (see our sensory activities here). We read several books. We ate bananas, wore yellow clothes, and looked for yellow cars.

Also this week, we watched a few yellow-themed videos on YouTube.  I like to put them on while I fix her hair because she stands relatively still and will look in the direction of the screen if I need her to face this way or that way. We watched "Color Y-E-L-L-O-W yellow song", recommended by Play-Create-Explore.  It wasn't long before we were singing along.

Being big Sesame Street and Muppet fans, we watched "Yellow Submarine," which she thought was fun.

Finally, her favorite yellow video was "Color Songs for Kids - Yellow Color"  (I get a little bugged by the fact that the puppet starts out with a character voice but doesn't sing with one, but that's just me.  Other than that, it's fine.)  It has a great beat and my toddler loves to dance to it.

Do you have any other YELLOW videos that we should check out? Can you think of any other amazing ways to celebrate YELLOW?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Yellow Books

As part of our Yellow Week, we read several books with the color yellow as a focus or with yellow ducks, as that was one of the popular things in her yellow basket.  As I kind of decided to do a Color of the Week program on Sunday and start it on Monday, I didn't have as much time to request books from the library, so I also started requesting Green books at the same time.  I'm a week or so ahead in terms of requests and am compiling a list of color related books so that I can request them as we approach that color.

Toddler liked this one.  It has only one word or short phrase per page, so it's super fast, but she liked pointing out the yellow ball in each scene and talking about what happened to the ball.  This was probably her favorite of the set.

This was a cute idea - it follows the journey of a little girl who rides on a yellow giraffe scooting toy but instead of the everyday world we see, she interprets things as a magical.  2.5 year old wasn't very impressed though.  Maybe for a 3yo?

Toddler liked identifying the baby duck in each of the pictures and discussing what she was doing.  Not much plot, but it was ok.

Another quick story.  This is a good one for prepositions, which is something my 2.5 yo is working on acquiring.

Toddler and I both enjoyed the illustrations in this book.  I read the book to her and then she read it to me.  (Her version mostly consisted of "Little duck in the water." Turn page.  "Little duck in the water."  Turn page.)  Much more wordy than the others, but a very cute story.

We also requested "Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes," "10 Little Rubber Ducks," "One Little Duck," and "Henry and Pawl and the Round Yellow Ball" from our library circuit, but they didn't arrive before our yellow week was over.

Did we miss any good ones? Share your YELLOW book suggestions with us!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yellow Sensory Activities

We had a lot of fun during our Yellow Week!  Here are some of the things we did:

1. Colored rice in the sensory bin
The night before our Yellow Week began, I dyed some rice (I use Learn-Play-Imagine's method and let it sit overnight).  She enjoyed scooping with with a shovel from her sand toys and a cup and teapot from her play dishes.  I also would hide small things (giant paperclips, big buttons, plastic bugs, etc.) under the rice for her to find.  Later in the week, she used her Duplos in the rice bin.

2.  Yellow things in the kiddie pool
We pulled out our little kiddie pool this week. It's just the right size for one little kid.  We put it in the shade and she just splashed in her clothes so that I didn't have to put sunscreen on her.  She played with her ducks and her balls and her scoop from her sand toys in the water.  (We also blew bubbles because that's one of her all time favorites.  Those didn't have anything to do with the color yellow, though.)

3. Yellow cloud dough
We used the Lemon Cloud Dough recipe on Paging Fun Mums.  I made the mistake of using "baby" scented lotion -- it was sitting unused in my cupboard and I figured, "why not?"  I'll tell you why not: the scent was almost overpowering and no amount of lemon juice could make it lemon scented instead of fake-o baby scented.  Toddler didn't care, though. She made sure Dolly got to play, too.  We played with this with all our cookie cutters, not just the yellow ones.  She asked for me to form various shapes and letters.

4.  Stickers
We also stuck yellow stickers to yellow paper.  I took some time this week while Jo was playing at the park with her daddy to prepare stickers for the other colors.  I have TONS of stickers (thank you, dollar stores...) and I peeled off the background sticker part and cut them into individual stickers and pre-sorted them by colors.  It would be a better use of her color identifying skills to have her find the yellow stickers herself, but she would also be more likely to wander off with a full sticker sheet and stick all colors of smiley faces to my piano bench.  (I know this because we tried that approach.)  Instead, I put the colored sheet of paper and the individual yellow stickers on a cookie sheet and she sat and peeled and stuck.

What else would/did you do with the color YELLOW?