R was 16 months old at the time of this activity
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton – The Little House is a wonderful story about a small town house that wanted to be a part of the big city but becomes sad once a busy city is developed around it. This story was identified as one of the top 100 best books for children by the National Education Association!
1. Bubbly Blocks
I scooped off some suds I made in a pot of soapy water and popped them onto R’s mega blocks table. She enjoyed washing the characters and her own arms. I added a tub of warm water beside her mega blocks table when she was finished playing, and she helped me wash the soap off the blocks.
To easily make lots of suds, blend up one part dish soap and two parts water on high using an electric hand blender.
a. Introduce the vocabulary words, “tall” and “short”. Demonstrate what a tall and short tower might look like and use the vocabulary works to describe your constructions. Encourage the child to build a tall tower and a short tower.
b. Count the number of blocks in each tower. Ask older children the following open-ended questions: what is the most number of blocks in a short tower? What is the least number of blocks in a tall tower?
c. Practice patterning with older children. In the beginning stages, have the child replicate simple “AB” patterns. As his/her skills develop, as him/her to build patterned towers using two or more colours.
2. Sanding Rainbows
I remember doing this activity as a child and loved it! I used to make these for myself to play with 🙂 Here’s what to do, colour on a paper with pencil crayons. You can make a design or just coloured blocks, like I did here. Cover the pencil crayon with black wax crayon. Then the fun begins! I gave R some sandpaper to scrub off the wax crayon and reveal the rainbow colours below. I gave her sandpaper to stick with the building theme, but the wax crayon can be scratched off with plenty of other things, such as coins.
a. Practice naming colours. As the child scratches off the wax in one area, have him/her name the colour.
b. This activity can be a fun way to practice many skills. Hide numbers, letters or sight words under wax crayon. Have the child name the number, letter or sight word as it is revealed.
3. Hair Roller Towers
My old Velcro hair rollers made for a cool stacking and nesting material. R stacked and toppled towers over and over. She was intrigued by the fact that the hair rollers stuck together, but her favourite thing to do was to nest the hair rollers.
Check out the rest of the Building Structures Theme:
1. A Bubbling Build
2. Tools of the Trade
3. Stomping Around Town
4. Dramatic Castles, Sticky Houses and Thread-able Noodles
5. Sponges, Sticks and Pegs