Raining Indoors

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Rain Came Down by David Shannon – The rain came down is a wonderfully illustrated story about the quarrels of a small community during a rainstorm and how they lend each other a hand once the sun comes out.

Activity:

1. A Cup of Rain

IMG_0209I topped a glass of water with shaving foam to represent clouds. R then dropped water, coloured with blue food colouring, into the glass to make it look like rain. She enjoyed adding water droplets and then swirling the mixture around using the dropper.

Extension Activities:
a.  Scientific Testing.  Set up four cups of water: two with hot water, two with cold.  To one cup of hot water and one cup of cold water, have the child drop in hot water coloured with blue food colouring.  To the other cup of hot water and the other cup of cold water, have the child drop in cold water coloured with food colouring.  Ask the child to observe and record the differences in how the different experiments behave.   With older children, have them come up with their own hypothesis to test. Continue reading

Discovering Wind

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

Weather! by Justin McCory Martin – R enjoyed listening to me read, “Weather!” It is a nonfiction book that includes information about all kinds of weather.

Activity:

1. Blowing Clouds

IMG_0163R worked on her coordination and lung strength as she attempted to blow cotton balls with and without a straw.  The way she curled her lips as she practiced blowing without a straw was just the cutest!!  It was a lot more difficult for her to blow with the straw since she had to aim the straw correctly.

Extension Activities:
a.  Have cloud blowing races with multiple kids.  If the kids are different ages, adapt the game for each one so that it is a fair race.  For example, the youngest child may blow without a straw, an older child with a straw and an even older child blind folded and no straw. Continue reading

Growing Kind Children

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R was 15 months old at the time of this visit

As we strolled into the dimly lit animal shelter, R spotted a striped cat lounging in its bed and was immediately drawn to it. She meowed at it as her face and hands were pressed up against the glass divider between the reception area and cat room. This was her first visit to the shelter, but not her first experience with cats. As the staff unlocked the door to the cat room, R gingerly trotted by my side. She promptly slipped in beside the striped cat, which we learned was called Linx, and began stroking his soft fur while quietly whispering “nice”. Her memory of interactions with other animals had served her well, as she knew to be nice to her new found friend and to stroke him gently.

IMG_7524Being kind to other people, animals, nature, herself and her and others possessions is something that I hope to instill in R. It is a quality I want her to carry throughout life.

On a daily basis, I take R on outings either with friends and family or on our own in order to promote healthy emotional development as she explores and tries new things and learns to take risks. These outings also help with R’s social development as she learns to make friends and get along with others. During play with other children, I encourage R to practice sharing and taking turns and to help bring children who are standing on the sidelines into the play scenarios. Continue reading

Fading Sunshine

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

What Will the Weather Be Like Today? by Paul Rogers – What will the weather be like today? is an awesome book with just the right amount of writing on each page to keep R engaged and beautiful pictures to go along with the words. The book ends with a question to prompt weather exploration. Continue reading

Counting Clouds

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Cloud Book by Tommy de Paola – The cloud book has tons of great facts about clouds while still being engaging for younger children with its wonderful pictures!  R listened intently as I read through the pages.  At times, I didn’t get to read all the information on the page since R was ready to move onto the next page and would flip the page for me. Continue reading

Let the Children Play

“Play develops the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. It “paves the way for learning.” Block building, sand and water play lay the foundation for logical mathematical thinking, scientific reasoning, and cognitive problem
solving. Rough-and-tumble play develops social and emotional self-regulation and may be particularly important in the development of social competence in boys. Play fosters creativity and flexibility in thinking. There is no right or wrong way to do things; there are many possibilities in play – a chair can be a car or a boat, a house or a bed. Continue reading