Toddler Activities Schedule (10) – Weather
Spring has arrived, but you wouldn’t know it from the 5-7 inches of snow we got this past weekend! We are keeping our fingers crossed that the sun starts shining on us soon. The weather in the Midwest is notoriously crazy. We can have snow one day and 80 degree sunshine the next, with a tornado in between just for good measure.
With the change in seasons, I thought this week would be a good time to talk about weather. What’s the weather like where you live?
I’m also doing a little spring cleaning in my weekly toddler activities schedule series, I hope you like the changes! Here is a rundown:
*Instead of having a morning and afternoon activity every day, I’m just going to list one activity per day. I never get around to doing all of these ideas (and I’ve heard from several people that they don’t either), so I might as well spread them out.
*I’m adding dedicated sections for book/music suggestions (and I’ll disclose again that I have an Amazon affiliate account – if anything I suggest looks interesting and you buy it after clicking on my link, I’ll earn a few pennies. That hasn’t happened yet, by the way).
*I will feature a kids’ yoga pose courtesy of Acacia at Be Present Mama. (She posts a new pose every other week, so I’ll either run the same pose two weeks in a row, or I’ll do something else on Acacia’s off weeks. I really haven’t decided. I’m such a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl ;))
*To reinforce the sign language we’ve been teaching Kieran since he was a baby, I’m going to feature several words each week in American Sign Language. Try them with your own kids – signing is a wonderful parenting tool for babies and preverbal toddlers to increase communication and decrease tantrums.
*Finally, because I know I’ll want to add extra things in every week, I’ll have a miscellaneous category for any extra ideas that don’t fit elsewhere.
Is there anything you would like to see in these weekly lists? I’m happy to entertain new ideas!
*Fantasy Tornado Bottles: Talk about the “funnels” of tornadoes before making one of these bottles. Instructions: Partially fill clear bottles with either: 1) shampoo; 2) half water & half oil; 3) shampoo & oil; 4) water; 5) water, oil, and vinegar. Add floating, swirling materials (bits of foil, buttons, chopped Easter grass, glitter, sequins, metallic confetti, sand, shaved crayons, etc.). Twirl it up and watch it spin! (Activity is from Making Make-Believe)
Fun with numbers
*Numeral Kite: Cut out ten kite shapes from colorful construction paper and write a numeral from 1 to 10 on each. Then cut ten lengths of yarn and tie one small piece of ribbon onto one piece of yarn, two pieces of ribbon onto another, and so on until ten pieces of ribbon are tied to a piece of yarn. Place the kites in front of the children and have them choose the appropriate tail for each. (Activity is from The Sourcebook: Activities for Infants and Young Children)
Exploring our World/Messy Play
*Mud Play: Water and mud provide many sensorial experiences for your child. After it rains, let your child put boots on, go outside, and play in the mud. Children love the way it feels: slippery, gooey, and messy. You may want to have a hose handy for cleanup.
*Homemade Wind Chimes: Gather items made of different materials (shells leftover from a craft project, cheap silverware from the thrift store, some pieces of wood gathered from outside, bottle caps, etc.). Try hitting the different objects together to see what sounds they might make. Choose the ones to tie onto some fishing line, and hang it all up on a wire hanger (bent into a rough circle). Talk about how the wind makes the objects move.
*Weather Chart: Using construction paper, markers, and contact paper (or a laminator if you have one), make a sign to hang by your door. The sign can say something like “Today’s Weather.” Make weather pictures (a thundercloud, a rain drop, a sunshine, etc.) that toddlers can afix to the sign using tape or Velcro. Make it one of your morning rituals to look outside, talk about the weather, and change the sign.
Kids’ Yoga Pose
My goal is to do something with Kieran every day that gets our bodies moving. Acacia at Be Present Mama is a yoga instructor, and she loves doing yoga with her 3 year old son, Everett. This week’s pose is:
Alphabet Belly Breathing: Gather some play letters (stuffed, bathtub foam, even just cards of letters) and sprinkle a few of them on the ground between you and your child/ren. Each of you choose a letter. When it is your turn, hold the letter up so everyone can see it, identify what letter it is (or help your child identify his letter). Everyone places one hand on their belly, inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth saying the letter long and drawn out.
For example, I hold up the letter “G” and tell everyone what it is. We all put a hand on our bellies, inhale through our noses and exhale saying “Geeeeeeeeee.” Then the next person has their turn, repeating with their letter.
You can repeat a few times and talk about how your belly moves when you breathe.
We’ve been teaching Kieran ASL since he was a baby. Signing is a wonderful parenting tool for babies and preverbal toddlers to increase communication and decrease tantrums. Our favorite site for learning signs is ASL Pro, which features a free video signing dictionary. To find a sign, click on that link, click on the letter of the alphabet the word starts with (under “Main Dictionary”), and then search in the “Choices” box for the word. Click on the word to watch the video. If you need to read a definition for clarification, try this Basic Guide to ASL. Here are some words of the week to practice with your toddler:
Thunderstorm (this is one of Kieran’s favorite signs)
Book and Music Suggestions
*Easter Eggs: I stumbled across these great ideas for some fancy dyed eggs. (There is no way I’m attempting them this year, but maybe one of you overachievers will!)
*Spring Clean Your Craft Supplies: are your child’s craft supplies out of control? Take an hour to dig through them (with your tot!) and sort them into piles: keep and donate. If it’s been there for more than a year unused, do you really need it? Talk to your little about donating the unused supplies to a domestic violence or homeless shelter! I bet they’d think that was a good idea.
*Tornado drill: Do you have a family plan in place for tornadoes, fires, and other disasters? Springtime in the Midwest is prime time for tornadoes, and there is no reason why we can’t introduce the concept of staying safe in emergencies to toddlers. This is also a reminder for parents to think about your emergency readiness plans. The following websites offer suggestions and safety instructions that may be helpful:
Here is another FEMA website on emergency preparedness that is designed for adults.
And one more FEMA website specifically dedicated to being ready for tornadoes.
The National Weather Service is regularly updated with weather-related warnings.
This NOAA website is adapted from a preparedness guide, and has many interesting facts about tornadoes and weather you can share with your child (you’ll have to make them age appropriate, though; the site is geared toward schools, not kids).
Photo credit: duchesssa
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"Toddler Activities Schedule (10) – Weather"
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