Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week 22 The Ocean

Theme: Habitats - Ocean

Objective: To introduce the Ocean habitat.
Letter of the Week: Q
Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters.  
Special Items Needed:
  • Books about the Ocean
  • Animal stickers
  • Plastic Animals
New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.
Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing our weather song when we check the weather each day.
Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 

The Ocean
Introduction to Habitats
Last week, I shared an introduction to a habitat unit that we are now currently working on.  To see how we started this unit and for the overall plan for the unit, clickhere. 
Enchanted Learning Website
A phenomenal resource I stumbled upon while preparing this unit was the Enchanted Learning Website.  You can find loads of information on this website about each of the habitats we are going to be covering.  Not only will this help educate you on each habitat, but it will also act as a springboard for studying each habitat.  To access this site, click here. 
Books about the Ocean 
This week my sons and I will be reading the books pictured here as a way for me to introduce the ocean.  These are books I already had at my house (as a result of years of teaching first grade).  Feel free to find whatever books you have on hand or are at your local library about the ocean.  Take time to read and re-read these books this week, talking together about what you (and your toddler) notice about the ocean.
Illustrate the Ocean
We will repeat this activity for each habitat that we study in this unit, so it will be helpful to read closely and prepare ahead of time for all of the habitats.  I cut six papers of the same size for this activity.  On the first one, last week, I drew our home and the boys and I colored it together, talking about who lived in our house and what those people did in that home. 
This week, I made a very rough sketch of the ocean.  Then I chose all the blue crayons out of our crayon stash.  By doing this, I was able to “guide” my boys into creating a very ocean like setting on the ocean page.  We will be doing this selective color usage for each habitat to make our toddler-colored backgrounds more realistic. 
After coloring the ocean, we talked about what animals lived there.  We had already read our selection of ocean books, so we were able to have a pretty good talk about what animals to find in the ocean.  I also had previously selected ocean-appropriate animal stickers (whales, octopus, fish, starfish, etc.).  I had the boys put these stickers in the ocean, all the while talking about how these animals live in the ocean.
Ocean Sensory Tub 
I was a little nervous about doing an ocean sensory tub, but at the last minute had the idea of putting down a large blanket and then setting the tub on a table at my boys’ level.  This made all the difference in the world, as the water wasn’t just sloshing around on the floor. 
For this sensory tub, I simply gathered up all our plastic ocean animals, filled a small tub with water, added a little blue food coloring, and let the boys play.  They played well and uninterrupted for thirty minutes straight with this activity.  I had to calm down some of the splashing, but other than that, they did awesome with this tub. 
Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “Q” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 
Coloring the Letter “Q”
To introduce the later “Q,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “Q” to print).  We will talk about the letter “Q” and will color it. 
Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “Q” by trying to identify the “Q” in words that start with the letter “Q.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “Q” and only have that “Q” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “Q.” 
Rainbow “Q”
We will also practice tracing the letter “Q.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow Q,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “Q” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “Q” activities, click here. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Week 21 The Desert

Theme: Habitats - Desert

Objective: To introduce the desert habitat.
Letter of the Week: P

Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:

  • Books about the desert
  • Animal stickers
  • Stuffed animals and/or plastic animals
New Developments:

In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.
Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing our weather song when we check the weather each day.

Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 

The Jungle
Introduction to Habitats
Last week, I shared an introduction to a habitat unit that we are now currently working on.  To see how we started this unit and for the overall plan for the unit, clickhere. 

Enchanted Learning Website
A phenomenal resource I stumbled upon while preparing this unit was the Enchanted Learning Website.  You can find loads of information on this website about each of the habitats we are going to be covering.  Not only will this help educate you on each habitat, but it will also act as a springboard for studying each habitat.  To access this site, click here. 

Desert Images


I discovered a bit too late that I do not have any books about the desert! I got ready to introduce my sons to the desert habit, only to discover that I hadn’t pulled any desert books from the library nor did I have any on my shelf.  I quickly changed my plan to having the boys look at desert images that I Googled on the computer.  They had fun with this change in learning!
 Desert Coloring Book

 
Once I had discovered that I didn’t have any books depicting the desert, I spent the next afternoon looking up and printing out coloring pages of desert animals to make my own desert animal coloring book.  That night we took time looking at and coloring each page.  There was one website that I loved that had so many full page desert animal pictures, to access that site, click here. 







Illustrate the Desert


We will repeat this activity for each habitat that we study in this unit, so it will be helpful to read closely and prepare ahead of time for all of the habitats.  I cut six papers of the same size for this activity. 
This week, I made a very rough sketch of the desert.  Then I chose all the brown and tan crayons out of our crayon stash.  By doing this, I was able to “guide” my boys into creating a very desert-like setting on the desert page.  We will be doing this selective color usage for each habitat to make our toddler-colored backgrounds more realistic. 

After coloring the desert, we talked about what animals lived there.  We had already looked at desert images and colored our desert coloring books, so we were able to have a pretty good talk about what animals to find in the desert.  I also had previously selected desert-appropriate animal stickers (snake, tortoise, spiders, bats, owl, etc.).  I had the boys put these stickers in the desert, all the while talking about how these animals live in the jungle.
Go on a Stuffed Animal (or Plastic Animal) Search

This week, we used our plastic toy animals for our “animal search” (last week we did the search with stuffed animals). My boys and I are going to go on a desert animal search this week, looking through their plastic animals to find which ones live in the desert. 

Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “P” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 

Coloring the Letter “P”
To introduce the later “P,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “P” to print).  We will talk about the letter “P” and will color it. 

Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “P” by trying to identify the “P” in words that start with the letter “P.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “P” and only have that “P” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “P.” 

Rainbow “P”
We will also practice tracing the letter “P.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow P,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “P” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.


For additional Letter “P” activities, click here. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 20 The Jungle

Theme: Habitats - Jungle

Objective: To introduce the Jungle (rainforest) habitat.
Letter of the Week: O
Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:
  • Books about homes
  • Animal stickers
  • Stuffed animals
New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.
Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing our weather song when we check the weather each day.
Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 
The Jungle
Introduction to Habitats
Last week, I shared an introduction to a habitat unit that we are now currently working on.  To see how we started this unit and for the overall plan for the unit, clickhere. 
Enchanted Learning Website
A phenomenal resource I stumbled upon while preparing this unit was the Enchanted Learning Website.  You can find loads of information on this website about each of the habitats we are going to be covering.  Not only will this help educate you on each habitat, but it will also act as a springboard for studying each habitat.  To access this site, click here. 
Books about the Jungle (rainforest)

This week my sons and I will be reading the books pictured here as a way for me to introduce the jungle.  These are books I already had at my house (as a result of years of teaching first grade).  Feel free to find whatever books you have on hand or are at your local library about the jungle.  Take time to read and re-read these books this week, talking together about what you (and your toddler) notice about the jungle.
 
Illustrate the Jungle
 We will repeat this activity for each habitat that we study in this unit, so it will be helpful to read closely and prepare ahead of time for all of the habitats.  I cut six papers of the same size for this activity.  On the first one, last week, I drew our home and the boys and I colored it together, talking about who lived in our house and what those people did in that home. 
This week, I made a very rough sketch of the jungle.  Then I chose all the green crayons out of our crayon stash.  By doing this, I was able to “guide” my boys into creating a very jungle like setting on the jungle page.  We will be doing this selective color usage for each habitat to make our toddler-colored backgrounds more realistic. 
After coloring the rainforest, we talked about what animals lived there.  We had already read our selection of jungle books, so we were able to have a pretty good talk about what animals to find in the jungle.  I also had previously selected jungle-appropriate animal stickers (frogs, snakes, insects, butterflies, monkeys, and elephants).  I had the boys put these stickers in the jungle, all the while talking about how these animals live in the jungle.
Go on a Stuffed Animal Search
If you have as many stuffed animals as we do, you’ll easily be able to find at least one or two jungle animals in your midst.  My boys and I are going to go on a jungle animal search this week, looking through their stuffed animals to find which ones live in the jungle.  Once we have gathered them up, we may even “play” jungle with our jungle animals.
Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “O” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 
Coloring the Letter “O”
To introduce the later “O,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “O” to print).  We will talk about the letter “O” and will color it. 
Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “O” by trying to identify the “O” in words that start with the letter “O.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “O” and only have that “O” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “O.” 
Rainbow “O”
We will also practice tracing the letter “O.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow O,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “O” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “O” activities, click here.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 19 Introduction to Habitats

Theme: Introduction to Habitats

Objective: To introduce the concept of “habitat” by using the familiar context of “home.”
Letter of the Week: N
Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:
·        Books about homes
New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.
Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing our weather song when we check the weather each day.
Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 
Introduction to Habitats
Note: For the next six weeks (starting this week), we will be focusing on various animal habitats as our themes for our Toddler Preschool. 
You may want to begin collecting toy animals for our upcoming weeks.  Click here to see some sample animal packs on Amazon. 
Also, you will definitely want to prepare a basic felt board for our upcoming themes.  Here is the description I share a few weeks back on how to create a simple felt board:
One of the things we will be using regularly now for various learning activities is a simple “felt board.”  Rather than the type that only the teacher gets to use, I’ve opted for a much simpler (and cheaper) version that my boys get to play with.  I purchased a piece of stiffened felt (one for each boy) to work as the “background” (it cost about $1).  I also purchased various colors of felt (about $0.30/each).  I plan to use these considerably in the coming months. 
The progression of our habitat-themed weeks will be as follows:
Week 19 – Introduction to Habitats
Week 20 – Jungle
Week 21 – Desert

Week 22 – Ocean
Week 23 – Forest

Week 24 – Arctic Tundra
 
Habitat = Home

We will be building a knowledge base for the concept of “habitat” this week by talking about homes, specifically people’s homes.  Take time to talk about all the homes you visit on a regular basis, who lives there, and what is in each home.  As your toddler is familiar with the concept of home being a place to live, eat, sleep, and grow, you can begin talking about animals having homes (places they live, eat, sleep, and grow).  As you begin to introduce the concept of animal homes, be sure to introduce the word “habitat.” 
Books about Homes

This week my sons and I will be reading the books pictured here.  These are simply the books I had on hand featuring the concept of home.  Feel free to find whatever books you have on hand or are at your local library about homes.  Take time to read and re-read these books this week, talking together about what you (and your toddler) notice about homes. 
 
Describing Your Habitat (Home)

Take time this week to walk around your home (even calling it your “habitat”) and talk about everything you notice about what your home is like.  Ask your toddler what his/her favorite things are about your home.  Ask your toddler what you do in your home.  You may even want to draw your home together, talking about how you live, eat, sleep, and grow there. 
Home Activity Sheets

For a variety of activity sheets that you can download, print, and use, click here. 
Letter Work

I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “N” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 
Coloring the Letter “N”
To introduce the later “N,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “N” to print).  We will talk about the letter “N” and will color it. 
Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “N” by trying to identify the “N” in words that start with the letter “N.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “N” and only have that “N” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “N.” 
Rainbow “N”
We will also practice tracing the letter “N.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow N,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “N” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “N” activities, click here. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 18 Valentine's Day Fun

Theme: Valentine’s Day Fun

Objective: To have fun with Valentine’s Day themed activities.
Letter of the Week: M
Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:
·        Stiffened felt

·        Pink and red felt

·        Supplies to make Valentine’s Day cards

·        Party supplies

New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.

Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing our weather song when we check the weather each day.
Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 
Valentine’s Day Fun
Felt Board Fun
One of the things we will be using regularly now for various learning activities is a simple “felt board.”  Rather than the type that only the teacher gets to use, I’ve opted for a much simpler (and cheaper) version that my boys get to play with.  I purchased a piece of stiffened felt (one for each boy) to work as the “background” (it cost about $1).  I plan to use these considerably in the coming months. 
I then purchased red and pink felt and cut out many hearts of various sizes.  I plan to use these  not only for play, but also for counting and sorting (by size or color). 
Making Valentine’s
I love homemade Valentine’s Day cards!  Especially because all of our extended family lives out of town, I am always looking for ways to send them something in the mail from the boys.
This year, though, I opted for super simple cards as I wanted to include my one year old in the process, too.  I already had red cardstock (which I cut into 4x6 post cards) and wrote “love” in one corner of each card.  Then I purchased a few package of hearts stickers.  The boys and I spent a whole preschool time just sticking stickers on the front of these cards.  My two and a half year old was very into the project as he loves stickers right now and enjoyed my putting card after card in front of him to decorate!  My one year old needed a bit more help and lost interest much quicker.  In the end, I decorate a few myself as the number of cards we were making was rather large. 
Valentine’s Day Party
 
Last year, I threw a simple “Red and Pink” party for a few of my sons’ friends and their moms.  I had tea, coffee, and treats for the moms.  I also had cookies and frosting prepared for each child to decorate a cookie (making individual frosting cups to keep germs away from each other!).  I had all the moms bring treats to share so we turned it into a brunch of sorts.  It was a blast and a great way to spend Valentine’s Day morning.  I plan to do something similar again this year.  Simple, color themed, play date style party!
Other Valentine’s Day Ideas
If you are looking for even more Valentine’s Day ideas, click here.
And if you’d like to be inspired for a vintage Valentine’s Day Party, click here and click here.
Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “M” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 
Coloring the Letter “M”
To introduce the later “M,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “M” to print).  We will talk about the letter “M” and will color it. 
Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “M” by trying to identify the “M” in words that start with the letter “M.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “M” and only have that “M” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “M.” 
Rainbow “M”
We will also practice tracing the letter “M.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow M,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “M” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “M” activities, click here. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 17 Calendar

Theme: Calendar

Objective: To introduce the following concepts: days, months, seasons, and calendars.
Letter of the Week: L

Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:

·         Days of the Week

·         Calendar (I bought ours on clearance after the first of the year)

New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.

Schedule Time:
We now spend a few minutes each morning checking the weather and going over the plan for the day.  We write it all on a simple laminated chart I found in a clearance bin one day.  We sing this song when we check the weather each day:


 
Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 

Calendar
Days of the Week

Because we now do a daily schedule overview (where we mostly just talk about our main morning activity and check the weather), the concept of “day” has begun to develop.  Along with this as we review past activities and upcoming activities, the concepts of “yesterday,” “today,” and “tomorrow” are also developing.  As those three concepts solidify, I am beginning to introduce the names of the days of the week.  I’ve written them on paper, and while I planned to post them in our learning area, I felt that they were not helpful learning tools yet.  In the meantime, we are singing this “Days of the Week” song each day:

 

Seasons
 
I’ve been continually bringing up seasons as we’ve done various preschool activities.  Our new schedule has a place to write the season.  So, we often talk about what the current season is and what it is characterized by.  We also often read the book pictured here, talking about characteristics of each season. 




Calendars

Finally, I purchased a calendar on clearance after the first of the year.  I, first, showed the boys my calendar and then presented them with their calendar.  There is no real understanding of the passing of time that a calendar represents; however, I am simply building a base knowledge of schedules, days, seasons, and calendars.  I hung the boys’ calendar up in their learning area and my older son is definitely quite proud of his calendar. 

Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “L” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 

Coloring the Letter “L”
To introduce the later “L,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “L” to print).  We will talk about the letter “L” and will color it. 

Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “L” by trying to identify the “L” in words that start with the letter “L.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “L” and only have that “L” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “L.” 
Rainbow “L”

We will also practice tracing the letter “L.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow L,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “L” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “L” activities, click here. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week 16 Out and About


Theme: Out and About

Objective: To experience various indoor activities around town during the winter months.
Letter of the Week: K
Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters. 
Special Items Needed:
·         The ability to get out and about (car/bus pass/etc.)

·         A selection of books for “reading time”

New Developments:
In our toddler preschool, I’ve made a few changes to help me be more routine in my time with my boys.  I am including my one year old in most of the activities I plan for my two and a half year old.  My one year old often needs our activities modified; however, he’s happy to toddle along with us as we learn.  Below are two new developments in our toddler preschool.
Schedule:
 I found these charts pictured here for only $0.30!  I snatched these and some other school supplies up right away.  While the weather chart and daily schedule are not my ideal for a preschool setting, the price and the fact that they were already laminated were ideal!  Each morning, we check the weather and talk about our plan for the day (highlighting our morning main activity or outing).  We have also started talking about the days of the week and singing a little song (more on that in a future post). 

Reading Time:
We have recently introduced “reading time” in the mornings.  I was finding that I had a good twenty minutes free after morning chores and before my one year old’s nap.  I had also realized that one of the things I had let slip over the last few months was a consistent reading time with my boys.  So, starting in December, I began to use my twenty minute block as a reading time.  I have each of us pick out one book for reading time.  Then I read each book at least once, but often twice.  The boys then have the option of looking at the three books (and often do) independently. 
 
Out and About
Library Story Time
My experience is that most libraries have a story time geared towards young children.  We are fortunate enough to have a library system that has two separate story times: one for birth – two year olds, the other for two to four year olds.  Not only does this time get my kids familiar with the library, it also gives them a chance to hear someone else read stories and sing songs to them.   For my two year old, it is also helping him learn how to follow someone else’s directions in a group setting (which is a skill I want to work with him on this year). 

Mall Play Areas
I discovered mall play areas around the time my oldest son was nine months old.  And ever since then, they have become a staple in our weekly schedule.  We live in a city that is cold in the winter and blisteringly hot in the summer.  So, while outdoor playgrounds are fun when the weather is right, it is extremely helpful to have an indoor option for the rest of the year! 

Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Zoo, Etc.
With small children, I highly recommend picking one place and purchasing a family membership.  For us, this year, I opted to purchase an aquarium membership.  Our city has a phenomenal aquarium!  The cost of our membership was easily covered by us going twice to the aquarium.  My boys are young enough to find the aquarium fascinating even if we go every single week.  Because we have the membership, I do not feel pressure to see everything or stay for large amounts of time on any one visit (yet another reason a membership is helpful with small children). 
I suggest checking out what your city has to offer in the category of zoos, children’s museums, and/or aquariums.  It might very well be worth purchasing a family membership so that you’ll have a place to see and learn and explore together.
Play Dates
Our other weekly staple activity is having at least one to three scheduled play dates.  Because my boys do not go to preschool (nor do they stay in any group childcare settings), it is important to me that they learn how to interact with their peers in other play settings.  So, I schedule lots of play dates with friends their ages.  I am extremely blessed to have many friends with young children.  It is wonderful to take turns going to each other’s homes, giving our kids other toys and spaces to play in. 
If you are really brave, you could attempt to plan and do an activity during a play date.  I honestly haven’t braved that one yet, but it is one of my goals this year!
Letter Work
I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “K” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 
Coloring the Letter “K”
To introduce the later “K,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “K” to print).  We will talk about the letter “K” and will color it. 
Letter Search
We will continue our work on the letter “K” by trying to identify the “K” in words that start with the letter “K.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “K” and only have that “K” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “K.” 
Rainbow “K”
We will also practice tracing the letter “J.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow K,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “K” in multiple colors.  Start by tracing the letter yourself, speaking out the movements you are making.  Then speak those same movements as your child traces the letter.
For additional Letter “K” activities, click here.