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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.