Letter of the Week: A for Ants!

It’s been a week since I posted a blog. But, here’s a recap of what we did through the week as we went through the letter A.

First of all, Dylan wasn’t interested at all in the lapbook. So, a change of plan was in order. It was a good thing I was able to attend a workshop on Literature-Based Learning by The Learning Basket and it has helped me so much in planning out our little guy’s activities. Will be posting about that soon. One thing I learned in all of this though, is that at the young age of two, you’ve got to be flexible. Don’t force your lesson plan on your child. If he’s the same age as mine, all he really is interested in is play. So, I let him.

So, what have we been up to for the past few days?

We’ve been reading. 

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Army Ant Parade. Bought this from The Learning Basket, preloved but in wonderful condition.

Dylan has a curiosity for ants since we have lots of black ants outside our home. They’re harmless but they’re a nuisance (for me) when they manage to get inside the house.

This book is really nice. It talks about the army ants in the forests of Panama. It also has a little trivia at the back for adult readers (like me. haha!).

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Amphibians. My First Children’s Encyclopedia. Bought this from Book Sale. One of my favorite stores.

The book touched on other animals such as frogs, snakes, scorpions, ant birds, and the like. So I decided to supplement it by reading aloud Amphibians on the encyclopedia. I point out pictures and read aloud descriptions.

Tip 1: If you have kids who love to move around, like my son, I make a real production out of reading time. Like when it’s time to read, I would excitedly say “It’s reading time!” My tone of voice would get my son interested right away.

Tip 2: I schedule our reading time when Dylan is sitting still, usually when he’s drinking milk before his naptime and bedtime.

Tip 3: If he’s not up for a rest yet, I would sometimes just continue reading a few pages even while he’s playing near me.

 

We’ve also been doing sensory activities. 

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Out of all the activities I planned to do with Dylan, he liked this the most. So, we did this most of the time.

I took out a vacant plastic bin that was not in use and placed his colored rice there so the mess could be pretty much contained.

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Dylan played with the rice when it was colorful. When it was just black, he thought it was something dirty. 

The colored rice was supposed to be pretend ants. I started out with just black colored rice, but Dylan thought it was poop or something dirty, so I decided to make other colors instead.

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You’ll need: A handful or so of uncooked rice, an empty container, food coloring

Directions:

  1. Portion the rice into 5. To make five different colors.
  2. Place 1 portion into the container.
  3. Put a few drops of food coloring in.
  4. Close the container and shake, shake, shake. (This is where your toddler can come in)
  5. Repeat the steps until you get all 4 colors.
  6. To make black, simply put a few drops of all the food coloring, heavier on the blue and green.

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Place it in a relatively large bin and let your toddler do all the work. Be prepared for the mess! Or you can always tell your child to keep the rice inside the bin only so he can play with it again and again.

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Give them a spoon and bowl for scooping.
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But, he’ll most likely use his hands.
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And maybe even his feet.
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I pointed out to Dylan that this looked exactly like the swarm of army ants in the book.
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He even accidentally formed a heart!

 

And since August is Buwan ng Wika, I thought I’d introduce him to more Filipino resources as well. He only has one other book before this. Time to be intentional!

Tahanan Books has a wonderful collection of Filipino books for children. I got these from The Learning Basket display on the Literature-Based Learning workshop. I think you can find their books on local bookstores as well. If not, you can always visit their website and order online.

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Lastly, if you allow your kids to use gadgets, there’s a wonderful app called Batibot TV and Batibot Games that teaches your kids Filipino! Even the narrations and songs are in Filipino so it was a gem to find. I think it’s only available on Google Play though. I didn’t grow up with Batibot but my husband did and he was singing along with the theme song. It put a smile on my face.

We’ll be learning about the letter D next week. Skipping B and C already, you ask? Not that Dylan already knows it, but I wanted him to learn the letters of his own name first.

I had a lot of other activities planned but we stuck mostly with this. Plus lots of play indoors with the rainy weather going on for a week now.

How did you spend the rainy week with your little kids? I would love to know and get some ideas from you, too!

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