This is a super simple counting activity that I came up with on the fly. I love that it features the watermelon (our theme for this week) and is something I can keep “on file” as my little one grows in his understanding of numbers. For example, this could easily be used with preschoolers to not only teach counting, but basic number operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
Here’s how to make it…
felt pieces–one green, one red and one black
scissors (use a good pair so it cuts nicely)
glue dots (about 8-10)
Using a large paper plate, trace half of the plate onto the red piece of felt (use the edge of the felt as a guide). Next, trace 3/4 of the paper plate onto the green piece of felt (again, using one of the sides). Cut out both pieces. Place the red piece on top of the green piece so that some of the bottom portion of the green is showing (it should resemble a piece of watermelon–the green rind and then the red “flesh”). Using the edge of the red felt as a guide, place one glue dot every inch or so in between the red and green pieces so that they hold together in place. With the black felt, cut out the seeds. I folded a small piece of black felt in half and then cut out a shape that resembled a seed. By folding, I was able to get two seeds per cut.
Today, Nathan and I experimented with different phases of matter. Yep, even a 19 month old can begin learning about solids and liquids just by using watermelon. To do so, we began with watermelon fresh off the rind. In its solid state, we ate a few pieces, but could observe liquid escaping with each bite. We then took the left over watermelon pieces and blended them in the food processor to form a liquid. Next, we filled a few small Dixie kiddie cups 3/4 of the way full. We then placed them in the freezer. After 2 hours, we inserted a popsicle stick in each. Left overnight, they were ready to eat again–in their frozen, solid state!
We’re waiting for a warm sunny day here in Germany so we can head outside and enjoy our watermelon pops. I will be back with a picture update once that happens. Hopefully the pops won’t get frostbitten in the freezer while we wait. Germany is known to get a lot of rain. A LOT…
In keeping with our watermelon theme this week, I wanted to teach by toddler a fun song that was either about watermelons or at least mentioned them. The first song that came to mind was the classic “Down By the Bay”. I quickly went to You Tube and was happy to find a sweet little video for us to watch and sing along to (check out our favorite kids songs–with videos!).
I then wanted to create some visuals to use for all of the other times that we will sing the song and not be watching the video. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pdf from kizclub that already had visuals as well as the printed song and vocabulary cards! Because my son is a toddler, we are only in need of the animals to use as visual aids (but what a super resource to use with older children!).
From the pdf, I can print the page that contains the animals (you can choose from color or black and white), paste them onto card stock, wrap them in contact paper to ensure their safety, and then cut them out. As we sing the song, my son can then learn to identify the animals we are singing about. As he starts to show comprehension, I can make it a game and present the animals in a field so that he has to independently choose. This is such a great activity for young children. It can be used for songs, for nursery rhymes or even simple books. One tip when implementing the identification…begin with a field of 1-3 items. This means that you only want to lay out 1-3 items in front of the child when they are learning identification. This provides the child with a reasonable amount of choices and visual stimuli without overwhelming them. As they start to master the activity and can quickly and confidently choose items in the field, more choices can be added.
My son LOVES listening to music (he gets it from his mom). It doesn’t matter if he hears a commercial playing on the radio or a song playing overhead in a store, he will start movin’ and shakin’ to the rhythm he hears. It really is the funniest thing to look in my rearview mirror and see him in his carseat with is little head bobbing. To foster that enormous love for music, I am always in search of good kid songs, nursery rhymes, and Christian music. We particularly enjoy watching some of the music videos for kids on You Tube. I have to admit that there are some really awful ones on there. Awful because the voice of the person singing is not pleasing to the ears or the animation is weird, too fast or too overwhelming for even my adult eyes. The best kids songs we have found, with videos, are by a company called Barefoot Books. They actually sell beautifully illustrated books with CD’s that feature some classic songs like these…
This cute little toddler craft is super simple and only requires a few materials.
To get started, you will need:
2 large paper plates
red and green washable paint
dry watermelon seeds
glue (I used Tacky)
Have your child paint (by hand or with a brush) each paper plate. One should be green and the other red. Once dry, cut out the center of the red paper plate. Using a Q-tip, dab the center of the green paper plate with glue. Place the red circle that was cut onto the center of the green plate. Using the Q-tip and glue, glue seeds to red portion to resemble the inside of a watermelon. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to count out those seeds with your little one!