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Infant - Month #32

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Creating Books and Kid-Friendly Spaces

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Something Different Activity
           There are many different kinds of books you can create with your child.  With a little imagination, you and your child can spend quality time preparing, making, and enjoying homemade books.  Each of the book activities below holds educational value and requires adult assistance.  These books can be as simple as stapling blank pages of copy paper together or as sophisticated as creating a scrapbook.  Give your child autonomy throughout the creation process; doing so will allow her to gain a deeper understanding of the educational concept and free her mind to make important connections to prior experiences.

       Textures, Colors, and Numbers, OH MY! - For this activity you may need to do a little prep work.  Shopping for different textured fabrics or finding old clothes in the back of your closet that vary in texture can be a lot of fun.  Look for fabrics that are furry, holey, silky, bumpy, scratchy, etc. and cut a small swatch of each.  Fabric stores often will provide you with a free sample of a fabric.  Collect fabric swatches that not only range in textures but colors as well.

       To familiarize your child with the concept of texture, take a texture walk around your house with your child, pointing out different textures.  Feel the bumps in the woodwork, the smoothness of the countertop, the fuzziness of the carpet, etc.  You may choose to write down the name of each texture you find on a sticky note to engage your child in sticking the paper to the object; this will also promote word recognition.

       Once your child feels comfortable identifying textures, begin assembling the book by placing a swatch of fabric on each page.  Then write the name of the texture and color.  When you are finished, go back and number each page.  To further incorporate the concept of numbers, consider placing three swatches of the pink furry fabric on the third page, four pieces of scratchy Velcro on the fourth page, etc. so your child will not only begin to recognize the number but associate the number with the physical representation.

       Bursting with Color - This activity emphasizes the concepts of numbers, colors, classification, and sentence structure.  Find four to six different colors of construction paper.  Then look through magazines to find pictures that correlate with each color.  Cut out and paste the pictures on the corresponding pages. For example, the picture of the red wagon will be cut out and placed on the red page. Help your child come up with a sentence for each page to describe each page's quantity and color.  For example, "I have 5 RED pictures on this page."  Following the same sentence structure from one page to the next will provide predictability and allow her to focus only on the number and color word which are the main objectives for this task.

       ABC Action Book - Charge up your camera, clean off the lens, and get creative.  You and your child will have a blast with this activity.  Using the provided list as a springboard of ideas, catch your child in action, literally.  Take a picture of her doing an action for each letter of the alphabet.  For added fun, consider allowing her to take pictures of you performing action tasks, too.  Get your pictures developed and begin the book creation process.  Obtain or make a set of alphabet flashcards and line them up vertically on the floor.  As you and your child look through the pictures together and discuss what action she was performing, she will place the picture next to the letter it represents.  Once you have all the pictures placed next to each of the twenty-six letters, begin placing the pictures into the book.  On each page, adhere the picture, write the letter, and write either the action word by itself or as part of a sentence by writing "I am balancing on one foot" or "I love typing on the computer."

       A = acting, applauding, aiming

       B = balancing, building, biting, banging, brushing

       C = cleaning, cutting, coloring, clapping, crawling

       D = dancing, drinking, drawing, dropping

       E = exercising, eating

       F = falling, feeding, filling, fixing

       G = grilling, grabbing, growing

       H = helping, holding

       I = itching

       J = jumping, juggling

       K = kicking

       L = licking, listening

       M= marching, making, mailing

       N = nailing

       O = opening

       P = pedaling, passing, peeling, pulling

       Q = quitting, questioning

       R = resting, running, reading, riding

       S = swinging, sliding, showing

       T = typing, twirling, tapping, thinking, throwing

       U = undoing, untying

       V = vacuuming

       W = writing, walking, watching, washing

       X = eXiting (be creative with this one)

       Y = yelling, yawning

       Z = zipping, zapping


  From a Parent's Perspective
           My daughter and I have created all three books.  By far, her favorite was the ABC Action Book.  We did this activity in three parts because I knew her attention would not hold out for the entire duration.  I also wanted to be sure the book was created in a relaxed setting to ensure we were creating something that would become a treasure and not a book we threw together because she was on the brink of getting ornery. So the process of picture taking, game play, and book assembly began.

       Click, Click, Click - After I took a picture of her performing an action, I would perform the same action, and she would, in turn, take my picture.  We uploaded the pictures to a one-hour photo center.  She was ecstatic to go pick them up.  Once she had the pictures in hand, the process for creating a book became comprehendible to her.

       Remember This? - We laid out our magnetic alphabet letters, but before we began placing the pictures next to each one, we turned it into a game of memory.  Taking half the pictures at a time, we placed them face down, picked two, and when we'd get a match, we'd place her action picture and my action picture next to the correct letter.

       ABC Action Book - Instead of assembling our own books, we combined forces and made our book together.  Each page has her picture and my picture along with the letter and a sentence to describe what we are doing.  Because she created this book, it holds pictures of her and me, and she is able to successfully read each page. This book has by far become her favorite.  Without a doubt, this book will be cherished for many years to come!


  How your Life is Changing
           Establish a home where your child can safely learn to take charge of some of her own basic needs.  Children love to feel "big" by doing common tasks on their own. Use the following tips and tricks to help you create spaces within your home that are friendly enough to suit your child's desire to do things herself and your desire to feel confident in the choices she is making.
  1. Place a plastic drinking cup in a low drawer or cabinet.
  2. Hang a coat hook within your child's reach.
  3. Set a basket near the coat hook to catch gloves, hats, and other accessories.
  4. Place a different colored crate in the bottom of the coat closet for each child in your home.  Upon entering the house, shoes are to be taken off and placed inside his/her designated crate to eliminate the "I can't find my shoes" scenario.
  5. Put non-destructible craft supplies in a place where your child can easily access them with your permission but without your assistance.  For example, clear out a small section of your pantry for craft items.  Place a lock or childproof knob on the door to keep them out otherwise.
  6. Organize clothing drawers and hang outfits on lower closet rods so that dressing herself is an easy and safe task.
  7. Encourage your child to use a laundry basket to place dirty clothing.
  8. Place a bowl in the center of your kitchen table full of washed and ready-to-eat healthy snacks.
  9. Store kitchen towels and bathroom towels in lower drawers to encourage her to clean up after herself.
  10. Keep play balls, bats, and bicycles in easily accessible areas of the garage to allow your child to get what she needs with ease during playtime.
  11. Place books your child most frequently reads on lower book shelves or in separate baskets near the bedside table, etc. to eliminate pulling all books off the shelf.
  12. Specify a table for arts and crafts.  Place a caddy filled with crayons, stickers, and other non-destructible supplies in the center of the craft table.  Surprise your child occasionally by placing craft kits and new items in the caddy.


Your Scrapbook’s Birth-day
By Lindsey Hill, edHelperBaby

           It is never too late to begin a scrapbook. If you struggle to find the time to even print the photos from their digital format, then you are definitely short on time to crop, cut, and tape them in a crafty position within the pages of a scrapbook. With a quick Internet search of "scrapbooking online" or "digital photobooks", you will discover a variety of online resources. Some sites will walk you through the process of uploading and editing your photos before creating a book or other products. Other sites will offer resources for creating books at home or online. Some even advertise a reduced rate and send various coupons to your email address throughout the year that give you free photo prints. Even some nationwide drugstores are linked to digital photo processing and your books can be picked up at the local store in 24 hours. No excuses now!       


Scrapbooks Enhanced Online
By Lindsey Hill, About my child Camden and Cory

           I fall into the category of family photographers with a zillion digital pictures sitting on my camera or the pictures might be lucky enough to be stored on my computer. I am not very good at making copies of the photos and therefore scrapbooking with them is impossible. Plus, the time it takes to put a scrapbook together is impossible to find now that I am working full time and maintaining some type of organization at home. I have recently discovered several online scrapbooking sites that allow you to easily upload your photos in minutes, crop the photos, change their colors or brightness, and even add sayings or "journaling" below the images. The pictures can be bound into a themed book, if you choose, and shipped to your home in about one week for around $40. I have now completed four of these online scrapbooks for differing events in our family from birthdays and first year books to presents for grandparents and Daddy.


     Group Games Toddlers will Love - Part 2

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