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Toddler - Week #85

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Week 85: Keep My Bug Alive!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Well, we almost had a first I never would have wanted this week! Evan almost ate a bug! Alice had found a ladybug in our bathroom and made it her pet for the day. Evan, of course, was very curious. She wasn't quite that willing to share with him. The real milestone I have noticed this week has been that urge to tease. Evan gets this look on his face, and I know he is going to do something in an attempt to get a reaction from someone. Alice is most often the victim of this. Well, since she made a big deal out of this bug, Evan thought he'd get her good by trying to make the bug his lunch! He popped it in his mouth but spit it out quick. I'm not sure if he spit it out because it didn't taste good, because I yelled no, or because Alice began to have a meltdown at the idea of losing her pet. In any case, I was glad we avoided that milestone!


Creating Good Readers:
           It seems like Evan is doing a lot of things these days to get a reaction out of people. The teachers at his school are no exception. He moved up to an older classroom about a month back, and they are a little more structured about things. They have circle time where they sing and learn. Evan isn't sitting well during this time. I think it is because he's in this teasing phase. He sits for his sister at home when she plays school, so I know he can do it. But that brings me to my reading tip of the week. I find this to be true in my classroom and at home as well--don't force things! We all can remember being forced to do something at one time. If you think back to what that something was, you probably have a distaste for it. That's from being forced! I think it is wise not to ever try to force a child to sit and read. If you do this, it may seem like a punishment and we definitely don't want reading associated with punishment! Instead, find ways to coax the child into the circle and keep him interested. At home, I like to just sit by myself and act as though I am thoroughly enjoying the book whether Evan has joined me or not. I find more often than not, he will come over to see why I think it is so interesting. This may not be a feasible in a school setting but can be applied to some extent if the teacher is willing. In my classroom, I have a few students who hate to read aloud. I find by not forcing them to read aloud, after awhile they raise their hands for a turn. When you think about it, nobody really likes to feel left out, so if there is no power struggle over it, the child will probably want to be a part of the reading or the circle.


Book Of The Week:
           The Grouchy Ladybug

       By: Eric Carle       

       This is a classic! Every good children's library needs a few Eric Carle books and this should be one of them! The Grouchy Ladybug is a fantastic book that spans the toddler stage through the early elementary years. This book is great for me to take out and read when Evan is feeling grouchy or maybe not using his best manners, like the nasty little ladybug in the story. But it is also good for Alice as she is growing and learning about the passage of time. When she is even a little older, it will help her learn to tell time since there are clocks on the pages. For this week, it was a perfect book to dig out when the kids found their pet ladybug, though we decided our ladybug was the friendly one who had been picked on in the beginning. The book is colorful and bright, appealing to all of us.


           Time for an art activity! Try this:

       Take two paper plates and tape them together except for one section at the bottom with enough room to put a hand inside. Then let your child glue ripped up red tissue paper in the Eric Carle art style, all over the plates. After that, either glue on black felt dots or take out my favorite, the bingo markers, and stamp away! Add a small black head made of construction paper, some googly eyes, and black pipe cleaners for antennas, and you've got yourself a great ladybug puppet!       

       Here's a fun ladybug snack, too--perfect for getting your little aphid to eat healthy! Frost a rice cake with some strawberry jam. Add raisins on for dots. Your children will love thinking they are snacking on a ladybug!       

       And of course, we spent time this week looking at bugs! After Alice spent so much time being intrigued by a simple ladybug, I got out the bug catcher and the magnifying glass so they can really check things out. There's not much around since it's so cold, but there are always spiders to be found. I also am thinking about setting up a project I have done in my classroom. You can easily and cheaply obtain mealworms from the pet store. They are used for feeding the lizards. Place them in a small tank with some shredded newspaper. Feed them table scraps, fruits, etc. and watch what happens. They will go through a complete metamorphosis with virtually no effort on your part. They turn into beetles within about a week and a half to two weeks. It is a pretty neat transformation to watch. Then you simply set the beetles free in your yard!


Rhyme Time:
           Alice thought this was the perfect song for this week after checking out all the bugs we found:


       The itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout

       Down came the rain and washed the spider out

       Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

       And the itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again.



Evan's Opinion:
           Evan liked playing with the puppet. He also thought his snack was delicious but then again, he enjoys most snacks! He also loved the book! But most of all he enjoyed checking out the bugs. Once we got past the idea of eating the ladybug, both he and Alice had nearly an hour of fun playing with the bug! They put it in the doll stroller and walked it around, they put it in a box for bed, they looked at it with their magnifying glasses, and more. Alice drew pictures of it and Evan pretended to color, too. I couldn't believe how much time one little bug could occupy two kids.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           Question: "How can I encourage my children to get along better?"       

       Alice and Evan sometimes have fights that I think need a referee to get involved! He doesn't hold back when she is teasing him, and she no longer is nice to him because he's a baby! They are over three years apart but nearly on the same playing field when it comes to fighting. Evan is shorter but almost the same weight as her little petite figure! Alice has a sharing problem. She needs to work on it at school and here at home. She is not patient when it comes to waiting for a toy or whatever she wants a turn with. She will often try to wrench something out of Evan's hands, at which point they will both scream and even sometimes swat at each other. We are encouraging Alice to use phrases like "are you almost done playing with that toy or will I be able to have a turn with that toy soon," but this isn't as helpful when it comes to dealing with Evan. We still use these phrases here at home, but it doesn't mean Evan is just going to turn that toy over immediately. Instead, I often have to take it from him and give it to her to share. He will have a meltdown at those times, but we just try to talk through it and say it is time to share. I will label the anger or whatever you want to call it and say I know he is mad. Usually it helps at this time to either distract him with a different toy or ignore his tantrum. I try to set up things the two of them can do together with enough materials for both of them. I like to organize it so that they have to share the materials though. Like in making the ladybug snack, I gave Alice the jam and Evan had the raisins. He needed her to spread the jam, but she needed him to get the dots. They still fight all the time, but they are also the best of friends!


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