Goodbye, letter I. Actually, it was an okay two weeks. We were cooped up inside more than usual due to me being sick and the awful weather, so this time around, two weeks just felt too long. None of the trays really captivated Ethan for the entire two weeks after being used so much, but we did have a bunch of fun activities and crafts that we were able to do to make up for it. The highlight of I week for me was hearing Ethan identify the capital or lowercase letter I: "I has dot" and "I no dot." Be still, my heart. The highlight of I week for Ethan was beating the heat with a whole lot of ice play and, of course, ice cream.
The Ice Cream Felt Board
This is the third felt board I've made for Ethan. (He either destroys them in anger or my cats mistake them for scratching posts.) He can't stand felt boards, for whatever reason. I haven't tried again with him in months and while this time he didn't hate it, he didn't exactly love it, either. I thought he would get a kick out of being able to make his own ice cream cones, but he remained rather uninterested in the whole thing. At the end of the two weeks, I decided to attach the felt to an empty part of the wall in our tot school room instead of on a board. I'm not sure what changed, but he started to be way more interested in the felt wall and actually sat and made ice cream cones for about twenty minutes uninterrupted! Whatever works, right?
Ice Cream Scoop Counting
Somehow in the entire two week span, I missed snapping any photos of Ethan using this tray. It was actually one of his favorites for the week. He loves counting to ten and kept cracking himself up by saying he wanted "ten green, brown, yellow scoop ice cream cone" after we finished counting the five scoops set out on the tray. (I get his humor. He gets his love for Brussels sprouts from his father, and his love for ice cream from me.) Ethan liked to do this tray by me asking him how many scoops he wanted on his ice cream and then he would count them out accordingly. He had trouble identifying the actual numbers other than 1 and 2, but he still had fun counting the scoops out.
Letter I With Ice
With this one, I had created a quick capital letter I on the computer with little squares. Each time Ethan wanted to do this tray, I'd give him a cup of ice and he'd have a blast making the letter I with the ice. (I obviously laminated the sheet so it could be reused.)
I had printed some inchworms out and on the center segments gave each one a different color with a capital or lowercase letter I. I had also printed some leafs in varying sizes with the capital or lowercase letter I as well. Ethan loved the inchworms and loved doing this tray to learn to identify a capital versus lowercase letter I ("I has dot" and "I no dot," as he will). It took him a while to get into this tray to truly try it instead of just pretending the inchworms were eating the leaves, but once he figured it out, he really enjoyed it.
I printed out a picture of an Igloo and using a super old version of MS Paint on my mom's computer colored a few of the ice blocks blue and gave them different patterns. I cut these out and placed them on the tray with the original igloo. Ethan's job was to match the patterned ice blocks together, teaching him to look not only for the matching patterns but also to focus on shape to ensure the pieces were all facing the correct way. He got the pattern part of it down, anyway, and really just had fun building the igloo.
Ice Cream Dough
We had an absolute blast making Play Create Explore's Ice Cream Dough! This stuff was the coolest. Even though we were the ones who put in the hair conditioner and whipped it up, Ethan and I were still both so sure these ice cream cones might be real! These were not only so neat to smell (they even smell real!) and just play with, but Ethan had fun counting out the scoops on "real ice cream" instead of just on paper. It ended up being a great counting activity and a great sensory activity, too!
Making An Igloo
Ethan learned that an igloo was a house made of ice, but I wanted to bring the concept to life a little more. On a whim, I started filling ziplock bags with water and sticking them in the freezer to make the blocks of ice. Our freezer is pretty small and jam packed, so I wasn't able to fill as many bags as I'd have liked -- but Ethan totally didn't care. He loved this activity! I liked using the ziplock bags because once you slid the ice out, you could reuse them -- they only held water. Ethan wanted to make an "igloo house ice" for his octopus bath toy who he (for some reason) has named "Blue Doggie."
I found this cute little star-shaped ice tray at the dollar store and filled each well with a drop of Crayola Washable Paint, added some water to the top, stirred the paint and water together and popped the tray into the freezer. Once Ethan realized these were not only paint (he thought they were crayons at first) but were icy cold, he couldn't wait to get started making masterpieces!
For a while, I had lined up vinyl records beginning with the letter we were working on in tot school. Then, really, that left me with nothing that would interest Ethan or be considered totally appropriate, and his interest in the music nook dwindled. I've kept the music nook around but left it up to him which album to select from the closet to play. Usually, it's something poppy like Dave Clark Five or The Monkees and this has become one of his favorite stations in tot school! I keep a box of instruments next to the record player and once the music starts, Ethan and I play our instruments of choice along with the music. He loves figuring out how to make the instruments sound even cooler, like tapping the fiddlesticks on the bottom of his shoes or against the closet door.
Letter I Artwork
We did a lot of fun artwork this time, including sponge painting with a letter I we cut out of a kitchen sponge.
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