Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ABC Playgroup Party!!

I have been doing weekly letter lessons with Briggy for awhile now, but I've been really trying to drive home the idea of "school" and "lessons" with him the past couple weeks. I really want 10am-12pm to be our "school" learning time. I told him that we would have a big celebration to start off the school year to get really exctied about the alphabet and learning! He pretty much knows all his letters and numbers, but not 100%
Im hoping that all these activities throughout the year will solidify the foundation/basic principles, so by 3 1/2-4 years of age we can focus on more kindergarten lessons and reading! Both my sister and I were early readers {is 4 early anymore? I see those commericials with 9 month olds reading, so maybe he'll be considered a "late bloomer"}
The play group was a lot of fun. Sundays are usually the only day Briggy has interaction with other toddlers at our Church's nursery program, so its always a VERY BIG DEAL! when friends come and play. His excitement tends to get overwhelming, and typically he acts out wildly and is the opposite of calm until about an hour after everyone is gone. He goes into total sensory overload. He's happy, but its too much and it usually ends in temper tantrums. Today he was AMAZING. Listened wonderfully, sat still and participated in the ABC craft, played nicely {for the most part, he grabbed his toys from some of the kids, but no long lasting screams or bad behavior} Every day he suprizes me more and more with his behavior. He has really taken to structure and routine, as well as adequate deep pressure "squeezes" and exercise-time {all the time!} Over the past few months I have seen such a shift in his behavior and his attention span and focus getting sooooooooo much better. He is a great kid!
Okay, so it was a playgroup so I didnt want to over-do-it and go crazy with party details, because I can go overboard and thats not what this event was about. It was a kick-off to preschool-time but most importantly PLAY TIME!

I made peanut butter jelly cupcakes with peanut butter frosting! yummy. here is the links to the recipes:

Typical kid-friendly "after-school snacks"

I melted down a few boxes of crayons that I got for suupppper cheap with all the back-to-school sales going on into these alphabet crayon molds. [these are wonderful, and sooo cool! you can make molds of pretty much ANYTHING!]

My lame attempt at a banner 20 minutes before people were arriving---that wall just looked too bare! Im installing big shelves above the little locker drawer to hold all my preschool craft/workbooks in in the VERY NEAR future!

I really need to get better about this interactive blogging, because I should have been snapping shots of the kids working on their alphabet craft, but of course, I was in the "thick of it" monitoring my 2 1/2 year old Briggy with 3 markers in his hands, and trying my best to keep my eye on my in-to-everything-not-quite-walking 13 month old, Oliver.....and the camera was down stairs. Oops! I printed off the first letter of each of the kids names onto white cardstock and had different things for them to decorate their letters with--crayons, markers, pom-poms and pipecleaners! very fun!!!
There are many great alphabet printables, I like the size of these, and that they include the Upper and lower case on one page. Sometimes its nice to have both, sometimes its better to focus on one or the other...depends on the situation and lesson.
Upper & Lower Case Printables

Overall, it was a really nice time and I am so excited to start a more regimented daily lesson plan with Briggy. I have to work on all the loose ends this week, but we plan on next monday {i know, its labor day....but we are still going to get in our first lesson in the morning!} I plan on following this weekly schedule:

Monday: Letters (Evenings are Family Home Evening Lesson)
Tuesday: Numbers and Sensory-stimulating Activity
Wednesday: Colors and Exercise Activity
Thursday: Shapes and Book Activity
Friday: Recap of all 4 topics and related craft project
Saturday: File Folder game
Sunday: Sabbath related activity

It is my goal to update daily our lesson and all the resources that went into preparing the lesson, as well as having "File Folder Friday" where I will have a file folder idea and/or necessary tutorial on how to make it. They are fun for saturday, because if you have plans that require travel, they are perfect for on the go!

Monday night is a time our family {and members of my faith} set aside as Christ-centered family time called "Family Home Evening" or for short, FHE.
Regardless of your faith, I really think this concept is a GREAT idea. I will have lessons or links to lessons that I am following posted on Monday afternoons. They will have LDS references, but you can easily tailor them to suit your relgious preference. I am following our Church's nursery handbook to re-inforce the lesson being taught during Briggy's nursery-time at Church. A typical FHE {although they are never typical right now with two small children!} is a prayer to begin, a religious-themed lesson, an activity, a treat, hymn and closing prayer.

Honestly, this blog is meant to be a helpful place for moms and care-takers of toddler age children to get lesson and activity information and resource links--but most of all it is a way to get my booty in gear and stay structured and consistent. I feel I have a great responsibility to teach my toddlers the best I can and fill them with knowledge and fun. I pray I can do right by them, and that I may be a small help to any of you that may stumble upon this blog.


Sunday, August 22, 2010


I am a momma to 2 fantastic toddler-aged boys. Well, one honest-to-goodness toddler, Brigham who is 2 1/2 and my little guy who I suppose is considered a toddler {13 months} but is still my little baby! After calling on Occupational, Behavioral and Speech therapists a year ago, Brigham {aka Briggy} was diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder which went hand in hand with his 6 month delay of speech. I felt like I had been a very hands-on mom from the beginning, but this catapuletd my efforts in helping Brigham as best as I could {along with wonderful therapists} to get him speaking and behaving better socially. Every day for hours and hours I would scour online for different activities, printables, books, etc. that not only addressed his "sensory" needs {that all kiddies need to some degree} but would get him to be excited about language and see it as a fun "game" For the past six months we have been primarily focusing on the alphabet--recognition of the letter, sound, matching letter to item, etc. and he has done LEAPS AND BOUNDS better with his attention to focus and understanding of the topic, as well as verbal communication. I am by no means a professional on the matter, so If anyone who is, that is reading something I explain--feel free to correct me! I have gathered a wealth of information from professionals, and other regular moms either homeschooling, or teaching their children with sensory disorders. This blog is meant to be a gathering of ideas and printables that I have found to be fun and helpful for my sons, as well as a daily blog of adventures and findings. All opinions and ideas are welcome as long as they are friendly and helpful!

August 31st I am hosting my church's playgroup for the toddler-aged kids and it is "ABC" themed. I planned on "kicking off" our families "school time" September 6th as well as this blog. I hope my ideas and links to great resources will be helpful to you and your little ones!