Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Early Readers - Baby Things

I've been working on making early readers for Archer.  I wanted books that have big clear text on its own page. I have also been making them in Spanish to try to reinforce the vocabulary from our Little Reader lessons.  This one was all about baby things.
I printed on cardstock and laminated the pages . Then, I used a 3 hold punch to make the holes and used 3/4" binder rings to "bind" the books.  For this book, I tried setting it so I could print double sided and make it seem like an actual book.  Archer really seemed to like that better than having to turn the page to find the picture.  I think I'll do it the same way  next time, only landscape orientation rather that portrait.  What worked for me to print was to have it flip on the short side of the page.

You're free to download the files to use with your little one.
Baby Things Book - English
Baby Things Book - Spanish
Baby Things Book - English and Spanish

You can see my other Early Readers here.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

9 Months Learning Activities and Shelves

Nine month activities have been pretty similar to the previous month.  Still trying hard to follow Archer's lead.  He loves the stimulation, and I feel like the days we don't do any focused learning activities feel longer.

Physical Development:
Just encouraging Archer to explore (like we could stop him)!  He is into everything and doesn't want to be held back!  I recently took him to a play place, and he crawled right over and started chasing all the big kids.
We have to be very careful to leave the shower door closed or he will crawl right in.
The local museum was great for providing different types of physical opportunities.  He'd never really crawled down stairs or ramps and it was a lot of fun to watch him figure it out.
Enjoying the big piano.
He loves to play in Xanders room or dig through Xander's books.

Reading is pretty similar.  We do one set of English words flashed three times a day.  He watches Your Baby Can Read or Meet the Sight Words maybe 3-6 times a week.  We try to do one English Little Reader Lesson several days a week.  He really enjoys Little Reader now, so I'll keep encouraging it!
I've started getting out two of his Meet the Sight Words Books a week to read to him, and sometimes get stuck reading them over and over. We also try to read lots of other books throughout the week.
We flash a set of Spanish words three times a day (our modified Doman method).  We are doing one Spanish  Little Reader Lesson several days a week.  He does not have as much patience for these as the English ones (probably because the words are less familiar), so we only do the multisensory parts, not the entire lessons.  We read some of the early readers I made, and I try to get out one math early readers to read a few times a week.  He also occasionally watches a Kids Start Spanish DVD.

Learning Shelves:
Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the shelves as a whole.
One shelf had our cutting food.  Archer isn't ready to "cut" the food with the knife, but he really enjoyed taking it apart and trying to put it back together.  It was his first real experience with Velcro.

Our Rainbow Color Cones got tons of use!  Archer likes the texture.  He really enjoyed taking them apart and trying to stack them.  He thought it was great when we put them up on his cube so he could stand on the steps and play.
Another shelf had a xylophone. He understood the concept, but had a little trouble with execution.  He'd try to hit the notes with the stick, but usually hit them with his hand instead.

Another shelf had our circle puzzle (the green one is missing, though).  Archer liked carrying the pieces around and would try to put them on the base, but had trouble with orientation.  Definitely something to grow into.
The last shelf had some little plastic spools and a couple of empty containers.  We practiced sorting them and naming the colors (I did the sorting and naming, he watched).  He also really liked putting them into the containers and dumping them out.
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Thursday, March 7, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Photoshoot

A new month means a new photoshoot at our house.  Since it is March, I decided to do St. Patrick's Day.  Luckily, I was able to pull it off relatively inexpensively!
For the background, I taped a light green sheet I had to the wall.  Now I steamed it first, to get out most of the big wrinkles.  As you can see, there are still definitely some, but I did my best to get them out.  I found some sparkly foam shamrocks at Hobby Lobby, and randomly taped them to the sheet.  I put a piece of baseboard down to cover the bottom.
For the floor, I decided to try a roll of Better Than Paper (White Wood).  I'd never used it before, but ended up being really happy with it.  It was a nice long piece and didn't tear or scuff.  I took some pictures of our cousins, so had little girls twirling on it and you can't tell.  I'll definitely be able to use it again.  From the picture below, you can kind of see that it wanted to curl a bit from being rolled, but it didn't show in any of the real pictures.  Letting it sit with the weights longer probably would have helped also. 

For decoration, I just scattered some more foam shamrocks and some little gold coins.
Archer wore a sparkly hat I got at Party City (Dollar Tree had them cheaper, but I happened to go there afterward) and little bow tie from Dollar Tree.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Never Feed a Yeti Spaghetti Printable Activity

Since I try to do books instead of candy for holidays, Archer got the book Never Feed a Yeti Spaghetti for Valentine's Day.  It has cute little rhymes and then these "mouth" openings with felt teeth on each page.  As I was reading it to him, I thought it would be so much fun if he could actually "feed" the animals through the mouths.  Here is what I ended up making.
I made a free printable you can get here with a picture of each food mentioned in the book.  Initially, I was just going to laminate each disk.
After some thought, I decided to put them on wooden disks to make them last longer.  I got 2 inch disks from Hobby Lobby and then used Modge Podge to secure them.  I did have to cut out closer to each picture to have enough room to get them to stick.  I used one coat on the bottom of each picture to "glue" them to the disks, then I did 3-4 coats on top.
Archer is so young, that he just feeds any disk through the mouths.  As he gets older, I'll probably have him pick the food that goes with the rhyme on that page.  (Taking a picture using the disks proved to be a bit difficult.  Usually, I have him on my lap.) 
We found it worked to stand the book up and have him feed the disks through that way.
You could also easily "feed" the disks through the wrong side of the page, you have to for feeding the kale to the whale anyway.

Now I'm on the lookout for other fun book activities to make.  Let me know if you have any ideas!

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