DIY Items for Little Ones

Read, Write, Build: REPEAT “An Easy Number Activity for Toddlers”

The Florida Morehouse family had an exciting and eventful weekend! Little Johnny saw Sesame Street Live, which was the best experience we have had with him yet! Big John had many classes going on over at our gym (Glory Martial Arts) and I was even able to sneak in a fun DIY project that I will share on my #diyfriday post!

So with the busy weekend behind us, we’re ready to tackle the week ahead! I have decided to share with you all a fun, easy, and engaging activity that our 1 year old has really enjoyed!

“It takes a big heart (and A LOT of PATIENCE) to teach little minds”. This statement cannot be any more true, don’t you think?! Did you know that as a parent you are your child’s first teacher? We tend to get caught in the norm that teaching is done in a classroom and at a specific age, which is definitely not true! We can find teaching moments throughout everyday life, especially when we have little ones running around us!

“Don’t underestimate the power of little minds. Toddlers will surprise you when given the opportunity to showcase their learning capabilities”

Recently I have noticed how Little Johnny has been so interested in numbers, especially with counting. He loves all the songs that have to do with counting…you know the ones (5 little monkeys is a big hit!) His little “counting” finger goes up in the air as he points it out and tries his hardest to keep to the beat. It made me think that I should probably start some type of counting activity that we can “try” to incorporate everyday into our routine.

Here’s the thing about toddlers…they love anything that is repetitive! But seriously, why?! As a parent I tend to get bored with the same things over, and over, and over again…although, there is so much good behind those “repetitive behaviors” Below is a great article explaining the reasoning behind why toddlers crave repetition and adults love variety.  It really helped me to understand that repetition is okay and I just need to “get over myself” with always wanting variety. 🙂

Why Toddlers LOVE Repetition

I had to actually stop myself from overwhelming my little guy because I’m totally guilty of using Pinterest and I pin so many cute activities, but then I have to remember he’s only 1 years old! So, while these activities may seem fun, I always have to ask myself “Will this overwhelm him?” I’m trying my hardest as I teach my little guy to remember this simple statement. “Less is MORE”, especially when teaching basic concepts.

So, I decided to revert to my old teaching days and incorporate the concept READ, WRITE, BUILD using simple tools such as flash cards, white board, and Legos. We try to do this everyday (although some days get the best of us). I keep the supplies away in a bin with easy pull out drawers so I don’t have to “hunt down” for the supplies. Plus, it gives met he opportunity to have another bin in the house, I’m a tad obsessed with all things related to bins, containers, and baskets…it’s a serious problem! haha

**NOTE: The key words here are “easy” & “REPEAT”! 🙂

READ, WRITE, BUILD: REPEAT

“An Easy Number Activity for Toddlers”

 


I started off slow introducing this concept to him, but as we continued it each day Little Johnny started to anticipate what came next and I am now able to provide less help so that way he can become more independent with it. This activity also teaches little ones “one-t0-one” correspondence meaning that the numbers actually have a value! Example: 1=1 dot 2=2 dots 3=3 dots… and so on. As he gets a bit older I will introduce the number zero, as it’s a difficult concept to understand that it actually means “nothing”.

The key here is to “build upon” learning the numbers. I started at the very beginning only teaching the number “1” until I saw that he was starting to understand the concept. Then I added on number “2” and so on… We are currently ready to move onto number “4”. Here’s what I look for:

  • with some support can trace the number on the flash card using his finger
  • independently point to the items as we count
  • independently recite the numbers (Johnny needs a little more support with this, but I can see he is definitely trying)
  • with support write the numbers on the white board (hand over hand approach)
  • with support build the numbers using Legos (This concept will move onto a more independent approach as he progresses and it is one of the hardest concepts, which is why teaching them as toddlers is beneficial.)

{Supplies}

1. Flash cards with numbers and corresponding numbered objects

  • I bought mine at Target in the Dollar Section, but I found some similar on amazon. Here’s the link! —> number flash cards

2. White board & dry erase marker

  • You can purchase one or make it out of a picture frame from the Dollar Tree! I added the color construction paper as the “background” because we’re currently working on the color green and I can switch it out depending on what color we are learning about. Also, I like that it has edges on the side to prevent those little hands from drawing all over the table. It acts as a “bumper” for them.

3. Legos

  • blocks will work too, or really any type of toy you can build with!

{Activity} 

READ


First, start with reading the number by saying the name and counting the objects. These were the best pictures I could get of us in action! 🙂 I do use my hand at times to help guide him.

WRITE


Next, use “hand-over-hand” approach and help your toddler write the number with the corresponding dots. Little Johnny loves to draw on the dry erase board, so I give him time to “practice” writing it himself. Then we say “bye bye (and state number)” which he then erases it with a paint brush. Did you know that will do the trick with acting as an eraser for a dry erase board? We didn’t either and just found that out! haha 🙂

BUILD


Last, use Legos and have the flash cards laid out to “build” the numbers. There is a lot of support given here!

Repeat this process with each number along with trying to incorporate it each day and your little one will soon start learning their numbers in a fun way!

**NOTE- Make sure you are in control of the supplies. I like putting them off to the side and bringing them out one by one so that way he is not distracted.

What are other counting activities you have tried at home with your toddler or preschooler?

P.S. We have an easy shape activity, letter activity, and color activity that I may be sharing in a future post!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

 

DIY Items for Little Ones

DIY Friday- Dinosaur Sensory Excavation Activity for Toddlers

It’s about time that I did a DIY project that related to an activity for Little Johnny to participate with. One of my most viewed posts has been the DIY hula hoop sensory toy, so I figured my viewers would love to get other ideas to incorporate with their little ones.

I was going to post about my furniture project this week that I have been working on, but it’s not nearly finished (a job that should take about 2 hours is turning into a few days…m o t h e r h o o d.) Stay tuned though because it will be revealed hopefully next week! This beautiful wooden sofa table is coming all the way from Cocoa Beach! I found this gem at a garage sale while my friend was in town! I almost didn’t get it, but they insisted and actually bought it for me! 🙂 So now I’m making it pretty again! The features in the wood has so much character built into, which all I’m doing is just accentuating them!

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Now, onto the activity…

Little Johnny really enjoys going to the Science Center here in Orlando! While he loves the toddler center, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up, so we venture up to the 4th floor and “dig for dinosaurs”! I thought this week’s DIY project would be a great idea to incorporate at our house for times when we just can’t make it over there. You can also include “bugs”, which they have at the Dollar Tree as well. This DIY project is seriously so easy and fun! Plus it’s another sensory activity which is great for kids to explore at this age.

All the materials I purchased were at the Dollar Tree.

{Supplies}

  • plastic bin
  • sand
  • toy dinosaurs  (or any other creatures you want them to dig for)
  • paint brushes
  • shovel (optional)
  • flour (optional)
  • water (optional)
  • rice (optional)

{Steps}

It’s pretty much self explanatory. The only item that I added a little twist to was the sand. I wanted it to be a little more compact and not as loose (which helps with cleanup duty too), so I added about 1/4 cup of flour, and 1/2 cup of water, and a 1 tablespoon of rice  in order for the sand to harden a little. I simply placed the creatures in the bottom of the bin and covered it with the sand mixture. Little Johnny then used the paint brushes and shovel to find the items.

{Quick note- if you are adding the flour mixture just know that it will only last about 2 days.}

If you have younger children make sure you assist as they tend to always want to put things in their mouth. This is still a great activity for them, just with parental watch. Also, this does get messy…so we took it outside, but if you want to do it indoors on a rainy day simply place a very large towel on the floor and then put the bin on top. When your child is done playing scoop with the towel and shake it outside. 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this DIY! I’m looking to do more kid related DIY projects in the future, so stay tuned! 🙂

Wishing you well,

~Amanda