The Finches

Charlotte and Ella: Two moms who met on the Internet and love design, simplicity, and sustainability.




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Entries in Toddler Learning (2)


Me Learnin' Mama! | Toddler Homeschool

B is for Bat (which he is flying), boat, ball


A few things. 

1)Has anyone else noticed that I use "So," to start a sentence way too frequently?

2)We have clearly established that I naturally lean towards laziness, right? 

3) Sorry for the awful instragram photos - I never intended to write about this. 

Excellent. Now we can move forward.

So, a few months ago, I realized that my son and I had fallen in to a delightful, but not all that productive routine in the mornings before I head out to work.  I am not one to be structured, organized or productive but even this was a little much for me.  I can handle an easy going household with dishes in the sink, stomachs full of delicious food and lots of time spent outdoors exploring, but again, we were not using our time in a constructive way.

Which, lead me to realize, that as an individual, I do really well in a high structured environment. Not that my son does, but I do, and well, hell, sometimes you are two years old and you are just along for the ride.  

This whole restructuring of our mornings this has now evolved into a formal learning time for The Beast, and has become something that he really enjoys, and really looks forward to. After the dishes are done, a load of laundry has been switched, we have vacuumed and we have done one other random daily task (because, have you seen how useful a toddler is with a sock as a dusting rag? It was like they were born to get all the spots low to the ground you always miss). I ask if he is ready for our activities and he yells "LETTERS! LETTERS! ME LETTERS!" 

B is for Beach.  We went beach camping yo.

I can't say that we do anything too crazy, I am not here to reinvent the wheel folks (and this is just straight from an email I sent to Charlotte) 

  1. Made a collage of A's from magazines (he likes collages for some reason)
  2. Went to see Animals at the Wild Animal Park
  3. Did a realism painting of an apple
  4. Made Apple oatmeal pancakes
  5. Did a painting with an apple (like a stamp)
  6. Made a letter "A" in glue and glued beans along it
  7. Traced sand paper "A"s with our fingers
  8. Made an alligator with a toilet paper roll, tissue paper and glue
  9. Read books about Animals 
  10. Went to the airport to watch airplanes
  11. Did letter/coordinating word (like an apple) stamping using these and these

C is for Cars or was a win/win situations really. 

As his enjoyment of the activities has evolved over the past several weeks, I have found my planning taking slightly deeper roots, and my love for Excel has shown through. 

Letter D Letter D Letter D Letter D Letter D
Play Dough D D Dot Stamper Sheets Duck Craft Finger Tracing Bag Dinosaur Letter Match
Sandpaper Letter D   Duck For President Book Dinosaur fossil impressions  
Alphabet Book        
Counting Math Nature Sensory Science
Counting Dinosaur Tracks More/Less Dinosaurs Duck Feeding Dinosaur Ice Dig Make Dinosaur Eggs
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Letter D Letter D Letter D Letter D Ella Birthday
Make A Drum Dairy Of A Worm Dolphin Extras Sheet Construction Book  
        To The Nat?
Counting Math Nature Sensory Science
Count Beats On Drum Dirt Dessert Desert Sensory Table Digging In Sandbox


D is for Dinosaur...dinosaur fossils with air dry clay  

Between all of the amazing  out there, pintrest, and just going off of the things The Beast likes, I have been able to keep us going!  It has been a really fun experience so far. Nothing too serious, a great way for us to interact together, and well, the dude likes it. 

As he and I figure this out together (this = mornings, not homeschool - I don't think homeschooling is for us, I just can't justify the cost of a private preschool, and there don't seem to be many non-denominational ones in our area...but maybe this is just how it starts). I have found some great products that we have gotten a lot of use out of. 

  1. Play and Learn: Do-A-Dot ABC's, Numbers & Shapes Activity Book - There are a lot of free worksheets on the web, which we use.  For some reason though, The Beast loves the sheets from this book the most. Simple, and awesome.  Additionally, there is a place where you match a letter cut out to a printed letter. It is always a good day when The Beast gets to do this. 
  2. Amazing Action Alphabet - The concept of the book is that each letter gets it's own page. Then there is a silly paragraph filled with alliterations. You read the paragraph once, then there is an action that goes along with with story that the child gets to do. So, when the bubble blowing bear says B-b-b, the child makes the sound while pretending to blow a bubble wand.  This book has found it's way into our daily rotation. 
  3. Snap Cubes®, Set of 100 - We play with these A LOT.  From counting, to patterns, to memory games to color sorting to just plain building fun. They go everywhere, but they have been really versatile to have around the house. 
  4. Sandpaper Letters - I had never seen these letters before, but they are really neat.  The letter is made out of sand paper, and the child can trace the letter with their finger and feel it.  The Beast finds these hilarious to do. 

...and yeah.  That is what we have been up to. What have you been up to? 



It shouldn't stain....much | Activities for toddlers

Toddler Fishermen Pants by Tahitee

I think The Beast is getting bored.  Chasing the cats around the house naked is fun, playing at the park is cool, and helping with dishes and sweeping is neat.  But there are lulls in the day, not the quietly sitting on the floor reading book lulls, but, sometimes I just kind of catch him roaming, swinging his arms - not a cat in sight.  

So, I was like - internets. What have you got for me? 

And then the internet laughed, while throwing tons of ideas at me. Cause honestly, sometimes I don't always know what to do when I am exhausted, and The Beast has seemingly already had 40 cups of coffee, a little cocaine and has blown through all of the toys in the living room. What am I supposed to do with that?(Keep in mind that I spent the night in bed with two feet in my face that belong to my grumpy 14 month old who just had a slew of vaccines. Oh, and he also happens to steal the covers and have no remorse whatsoever. Who has two thumbs and didn't sleep? THIS GIRL.) 

So....if you are having one of those mornings, and stumbled across this blog post, let me throw some ideas at you. Maybe one will stick?

#1 Toddler Yoga.  An oxymoron perhaps, but watch the video ( - it totally inspired me to try some stuff with The Beast, and he loved it. Was it perfect? Nope, Did I care? Nope.  Was it stop-go-stop-go-stop-go...uhhhh, have you met a toddler?


Toddler paint. Flour+Water+Food Coloring = a really good time. Here is a great toddler paint tutorial.


Play dough - There really isn't anything to it, so if they eat it, no big deal.  If some spills, no big deal.  We used this recipe and the comments were right, this was a great non-flakey play dough recipe

#4 Hide 'n' Seek with pasta.  Throw some pasta in a huge mixing bowl, and some other interesting objects (like those colorful pom poms) and let your toddler hunt around.  Will it go like you expect? Maybe not, but it will be easy to clean up and fun. 


Pipe cleaners wrapped in yarn by The Journals of Giddy Giddy

A little different than the image, but there are SO many activities using pipe cleaners - who knew?  I always found them quite useless, but apparently they are fantastic for developing motor skills, pipe cleaners and colanders, pipe cleaners and magnets, pipe cleaners and ....well...dude, anything. Pipe cleaners! 


Pom Pom Stuffing Activity by Engaging Toddler Activities 

Pom Poms, the pipe cleaners cousin.  You can make up things to do with these left and right. Dump them out, toddler picks them up, sort them by color into different cups, stuff the pom poms into small holes, do you have an ice cube tray and some of these pom poms? Then you have an activity for a toddler


But really......anything from this website that features tot trays. Such great ideas, with tons of items that you most likely already have around your house.  

Oh and don't even get me started on dancing ooblek, DIY bouncy balls, or painting with marbles