Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Babies

We did a weekly learning theme on babies way back in August in order to prepare for Jake's first day with us.  I knew I wanted to do another week on babies as Elise's due date approached.  With St. Patrick's Day coming up and a week I created around an event we will be going to this weekend, I decided this past week was the safest bet for making sure we fit in a week learning about babies before Elise arrives. 

Listed below are the objectives I am focusing on for the themed weeks.  I have updated our objectives from the original ones we focused on because Carter mastered those skills.  I plan to continue to implement activities to practice and reinforce our previous objectives while putting more emphasis on our new objectives.  Some of them won't necessarily be targeted with specific activities during our weeks, but I wanted to list them to help me remember to practice them continually.  The highlighted objectives are ones Carter received exposure to during our theme this week:
  1. Take turns in a simple game.
  2. Understand the meaning of mine, his, hers.
  3. Group objects based on a category (sort by defining feature).  
  4. String beads or other objects.
  5. Count to 3 and understand what the numbers mean.  
  • I pulled out the photo book I made using pictures from Carter's birth and when he was just a few days old.  Carter loved looking through the book and pointing out different people in pictures.  He was also quick to point out that he was crying in some pictures and I used that as an opportunity to talk about how babies cry to communicate.
    It was hard to get a picture since he was on my lap, but we're looking at the photo book.
  • After looking through the photo book with Carter noticing pictures where he was crying, we talked about how much babies cry.  I told him he wouldn't need to worry about Sissy Elise crying because mommy and daddy will take care of her.  Then I pulled up a youtube video with a baby crying for Carter to listen to.  He got upset and furrowed his brow, but I reminded him that babies cry a lot and that I would take care of sister when she cries and he calmed down.  I think her crying is going to be the hardest part for Carter.
  • On my computer I pulled up videos of Carter from when he was a newborn all the way up to a few months old.  I made sure to play him a couple videos where he was crying and we talked about how it is good for babies to cry so they can tell us they need somethingI also pointed out that he cried as a baby too.  Carter was so adorable watching the videos and giggled and laughed at the simplest things, even just watching himself look around when he had his eyes open at a few days old.  I think he will definitely be entertained by Elise!  I'd pull the videos up full screen so there was black on either side of the video that way I could watch Carter's face in the reflection of the screen and it was simply precious!
    Watching a video of himself looking around at a few days old.
    Watching a video of himself trying to roll over around a month old.
  • One day we read Baby on the Way by William Sears.  The book talked about how the baby comes out of the mommy's belly and that someone else will have to come watch you while your mommy and daddy are in the hospital.  I used that opportunity to tell Carter that his Uncie J will be coming to take care of him while Ty and I are in the hospital.  I told him he was going to have a special time with his Uncie.  He got very excited about it! 

  • We also talked about how small Sissy Elise will be and how we'll have to be careful with her.  Then I showed Carter one of her diapers and put it up against one of his so he could see how much smaller it was.  I had a pile of their diapers mixed up and I had Carter sort them into a "mine" pile for his diapers and a "hers" pile for Elise's diapers.  We talked about mine and hers while he sorted.  Then we counted to see how many diapers were in each pile.
    Putting a newborn diaper in the Sissy Elise "hers" pile.
    Putting one of his diapers into the "mine" pile.
  • Ty installed Elise's car seat in his car.  I showed it to Carter and told him it was where Sissy Elise would ride in the car.  We will install the car seat in my car later.  Carter liked pointing at the car seat and saying it was where Issy Eese would sit.
  • Carter practiced holding his baby doll like he will with Elise.  I showed him how to support the baby's neck and he practiced putting his arm behind his baby's head.
  • We spent a lot of time practicing with the baby doll.  Carter practiced gentle touches with the doll and enjoyed playing with her and taking care of her.
    • The Belly Book I filled out when I was pregnant with Carter was fun to pull back out and look at.  I also pulled out the Belly Book I've been filling out for Elise and we flipped through them together.  It was fun to compare their ultrasound pictures and Carter liked pointing at his ultrasound pictures and saying it was him and then pointing at Elise's ultrasound pictures and saying it was sissy.
    • I told Carter that babies can't see as well as he can.  Then I showed him about how far away babies can see and told him they only see in black and white for a while.  I showed him the high contrast cards I hung around the house for him to look at when he was a baby.  Then I told him we could make pictures for Sissy Elise to look at using black markers on white paper.  He excitedly ran over and grabbed a black marker to start his picture for his sister.  It was so sweet!  As he drew he told me he was drawing Harper's house and requested that I draw a car, so I did.
      Working on a picture for Sissy Elise after looking at high contrast cards.
    • I found a tutorial here for making a crinkle square toy for a baby.  I cut out 2 pieces of fabric and had Carter decorate them with fabric pens.  Then we put it together and sent it home with my mom this weekend to sew together.  I'll post pictures later when it's finished.
    Special Snack:
    • When Carter ate his snack I'd tell him it was big boy food.  Then we'd talk about how babies can't eat food and Elise will only drink milk for a while.  I also read Babies Can't Eat Kimchee and related that to him.
    Make Believe:
    • Carter fed his baby doll with a bottle we will actually use for Elise.  I let him see what the bottle looked like and he felt the nipple.  I told him he would get to feed his sister as well.  He pretended to feed the baby milk and then I showed him how to burp the baby. 
    • We read a few books about sharing and talked about how important it is to share with others, especially brothers and sisters.  Then we listened to Jack Johnson's Sharing Song off the Curious George soundtrack.  I have the CD so we just listened to the song, but below is a music video that's pretty good.     
    Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
    • Carter has gone with us to every prenatal appointment we've had.  We didn't have an appointment during the week we did this theme, but we had one the week before and the week after.  At each appointment as we were getting ready to go I'd tell Carter we were going to the doctor to see Sissy Elise.  When we'd pull into the parking lot he'd get really excited and yell, "Issy Eese!"  As the doctor did the ultrasound Carter would inform him that was his "Issy Eese".  Probably Carter's favorite parts of our appointments were when the nurse would let him pick out a sucker.
    • Baby Says Peekaboo by DK Publishing
    • Goodnight, Baby! by IKids
    • The New Baby by Mercer Mayer
    • Just Me and My Little Sister by Mercer Mayer
    • Baby by Mandy Stanley
    • Hello Baby by Lizzy Rockwell
    • Welcome, Little Baby by Aliki
    • Will It Be a Baby Brother? by Eve Bunting
    • Baby Loves by William Lach
    • Mo's Mustache by Ben Clanton
    • Baby's First Year by Rick Walton
    • One Special Day by Lola Schaefer
    • Babies Don't Eat Kimchee by Nancy Patz
    • There's Going to Be a Baby by John Burmingham
    • I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
    • Let's Go, Baby-O! by Janet and Andrew McLean
    • Hush, Little Baby by Brian Pinkney 
    • Play by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis
    • Arthur's Baby by Marc Brown
    • I Am Small! by David Salariya
    • Cuddle by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis
    • Global Baby Girls by Global Fund for Children
    • Play by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis
    • Move by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis
    • Rest by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis 
    • You and Me, Baby by Lynn Reiser & Penny Gentieu
    • Baby on the Way by William Sears
    • What Baby Needs by William Sears
    • I Used to Be the Baby by Robin Ballard
    • What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff 
    • Hello Baby by Mem Fox
    • Wild Baby Animals: Elephants by Jinny Johnson


      1. The crinkle square is done, and I think it turned out really cute. I love how his face looks when he'd doing crafts, because he concentrates so hard.

        1. He really loves doing crafts. He's my studious one, we'll see if Elise is the wild child!