Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Nursery Rhymes

We had a really busy week when Ang came to visit usShe stayed with us on Monday and Tuesday and then we left to visit Ty's family after lunch on Friday.  I had chosen Nursery Rhymes as our next learning theme and had the books from the library already but I didn't want to feel rushed trying to get all the activities completed in just a couple daysSo I decided to spread the learning theme over 2 weeks.  I'm so glad I did because Carter absolutely loved it and there were so many fun things we could do.  Throughout both weeks and even now I'll hear him singing Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Wheels on the Bus, or The Itsy Bitsy Spider while he's playing.

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.  
  • To go along with The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Miss Muffet I made spiders for Carter using pom poms and pipe cleaners.  Then I hot glued googly eyes onto them.  I tied string around one of the spiders to look like it's web so we could use it for Little Miss Muffet.  When I showed him the spiders we counted their legs and then counted their eyes.  I made sure not to count the pom poms because I used 3 and really for a spider should have only used 2.  I just couldn't fit all the legs on when only using 2 pom poms.  I let Carter play with them for a while before we used them with our Nursery Rhymes.  I put them in his toy box after we were finished with them so he could play with them.  I would randomly turn a corner to find one on the floor and  momentarily freak out that there was a giant spider in our house.  Then I'd realize it was one of our pom pom spiders!  It's so cute because Carter call them Itsy Bitsy.
    Freaked me out every time because I'd just see it out of the corner of my eye!
  • For The Itsy Bitsy Spider I cut a few toilet paper rolls in half and then taped them together to make the water spout.  A paper towel roll would have worked better but we don't buy paper towels.  I also pulled out some weather pictures that went with a calendar set I had in my classroom.  You could easily just print the pictures as well.  I used a sun, a cloud, and rain drops.  First I sang the song to Carter with the sun out, making the spider go up the toilet paper water spout.  Then I pulled the cloud out and made the rain drops fall down.  I took the rain drop and slid it down the water spout, knocking the spider out.  Then I sang the song and let Carter do the motions.  After that I sat and watched him as he played.  He loved pushing the spider down the spout.  We used this time to talk a little bit about weather.  Then we compared the sun, cloud, and rain drops to our weather outside and Carter decided which one matched the weather we were having.  The following week we got a lot of rain and Carter would tell me, "Water is falling from the sky!" because of the little bit we talked about weather during this activity.  It was awesome!
    Reading our book before acting it out.
  • We used Elise as our Little Miss Muffet.  We had one of the spiders on a string and would drop it down by her.  I would squeal when it got down by Elise and then Carter would take off running.  It was all quite entertaining, especially because our Miss Muffet was not at all concerned about the spiders hanging out on her.  Carter even put one on her head!
  • We read Jack Be Nimble and then I put a candle stick down at the end of the hall.  I read the rhyme again and then ran down the hall and jumped over the stick.  When it was Carter's turn he ran up to it and then was scared to jump over it so I made it into a game.  I'd make up different actions for him.  I made the mistake of saying, "Jack be nimble.  Jack be quick.  Jack kick the candle stick."  After that all Carter would do was run down and kick the candle out of the base.  It was fun while it lasted and he did a great job taking turns.  I'd tell him which action to do by repeating the rhyme and trading out "jump" for another action word.  He was supposed to do the same for me, but ended up telling me to jump every time.
    Kicking the candle stick.
    At the end I said, "Jack be nimble.  Jack be quick.  Jack bring me the candle stick."
  • I drew two different Humpty Dumpty pictures and them cut them into a few pieces for Carter to piece back together like a puzzle.  He put them together once and then while I was getting the camera to take a picture he decided to rip Humpty all to pieces which actually made sense since they couldn't put him back together again.
  • I threw together a random sensory bin just because Carter loves them and we hadn't done one in a while.  I used cotton balls as the base because they went along with Mary Had A Little Lamb.  Then I added in spoons for Hey Diddle Diddle, a clock for Hickory Dickory Dock, and the spiders we made for The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Miss Muffet.
  • We sang London Bridges Falling Down.  Then Carter and I made bridges for his cars and drove his cars through them.  It was cute because Carter built walls around the bridge and trapped a car in it because of the words "Take a key and lock her up."  When Ty got home he and I made the arm bridge for Carter and caught him in it in that part of the song. Carter enjoyed it so much he wanted to be part of the bridge too so he and I made a bridge and then called Harper to walk through and get caught. He loved it!
    Making bridges for his cars.
  • After reading 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe.  We acted out the rhyme.  We used one of Carter's shoes with a velcro strap to buckle the shoe and pipe cleaners as the sticks.  Carter loved slamming his door shut!  He also enjoyed it when I pretended to be a hen, but wasn't interested in doing it with me.
    Buckling his shoe.
    Laying the sticks straight.
  • To go with Hey Diddle Diddle I collected different kinds of forks and knives.  We have 2 sizes of forks and 2 sizes of spoons in our set of utensils.  I also had different colors of plastic cutlery.  I gave them to Carter all mixed up and he sorted them into 2 piles, one for spoons and one for forks.

  • I pulled out the emotion chart I made for Carter during our emotions learning theme.  While we read Jack and Jill I stopped at different points in the rhyme and asked him how he thought they felt.  He told me and then pointed at the picture of the face to show how he thought they felt.  Then we went outside and played a game to go along with it.  I filled 2 buckets of water and put them at the top of the small hill in our yard.  Then I said ready, set, go and we raced to the top to get our buckets and back down again, seeing who could do it spilling the least water.  I was surprised that Carter walked quickly with his bucket, but didn't run and he didn't spill any water!
    Listening to Jack and Jill.
    Pointing out how he thought they felt when they fell down the hill: scared.
    Racing to his pail of water. We've had a lot of rain lately so our backyard was soggy!
    Very carefully heading back down the hill.
  • Once we'd read Little Bo Peep, we made shepherd's staffs using pipe cleaners and beads.  I bent the pipe cleaner and then Carter strung beads on.

  • Using a foam clock with hands I purchased at Target in the dollar spot a while back, we acted out Hickory Dickory Dock.  Since Carter doesn't recognize numbers yet I cut out and taped on shapes he can recognize and name along with a few he's not as familiar with.  I also traced and cut out a mouse to use.  He'd take the mouse and make it run up to a shape on the clock.  Then he'd move the hands of the clock to point at that shape and we'd say the rhyme with that shape's name in place of the word 1.  Then he'd make the mouse run back down.  We also practiced it where I would read him the rhyme and he'd move the hands on the clock to the picture of the shape whose name I'd said during the rhyme.  I was excited for this activity because it is practicing shapes as well as setting a foundation for understanding how a clock works.  I was afraid Carter wouldn't want to do it, but he loved it and we played it for much longer than I had expected.
  • To go along with There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe, I pulled out Carter's shoes from his shoe bin and lined them up on the floor in a random order.  He then went through and matched his shoes up to their mate.
    Of course once he saw all his shoes he had to put on his Lightning McQueen crocs.
    Looking through the shoes to pair them up.
    Looking at his shoes all paired up!
  • I found and printed some awesome coloring pages here.  We would read the nursery rhyme off the page as we did an activity and then Carter would color the page.  At the end of the week I put all the pages together to create a nursery rhyme book for Carter which he had colored himself! 
  • I drew a picture of a sheep and then Carter used cotton balls dipped in paint to paint the sheep.  He loved using cotton balls to paint so we ended up painting some of his coloring pages that way as well.
Special Snack:
  • We read Do You Know the Muffin Man? and then we made muffins for a morning snack.  Carter was very impatient waiting for the muffins to bake.  Luckily I had a coloring sheet for the rhyme so he colored it while we waited on the muffins.
    Coloring while he waited for the muffins to be ready.

Make Believe:
  • Most of our activities were make believe as we would pretend to be characters from the nursery rhymes by acting them out.  Carter's favorite was being Jack from Jack Be Nimble.
  • We listened to a Mother Goose Songs CD we have.  We also listened to Dr. Jean and Friends' song Nursery Rhyme Rap.  
  • When one of the nursery rhymes was a song, when I read him the book instead of reading it, I sang it.  It was so cute to hear Carter sing the songs randomly while he was playing.  He'd even related them to things he was doing.  Putting on his shoes he'd sing "1, 2 buckle my shoe".  Then when he was playing with sticks outside he sang, "5, 6 pick up sticks".  It cracked me up. 
  • I also let Carter listen to and watch Nursery Rhyme videos on youtube.  Every once in a while when I was nursing Elise or right after he woke up from a nap I'd let him watch 1 or 2 of the Chu Chu TV Nursery Rhymes videos in their playlist.  His favorite was Humpty Dumpty.
  • We sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat a few times.  We also used the tune and words of the song to describe what we were doing at the time.  For example when we were making the muffins I sang, "Mix, mix, mix the batter all inside the bowl. Working, working, working, working hard to make our muffins!"
Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • We didn't really have field trip this week.
  • Curious George Pat-a-Cake by H.A. Rey
  • The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright
  • A Child's Treasury of Mother Goose by Linda Bleck
  • Baa Baa, Black Sheep by Annie Kubler
  • Miss Mary Mack by Mary Ann Hoberman
  • Nursery Tales by Mary Engelbreit
  • Aesop's Fables by Charles Santore
  • Hand Rhymes by Marc Brown
  • Marc Brown's Playtime Rhymes by Marc Brown
  • Hansel and Gretel by Erica Jane Waters
  • Tomie's Little Mother Goose by Tomie DePaola
  • Peanute Butter and Jelly by Nadine Bernard Westcott
  • Playtime Rhymes 
  • My Mother Goose Collection Playtime Rhymes
  • My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Ofie
  • Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose by Leo Dillon
  • Hickory, Dickory Dock by Keith Baker 
  • Half for You and Half for Me by Katherine Govier
  • Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose by Scott Gustafson
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Caroline Jane Church
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jane Cabrera
  • Clare Beaton's Action Rhymes by Clare Beaton
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Parragon Inc


  1. Carter looked tired with Humpty Dumpty and very happy making muffins. I couldn't figure out what he was running in to get his pail at first, because I knew his boots weren't red, then realized they were his crocs. haha Elise made a very nice Miss Muffett.

    1. Yep, he's back to loving those and wearing them quite a bit! I count them as rain boots as far as getting in puddles goes.