Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Fathers

With Father's Day on Sunday I wanted to devote a week of learning to fathers just like we had mothers before Mother's Day. When we learned about mothers we talked a lot about animal mothers. I felt weird talking about myself so we didn't make a big deal over me being a mother. I didn't have that going on with Father's Day so we talked a lot about Ty. I really enjoyed talking up Father's Day so Carter would really show his daddy some love!

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.  I feel we're ready for an update to these objectives so I'll look into what Carter should be doing by 3 years old and choose some new objectives for us by our next learning theme.  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.  
  • Since we celebrate our dads as well as our grandpas, I printed pictures of Carter's daddy, Opa, and Gpa. I picked a picture of each of them with Carter. I had Carter sort the pictures based on who it was. He loved that he was in it, but thought it was super easy! Then we counted how many pictures of each person we had.
  • The next activity Leina helped me out with. I had a baby picture and an adult picture (obviously) of Ty but I wanted a child and a teenage picture as well. I called asking for them and she sent them moments later! I showed Carter the pictures and told him they were all of daddy. I asked him to put them in order from youngest to oldest. He did it so quickly and easily, I was shocked! He said the baby picture looked like sissy. I asked him if the big boy picture looked like him and he said no! 
  • Using the same animal cards we used during the Mother's Day week Carter matched baby animals with their dadies. I started with a group of 4 animals and worked up to a group of 7. I made it more challenging putting the lion and tiger in the same group so Carter really had to pay attention but I didn't trick him at all! Once he'd matched up all the animals I pulled out the hen, duck, and lion which I had pulled to the side as the male and female animal looks different. I pulled up a picture of the male animal and compared it to the female on the card. We talked about how they looked the same and how they looked different. A few days later we were reading a book with a duck character. Carter looked at it closely and said, "Duck is boy, has green head." I was impressed again!

  • We also researched how different animal daddies care for their babies. We learned some don't do much with their babies while others are very involved. We talked about what Ty does to care for Carter. Then we watched some videos about animal dads on youtube that were clips from an Animal Planet show. We found them under "Ultimate Animal Dads". I let Carter pick 3 animals from the ones I read him to learn more about.
  • We went through magazines, cutting out pictures of dads. Carter helped me glue our pictures to paper plates. We made 4 plates. One with just one picture on it, another with 2, and so on. When we were finished we counted the dads on the plates and then put the plates in numerical order.

  • I took Carter to the store to pick out a gift for Ty. I explained why we were getting him a gift and asked Carter what he wanted to get him. He said he wanted to get him a motorcycle so we went to the toy aisle and I pulled down all the motorcycle toys. Carter pointed at one and said it was for daddy. Then he pointed at another one saying it was for Carter so they could play together. I thought it was cute so we got them both. Then I told Carter we also needed to get daddy something he needed. We went to the clothing section and I had Carter pick out a pair of running shorts for daddy.
Carter picking out a pair of running shorts for daddy.
  • As a special Father's Day treat for daddy Carter sat down with me and answered a list of questions about is daddy. Read his answers here.

  • We made a craft for Ty and all of Carter's grandpas using one of his handprints and one of Elise's. We put their handprints upside down and then I wrote "You are the best dad/Opa/Gpa hands down! 
  • For Ty we made an adorable footprint craft. I traced Ty's shoes on construction paper and cut them out. Then I painted and stamped Elise's footprint in one and Carter's in the other. I glued them both to a sheet of paper and wrote "We hope someday to fill your shoes!"

Special Snack:
  • I told Carter we were going to make a special treat for daddy. When I asked him what he wanted to make he said muffins. I asked him what kind and he said green muffins. I figured we'd make some muffins and just dye them green but then figured I might be able to find a recipe for green muffins, turning to the Internet. I found a recipe for spinach muffins here. Ty went out with my dad and Jeremy to pick some things up for a project he was working on so Carter and I got started on our surprise. When the muffins were finished he served them in the other room saying, "Happy Father's Day!"
Carrying a muffin into the living room to serve to his daddy.
Serving his daddy.
Serving his Opa.
Enjoying a muffin of his own with daddy.
Make Believe:
  • We read about male penguins and male seahorses and how they care for their babies. We then watched a short clip of a male penguin caring for his egg, balancing it on his feet. I pretended to be a penguin balancing a small basketball on my feet as an egg, then had Carter's duck puppet hatch out of the egg and I cared for it. Carter didn't want to act it out so he put his egg between Harper's legs and acted it out with Harper as a penguin. Then we watched a video of a male seahorse giving birth and I took Carter's tub of small animals, put then by my stomach and sprayed them out. He did want to act that one out throwing the animals all over.
    Harper caring for her egg as a male penguin.
    Harper's egg hatching.
  • We sang an adorable song to the tune of Bingo that I found here. It went like this:
There was a man who had a child
And daddy was his name-o
And Daddy was his name-o!
  • We also sang a song that went to the tune of Where Is Thumbkin?. Here are the lyrics:
Daddy is special. 
Daddy is special.
Yes, he is.
Yes, he is.
Daddy is so special.
Daddy is so special.
I love him!
I love him!
Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • We went to the Botanic Garden where they had a special craft for kids to make for their dads. Carter decorated a container and then planted grass seeds. The container has eyes, a nose, and a mouth to look like a head so when the grass sprouts it will look like hair.

  • On Father's Day Ty took Carter on a special daddy date. They went out for breakfast, going to a nearby doughnut shop. Carter was so sweet, picking out doughnut holes to bring home to me and not eating a single one until he'd given them to me and asked if I'd share.
Carter and Ty ready to head out for their daddy-son date.

  • Grandfather and I by Helen E. Buckley
  • Me and My Dad by Alison Ritchie
  • A Perfect Father's Day by Eve Bunting
  • Animals and Their Young by Pamela M. Hickman
  • Father's Day by Anne F. Rockwell
  • A Perfect Father's Day by Eve Bunting
  • I Love My Daddy by Giles Andeae
  • I Love My Daddby Sebastian Braun
  • Kisses for Daddy by Frances Watt
  • Father's Day by Ann Heinrichs
  • Froggy's Day with Dad by Jonathan London
  • I Love My Daddy Because by Laurel Porter-Gaylord
  • Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer
  • Mighty Dads by Joan Holub
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  • My Father's Hands by Joanne Ryder
  • Daddy All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas
  • If I Were Your Father by Margaret Park Bridges
  • Father Bear's Special Day by Else Holmelund Minarik
  • My Dad by Anthony Browne
  • What Dads Can't Do by Douglas Wood
  • I Like It When... by Mary Murphy
  • I Love You, Little Monkey by Alan Durant
  • The Tub People by Pam Conrad
  • More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
  • I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal


  1. Very cute post. The picture of Ty and Carter getting ready for their date was sweet. And those muffins were delicious!!

    1. I was surprised by how good the muffins were!!!