Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Pets

This month I needed to take Harper to the vet for her annual shots. I figured it would be a good time to do a pet weekly learning theme. That way I could take Carter with me to the vet so he could see what exactly a vet does. 

Listed below are the objectives I am focusing on for the themed weeks.  I have updated our objectives a second time because I felt like we were ready to focus on something new.  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. Continue to improve fine motor skills and drawing (specifically I'm looking for him to be able to copy a circle and a square as well as draw a person with 2-4 body parts).
  2. Understand same and different.
  3. Accurately tell stories as well as retell the story from a book. 
  4. Use age appropriate scissors. 
  5. Develop a better understanding of time (for example, be able to describe when things happen using morning, afternoon, night)
  6. Group objects based on a category (sort by defining feature).
  7. Count and understand what the numbers mean.  
  • One of Carter's favorite chores is to feed the animals. During the week he measured out food and fed the pets. We talked about how as pet owners we need to be responsible and make sure our pets are fed.
    Measuring out food for Harper.
    Pouring Harper's food into her bowl.
  • Carter also got to give the dogs a bath. We did it at my parents' house so he got to bathe their dogs too. He had a blast and absolutely loved spraying the dogs with water. We talked about how that's something you have to do for your pets as their owner to keep them clean and healthy.
  • Carter has a little "My First Pets" house with pet toys that make their animal noise. Elise enjoyed playing with them and tracking them as I moved them around in her version. I also hid them and pulled them back out to surprise her.
  • My parents have Littlest Pet Shop toys they saved from when we were kids. Carter enjoyed playing with them. We talked about the different animals and why they make good pets.
  • I got out the Pet Surprises that were mine when I was a kid. I showed Carter how each one has babies in its belly. Then he opened each one and we counted how many babies there were. We talked about how some animals come out of their mommies and some come out of eggs. Afterward we played with them. Carter was so cute because the bear had rings around its eyes so he called it a panda. He also lined all the kittens up along the mommy's belly and told me they were eating, having them say, "Mmmm, yummy!"

  • I had Carter point out Harper's body parts when I said the name of the body part. As he pointed them out we talked about how they are the same or different from ours.
Carter pointing out Harper's noise.
  • I printed pictures of fish, dogs, cats, and birds. Carter sorted them by kind of pet. Then I pulled a picture of a cat and a picture of a dog. We talked about how they looked alike and how they looked different.
Sorting the animals.

  • We played with the animals from Carter's My First Pet house. We used Play Doh to make bowls for them and then Carter rolled out Play Doh into little balls to create food for them. It was good practice with his fine motor skills. He enjoyed playing with the animals and having them eat out of their bowls.
Making food for the animals' bowls.
  • I pulled out Carter's dog puzzle along with a couple of pet puzzles we have. Carter liked pointing at the animals and telling me their names. Then he'd tell me what sound they make. We also talked about how the animals looked the same and how they looked different.
Carter pointing at and naming the animals.
  • We talked about morning, noon, and night. Then I asked Carter when Harper eats. We decided she eats in the morning and a night. Then we made a book called "Harper Eats". Harper eats in morning. Harper no eat at noon. Harper eats at night. Then Carter went through and illustrated the book, actually drawing circles for food bowls and putting dots in the bowls for food.
  • I played different animal noises for Carter and he told me which animal made that noise.
  • Using a vet kit my mom found at a garage sale Carter played vet with some beanie baby pets. As he played with the tools we talked about what they were for and Carter used them how they were intended.
  • We made a shape cat and a shape dog. I cut out shapes for Carter to make the animals. We talked about what shape each body part was. Then I helped him put the cat together. I'd say something like "Use the triangles to make the cat's ears". Then I just left the shapes out for the dog and he figured out where to put the pieces on his own. He has gotten so good with the glue stick! It was pretty funny because he told me the dog had a mustache. When I looked at it I realized he'd put the mouth on upside down so it would look like a mustache! When he was finished he picked where he wanted to hang them and he put them on his dresser drawers.
    Proud of his finished cat.
    Carter's finished cat and dog shape faces.
  • One day I was looking at Elise's sweet little feet and decided we needed to do another footprint/handprint craft because we hadn't done one in a while. I found some adorable pet print crafts here. I did Carter's first and let him choose whether he wanted to do the dog or cat and what color he wanted them to be. Then when he was napping I quickly did Elise's. He was so excited to see her dog when he woke up and loved that their birds were sitting together. It was precious.
Special Snack:
  • While Ty's parents were visiting Carter made homemade dog treats with his Gma. They were basically less sweet peanut butter cookies so Carter also got to eat a couple.
Make Believe:
  • During our previous learning theme Carter made up a game where he was a dog in his kennel made of laundry baskets. He really enjoyed it so we played it again. I pretended he was my pet and cared for him. He really enjoyed me pushing food through the laundry basket holes to him. He played dog a lot throughout the week even trying to drink out of Harper's water bowl, eek! Then we were at a friend's house and I heard him yell, "Mommy, I'm a doggy in the kennel with the other doggy." I was cracking up when I went in to find him in the kennel.
    Carter pretending to be a dog in a kennel.
    Carter pretending to be a dog in the kennel with a friend's dog.
  • I sang How Much is that Doggy in the Window to Carter.
Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • We took Harper on a walk together pretty much every day. Carter loves to hold her leash and remind her to walk close to the curb and not to go in yards that are not ours.
  • Carter took Harper to the vet with me and Ty. He enjoyed seeing the vet do his job. We talked about what he was doing and why he was doing it. Carter also enjoyed helping calm Harper down. Every time he pet her she would stop shaking.
  • We went to the pet store to see different kinds of pets you can get. Carter had a blast and really enjoyed looking at the hamsters and guinea pigs. Afterward we talked about how many different kinds of pets there were and counted them out on our fingers.
  • We walked to Uncie J's house to visit him and Mr. Jones. Carter had a blast playing with Mr. Jones and was actually gentle with him. He had a blast and laughed so hard each time Mr. Jones swiped at the toys Carter waved at him. He also enjoyed sitting at one side of Mr. Jones' toy tunnel to get him to run through it to him.
  • A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
  • Clifford's Puppy Days by Norman Bridwell
  • A Cat and a Dog by Claire Masurel
  • Clifford's Best Pal by Norman Bridwell
  • Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
  • Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
  • Curious George and the Puppies by Devin Scillian
  • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
  • Just Me and My Puppy by Mercer Mayer
  • The Poky Little Puppy by Golden Books
  • That's Not My Bunny by Fiona Watt
  • RRRALPH by Lois Ehlert
  • Toddlerobics: Animal Fun by Zita Newcome
  • Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
  • Dog Wants to Play by Christine McDonell
  • Peek-a-Pet by Marie Torres Cimarusti
  • How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
  • Tucker Little Dog Lost & Found by Danny Sit
  • My Dog, My Cat by Ashlee Fletcher
  • Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
  • Clifford's Kitten by Norman Bridwell
  • Doggies by Sandra Boynton
  • Gilbert Goldfish Wants A Pet by Kelly DiPucchio
  • Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? by Iza Trapani
  • Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward
  • Carl and the Kitten by Alexandra Day
  • Carl and the Baby Duck by Alexandra Day
  • Carl and the Puppies by Alexandra Day
  • Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats


  1. When they gave baths, Opa told Carter not to get soap in Fezz's eyes. So when they did Harper, Carter told Opa not to get soap in her eyes. :)