Mommy & Me class: Trees & Body Awareness

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This week was our first, full-blown class for mommies of babies and toddlers. Each week, we go over some activities (especially crafts), songs, and a book recommendation that typically surround some sort of theme or area of development. This week, we are enjoying fall trees and encouraging body awareness and learning body parts.

20131009-155343.jpgCRAFT/ACTIVITY #1

First, we made a version of a fall “q-tip” tree:

Prep ahead:

1. cut out a brown paper tree and glue to another piece of paper.

2. Gather orange and red paint OR dabs of ketchup and mustard (for the young child that eats everything! we thought sample sizes from a fast food restaurant would be perfect)

3. Gather q-tips, and optional – I put my paint glob onto an old sponge, to keep things neater, after I saw this pin about making finger-paint pads

Now, you’re ready for some leaf painting with your toddler!

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Here’s how our tree turned out at home! You may can tell from photos, Pen Elaine started with q-tips (using orange paint and ketchup) and then discovered she could dip her fingers and then her entire hand (for handprints, of course) on the paint sponge (she did taste the paint once). She was very proud of her final creation and put it up on the fridge. This was a lot of fun!

20131009-155324.jpgCRAFT/ACTIVITY #2

Second, we prepped for apple pictures, that utilize handprints – yay! These are so sweet; I got the idea from a church craft that my niece had brought home last time we were visiting.

The only prep for this is to (1) gather some red tissue or construction paper and (optional) green construction paper for the handprints and (2) draw an apple shape with the verse written out. Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wing.”

(This is an easy craft for a small group, too – I prepped these for the kids at our Bible study group a few weeks ago.) In Pen Elaine’s craft, her handprint was simply traced, but it would be even cuter if you traced the handprint on a piece of green construction paper to cut out and glue onto the apple as the stem. The kids love ripping paper (and it’s a good fine motor skill) and gluing the red pieces onto the apple.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin ends with him finding his belly button! This book has a repeated song, counting practice, a message about not sweating the small stuff, and a grand finale of an ending. Plus, this whole series is just plain fun for toddlers and parents alike.

SONG RECOMMENDATION:

These are two fun songs for practicing body parts and getting active! Music is a wonderful way to connect with a toddler, as well as build rhythm skills that activate more parts of the brain and serve as building blocks for coordination, speech and cadence, and motor skills. Click the links to watch youtube versions that include motions.

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

The Hokey Pokey (or here’s a slower, tutorial version for this song)

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