Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tot School Tuesday: Learning Colors with "Brown Bear, Brown Bear"

Makenzie is currently 18 months old
Tot School

I know it's been a few weeks. We have been SO busy and just haven't had much time to do organized Tot School activities. We had some close friends come stay with us for a few days which was SO much fun, then we had Dirk's 10 year high school reunion, and dinners with the faculty for Dirk's new job and now we're getting ready for my cousin's wedding, which both Makenzie and I are in. So much fun, but SO busy!!!

We've still been working on colors. One thing I have noticed is that focusing on one color, causes Makenzie to say that everything is that one color, so instead of focusing on one color I've just been exposing her to lots of colorful activities where we can talk about which color is which.

One of her favorite things to do now is to point out colors. At the front and back of Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? there are stripes of painted colors and Makenzie loves to sit in the rocking chair and name each color on the front pages. She does really well, except that she gets brown and red confused.

We've also been reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See. This is one of the books that I had put away for awhile because it has been Makenzie's absolute favorite book since she was like 5 months old. If she was ever crying I could read that to her and it would calm her right down but because she loves it SO much, she would only ask for that book and showed no interest in any other books. When I got it back out she was SO excited and we have been reading it...A LOT!

We also started doing an art project with the characters from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See.

I traced the brown bear from the book (we have the board book so the image is smaller than the actual book), then I copied over it with black marker. She finger painted it with chocolate pudding.

And of course ate some.

We also have been doing a lot of coloring. Makenzie has been coloring for quite awhile now but she's really starting to love it and asks to do it just about every day. It's so fun to see the progression of her drawing. Watching her go from loosely holding a crayon around 12 months to making random scribbles, to now writing with purpose.
 As a teacher, it's so much fun to watch the progression. This is stuff I know in my head but to see it progress is quite fascinating. And look at that amazing "pencil grip!" Writing is obviously innate for her because I never taught her how to properly hold her crayons or pencils and she's pretty darn close to having a perfect grip.

On the iPad, Makenzie has been playing with the Flashcards by Parents Magazine. The quiz part is great as it shows four colors and asks you to find a specific color. Makenzie does pretty well at it.

Next week should be a more calm week so hopefully I'll have more to share! Thanks for staying tuned through our little hiatus.

Also, don't forget to check out 1+1+1=1 for some more awesome Tot School ideas!!!


  1. I just want to say I am so impressed by this. I can't believe she's only 2 months older than Ryan! I can't imagine him doing any of these activities. He eats crayons and throws books. =) But this is inspiring to me, and I really want to be more intentional about making playtime about learning.

  2. Oh and I want to get him one of those little table and chair sets. But I know exactly what he would do....use the chairs to climb onto the table and then fall off. How do you keep her from climbing during these activities?

  3. Wow, she's doing great! Look at that crayon grip :) I love the story about how Brown Bear would calm her down when she was tiny. My boys love that book too! I'll have to check out the iPad app... always looking for good ones. My 19 mo old doesn't get it much, though, because he has a big bro. who wants it :)

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  5. Jackie,
    How does your 19 month old do with the iPad? I still struggle with Makenzie because she knows how to work the darn thing which makes it difficult to get her to stay on an activity for even 30 seconds sometimes. She knows where most of her apps are but sometimes she gets frustrated looking for something and then when I don't know what she wants she has a meltdown. I'm thinking that maybe she's not fully ready to handle it yet.

  6. Steph,
    How do I keep her from climbing? My answer: she's a girl. :) I am totally not into gender stereotypes, and in fact try to avoid them at all cost BUT I have seen, even in Makenzie's MyGym class, that boys seem to just be natural climbers and love to use their gross motor skills whereas most of the girls are more into studying things and using fine motor skills. Makenzie still struggles to walk down even small steps or uneven pavement because she doesn't have the confidence to do it on her own, MyGym is helping with that though.

    As far as the activities go, the more exposure you do with the materials the more he will start to use them correctly. If he starts to eat the crayons try to show him how to use them correctly or even just sit next to him and color yourself. If he continues to do it then he's not ready, just keep introducing them to him. Each child is SO different that what's right for one now might not be true of another for awhile, it has nothing to do with smarts, it's all how they're wired.

    Maybe you could try playtime activities that hone in on his gross motor skills, like running to get objects you name or take art outside and let him body paint a large piece of butcher paper instead of fingerpaint. Even water balloons of different colors can be used for exposing them to different colors, we're doing that next week. I always try to tell myself that it's about offering enriching activities and letting it go how she chooses for it to go.