Thursday, July 5, 2012

American Flag for Toddlers

Happy (belated) birthday, America! For the 4th of July this year, Baby Bear and I made a toddler-friendly American flag. It was simple in that it only required gluing some pieces together and then painting on some stars. The most difficult part for Baby Bear was that it required following a few directions.

Until recently, I've almost exclusively been doing open-ended activities with Baby Bear in which I hand him the materials, show him an idea of what to do with them, and then let him have at it. His comprehension skills have progressed dramatically over the past few months, though, so I've started introducing him to activities that have simple steps to follow. Here are some of the steps I gave Baby Bear to create this flag:

  1. (Spread glue over upper left corner.) Put the blue rectangle in this corner here of your red paper (point).
  2. (Add a line of glue.) Put this white stripe here on the line mommy drew. (Repeat until white stripes reach the bottom of the page.)
  3. Now take this star (cut from a sponge). Dip it in your paint, and put it on the blue rectangle like this (show example). (Note: I had planned on using corn starch paint, but Baby Bear wanted to use shaving cream. So, I made puffy paint instead. The stars don't look like stars at all with the puffy paint, but he got the idea.)
Voila! An American flag! Aside from Baby Bear learning to follow simple directions to complete a task, I also like this activity because of the vocabulary words it uses. We practiced words like red, white, blue, rectangle, star, and stripe. Baby Bear heard me say the words as I pointed to the examples in front of us, and sometimes he repeated them after me, which was doubly good. Had his attention span been just a little longer, we also could have practiced counting as we added the white stripes. It is a simple activity full of important basic concepts that just happens to turn out cute, too. :)

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