It was Valentine’s week and boy oh boy, I had a busy schedule. I’ve never been that kind of person who cared or liked to celebrate Valentine’s day, but ever since the arrival of my twins, I promised to celebrate every holiday with children. No matter how big or small the holiday, we will celebrate it and learn about it’s significance. The past few holidays have been awesome. Ever since Michaela and Madison turned 2 years old, they seem to have a better understanding of what the holidays are about and enjoyed celebrating everything. Michaela and Madison celebrate everything with so much heart! I love seeing holidays through their eyes.
This week’s lesson plans are filled with lots of Valentine’s fun and birthday celebrations. Recently, I came across a blog article from How Wee Learn about letter recognition and which letters we should introduce first. You can read more on the blog here. So, I’ve decided to re-introduce Michaela and Madison the letters of the alphabet in the same order. This week’s lesson will be on the letter S, their favorite shape, the star (s is for star), the number 8, and the color yellow. With a fun and busy week ahead, the twin’s lesson plan will be separated into 2 weeks.
Monday – SHILOH’s Day
My little Shiloh turned 1 years old. Michaela and Madison had been waiting for this day for some time now. Everyday for the past week, these girls have been practicing the birthday song and making wishes to their little sister. Now the day is here. As soon as the twins’ woke up, they rushed to Shiloh’s crib and screamed “happy birthday” with so much excitement. Of course they woke their baby sister up, but they didn’t care because it’s a happy day! They climbed in Shiloh’s crib, hugged, kissed, and sang the birthday song with all their heart. This mommy was so into the moment that I didn’t think about taking pictures or a video.
Real life skills
It’s a tradition in the Jasper household to have funfetti pancakes with icing and sprinkles on your birthday. Since Shiloh’s a Valentine’s baby, mommy had to make her sweetheart birthday pancakes. Children learned best when they work alongside mommy and daddy, so I try my best to include them in almost everything that I do.
Michaela and Madison helped mommy in the kitchen. They took turns measuring out the pancake batter, pouring the milk, adding Valentine’s sprinkles, and mixing the batter. I also allowed the girls to scoop the pancake batter on the cold skillet. A 10 minute breakfast ended up taking 30 minutes to make and a whole lot of mess, but that’s ok. These girls are learning real life skills and they’re having fun doing it! Playing kitchen in a grown up kitchen with sprinkles! They can do this all day every day.
Parents, if you are not sitting down with your toddler and teaching them the ABC’s or 123’s, do not think that you are not teaching them anything. Everything you do from the moment you wake up, they see you, they are learning. We had to take Shiloh to the pediatrician for her 1 year check up and then off to celebrate her day. The girls helped me get Shiloh’s diaper bag and their “on the go” bag (aka diaper bag) ready. After breakfast, Michaela and Madison made their bed (even though it looked like they just woke from it), brushed their own teeth, dressed themselves, and put away their clothes. These are real life skills and very important for toddlers to learn and know at their age. They don’t have to master it, but at least know it.
Using your surrounding
The pediatrician’s office had Valentine’s decorations. While sitting in the waiting room, I had the girls count the hearts that were stuck on the wall. They looked for small, medium, and large size hearts. In the hallway, the rooms were marked 1 – 5. The girls would point at the numbers on the door and tell me what they were in Vietnamese. While Shiloh’s waiting for the doctor, I gave her a paper towel, kleenex, and writing paper. She crinkled each paper for different textures and sounds. Afterwards, she tore each piece apart. Shiloh’s favorite part, having it rain on her. To view the video, click here.
The letter S
While little Shiloh is down for her nap, I introduced this week’s board to the girls. Michaela and Madison practiced tracing the letter Ss and practiced coloring inside the lines.
Then off to celebrate baby sister’s first birthday.
Tuesday – Valentine’s day
Real life skills
It’s LOVE DAY! Michaela and Madison are about to realize that besides Halloween, this is another holiday they are able to stuff their faces with lots and lots of sweets. Every holiday, the family gets a special breakfast to go with the holiday we’re celebrating. This morning, the girls helped me make sweet heart pancakes again. They took turns pouring, measuring, and mixing the pancake batter and then adding loads of sprinkles and chocolate chips into the mix. After breakfast, the girls helped put their dishes away and wiped down the table.
Stamping hearts art
For Valentine’s day, I thought it would be a great idea for the little ones to make heart abstract art. I love their art work and the kiddos love making a mess. So it’s a win win activity. For this project, you will need:
- empty paper towel tube or toilet paper rolls
- construction paper or blank canvas
Cut the tube into 3 sections. I used 2 tubes. You can also keep the tubes longer for easier handling or use toilet paper rolls. Crease one side down to make a point. With the opposite end, crease it inward to make a heart. That’s it, very easy! We ran out of crayola washable paint, so I used acrylic paint. If you’re using non-washable paint, I do recommend laying a trash bag or something over the table for protection of paint mess. Put some paint in a plate. Dip one end of the heart tube into the paint and stamp onto paper. It’s stampathon time!
Heart Tac Toe
For snack time, these girls got to play with their food. I made some rice krispie treats and turned them into a tic tac toe game. Cut out some rice krispie treats with an X and an O cookie cutter. Melt some pink chocolate morsels and dip one side of the rice krispie. Then add some sprinkles. The girls picked up on the game fairly quickly. Michaela and Madison had a lot of fun playing tic tac toe, but after 5 rounds, they were very ready to taste their treat. It was their first time eating rice krispies and of course… they loved it.
Another fun activity is to have your little ones prepare their own snacks. Currently, my picky eating twin toddlers will eat almost anything on skewers. I don’t know why, but it works. I decided to get creative and make some cupid arrows. Michaela and Madison helped mommy washed the fruits. After cutting the fruits, I would have them make their own cupid arrows. It was messy, fun, and deliciously healthy! These girls ate so much that they didn’t eat lunch.
Because it’s Valentines Day, the girls were also treated with extra TV time. They watched:
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, episode 208 – It’s love day/Daniel’s love day
- Sesame Street, episode 4606 – Valentine’s Day
- Curious George – Happy Valentine’s Day, George
- Word World, episode 22 – My fuzzy valentine, Love Bug
- Word World, movie – Be My Valentine
We read 3 times a day. Morning after breakfast, before nap time, and before bed. We read the following books:
- My Valentine for Jesus, by Laurie Knowlton
- Love, from the Very Hungry Caterpilar
- Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz
The color yellow
This week, they learned the color yellow in English and Vietnamese using color popsicle sticks. Click here to watch the video.
Cupid Arrows, Again
Michaela and Madison had so much fun making these cupid arrows that they requested to make them again for snack time. This time, they each made and ate 4 skewers.
S is for Sweet sisters sharing
The girls learned about sharing. All day today, they had to share and take turns. In the morning, sharing and taking turns did not go as smoothly as I had imagined. There were many tears and many tantrums with this lesson. I had to remind myself that I can not force Michaela and Madison to share, but instead, encourage them. They are at the age where everything is “mine”. To us, it’s just a toy, but to a 2 year old, their toy is a prize possession that they have earned and not easy to hand over.
- S for Selfish is not Sweet – it is not nice to be selfish. Explained what being selfish is
- S is for being Sensitive – be sensitive of others feelings. How would you feel if sister said you can play with the toy too?
- S is for Safe – teach them to trust. Their prize possession is safe and will be handled with care by another person.
- S is for being Sweet
- S is for Sharing is Sweet
- S is for Sisters
We watched I share because I care, by Max Lucado and read the book Sharing Time by Elizabeth Verdick.
After lunch, they were willing and wanting to find things that they could share. It became fun to them and definitely was the sweetest thing to see. At nap time, they even wanted to share a book and bed.
The number 8
I drew a cookie jar on construction paper. Then traced and cut out 16 circles with brown construction paper. On the first 8 circles, I marked the numbers. On the second set of 8 circles, I used black marker and drew chocolate chips from 1-10 (but only used 8). I placed the cookie jar drawing under a laminate sheet (do not laminate). This way, I can lift up the flap and change the numbers around. Michaela and Madison learned the number 8 by counting chocolate chips and matching the numbers from 1 – 8.
In Texas, you never know what the weather will be like. In one week, we could experience all four seasons. So when the weather is nice, I like to take the family outside. They rode their “bikes” and we picked up some nature items for an activity inside. The girls colored and traced the plants.
Play doh fun
Told the girls that it was time to learn about stars. They told me they were tired and wanted to play with play doh. So in the chairs they go and played independently. I let them choose the color and stamps they wanted to use. These girls were learning and they didn’t even know it. They both chose the star cookie cutter. Madison then wanted to make strawberries and put seeds on it. S for strawberry and seeds.
Friday Fun Day
The girls celebrated their best friend Ruby’s 3rd birthday. We went to the Dallas Arboretum and had a picnic. All the girls dressed up as fairies, had a tea party, ate cupcakes, opened presents, and played and played and played until they were tired and couldn’t play anymore. I didn’t have any lesson plans on this day, but pretend play is just as important for their development. When my little girls are not learning, they would have a tea party, or play kitchen.
The food items the I had to go with their lessons were:
- Star donut with sprinkles
- Sauteed Spinach – they didn’t like the texture
- Sweet Potatoes – only liked it with cinnamon and marshmallows on top
- Spaghetti with spiral pasta – one of their favorites
- Yellow Squash – Michaela said she’s allergic to vegetables and Madison tried 2 bites
- Banana, yellow peel – Michaela’s favorite. Madison hates bananas but had it in her smoothie
- Pineapple, sweet and yellow
Teaching my 1 year old
Upcycle a puff snack container
Cut slits in the lid. Get popsicle sitcks. Have your little one try to stick the popsicle sticks through the holes.
Shiloh drew for the 1st time and loved it. Seeing different colors and marks on paper makes a happy baby.
Using a ball from the Dollar Tree and old scarves, I made a pulling sensory activity for Shiloh. She’s played with this ball almost everyday. Big sisters loves playing with it too.
Join me for next week’s lesson, Part 2 of learning the letter S, Star, 8, and Yellow.