Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Toddler Tuesdays: Part 6

I am so excited to share this week's Star Unit with you all. I collaborated with my sister for this one. For the next few weeks we will be studying shapes and to kick it off we are starting with stars. This week's sensory bin was a huge hit. Panda sat down and just observed it for the first three minutes before diving in. There are black beans, gold star pony beads, a big and little dipper (thanks for that idea Mouse), glow in the dark stars, meteorites (the tinfoil balls I saved from our wrapped blocks a few weeks ago), and a felt bean bag rocket with a streaming tail of ribbon for throwing! The first thing he did was start sorting out the tinfoil balls. I was quick to grab a few wooden bowls and set them down quietly beside him when I saw that, and he happily started sorting out the balls, beads, and beans. Then he held up the star links and poured the bean s through them with the ladles. It was magic watching him. The only part of this he has flat out ignored so far is the rocket I made for him. Strange, since he LOVES to throw things.
Mouse suggested that I roll out some blankets to make a trail through the house so Panda could have his own Milky Way.. I used that idea and cut out a million little stars to make this starry path. Panda has been having great fun hopping from one star to the next (and burning off cabin fever energy in the process). I based it's idea off of a game called Island Hoping that I made up for my niece and nephew MANY years ago.
I'm borrowing this game from my sister for the week. She bought it years ago when my (now 19 year old) nephew was just a wee little thing. Its held up fantastically and I was happy to see that they are still being made today. I found them on Amazon. It's called Balancing Moon . We've used this game to calm him down for both nap and bed time so far, and it's worked wonderfully.
This lacing game I made with some cardboard and a hold punch.
 I was really surprised that he was able to do this activity. He loves beading so a lacing game seemed like the next logical step. He can't stitch in sequence yet but he still enjoys weaving the thread in and out through the holes.
We also brought the light box back into play. Sunday I did a post about these new light box manipulatives. The bears represent Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The little star links he likes to stack on his fingers like rings. He's fascinated with the cubes and their bright colors and the water element they bring to this activity, but it's the cut out transparencies that he plays with the most which kind of surprised me. He likes sliding them around and figured out on his own that he can make different colors by overlapping them.. 
I'm also borrowing this hole punch from my sister for the week. If you have some paper, a hole punch and a bored child, this is an amazing project. I set Panda up with these at the table while I get breakfast ready. He loves manipulating the hole punch. His fingers are to big to fit in the slot where the punch comes down so it's perfectly safe and lets me get breakfast ready.
I also made this nightlight for Panda, inspired by This blogger but made to be shatter proof.  I will post my version later. It casts stars all over the room in the dark. Panda loves spinning around with it and watching the stars swirl. Tonight we will make some peanut butter Rice Krispies stars as a sweet treat. What is going on in your home this week? Leave a comment in the comment section and thanks for joining us. See you next week.
Shine on!


  1. I LOVE this unit! Love the bears on the light table - they look really nice there! Love the beans for a night sky, and that nightlight too...

    Yep, I just love ALL of this week! So cool!

    1. Well of course you like this unit silly Billy. You helped plan it! Lol

  2. Wow, I love all of this! I'm trying to figure out some ideas to keep Cash busy during the day, and these have given me lots of inspiration. Looking forward to hearing how you made your shatterproof nightlight!

    1. Thanks, nightlight post is up. My sister gave me the idea of posting these things. I was hoping they would give someone some ideas and maybe send a few ideas our way as well.