Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Play Activities for Toddlers

Cleaning off my desk the other day, I found a paper titled, "Play Activities for Toddlers".  I have no idea where it came from or who to give credit to, but it's a great list for those, "What can we do now?" moments.  What better time to share these ideas than here at the New Year when many of us may feel like we should make it more of a priority to spend quality time with our children.  Figuring out good ways to play with toddlers isn't as easy as with a talkative preschooler, so here's the list with age-appropriate interests and play ideas for toddlers.  Leave a comment and tell us how your baby likes to play!

At This Age:                                                 Toddlers Like to:

12-15 months                                              crumple and toss paper
                                                                      fill containers and dump the contents
                                                                      roll objects down hills and inclines
                                                                      turn light switches on and off
                                                                      play with flashlights
                                                                      poke objects into play dough
                                                                      play and sing action songs and rhymes

12-18 months                                              paint with edible finger paints
                                                                              (i.e. pudding, Cool Whip)
                                                                      play in sand and water
                                                                      push and pull toys (such as trains and cars)
                                                                      scribble with crayons
                                                                      look at and talk about books,
                                                                               family photos, catalogs
                                                                      put objects into holes
                                                                      roll a ball
                                                                      nest objects (stack them one inside the other)
                                                                      put large hand-held objects (like blocks) into holes

15-18 months                                              play hide-and-seek
                                                                      play with finger puppets
                                                                      find and identify source of sounds
                                                                            (like an alarm clock)
                                                                      match plastic bottles and lids
                                                                      play musical instruments
                                                                      blow bubbles, candles, feathers, paper, harmonica

18-20 months                                              play with a toy hammer
                                                                      stack objects on a spindle
                                                                      stack large blocks or boxes
                                                                      put small objects (such as pegs) into holes

18-24 months                                              put together three to six piece puzzles
                                                                      play on riding toys and rocking horses
                                                                      play with small wooden blocks
                                                                      throw and kick a ball
                                                                      participate in kitchen by peeling eggs,
                                                                            mashing potatoes, smelling spices,
                                                                            and adding premeasured ingredients
                                                                      turn pages of a book
                                                                      hold pictures right-side up
                                                                      match pictures to real objects
                                                                      want to do things for themselves
                                                                      kick a ball
                                                                      unwrap an object

22 months                                                   come when called
                                                                      put things away
                                                                      screw and unscrew lids
                                                                      show an interest in insects
                                                                      match animals and sounds
                                                                      model adult behavior

23 months                                                   use three-word sentences
                                                                      talk to themselves
                                                                      enjoy rhymes
                                                                      sing easy repetitive songs
                                                                      brush their teeth with help (mostly imitation)
                                                                      say "please" and "thank you"
                                                                      wash and dry their hands
                                                                      remove and put on clothes
                                                                      help with household chores
                                                                      recognized places and landmarks
                                                                      show imagination
                                                                      throw a ball
                                                                      enjoy working with their fingers

24 months                                                   show an interest in smells
                                                                      enjoy carrying satchels (such as a purse)
                                                                      walk up stairs without help
                                                                      turn a door knob
                                                                      stack 6 or more blocks
                                                                      jump down from a low object
                                                                      jump in place
                                                                      listen to short stories
                                                                      open and close zippers
                                                                      follow simple directions
                                                                               (Get the ball. Touch your nose.)
                                                                      Ask questions that require one-word answers     
                                                                               (Who's that?)

As always, you can ask your child's teachers or in the office for creative play and learning ideas.  We're here to help you and your child however we can!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Fall Festival Time!

Our 2nd Annual Fall Festival and Open House is this Saturday, November 1st from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Please don't let the cool weather keep you away!  We'll be here with carnival games, a bouncy house, bake sale, prizes, and food.  We will sell wrist bands for $10 this year which will give unlimited access to games and the bouncy house.  There will be a professional balloon artist and face painter here as well!  And don't forget about our TOTALLY AWESOME silent auction items and baskets!  We're really excited about them this year and wanted to share what we have with you.  If you'd like to bid, you can call us (704-462-2435) or come by and place your bid.

Tar Heel Basket: This basket will include UNC cups, ink pen, and can holder and will feature a light blue Nike football signed by football head coach Larry Fedora of the University of North Carolina!! 

There will also be a UNC schedule poster signed by Larry Fedora in a poster frame for auction.
*The Carolina items will be available for pickup the week after the Fall Festival.

TLC Basket: filled with a first aid kit, baby lotion and shampoo, Band-Aids, Vaseline, an ice pack, a teether, a teddy bear, and other medical accessories every parent should have.

Girl's Craft Basket: includes a textured painting kit, bottle cap jewelry kit, crayons, coloring books, stencils, modeling beads, Disney Princess sparkle poster, 3-D puzzle, and dry-erase board.

Boy's Toys Basket: How to Draw books, Transformers building kit, 3 other building sets, Hot Wheels, a yo-yo, dry-erase board, and Chuck E Cheese tokens.

Cleaning Basket: lots of cleaning supplies including Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner, Clorox Bleach, hand sanitizer, antibacterial hand soap from Bath and Body Works, sponges, paper towels, Lysol Wipes, bucket, Kleenex, etc.

Italian Basket: full of pasta, sauces, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pasta strainers and server.

Hair Care Basket: hair products from Karen's Hair Styling, a hairdryer, hand towels, a curling iron, hair spray, and lots of hair bows, clips, and ponytail holders.

Popcorn Bucket: There are three of these baskets that include popcorn, a large popcorn bucket, 2 small popcorn servers, and 4 movie tickets good at Carmike Cinema.

Tupperware: There are two Tupperware baskets.  One is the set of five nesting rectangle containers (pictured above), and the other is a three bowl nesting set.

Burlap Prints: We have three framed burlap prints for auction.  They read: "Family", "There's No Place Like Home" and "What I Love Most About My Home Is Who I Share It With".  These are handmade by our Pre-K teacher, Ms. Kelly.  Check out her Etsy shop, Maple Tree Productions.

Wreaths: We have 2 burlap wreaths made by our Pre-K teacher, Ms. Brittany, and a Christmas wreath made by one of our parents.  There are beautiful!

Christmas Basket: This basket includes a Christmas wreath, Kleenex box cover, colander, four snowman mugs, snowman puzzle, peppermint candle, and Christmas blanket.

Stanley Products: There are two baskets of Stanley products.  One (shown above) is cleaning products including Degreaser, Aqua Clean, Disposal Cleaner, Bayberry Air Freshener, Insect Killer, and Copper and Brass Polish.  The other is a Kitchen Basket with a silicone loaf pan and muffin pan, kitchen cleaners, kitchen scale, vegetable brush, and hand cream.

Fire Pit Fun!: What an awesome basket!  This includes A FIRE PIT!!  Also s'mores stuff (graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars), marshmallow/hotdog roasters, fire starters, lighter, flashlights, popcorn, and popcorn bucket.

Gymnastics Basket: includes a gym bag, water bottle, Goldfish crackers, bottles of water, and a $25 gift certificate for Foothills Gymnastics in Hickory.

 Chilly Fun Basket: includes a Free Family Night from Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (4 free frozen yogurts and 4 free games of mini golf), ice cream scoop, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, and Hershey's chocolate syrup.

Family Game Night Basket: includes 100 piece puzzle, Connect 4 board game, UNO card game, and 4 free games of bowling at Pin Station in Newton.

Amusement Parks:  We have tickets for auction to DOLLYWOOD, TWEETSIE RAILROAD, AND SANTA'S LAND!!!

Chuck E Cheese: There are four passes for Chuck E Cheese.  Each pass is for one large pizza, four drinks, and 45 tokens!

BI-LO Gift Certificate: in the amount of $25

Bing's Jolly Jumpers Gift Certificate: gift certificate worth $25 towards the rental of an inflatable

Local Pottery: Face Jug made by local potter Olivia Mourglea

There are still some baskets and items coming in, so be sure to come see us on Saturday!  Come and play with us and see our GREAT center!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our 2nd Annual Fall Festival and Open House


It's back and better than last year!  Our Fall Festival and Open House will be on Saturday, November 1st from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We've got games, prizes, giveaways, free stuff, a Silent Auction and all kinds of fun stuff for the family!  We'll do things a little different this year for playing games.  Each person who wants to play games can buy a wristband for $10 that will allow them to play games and play on the bouncy house however much they like.  Food will be available for sale as well.  You're welcome to let the children wear their Halloween costumes one more time too!

A sampling of stuff we'll have (subject to change):

-Professional Face Painting (from noon to 2 pm)
-Balloon Twisting (from noon to 2 pm)
-Bouncy House from Bing's Jolly Jumpers
-Carnival Games
-Free popcorn and cotton candy from Carmike Cinemas
-Popcorn mascot from Carmike Cinemas
-1/2 and 1/2 Raffle (you can buy tickets now in the office!)
-Fire Truck from Cooksville VFD

Our silent auction baskets are better than ever this year!  A few things going into our silent auction, with more to come:

-Movie Tickets from Carmike Cinemas
-Free putt-putt and frozen yogurt from Orange Leaf Yogurt
-Prize package from Barnes and Noble
-Pigeon Forge Vacation Package including Dollywood Tickets
-Restaurant gift certificates
-Gymnastics gift certificate from Foothills Gymnastics
-Hair Products from Karen's Hair Styling
-Bowling passes from Pin Station
-Family Game Night Basket
-Kitchenware Basket
-Tupperware Products
-Stanley Home Products
-Arts and Crafts
-Classroom Baskets (so far there's a "TLC Basket", a "Pasta Basket", and a "Hair Care Basket", but more to come!)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Out of This World! Space Week - September 8-12 - Plus Moon Sand Instructions!

kid's space ship, The Pa-Paw Patch, Vale NC daycare, space preschool theme

Space Week is one of the kids' favorite weeks here at The Pa-Paw Patch.  Our teachers do a great job making this week really fun and filled with learning!  We have lots of space week props we use this week, like a blow-up astronaut, space helmets, an Earth Ball with glow-in-the-dark cities, planet Earth blow-up balls, glow-in-the-dark stars and moons, and a diorama of the planets and sun.  Our sensory tubs this week were filled with moon sand (see recipe below).  We added small astronaut and space craft figurines to the moon sand for a fun play experience!

Here's how to make moon sand at home!

Moon Sand

      6 cups play sand
      3 cups cornstarch
      1 1/2 cups cold water

      Mix play sand (you can use colored sand too if you want) and cornstarch together. Add cold water, and mix everything together with your hands. Work through until you no longer see the white cornstarch. Add toys or mold into shapes. Store in airtight container. You may have to add a couple teaspoons of water the next time you play with moon sand. 

The one-year-olds glued planets on paper, painted a star picture with shimmery paint, and made stars and rocket pictures.

The two-year-olds painted suns and made really cute rockets with their footprints!  They also made flying saucers by painting two paper plates gray and taping them together.  We didn't get a picture, but they looked cute hanging around the room.

Vale NC daycare, The Pa-Paw Patch, space preschool theme, footprint rockets, footprint space ship

The three-year-olds made space helmets out of paper bags.  The loved their reading center bathtub decorated like a rocket in space!  They had fun working a space puzzle and made Outer Space and planet pictures.

The fours and fives created their own aliens and dictated a little about them, like their names, what planet they were from, and what they liked to do.  They honed fine-motor skills by using a hole puncher to punch holes around a piece of black paper.  When put on a yellow piece, their stars shown through!  They also colored their own solar system and glued it on black paper, and drew constellations in white chalk on black paper, using star stickers to complete the constellations.

space preschool theme, The Pa-Paw Patch, space fine motor

 We had a great time exploring planets, stars, and space this week!  Up next...Apples!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Superhero Week! - September 1-5

We had a super week at The Pa-Paw Patch during Superhero Week!  We worked this theme into fun learning experiences in math, science, reading, and writing this week.  This was a new theme for us, and the kids had a great time!

The one-year-olds colored superheroes, fingerpainted with Superman colors, and decorated masks.

The twos decorated masks, made capes out of bulletin board paper, and made wrist cuffs from toilet paper rolls.  They fingerpainted with Superman colors too!

The three-year-olds took superhero flying pictures that turned out great! The made masks and capes too and colored Batman signals by number!

 The fours and fives made capes out of old shirts, decorated masks, and created paper superheroes.  They drew pictures of a superhero and dictated what their superpower was.  Very creative and fun answers!

Our first superhero week went really great and up next...Space Week!