• Add the following book:
o Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, What Do You See?
• Add stuffed animals such as rabbits, squirrels, frogs and turtles
• Add container of pictures that have been laminated or covered with clear self-adhesive paper. (See Picture File, page 2 for examples of types of pictures to collect.)
• Add animal puzzles
• Sensory Bottles with bugs and spiders (also Sensory Exploration)
Gross Motor & Blocks
• Add small boxes of different sizes
• Add small vinyl animals: squirrels, rabbits, frogs, turtles, bugs and spiders
• Add a small tree branch
• Add lily pads and logs from vinyl or paper that have been laminated or covered with clear self-stick adhesive
• Add Sensory Bottles with bugs and spiders
• Add sensory tub with sand, vinyl frogs and turtles, and vinyl bugs and spiders
• Add sensory tub with water, vinyl frogs and turtles, and aquarium net
• Add tub of cotton balls with tongs (ice)
• Add stuffed rabbit in a basket
• Add stuffed frogs and turtles
• Post pictures of animals such as rabbits, squirrels, frogs, turtles, bugs and spiders in the pretend play area.
• Collect pictures that relate to this Focus Area – More Animals. Examples of pictures to collect include:
o pictures of animals: rabbits, squirrels, turtles, frogs, bugs and spiders
Include small (index card size) as well as larger pictures. Consider mounting the small pictures on index cards. Laminate or cover all of the pictures with clear, self-adhesive paper for durability.
• Post some of the pictures on the wall at toddler’s eye level. Observe to see if toddlers look at the pictures and point to and/or name the objects or people in the pictures. Join them and expand on what they say. For example, say to Megan who is looking at a collection of squirrels, “Megan, you’re looking at a squirrel that is climbing a tree and this one that is holding an acorn in its paws.”
• Put some of the small pictures in a container and place it in the library area so that it is accessible to children. Observe a child as he takes the pictures out of the box. Should the child bring a picture to you, involve him in discussing what he sees in the picture. “The spider is spinning a web. We read a book about the very busy spider spinning her web.”
• Keep some of the pictures in a basket or tote bag within easy reach. Use the pictures with an individual child or a small group of children. Invite them to name the animals and to talk about what is happening in the pictures. Allow children to look at the pictures on their own. Model and talk with them about the proper way to handle the pictures.
• Determine if funds are available to purchase The Infant /Toddler Photo Activity Library, a Pam Schiller resource published by Gryphon House. See Resources for ordering information.
• Read Our Bug Book to the children on the playground.
• Take a magnifying glass outdoors and involve older toddlers in looking for bugs.
• Involve children in looking for squirrels on playgrounds with large trees.
• Use sidewalk chalk to create lily pads on the sidewalk and invite children to jump from one lily pad to the next.
• Hide plastic bugs and spiders on the playground and invite children to find them.
• Provide large snap-together cubes for children to crawl through.
Family Extension Activities
Send home a note to families stating that for the next few weeks the children will be involved in the focus area: More Animals. They will participate in experiences that focus on animals they may see in their environment. How families can be involved in this focus area will depend on the situation of each child and his or her family. Consider some of the following ways to involve the families:
• Invite families to send pictures of animals. Specify the animals that the children will be learning about.
• Suggest that families call their child’s attention to animals they see in their backyard, their neighborhood, in the park, in lakes and ponds, or as they are riding in the car.