So for this post, I am a little behind and didn’t get it up as soon as I wanted to! But for January we focused on big and little and trying to tie potty training into it ( we are not progressing as well as I had planned with the potty training, but I’m hoping we will get the hang of it soon!)
Big and little is a very simple concept, and a great place to start with little ones.
With focusing on big and little I was able to introduce the following to the girls:
– basic mathematical concepts (spatial sense, measurements, and patterns)
– descriptive names (big, little, Â longer, shorter, taller, smaller, wider, thin, heavier, and lighter)
– how to compare items
For our activities, they were very simple and mostly revolved around identifying items that were big and small.
Sorting Household Items by Size
Materials: Multiple household items (around the same size of 2 measurements that are big and little.)
- Have the items all mixed together, and then a designated area for big items and small items
- Have the child go through the items and determine whether they are big or small, and place them in the appropriate area.
- Explain & discuss if items look/feel heavy or light, Â long or short, wide or thin.
Body Trace and Measurement (the girls did this with Grandma (: )
Materials: tap measure, jumbo paper, pencil
- Lay out on a big piece of paper.
- Take turns having your bodies traced, labeled, Â Â and measured (mark height next to their figure.)
- Compare each tracing in height, discuss who is big/small – tall, taller, tallest/short shorter shortest, referring to what the picture of their tracing, but also the numbers of their measurements.
Craft Extension: Have the children create self-portraits using their body tracing.
Big Hand, Little Hand
Materials: paper, paint or pencil
- Trace or hand print using paint onto paper.
- Compare the sizes of the hands, which is big/little.
Craft Extension: Create a handprint into salt dough as a keepsake.
Categorizing Shapes by Size and Color
Materials: Felt shapes
- Create a pile of felt shapes of various sizes (all around the same â€œbig, middle, littleâ€)
- Sort the shapes by size
- Sort shapes by color and size (e.g. â€œ Pick out all the big pink circles and put them in a pile.â€)
Craft Extension: Using the various shapes, create basic everyday objects by putting shapes together. Glue or use stick it felt. Â ( e.g cars, houses, flowerâ€¦)
The books I picked for this theme really lead the way for our discussions and activities. I was able to get all of these from our local library, but there are so many good options out there for this theme. Explore and find what best fits the interest of your child. It’s important that I pick out books that are relatable to my children so that they will truly grow to love books and reading.
Little You by Richard Van Camp illustrated by Julie Flett
This book is so sweet, as it depicts a young child growing from infancy to toddlerhood. I picked this out to lead our discussion on how things may change as we get older and how we are able to do more â€œbig girlâ€ activities (like going potty on the toilet or sleeping without a pacifier.) We also looked at the differences between Penny and herself and discussed that Penny is still a baby in some ways (wearing diapers/ using pacifiers) Â
Very little Red Riding Hood by Heapy and Heap
I love this pick as its a sweet little twist on the classic little red riding hood, but it was also useful for the repetition of the words â€œlittleâ€ and â€œbigâ€ so that Amelie was not only practicing the words within spoken language, but she was also seeing it in context on paper.
Sisters by David McPhail
This was my favorite book we pulled from the library because it pretty much was the story of the day in the life of my two girls. This book depicts a happy childhood of two sisters and goes through the differences and similarities of the big and little sister. This was another excellent option to help with our transition of Amelie into â€œbig girlâ€ stages.
Little Elliot, Big City by Mark Curato
The story of a little elephant in a big city. This book was an introduction to our discussion of how we may feel big or small in the world around us, and we brainstormed big and little things that we see every day.
Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis
This was a fun book to introduce some big words and to show how they have the same meaning of some small word we know. I wanted to show to Amelie that not only are people and things big and little, but words and numbers can be big and little too.
I didn’t have any major outings planned for this month, but we settled for a sweet little nature walk and gathered different nature items (rocks, flowers, leavesâ€¦) of various sizes, and sorted them into piles of big and little.