Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The next Einstein...

Here’s just a little peek at a little something I made for the 2’s.  We work on letters, colors and shapes everyday (not ALL of them everyday, I break it up) and we make up fun songs to go along with them.  I had great visions of creating a wipe book with all of our learning activities inside - trace the shapes, practice the letters, match the colors, that kind of thing, with the song lyrics littered here and there and plenty of room for doodling.  It’s kind of an ambitious project, as there are 26 letters, a plethora of colors and numerous shapes to include, and grand total of about 28 or so original songs.  Someday I will make it.  Someday it will be great.  That day is not today.

So, I decided to make this wipe book in the meantime.  

This one is for fun and games - as if you couldn’t tell from the cover.  Inside, you will find lots of fun games to play with someone (like tic-tac-toe and the dot game) or with yourself (like matching pictures to the letter they start with, a memory game using photos of relatives, or original mazes designed by me) as well as funny little drawing pages (create-a-face, design-a-man) and a special place to stick your stickers so you can pull them up and put them down as much as you want!  We all know a 2 year old can’t just stick a sticker.  No way.  They must stick and stick and stick and stick a sticker.  And then stick it again.  
I thought this was a good thing to use to keep them busy at the table while I am doing dishes, or keep them quiet at church while the rest of us are trying to listen, or maybe even in the car when they get a little older.
Want to make your own?  Go ahead!  All you need is: 

a binder, page protectors, and dry erase markers.  I made my own pages using picnik (free online photo editing software) and Pages (macs word processor).  I printed them out on regular printer paper and slid them in the protectors.  If you would like, you can find a TON of printable games and puzzles just by googling “printable toddler games” or something of the sort.  Google.  It’s amazing.  Don’t get me started...

The dry erase markers came in a large multi-colored pack.  I chose this pack because a) there were lots of colors, and I like color.  So does bug. b) they are skinny and small which makes them easier for the 2’s to manage. and c) they came equipped with their own erasers, stuck right in their caps.  LOVED this feature.  And they were only a little over $2 so they didn’t break the bank.  BUT, you could just buy one large dry erase marker minus the eraser and use tissue to wipe the pages and this would be even cheaper (unless you included the cost of all the tissues you’ll go through, not only because you’ll be constantly using them to wipe pages, but because as soon as your two-year-old sees the tissue box he will need a tissue, too.  Then he’ll need another one.  And another.  Then he will proceed to shred them and toss them all over the floor.  So you’ll also have to add the cost of extra vacuum cleaner bags because you will go through plenty of them trying to suck up the tissues.  So maybe they won’t be any cheaper.  You decide.)  
I know there are wipe books out there that I could buy.  Those are out of my price range - at least $12-$20 a piece.  I knew that I could DIY (or rather, DIM).   With the binders being a buck and change, the markers at just over two dollars and the page protectors sitting downstairs by my computer, I think I managed it! 

Here’s a disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for dry erase marker showing up on random items of furniture, even though you think you are watching your two-year-olds like hawks, those sneaky little stinkers...
Now, I am fully aware that a lot of the games I included are too advanced for the 2’s.  I know there are other things I can include instead, and I still may.  But for now, I feel like exposing them to new games and ideas is a good thing, even if it is a little beyond them. At this point they really just want to color all over the pages and erase anyway, so...
Besides, I can totally FEEL them getting smarter just spending time with the books.  I mean, seriously, in this picture bug is definitely working on some kind of algebraic equation - if not calculus - 

while in this picture, K is getting ready to quote me some Shakespeare.  

I can’t wait to give them the “learning” wipe books I’m planning when I finally get them done and see what they come up with.  I am fully expecting K to solve the national deficit and bug to come up with the next big geometric proof. 

ps - yes, bug is wearing a "safari hat." we had just finished playing with "dress-ups" and he refused to take it off.  He looks a little like Crocodile Dundee, not Einstein, but I do have these photos taken at our church's Halloween party to show you that yes, he really IS the next Einstein:

For anyone interested - I got two wordsearches for my books here:
They have tons of printables you can use.

I made the rest of my printables myself.  Here they are if you'd like to use them FOR YOURSELF - not to SELL, (copyright stuff...) - Just click them to enlarge.

Linked to 

Show and Tell Green


Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

Great idea! I'm sure you could also laminate the pages and use those wipeable crayons that hostesses use in restaurants (the name has escaped me).Do you have links to the pages you printed? Thanks for sharing on Tot Tuesdays. I'll be featuring you tomorrow!

Kylie said...

THis is a great idea and thanks for sharing. :)

Unknown said...

Jenn, that's a good idea too! I wish I had a laminator of my own... oh the things I would laminate!! Crayons are a much better idea for kids of this age. I have to watch bug like a hawk.

Kylie - thanks!! I'm glad you like it!

Lisa at Paint in my Hair said...

such a great idea!!!

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