This is the final part of a three-part series on Toddler Thanksgiving Homeschooling. If you would like to check out what happened on the other days, click on Day 1 and Day 2.
For day 3 of our Thanksgiving themed homeschool lesson, we had a costume contest, of sorts. I suppose it wasn't much of a contest, seeing as how Big A was the only participant. Regardless, he rocked it like he was Miss America! Or Mr. America? He'd probably prefer Captain American, but I give up...
Anyways, Big A and I worked on creating a Native American costume, since we have been learning about Native Americans for Thanksgiving this year.
The costume creation actually took up a massive part of our day, even though the project was fairly simple and straightforward. Big A felt like he needed a lot of breaks, as well as frequent snacks and time spent on his other activities.
I never force him to do the lessons I have planned. I plan several lessons in advance, and if he doesn't want to do them, I just save it for later. He's only 22 months old, so I try to just follow his queues and pick up on what he wants to do. He's a fairly independent and adventurous kid, as well as helpful, so he's always got something of his own planned for the day.
|Big A coloring his tunic.|
So yeah, we spent several hours on this one craft, which meant we didn't do much else in the line of a Thanksgiving lesson. I was okay with that, because the previous two days Big A knocked out quite a bit of the activities I had planned.
For this activity, all we needed were two paper bags, crayons/markers/pens/pencils, a stapler and staples, and 3 different colors of construction paper.
First, Big A worked on coloring his paper bag tunic, while I drew feathers on the construction paper for him to cut out. He spent a great deal of time coloring, so I worked on cleaning the kitchen. We do many of his activities in the dining room so that I can multitask in the kitchen while making sure he's staying out of trouble.
Also while he was coloring, I measured his head to see how long of a strip I would have to cut out of the second paper bag to use as his headdress. I ended up needing to cut two length wise strips... The kid's got a massive head.
After several breaks, a nap, a movie, and some cookies with tea, we came back to finish the project. Big A cut out the feathers while I worked on cutting a head and arm slots in his tunic. He then, with a little assistance, stapled the feathers onto the headdress and stapled the headdress together. Of course, he immediately had to wear it.
Once I convinced him that he had to take the headdress off to wear the tunic, he wiggled his way into the tunic and immediately demanded the headdress.
The first go-around, he didn't much care for the tunic. He really only wanted the headdress. After a little while, though, he was sold on the tunic. He even sat down, in his Native American attire, and watched Harry Potter.
During all of this, Viking Man told Big A a story about Squanto. He didn't read from a book, but recited a tale he remembered. Big A really enjoyed it.
The main thing we tried to do with our Thanksgiving themed lessons was to have fun and learn along the way.
During all of this, Big A worked on his cutting skills, pasting skills, phonics, stapling, weaving, creativity, coloring, and so much more. Even though he's not really old enough to remember the stories that we told him, he still learned quite a bit just by working on sensory skills. Also, he wasn't forced to do any of it. He worked at his own pace and did the activities when he wanted to.
|The final product!|
If you provide your toddler with an educational learning environment, they will learn, regardless if they follow a rigid course set-up. Big A is surrounded by educational toys, videos, chores (done at his own freewill), music, and so many other things that he can learn from. If he doesn't want to do what I have planned out, I still know that he is going to be learning that day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for following this series!
To check out the rest of this series, follow this link.