Intentional Toddler Time: Ant Theme {28.5 months}

Intentional Toddler Time Slider

{Samuel is currently 28.5 months}

We are changing gears around here. The Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum was a grand (and lofty) idea, but it was draining me to do each and every week. After sticking with it for several weeks, I quickly discovered I despise making printables and the lessons were not working for us from week to week. I’m not giving up on the idea altogether, BUT for now, I’m sitting it aside because it’s not working for my toddler (or me). This decision literally kept me up all night one night as I was battling with the Lord to let it go. I’ll be sure to let you know when I add new material, if that times comes. Right now, I’m leaning toward using it for our Sunday lessons with our toddler. We’ll see!

UPDATE: I revamped and reworked the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers. You can learn more about it here. I’m loving it for my son and others are loving it too!

This week we had a lot of fun! Samuel has shown an interest in bugs and ants recently, but not a good kind of interest.

Two bug stories:

1) We go to the library for toddler time each week. There is a little boy who is quite the drama king (cute but dramatic). Samuel engaged him in play after stories one day when all of a sudden the little boy was freaking out! Samuel observed him and stood by him patting his back. All of a sudden the little boy turned to him and said, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Sam, was that a… was that a… was that a SPIDER?” Sam, at this point, didn’t even know what a spider was and yet he responded with a smile and a nod, “Yes!” And then Sam gasped and the little boy FREAKED OUT!

Mind you, there was a never a spider. But this episode went into my child’s memory.

2) Same day, we get home and there is in fact a large bug in our house. I didn’t freak out. I just said, “Sam will you hand Mommy her shoe.” He hands me my shoe and I kill the bug. I know, probably not the best idea, but it was natural instinct for me. Nevertheless, Sam’s eyes got really big and I got a tissue, cleaned up the bug, and flushed him down the toilet. I didn’t think much of it until later that day Sam wouldn’t go near the area the bug was last seen…he ran away screaming, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! It’s a big SPIDER!!!”

Mind you, there was never a spider and there has never been a bug in our house since (that I’ve had to kill). But this episode went into my child’s memory.

So these two episodes created nightmares for my son (I’m not kidding!). He was running from bugs everywhere and everything was a spider, which quickly became a dragon. Imaginations…they’re amazing aren’t they? He wouldn’t even eat raisins anymore because they looked like bugs. So I decided to help my son see that ants aren’t scary. They’re actually helpful and they are a Biblical insect we must study (ha!). Plus they start with the letter A and we’re beginning to get serious about letter recognition. Whatever the reason, this week’s theme was Ants and we totally had a blast with it!

Table Time

Samuel has really gotten into coloring lately. I’m so impressed with his concentration, diligence and ability to actually color with (more) control. We’ve spent literally hours coloring this week.

ant theme coloring

This was all done in one sitting (backs too! and a couple not pictured), and it was also the session that he turned a corner and started coloring with more control.

We worked on Proverbs 6:6 this week. A two year old saying sluggard is quite cute. You can download the coloring sheet here: Proverbs 6:6 Coloring Sheet. We always work together to say our verse. At this point he has Genesis 1:1, Matthew 22:39, and Psalm 66:1 totally memorized. You can see our Family Devotions post for more information on how we do memory verses.

We also colored individual ants one at a time. We did not color them all in one sitting. I let him color until he was tired of coloring, then we picked it back up another day.

ant theme coloring

When we were finished, I let him glue them to construction paper to put in his memory book.ย You can download the individual ant coloring sheet here:ย Individual Ant Coloring Sheets.

color identification with ant theme

Daddy got in on intentional toddler time one day! He would call out the colors and let Samuel point to them.

Shape Matching with Ants

I used some ant printables from 2 Teaching Mommies to work on shapes. This one he didn’t really like because he couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t stay together. It really frustrated him. He completed this short activity, but I will probably put it aside for a little while and stick to regular puzzles.

We used the Letter A Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1 to supplement our ant theme.

letter a tracing

I was shocked that he actually made a Letter A!

Dot painting the Letter A

Do-a-Dot continues to be a well loved activity. Please notice that there are 3 dots on the Letter A in the forefront of the picture. This is because if he missed even a millimeter of the Letter A, he went at it again. He dot painted the entire sheet not missing a single white spot of the letter As. Each time he painted an A I would say the letter aloud.

letter a stamping

letter a matching

letter a shadow matching

playdough work with letter a

Playdough has been a big hit recently. We worked on rolling snakes with the playdough, which did you know was a skill your child should know how to do before Kindergarten? I didn’t know that. He did really well for his first time. What you see above is clearly my work on the letters. But you can see the one he’s working on to finish the little “a”.

making balls with playdough

Then we made balls to place on each of the apples in order to work on the other playdough skill he should have. ๐Ÿ™‚

Letter A Q tip Painting

We continued working on the Letter A while incorporating in some fine motor skills. I got this Letter A Q-tip painting printable from 1+1+1=1. You can see that he did a few spots, but soon after this turned into a coloring session.

ant theme letter A week

We also did several other activities, but I made an intentional effort to not snap photos of every.single.moment because it takes away form my actual time with him. You can see above some of the additional activities, and I will be sure to link them all below.

toddler trays

We didn’t use our toddler trays a whole lot this week. We’ve done some rearranging and our toddler trays are in our play room, which is no longer functioning as our school room like I originally intended. It’s confusing. I know. My husband is probably tired of all my rearranging as we try to figure out what works best for us.

toddler tray - color matching trucks

He totally loved this idea. He is very much into trucks so I cut out some foam pieces in various colors, found trucks to match, and he worked to match each truck to the correct color. Once he had succeeded a couple of times he grew bored with it. I wish I had thought of this sooner when colors were a bit more challenging for him.

learning toys

learning toys - magneotos

He finally took an interest in his Christmas present. We played with his Magneotos set for almost 30 minutes one day. He’s really getting into “building things.”

toddler puzzles

toddler puzzles 2

letter puzzle

letter puzzle 2

He is a total puzzle lover. We work puzzles every single day for hours! He even brings them outside to play with them.

free play

toddler watering the lawn

We have been spending a lot of time outside these days. If it’s pretty, we’re not sitting inside! In Colorado, we do lots and lots of watering. We’re trying to get our grass to start growing again. We just bought our home in January so there is a lot of work to be done. But we’re having so much fun, especially our little guy. He loves watering the lawn!

toddler outside water play

I set him up with water and dish soap outside during one blistering hot day. This turned into a toddler fest as our neighbors are 5 and 3 with another little boy who comes over with the Nannie (he’s 3). They also have a 3 month old in the house next door and we have one on the way. Yes it gets crazy sometimes with a 5 year old, two 3 year olds, a 2 year old, a 3 month old and one on the way roaming from one yard to the next. Next summer will be even crazier because the 3 month old will be toddling and the one in my belly will be crawling! We also each have a huge dog to add to the mix. I’m always shooing someone or something out of my house. But I digress…the water play was a huge hit! Every single one of them had a turn at playing in the water. This was out for a couple of days and they loved it!

We also went on a nature scavenger hunt. I created my own printable since I wanted to gear it more toward my toddler. You can download the Nature Scavenger Hunt printable here:ย Nature Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers. But sorry, no pictures!

Much of our time outside was spent searching for ants (or spiders or worms or birds…).

Printable Resources Used for Ant Theme & Letter A Unit:

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