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My Mommy School Philosophy
Mommy School is all about constructive fun with developmentally appropriate learning!
My philosophy is that toddlers learn through experiences. I believe that toddlers learn by seeing and doing, so Mommy School is intended to be action-based. I believe that most 2- and 3-year-olds are not yet ready for pencil/paper activities. My hope is to provide you with a few tools to help guide your toddler’s learning. For me, the most exciting part about teaching my toddler is seeing the world through his eyes. He is starting to understand the world for the very first time! Because this is the first time that our toddlers are exposed to many concepts, please don’t expect your toddler to catch on immediately. It can be difficult at times to gage your own success because toddlers can’t always communicate exactly what they are learning. You will see their progress later on because they are in the process of building connections to the world around them! I compile a variety of activities in my Mommy School units, but I don’t expect to do them all. Allow your child to experience letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and other thematic elements in their own unique way. You will quickly see that your child thrives with some learning methods and not others. Pick and choose activities that work best for you and your child. I am trained as an Early Childhood Educator, and I taught First Grade for 4 years. However, I am building my Mommy School units from a mother’s perspective. I am a Mom first, and a Teacher second. Remember that I have searched the web high and low seeking the very best toddler activities. I am not the genius behind all of them—I simply gather them all in one place. Be sure to look at the credits section for more great ideas! Most of all have fun! Children will see your attitude, and will respond similarly. Enjoy discovering the world with your child.

Good luck!

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MONSTERS Mommy School Unit
Letter: M Shape: Square Number: Eight Nursery Rhyme: Little Miss Muffet

ACTIVITIES & GAMES
Pin the Arm on the Monster Play this game just like “Pin the tail on the donkey.” Blindfold children and have them pin arms onto a monster poster. It might be fun to create your very own monster on butcher paper! Tickle Monster Create a tickle monster by cutting the ends of the fingers off of a child’s glove. Hot glue fur to the front of the glove. Hot glue eyeballs or other facial features. Place on child’s hand and encourage them to scare or tickle their friends or family! Don’t Scare the Monster! Play this attached game just like “Don’t Eat Pete.” Place an M&M or another small candy on each game square. One child leaves the room and one monster is secretly chosen. The child enters the room and begins to eat the M&M’s one by one. When he/she reaches the monster that was secretly chosen, the rest of the group yells out, “Don’t scare the monster!” Monster Cards Print the attached monster cards. Use them to play memory/match. You could also use these for a sorting activity. Sort cards by monsters’ colors. You could also count the monsters’ eyes and sort them this way also.

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Monster Footprint Paint child’s foot in paint. Stamp foot on cardstock paper. Once the paint dries, create a monster by gluing on google eyes and drawing on a nose and mouth. Allow child to name his/her monster! Monster Page Corner Bookmarks Make adorable monster page corner bookmarks. You can follow the cute tutorial at I Could Make That: http://nheilke.com/blog/?p=2628 Paper Bag Monster Create a paper sack monster by finger painting a paper sack (flap side down). Add google eyes and other monster features. Cut newspaper strips and ask child to crumple them up. Once the paint is dry, add the newspaper to the inside of the sack. Fold and tape the bottom of the sack closed. Enjoy playing with your little monster! Monster Coloring Page Download your own cute monster coloring page from One Charming Party here: http://onecharmingparty.com/2011/04/14/monster-party-take-homefavor/ Monster Visor Use a foam visor (found at most local craft stores) to create a monster visor for your own little monster. Cut out an eyeball out of white/black foam and paste on the center-top of the visor. Add some foam horns if desired. You could also include some yarn or fuzzy fabric for the monster’s hair. Monster Have your child lay down on butcher paper. Trace their body’s outline. Have another child lay down on the same piece and trace over the other child’s tracing. Have fun coloring a 4-legged, 2-headed monster! Spaghetti Monster Cook spaghetti noodles and let them dry. Add oil so they are not sticky. Let children dunk noodles by handfuls into paint, then stamp onto paper. When dry, add google eyes and a nose, mouth, teeth, or horns. Name the spaghetti monsters.
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ART

Monster Paper Plate Mask Create a monster paper plate mask. Glue face shapes to a colored paper plate. Cut out and add the following shapes from foam or construction paper: Eyes Teeth Eyeballs Horns Brows Polk-a-dots Nose Tongues

Monsters in a Bag Create adorable monsters in a bag by filling a small ziplock bag with light corn syrup and green food coloring. Place several different-sized google eyes inside. Squish around to your heart’s delight! Monster Hair Have child decorate a small paper/plastic cup like a monster. Fill up the cup with cotton balls dipped in water. Sprinkle grass seeds inside. Watch the seeds grow to make a monster with lots of green hair! Slime Learning about monsters is a great time to make slime! Mix 2 c. cornstarch with 1 c. water and add a few drops of green food coloring. Is it a solid? Is it a liquid?

SCIENCE

MATH
Eyeball Playdough Mix up a batch of playdough and mix in colored google eyes (found at most craft stores). Have child search for the eyes in the playdough and sort by colors. You can use the monster colored sorting cards found here: http://mrshomeec.blogspot.com/2010/10/monster-lesson-plan.html or here: www.prekinders.com/pdf/MonsterSorting.pdf Count how many different colored eyes you can find: What color had the MOST eyes? What color had the LEAST eyes?
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Monster Math Take an old shoe box and cut a hold in the lid for a mouth. Cover the lid with contact paper. Decorate if desired so it looks like a monster. The hole in the lid is the mouth. Add eyes, nose, teeth, and eyebrows if desired. Write numbers 1-10 on index cards. Select a card. Whatever number is chosen is the number of “monster food” you must feed the monster. For example, if the number 6 is chosen, feed the monster 6 of something. You can select what the monster food might be. It might be unifix cubes, M&M’s, or even game chips.

Flannel Board Monster Cut out several shapes from scrap felt to create a monster—arms, legs, eyes, body, horns, teeth, mouth, eyes, nose, brows, etc. Let your child create their own flannel board monster by putting together different monsters. The beauty of this activity is creating all different possibilities of monsters!! Shape Monster Find attached flannel board story and visual aids for “Shape Monster.” This is a great way to learn about shapes. Little Monster, Little Monster Find attached flannel board poem and visual aids for “Little Monster, Little Monster.” This is a great way to learn about colors. Five Little Monsters Find attached flannel board story and visual aids for “Five Little Monsters.”

FLANNEL BOARD FUN

Go Away, Big Green Monster What happened first in the story? What happened last? You can practice sequencing using the printables found here at Making Learning Fun:
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LITERATURE CONNECTIONS

http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/BigGreenMonsterSequ enceCards.htm

MOTOR SKILLS
Monster Mash Dance Turn on Monster Mash music and dance like mean, angry monsters! (We also wore crowns like Max from Where the Wild Things Are and acted like kings of the monsters.)

MOVIES
This might be a fun time to watch: Where the Wild Things Are or Monsters, Inc.

SONGS
Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers The Mice Go Marching by Hap Palmer * This is fun to act out – children tiptoe during the mice part and stomp on the monster part.

CRAFTS FOR MOMS
Monster Buddies (craft for moms) Sew your own monster for fun, imaginative play. Patterns available for a one-eyed blue monster and a green monster here at One Charming Party: http://onecharmingparty.com/2011/04/14/monster-party-take-homefavor/ Monster Face Pillows (craft for moms) Sew your own monster face pillows. Kids can trade different eyes, noses, mouths, etc. to create monster faces. Tutorial available here at Ruffles and Stuff: http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2011/02/celebrating-boys_28.html

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Monster Face Pizzas Create your own English muffin pizzas using English muffins as the faces. Apply tomato sauce as blood, Mozzarella cheese as fur, pepperonis as eyes, and olive slices as eyeballs. Place under broiler until cheese turns golden. Monster Cupcakes Create monster cupcakes. Use colored frosting and Wilton frosting tip #733 to make the frosting look like fur. Melt colored candy chips with a chocolate chip in the center to create eyes. Use sour straws to create mouths. See the post here for more directions: http://www.oopseydaisyblog.com/2011/05/monster-play-date.html Monster Juice Serve orange juice with frozen blueberries inside. Monster Munch Pretzels Dip pretzels in melted blue candy melts. Sprinkle with purple sprinkles. Let pretzels cool on wax paper. Monster Cookies We call these monster cookies because there’s a bit of everything in them! Plus the M&M’s look like eyeballs. ½ c. margarine 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. sugar 1 1/3 c. peanut butter 3 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 2 tsp. baking soda Cream well together and add: ½ package chocolate chips 4 c. oatmeal 1 c. flour Make into balls, flatten slightly. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.
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SNACKS

BOOKS
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Mrs. Muffly’s Monster by Sarah Dyer Kipper’s Monster by Mick Inkpen My Monster Mama Loves Me so by Laura LeBuck Monster Mess! By Margery Cuyler Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems Minerva the Monster by Wednesday Kirwan Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCartey Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett Monster Hug! by David Ezra Stein Huggly’s Pizza by Tedd Arnold Molly’s Monster by Teddy Slater When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor Clyde Monster by Robert L. Crowe Big Lips and Hairy Arms by Jean Jackson Monster Manners by Joanna Cole My Friend the Monster by Eleanor Taylor Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing The Very Worst Monster by Pat Hutchins The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein Monster Mischeif by Pamela Jane Everything I Know About Monsters by Tom Lichtenheld Monster Musical Chairs by Stuart J. Murphy That’s Not My Monster by Fiona Watts One Hungry Monster by Susan Heyboer

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Songs & Finger plays
The Monsters Are So Loud (Tune: When Johnny Comes Marching Home) The monsters stomp around the house, Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! The monsters stomp around the house, Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! The monsters stomp around the house, Their brothers and sisters send them out, And they stomp some more outside the house. Boom! Boom! Boom! Continue with: The monsters yell around the house, Eeeeh! Eeeeh! Allow children to make up their own ideas! Five Little Monsters (Tune: This Little Piggie) This little monster has a big red nose This little monster has purple toes. This little monster plays all night. This little monster is such a fright! And this little monster goes, “Tee-hee-hee. I’m not scary. I’m just silly me!” You Are My Monster (Tune: You Are My Sunshine) You are my monster, My only monster. You make me happy, When I am sad. You never know dear, How much I love you. Please don’t take My monster away! Horns and Fangs (Tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes) Horns and fangs, Knees and claws, knees and claws, knees and claws, Horns and fangs, Knees and claws, Eyes and ears and tails and paws.

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If You Are a Monster (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It) If you’re a monster, and you know it, wave your arms. If you’re a monster, and you know it, wave your arms. If you’re a monster, and you know it, Then your arms will surely show it. If you’re a monster, and you know it, wave your arms. Continue with: …Show your claws …Gnash your teeth …Stomp your feet …Growl out loud Allow children to make up their own ideas! If You Ever See a Monster (Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie) If you ever see a monster, A big ugly monster. If you ever see a monster, Here’s what you do! Make this face… And this face… And this face…. And this face…. If you ever see a monster, Be sure to shout BOOOOOOO!

Five Little Monsters (Tune: Five Little Monkeys)
5 little monsters sleeping in my bed, 1 crawled out from under my spread. I called to Mama and Mama said, “No more monsters sleeping in your bed!” (Continue with 4, 3, 2, 1 little monster) No little monsters sleeping in my bed. None crawling out from under my spread. I called to Mama and Mama said, “There are no more monsters. Go to bed!”

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SHAPE: SQUARE
Monster Shapes Create monster shapes by cutting out shapes out of foam. Add google eyes and draw on mouths. Practice naming/identifying the shapes as you go. Shape Hokey Pokey Play the Shape Hokey Pokey by using the printables from Stay and Play: http://stayandplaymama.blogspot.com/2010/08/shape-hokeypokey.html Shape Monster Printable Reader Print this Shape Monster book, and color the pages. Read throughout the week to practice shape identification: www.hubbardscupboard.org/Shape_Monster_Printable_Reader_Booklet. PDF Square Painting Create a peekaboo square by cutting a square out of the center of a piece of paper. Place on top of another piece of paper and tape securely in place. Help child paint completely over the square opening, covering it completely. When the paint has dried, help child lift the top of the paper to show the square on the paper. Square Mosaic Cut out several small squares from different colors of paper. Help child glue onto the monster template, creating a mosaic. Fabric Square Matching Cut pairs of square shapes from fabrics of various textures such as corduroy, satin, burlap, and velvet. Lay out the squares, and see if your child can find the matching square. Movement Fun With Squares Use painters tape to tape a large square on the floor. Ask your child to move around the square in different ways such as walking, crawling, jumping, skipping, etc.
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Square Snacks Sandwich, cut into 4 smaller squares Cheez-Its Swiss cheese or American cheese Graham crackers Wheat thins Chocolate Chip Cookie Create a chocolate chip cookie by cutting out a large circle out of tan or brown paper. Cut out 8 black squares and paste onto the cookie— these are the chocolate chips! Square Song Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb I’m a shape that has 4 sides, Has 4 sides, has 4 sides. I’m a shape that has 4 sides, And they are all the same. Count my points, I have 4 too, Have 4 too, have 4 too. Count my points, I have 4 too. And square is my name.

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NUMBER: EIGHT
Number Eight Necklaces Place some dry Froot Loops in a bowl. Prepare a piece of yarn with a small piece of tape wrapped around the end. (This will be the needle.) Sort Froot Loops by colors. String 8 red Froot Loops on a piece of yarn, then 8 purple, etc. continuing with different colors until necklace is full. Number Pattern Print the attached number 8 pattern. Decorate it with 8 stickers and practicing counting them. Card Search Search for the eights’s in a deck of cards. Writing Rhyme While practicing writing the number eight, say this rhyme to help form the numeral: We make an S but do not wait. Back up we go to the starting gate. Eight Playdough Make spiders out of playdough. Be sure to count out the 8 legs! This would be a fun time to review the Nursery Rhyme “Little Miss Muffet”, acting out the spider part! Show child how to make an 8 out of playdough. Roll small pieces in long ropes. Then create 2 circles. Place next to each other to create the numeral 8. Eight Circle Print, laminate, and cut out the attached circle graph. Gather 8 clothespins, and write numerals 1-8 on them. Pin clothespins 1-8 on the different sections of the circle. Eight Snacks Create a chocolate chip spider with 8 pretzel stick legs.
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• Spread on waxed paper. Prepare 8 pretzel sticks around a missing center. Then melt chocolate chips and pour in the center of the pretzel legs to create a chocolate spider. • When snacking, practice counting out 8 goldfish, 8 marshmallows, etc. Tactile Learning Cut the numeral 8 out of sand paper. Have child trace with his/her finger. You could also do a rubbing of the numeral by placing paper on the top and coloring over it. (I do this every week because Little Man loves it!) You could also cut out a numeral 8 out of velvet or other fabrics with texture. Practice tracing the figure 8! Class Stop Sign Make a stop sign and practice counting the 8 sides of the sign. Pizza Puzzle Cut a large circle out of felt. Decorate with different felt toppings if desired. Cut up into 8 slices. Practice putting the pizza back together. Eight Little Kernels Form a circle and practice this counting rhyme. (You can have children jump in the circle and practice being the popcorn kernels.) Eight little kernels jumped into the pot. (Jump in the circle) They danced around when it got hot. (Jump up and down on one foot) They got so hot, they blew their tops. (Crouch down and jump up) And the puffed up kernels jumped out of the pot! One, two, three, four, Five, six, seven, eight! (Children jump one at a time back into circle)

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LETTER M
M is for Monster! Cut an M out of construction paper. Let your child decorate it like a monster. Add horns, eyes, teeth, etc. “M” Art Cut an M shape out of paper or use the attached template. Paint it using tool that starts with the letter M—like marbles or marshmallows. M Flashcards Follow this link to print your own M flashcards on cardstock. Bind with a book ring and laminate if desired. Practice daily. http://kizclub.com/flashcards1.htm Alphabet Box Gather items that start with the letter M. Have child select different items, and say the items’ names together. Emphasize the beginning sound of the letter M. M exercises March in place. Make Your Own M book Use the attached M book by coloring the 4 pictures, cut them apart, and use them as your very own “M” book or flashcards. Review daily. M Formation Create the shape of an M using popsicle sticks or pretzel sticks. Creative Writing I like to practice writing in finger paint, shaving cream, sand, or using Crayola’s window crayons. Sidewalk chalk is fun, too, once the weather warms up! M Snacks Have a M-themed Muffin Tin meal. Place M snacks inside the muffin tin. Some ideas might include marshmallows, meat balls, muffins, M&M’s, melon, macaroni, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and mozzarella cheese.
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M&M Math Complete the attached M&M graph. Give your child a small cup of M&M’s. Point out the lower case “m” that they may not have seen before. Then, graph the colors of M&M’s. M is for… Coloring Pages Use the 3 attached “M is for…” coloring pages to practice tracing and writing capital M’s. Color the attached pictures.

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Don’t Scare the Monster!

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Monster Cards
Instructions Print the attached monster cards. Mount on cardstock if desired. Laminate and cut out. You can use these cards for a variety of activities:
Play match/memory. Sort cards by color of monster. Count the monsters’ eyes. Sort by number of eyes.

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Shape Monster
Flannel Board Fun Instructions Print the attached monster and shapes, laminate, and mount with flannel. Use the monster and felt shapes to tell the story of the Shape Monster. As an alternative, you could also cut your shapes out of felt.

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Shape Monster
Flannel Board Fun
Shape monster, shape monster, Munch, munch, munch. How about a red circle for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. How about a blue square for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. How about a yellow triangle for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. How about a green rectangle for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. How about an orange oval for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. How about a purple diamond for your lunch? Shape monster, shape monster Munch, munch, munch. Hope you enjoyed your shape lunch!

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Little Monster, Little Monster
Flannel Board Fun

Instructions: Use attached pattern to prepare 6-8 different colored beds from felt. Print attached monster, laminate, and add flannel to the back. Place colored beds on flannel board. When children are not looking, hide the monster behind one of the beds. Allow child to choose where to hide the little monster under the bed and recite this poem each time as you find the little monster under the bed.

Poem Little monster, Little monster, Are you under the (red) bed?
Repeat with different colors.

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Five Little Monsters
Flannel Board Fun

Instructions: Print attached monsters, laminate, and mount with flannel. Use the monsters to tell the flannel board story of “Five Little Monsters.”

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Five Little Monsters
Flannel Board Fun

Five little monsters sitting on the floor. The red one said, “Let’s knock on someone’s door.” The green one said, “Let’s act a little scary.” The white one said, “Why are we so hairy?” The blue one said, “I hear a funny sound.” The pink one said, “There’s no one else around.” Then “WHOOSH!” went the wind And “EEEK!” someone said. So five little monsters ran under the bed.

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Give your child a cup full of M&M’s. Point out the lower-case m on the candies that they may not have seen before. Before eating the candies, graph what colors of M&M’s you have.

M&M Graph

Blue

Brown

Green Orange

Red

Yellow

What color of M&M’s had the most? ___________ What color of M&M’s had the least? ___________
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Print, laminate, and cut out this circle. Gather 8 clothespins, and write numerals 1-8 on them. Pin clothespins 1-8 on the different sections of the circle.

Eight Circle

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Print this square, cut out, and laminate if desired. Mount on a craft stick. Look through the square to find other objects that are squares!

Square Viewer

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Print this pattern on white cardstock. Paint the “M” pattern using an “M” tool such as marbles or marshmallows.

M Pattern

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Print this pattern on white cardstock. Decorate the numeral with eight stickers.

8 Pattern

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Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet Sat on her tuffet, Eating her curds and whey. There came a spider, Who sat down beside her, And frightened Miss Muffet away!

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You can find more fun learning ideas here: Mrs. Home Ec. http://mrshomeec.blogspot.com/ Little Learners Lounge http://littlelearnerslounge.blogspot.com/ Little Page Turners http://littlepageturners.blogspot.com/ A Bushel and a Peck http://angbrimwil.blogspot.com/ Hatter House Hullabaloo http://hatterhousehullabaloo.wordpress.com/ I Could Make That http://nheilke.com/blog/ One Charming Party http://onecharmingparty.com/ Making Learning Fun http://www.makinglearningfun.com/ PreKinders http://prekinders.com/ KizClub http://kizclub.com/ Stay and Play http://stayandplaymama.blogspot.com/ Preschool Express http://www.preschoolexpress.com No Time for Flashcards http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/ Perpetual Preschool http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/ Preschool Education http://www.preschooleducation.com/ Many of the cute fonts and clip art comes from www.djinkers.com Used with permission of DJ Inkers. The monsters clip art comes from http://www.scrappindoodles.com Commercial use of these clips is authorized.

Credits

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