So the 52 weeks of Childhood Unplugged experience poll is now closed and I have assembled our list of experiences. I decided that going by the majority vote wasn’t fair because many great suggestions were added late and didn’t get a chance to be seen and voted on as much. So instead I took ALL of the suggestions and compiled my own list out of it and left the rest below for you guys to pick and choose from.
The way I see this happening is everyone either makes their own list or goes off of the one I compiled, if your toddler is similar in interests. I would love it for us to find a way to do the same thing on the same week so that we could share the experience, but of course it’s not going to be possible for everyone, so do what you feel like doing each week.
We’ll review the week each Monday. This week Lexi and I will be doing: Jumping on the bed and couches like 5 Little Monkeys
Again here are the suggestions(all are voluntary):
- Have a toddler/preschooler
- Do one of the prompts once a week. The key is to really do it. Decide on the experience for that week, designate a day and just do it!
- Take a photo of your child experiencing it (or not. It doesn’t matter). It doesn’t have to be anything great! Just something to remember that week by.
4. Make that week, and especially that day, ALL about the event. Hype it up, get your child excited about the experience. Read them books that involve a similar experience before and after the “event”. It is important that the child has something to build on. If they know a bit about what you’re going to do, especially if it involves their favorite character, they will be much more excited and thus more open to the experience, increasing the learning (and fun) potential. Show them books, videos, movies of the event to get them to want to do it as well (ME TOO!). Talk about it all week (without saying “we are going to do this!”, because younger toddlers don’t have the capacity of understanding time and therefore will just get frustrated that they can’t go do it right then). Instead just introduce them to the concept.
I am going to try to find books and shows that explore each concept so that we could all use them as prep. Please help if you know of a book or an episode or a good video that deals with either one of these items on both the lists. I will add them below each entries. A great idea would be to have a library visit before each week or a few weeks before the prompts and ask the librarian for books that deal with the same concept. It will not only introduce them to the experience but get them to read new books.
For example, whenever we read Curious George books, Lexi gets super excited about whatever it is they are doing there, whether it is coloring eggs, looking for tadpoles, skiing or anything else. She constantly says “Yaya do it too!” while we read. If we continue reading the book, she gets more and more familiar with the concept, so when we actually have a chance to do it, she is so excited and can actually understand what is happening. Since most little kids are impatient, it is hard to try to explain to them how certain complicated things work on the spot and they are often not interested . That’s why showing books and videos will get the concept through their head and then the experience will reinforce it further. Our brains build and strengthen neuropathways through multiple experiences- that’s how we learn and remember. So consistently reinforcing it will just help them remember and understand it better.
5. Submit your day to the linky below each one of the weekly posts I will be posting. You can just submit a photo, but of course if you add a description, it will be much more interesting to other participants. Use whatever means you want: Blog, Flickr, Photobucket, it doesn’t matter. Just share. Or not. Again, this is all voluntary, so share if you want to, don’t share, if you don’t. It’s that simple.
- Backwards Day
(Daniel Tiger episode tie in, Backwards Day book tie in)
- Ride a pony/horse
(Berenstain bears book tie-in)
- Go to the airport and watch the planes land.
(Curious George episode tie-in, Curious George book)
- Go to a music shop and explore the instruments
(Daniel Tiger episode tie in)
- Go to a train museum
- Jump in Puddles (Weather contingent) (Hello, Fiends book)
- Feed ducks at the park (Curious George book)
- Dance in the rain (Weather contingent) (Olivia book )
- Plant something from seed and watch it grow.
(Curious George episode tie in, Little Critter book, Curious George book)
- Climb a tree
- Gather shells (Berenstain Bears book)
- Ride a trolley (Daniel Tiger themed)
- Go to the lake to look for tadpoles
(Curious George episode tie-in, Curious George book tie in)
- Go on a scavenger hunt in the woods
(Curious George episode tie in, another Curious George episode tie-in Berenstain bears: nature’s guide (this is a great book for a scavenger hunt and it rhymes)
- Fly a kite
(a great rhyming Berenstain bears book, Curious George episode, Little Critter book)
- Roast marshmallows by the fire
(OLIVIA tie in)
- Play in the snow (Location contingent)
- Go to an aquarium
(Berenstain Bears book, Little Critter book, Curious George book)
- Have a picnic – complete with basket and red checkered blanket. (Berenstain Bears book - another great funny rhyming book)
- Lay out and look at stars (Curious George episode tie-in)
- Go camping unplugged (phones turned off)
(Daniel Tiger episode tie in, Curious George episode tie in, Little Critter book tie in, Curious George book tie-in, OLIVIA book tie in other camping books)
- First movie theater movie (Curious George book)
- Go to a petting zoo!
- Listen to a thunderstorm (Weather contingent.)
(Daniel Tiger Episode tie in, Little Critter book tie in)
- Have a Family Movie Night with snacks
- Run around the grass in a park, barefoot, as a family
- Pick fruit at a farm
(Daniel Tiger episode , Curious George book)
- Make Snow/Sand Angels
- Make pinecone and peanut butter bird feeders and hang them in the yard
(Curious George tie-in)
- Draw with chalk on the driveway/sidewalk
- paddle a canoe down the river
(Curious George episode tie-in)
- visit a tidepool (Weather contingent)
- Egg Dying (Curious George book)
- Go to see a boat show (at Christmas)
- Go on a sunset cruise on a boat
(Curious George episode tie in)
- make giant bubbles in the yard
- go to a waterpark
- go to Botanical gardens
- Go bowling
(Curious George episode , Curious George book)
- Jump on the bed/couch/furniture together (5 Little Monkeys book)
- Get long newsprint/butcher’s paper and trace/color your hands, feet and bodies!
- Make cookies together
- Play Hide and Seek
- Build a fort out of blankets and pillows (The Fort that Jack Built book)
- Go to the Zoo
(Curious George episode, Curious George book)
- Go on a family bike ride through the woods
- Make newspaper planes
- Get a few giant cardboard boxes play pretend with them!
- play tennis
- play miniature golf
(Curious George book)
- Ride a roller coaster
(Curious George episode , Curious George book)
- Ride a train
(Berenstain Bears book tie-in)
The rest of the entries
Almost all of these entries is something I want to do with Lexi, but she is either too young for them and would benefit from them more next year, or it doesn’t work out because of where we live, or something that we’ve done many times and isn’t special anymore, or something I simply could not fit it into the 52 because there were others I wanted her to experience. Please feel free to use any and all of these to customize your list.
- play in the mud
- paint fingernails/toenails for the first time
- Carve a pumpkin together
- cook and eat something outside
- Attend a church service
- ride an exotic animal (like a camel)
- play in a creek
- go bird watching
- Build a tree fort together
- take a cooking class
- go ice skating
- try a new type of cuisine
- visit a circus (one that doesn’t have animals if you’re concerned about cruelty is Circus Vargas)
- Bring a yummy snack to your neighborhood firemen (and get a tour of the fire station!)
(Tie Ins: Curious George episode ,Curious George book, Little Critter book)
- Take them to see where you/your husband work
- Shaving cream slide
- Visit the puppies and kittens at the local Humane Society/Rescue center
- Mani/pedi date
- Build a birds nest
- Paint the sidewalk or driveway with water
- Go to Disney
- Inside Beach Day (Daniel Tiger themed)
- Crazy hair day: use colored hair spray/color (temporary), lots of hair spray and have silly hair for a day!
- Play beach volleyball
- Build a bird feeder
- Jump off the dock into the lake
- Go for a walk in the moonlight (Harold’s Purple Crayon-themed)
- Catch fireflies (and let them go)
- Wearing matching outfits with Mommy for a day
- Play dress up
- Fly on a Plane
- Go to a fair
- Spend all day in pajamas
- Say a word or phrase in a second (or third) language.
- Watch a parade (Curious George book)
- Make newspaper hats
- Paint on canvases to hang on the wall as art
- Swing in the swings together
- Make a snowman (Little Critter book tie-in)
- Find cloud animals in the sky
- Pack into the car with treats and take a tour of local holiday lights.
- Toss coins into a wishing fountain
- Watch fireworks
- Make a pizza together and put on whatever toppings you want
- Get a professional haircut
- Play in the sprinklers together
- Stay up late and have a dance party (Curious George book)
- Build sand castles
- Do something charitable for others – example- take unused clothing / toys to shelter.
- Bake something together
- Story Time at the Library
- Baby’s first McDonald’s!
- Easter Egg hunt (Curious George episode tie-in)
If you’re going to do a few of these above, check out these book collections that have several of the stories that fit into the themes we are doing.
Curious George storybook #1
includes Snow Day, Boat show, Build a Home, Mini Golf and Tadpole tie ins
Green Light Readers Level 1
boxed set includes Kite, Roller coaster, Mini Golf, Boat show stories.
Curious George Big Book of Adventures
includes: Kite, Planes, Roller coaster, Boat show, Mini Golf, Library
Any books or videos you know of that we could build the experience upon? Add links to those books/shows in the comments.
The first week starts today, so go plan something fun and build your list or copy off of mine. With St Patrick’s Day, it should be easy to make a special trip somewhere, see a parade or do something fun along those lines!
You can enter your and your child’s name/age below and where you’ll be posting about the experience (If any, it’s not mandatory) if you’ll be participating and hope to see some great experiences next week. Make sure to let the world know about your participation by using the tweet and facebook buttons when you enter yourself.
This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!
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