How to: DIY Toddler Curriculum

IMG_1220

Two words: Toddler curriculum.  It dawned on me that a lot of people send their children to daycare.  And in daycare, the days are structured with a routine, where early childhood educators build curriculums. Maybe you’re thinking, “Curriculum?  Don’t you mean messy activities like painting?”  You’re right, I do mean messy activities like painting, but it’s actually curriculum. So, it got me thinking: I should do the same.

Where do you start to build a curriculum for your kid? Especially if you don’t have an early childhood education degree?  I may not have a degree in early childhood education, but I do have a degree that requires me to understand childhood development at varying ages.  So based on what I know about development- this is what I did:

Step 1:  Need to have a Plan.

(Sketch Plan): Research different activities in different subjects. (Language, Science, Math, Art, Music, Gym). Spread throughout the day…lets say at 30- 45 minute intervals ( for 18-24mons).  Now, I’m saying this, because McKinley’s attention span is about 15-30 minutes depending on the activity.  In those 30-45 minute intervals I am including set up & clean up.

Step 2:  Need to have activity ideas -age appropriate- in varying subjects/ Need to create routine through the day.

Step 3: Need equipment.

Step 4: Put projets together.

These are some examples of the activities I’ve read about, heard about, or thought of: 

  • Matching games
  • Coloring, painting, play-doh – Art
  • Puzzles
  • Sink or float with water
  • Water transfer
  • Game related to learning: shapes, colors, numbers, words, letters
  • Sorting games
  • Reading
  • helping with chores (laundry, feeding dog, putting away dishes)
  • Outside play time (running, throwing)
  • Play time/play dates with other kids
  • Adventures (ex: zoo)

Sample Routine: 

  • (7-8)Wake up
  • Breakfast
  • Get ready for the day
  • 9:30-10:30 subject area #1
  • 10:30 snack
  • 10:45-11:45 subject area #2
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30-1:00 nap
  • 2:30-3:00 subject area #3
  • 3:00 snack
  • 3:15-4:15 subject area #4
  • 4:30-6:00 Free play
  • Dinner
  • 7:30 Nighttime: bath, books, and bed

Look for curriculum activities weekly on Friday’s.  And if you have awesome ideas to add please share them!

1) Toddler Transferring 

IMG_8152

Elimination.

Day 3: Elimination.  No nuts/seeds. No rice or grains.  No more stevia. No milk substitutes.

I woke up this morning feeling energized.  More clear. I even noticed that my pants were fitting looser around my tummy.

I went to the grocery store to pick up more fruits and vegetables. I let McKinley ride in the Car Cart (they only had one). She loved it. She was screaming “beep beep” through the store, waving hello, saying goodbye to everyone. I got some stares.

Day 3 lunch idea: black bean and vegetable soup.  And I’ve been snacking on celery and olives with hummus.

IMG_1221

I added strawberries and blueberries to my shake.  It was not as tasty as the one with almond butter…

I still feel the soreness of my muscles, but I am determined.  At this point, I don’t really have any “cravings” for anything.  Meat, is not hard to give up. Trust me, I love a juicy burger, medium-rare steak, or just some curried chicken… but I don’t miss it.

Day 3 Dinner idea: Meatless Chili over yukon gold potatoes topped with cilantro and avocado.  It’s amazing. Even if you are not doing a detox.

IMG_1284

*Please note that if you are planning on doing a detox you should speak with a nutritionist or your physician first.

IMG_8152

Ready? Set. Go!

I used to work at a nutrition center and cleansing was a part of our philosophy for healthy living.  Cleansing, or detoxing, is a great way to clean out those allergens and toxins we consume without even knowing.  In the process of cleansing your body, you find that you are more stable, happier, more energized…and the list only goes on.

My last detox was before I got pregnant with McKinley.  So, It’s been awhile. Naturally I’m excited to get back to my normal way of doing things.  HA!  “Normal.”  Okay, there will never be anything normal about my way of doing things 🙂

Obviously there are thousands of different detox programs–elimination diets and candida diets.   I’ve actually done multiple, but I prefer– ones that are to the point. I’m doing a Clear Change 10 day detox.  I figured I’d write about this particular detox process for other people who have heard about, or thought about doing it—and perhaps I can lend some insight.  The writing process is highly recommend during detox programs as means to understanding how certain foods react to one’s body and mind.  And, just so you know–doing a detox is something everyone should mentally prepare and gear up for in advance.

No, I am not on crack.  Rest your suspicions.  Although, the thought, “How can I do a detox with a toddler?” has crossed my mind…several times.

10 days.  Short enough that it’s easy, but long enough that it will do something lasting. My kinda thing.  The particular detox I am doing comes with an UltraClear nutritional beverage, that tastes like powdered crap, and provides nutritional support.  Mmmm. Ready? Set. Go!

Day 1 & 2 No artificial anything.  No sugar. No dairy products. No soy. No meat. No caffeine. No wheat or gluten.  (There is actually  a list of foods to avoid and foods that are recommended, but there is no way I am typing that up).

Uhh yeah, “Holy Crap”  is what I say for day 1 & 2 too.   What can I eat?  Pretty much(with exceptions), all fruits, veggies, beans, nuts/seeds, milk alternatives (almond milk), stevia, quinoa, brown rice, all dry/fresh spices and herbs, oils, herbal teas, and fish.

Day 2: You add the nutritional beverage. 1 scoop twice a day.

For me thinking of meal ideas was extremely easy, but the caffeine headaches?  Not so much.  Oh man, yesterday day 2, was a nightmare.  My whole body was aching.  My head throbbed the entire day.  I had no energy. And, I was really spacey.  Yup- that’s the detox doing it’s job ridding my body of all those toxins.  So, if you experience these symptoms…it’s normal.

I do want to mention, that I slept like a baby night 1 and night 2. I’ve needed sleep for the past couple of weeks, between McKinley screaming, and tossing and turning from my lower back pain.  So, I fully enjoyed the rest.

Below are some meal ideas from day 1 and day 2 of the detox: 

Day 1 lunch idea: Quinoa burgers packed with onions & herbs

IMG_0895

Day 1 Dinner idea: Spinach salad with sunflower seeds, walnuts, strawberries, avocados, drizzled with white balsamic, pared with fresh Halibut, and an olive chutney.

IMG_1078

Day 2 lunch idea: Gluten free- almond butter sandwich with banana, almond butter, almond milk smoothie.

IMG_1205

Day 2 Dinner idea: Stir-fry with Bok choy over brown rice, and Thai spiced Salmon.

IMG_1203

Stayed tuned for the rest of the detox… Day 3 tomorrow.

* * Please note, if you are planning on doing a detox, you should speak with a nutritionist or your physician first. * *

IMG_8152

 

Wordless Wednesday: Step Stool

20130919-081331.jpg

Monday Monologue: “Uh-Oh Meme”

Okay, McKinley is 18-months-old now.  We should probably talk about what that means.   And…more what that entails for Mama G (a.k.a me).  18-months is a big milestone.  The reason people say, “she is 17 months” or “She is 8-months now” is because infant’s cognitive and physical development is vastly different from month to month.

18 months.  McKinley’s next “well-visit” or check up at the doctor is now 6 months away, instead of 3 months.  It is developmentally when Telegraphic speech begins, symbolic thought, and the use of their emotions to manipulate (my personal favorite).   It’s important to mention here that every child is different and develops differently.

Telegraphic speech is when they start stringing words together.  For example, McKinley will say, “Uh-ohh Meme,”  “down there,” or “bye-bye Dada.”   And symbolic thought is when they will use language to think about their actions before performing them.  It’s a great age.  I look at McKinley and I start thinking, Oh man, you’re not my little baby anymore. You’re getting big.

It comes as no surprise to you that this age comes with new territory. Mainly: climbing on everything– throwing mini tantrums that half the time make no sense–hiding–well she thinks she hiding–bigger poop ordeals, bigger messes, and of course emotional manipulation.

IMG_9331

Last night McKinley screamed, because her hand was stuck in a jar. When I rushed to help, she pulled her hand out, and started laughing.   I most likely reinforce behavior like this, because I’ll shake my head and say, “Oh man McKinley, you got me!”
Although, I can’t say I’m 100% surprised. After all my father was a huge prankster.

Do you have any great moments or insane stories from this age?! Mine are starting to pile up!

IMG_8152