Tag Archives: time to read Tuesday

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site Sensory Bin

Buddy is really into construction vehicles right now, so I decided to do another construction sensory bin for this week’s Time To Read Tuesday. (Read about our other construction site sensory bin with shredded paper here.) I checked out the book Mighty, Mighty Construction Site (affiliate link) from our library to go with our sensory bin. Buddy loves Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (affiliate link), so we were both excited to read the sequel.

I started by reading the book with Buddy. He loved all of the trucks from the other book and all of the new ones too. I loved the themes of friendship and teamwork. It’s a great book and definitely worth checking out or buying.

Then, I pulled out our sensory bin, poured in black beans, and added four mini CAT construction vehicles. I bought mine at the dollar store, but you can also get them here. They are really nice for the price, and all of the parts move the same way they do on the actual construction vehicles. Buddy was with me when we bought them a few months ago, but he hasn’t seen them since then. These new toys made the sensory bin extra exciting. 

I knew we had a bulldozer and a dump truck, but I wasn’t sure what the other two vehicles are. Fortunately, both were new friends added to Mighty, Mighty Construction Site. After looking at the pictures, we decided our other trucks were a backhoe and a front-end loader.

In the book, the front-end loader helps fill up the dump truck. We spent a lot of time doing that as well. Then Buddy tried using the backhoe and the bulldozer to fill up the dump truck. He had the best time filling up the dump truck, driving it around the bin, and dumping it back out. Buddy also loved grabbing handfuls of beans and dropping them.

This was one of my most successful activities in a long time. Buddy played with the trucks for over an hour! When we had to stop for dinner, he was hysterical about me putting it away. We compromised by picking up the beans and leaving them in the bin with the trucks. (Normally I keep my sensory bin fillers in an extra large ziplock bag in a cabinet.) We’ve played with it twice in the last week. It’s a mess, but Buddy loves it so much, it’s worth it. I know we’ll continue to play with our Mighty, Mighty Construction Site sensory bin often.





Brown Bear Matching Activity

For our first Time to Read Tuesday of the summer, I chose the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? (affiliate link). I came across amazing resources for this book on 1 + 1 + 1 = 1’s website, and I was excited to finally be able to use them. (The version of the activity on the website now is a little different than the one I downloaded.) To prepare the heads and tails Brown Bear matching activity, I printed off the cards and laminated them. When I cut them out, I cut each card in half.

Buddy and I started the activity by reading the book together. Once we reached the last page, I told him we’d use it to help us solve a puzzle. Buddy was excited because he loves puzzles. We spread out all of the cards and started to look for matches.

It was easy for Buddy to find matches. He knows his colors well, so that helped a lot. Initially, he liked to check the cards with the book to see if they were the same animals. I loved that he really made a connection between the book and the cards. 

While Buddy had no problem making matches, he did have a little problem putting the two parts together correctly. Again, we used the book as a reference to help us. Eventually, he got better at lining the cards up correctly.

Buddy loved his Brown Bear matching activity! We did it three times in a row, and then two times again later in the week. Every time he finished it, he was so proud! It was so easy to make, and it will be a great busy bag. I will definitely try some other matching puzzles later this summer. 




Open the Barn Door Animal Activity

Disclaimer – this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you choose to purchase something using these links, I will receive a small commission. 

Even though my themed summer days are over, I still want to do some Time to Read Tuesday activities. Right now, Buddy is really into lift the flap books, so I chose Open the Barn Door to read. Buddy loves the flaps and the animals in this book! We read it together before I showed him the animal activity.

I put together a farm play area with some farm animal toys, the bucket from our Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks, and some “hay” made of shredded paper. Buddy loves his farm animal toys and putting things in different containers, so I knew he’d enjoy this activity. I wasn’t sure how he’d react to the shredded paper, but I thought it would be a fun sensory activity for him.

Buddy was excited when he first saw the farm scene, but he wasn’t sure about the shredded paper. He started by just pulling out all of the animals out of the paper. He didn’t want to touch the paper at all! As he pulled out the animals, we talked about the animal’s name and found it in the book.

Animal activity first

Wow! Look at all these animals!

Checking out the cow in the book.

Checking out the cow in the book.

After I pulled out the red bucket from the paper, Buddy immediately started filling it up with animals. His favorite thing to do with these animals is to put them in their tube and spill them out again, so I figured he’d be interested in doing that with a different container. He spent a lot of time filling up the bucket with the animals and pouring it on himself.

Animals in bucket

I was amazed that Buddy wasn’t interested in the paper at all. We did our activity in the kitchen because I expected a huge mess. In fact, if I hadn’t interfered at all, Buddy would have just played with the animals and ignored the paper. But I wanted Buddy to explore in the paper, so I took his animals and buried them in the “hay”. He initially was nervous about digging in the paper to get them, but eventually he started having fun with the paper too.

Having fun with shredded paper

Playing with paper

Paper everywhere

In the end, it did make a mess, but it was easy to sweep up. Buddy had a lot of fun with his animals and a new sensory material. If you have any other ideas for sensory bins, please share in the comments. I hope to do another one soon.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Magnet Activity

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For this week’s Time to Read Tuesday, I chose an activity for the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We hadn’t read this book in awhile, so I thought it would be fun to pull out to reread. Originally, I saw the idea of using letter magnets with a cut out tree on I Heart Crafty Things’ blog. I already had magnetic letters, construction paper, and an old pan, so it didn’t take long to put this activity together.

I started by grabbing an old pan from Buddy’s room. We already use this pan for play purposes only, so I wasn’t worried about wrecking it. Next, I sketched a coconut tree onto construction paper and cut it out. (I didn’t have brown paper, so I had to use white for the trunk.) I’m not the best artist, but I figured my picture would be just fine for Buddy. Finally, I used double sided tape to make my tree stick to the pan.

Buddy and I read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom together before we started the activity. I pointed out each letter while reading the book and again at the end of the book. Then, I gave Buddy the pan and magnetic letters. We have played with magnets many times before, so Buddy knew how to stick them to the pan. However, since these magnets were new for Buddy, he was really excited about them.

Letter magnets

As Buddy pulled out each letter, I said the letter. I made some of the letters “run to the top of the coconut tree”. We also said “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” a few times as we were pulling out the letters.

Letter magnets 2

Buddy played with these magnets for a really long time. He loved them! Eventually, he decided he was more interested in the tree and pulled it off of the pan. While this wasn’t part of my intended activity, Buddy enjoyed it.

pulling off paper

I’m sure we will do this book and activity again when Buddy is older and understands the letters. With an older child, I would match the letters to the pictures in the book. However, I didn’t do this with Buddy because I knew it would be too much for him.

Colors Reading and Sorting Activity

Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you use the link to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. 

For this week’s Time to Read Tuesday, I chose to read books with a colors theme. I had planned to read Little Owl’s Colors and Hello World New York: A Book of Colors. Earlier that day, Buddy finished the library reading program and his final prize was another book about colors, Amazing Machines: Colors.

I wasn’t sure if Buddy would be able to sort colors, but I wanted to try. He often picks out blue toys for playing, so I chose blue and red toys to sort. I picked some of his favorite toys: B. Toys Squeeze Blocks, Measure Up Cups, and Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks. I also included some attribute links that were blue and red. I used the red tub from the Fisher Price blocks for the red shapes and a blue tub for the blue shapes.

I started by reading the books with Buddy. We looked at the pictures and talked about the colors on each page. He saw the basket of red and blue items, and he was really excited to play with them. I should have hidden the basket while we read, because he wanted to play with the toys instead of read.

I gave Buddy the basket of items and the two colored tubs. He was really excited about going through the basket and pulling out the toys.He was especially interested in the attribute links because he hadn’t seen them since our shapes reading activity. As he pulled out each toy, we talked about its color.

Sorting colors 2

Buddy struggled with sorting the toys, but he enjoyed the activity anyway. I eventually put all the red toys together and all the blue toys together myself. Then we looked at each tub, so Buddy could get a better idea of what each color looked like. After that, he pulled them out and played with them again.

Sorting colors 3

I will try this activity again in a couple months when Buddy is ready to sort by color. If you have any ideas for other fun color activities, I’d love to hear them.

The Snowy Day Indoor Snow Activity

For last week’s Time to Read Tuesday, I was looking for a quick and easy reading activity. I was busy packing for our trip (and finishing my quiet book), so I didn’t have time to prepare a reading activity during Buddy’s nap time. I saw the book The Snowy Day in a box of books and thought that Buddy would love to play in “snow”.

We started by reading The Snowy Day together. We looked at the pictures and talked a lot about snow. Then I pulled out a bunch of cotton balls and two plastic tubs. We went back to look at the pictures again, and pretended that the cotton balls were the snow balls from the book.

Snowy Day Reading

After that, I let Buddy play independently with the cotton balls. He had so much fun! We’ve played with cotton balls a few months ago, so I knew he would love it. Buddy put them from one container to another, poured them out, and tried to pull them apart. From time to time, he went back to look at the book’s pictures on his own.

Snowy Day Reading 2

Snowy Day Reading 3

Buddy had so much fun with the cotton balls that we pulled them out again the next day. It was such an easy activity and so much fun!

Little Blue Truck Storytelling Basket

For today’s Time to Read Tuesday, I made a storytelling basket to go along with the book Little Blue Truck. Buddy really enjoyed the last storytelling basket  I made, and since then, he’s chosen to read that book (Goodnight Moon) more often than usual.

Little Blue Truck is a story that involves a little blue truck, a dump truck, and a bunch of farm animals. I had a dump truck and farm animals already, but I didn’t have anything for the main character, Little Blue Truck. Since I didn’t want to buy a new truck toy, I just printed off a picture of Little Blue Truck from the book’s online resources. I laminated it to make it stronger, and then I taped it to a wooden block.

I read through Little Blue Truck once with Buddy before I gave him the basket. After we read the story, I gave Buddy the storytelling basket. As he pulled out each object, we talked about what that object was. I also found the part of the book where that character first appears and showed Buddy the picture. Once he had pulled out everything, we reread the book and acted it out with the figures.

Little blue truck

Our dump truck was much nicer than the one in the book because he gave rides to Little Blue and many of the other animals. (Or maybe Buddy was just trying to show what might have happened after the story ends?) Either way, he enjoyed playing with the figures for a long time, and he did go back from time to time to look at the pictures in the book again.

Little blue truck 2

Little blue truck 3

I will be curious to see if this activity will make Buddy more interested in this book in the future. (That was definitely the case with the Goodnight Moon book after that storytelling basket.) In the meantime, I will have to think about what book would be good for our next activity. Please share any ideas you have. I’d love to hear them!


Exploring Shapes Through Reading and Play

Today for Time to Read Tuesday, I chose to read two shape books followed by some play with different types of shapes. This activity was a blend of my love of reading and my love of math. It’s exciting to be working with Buddy already on a math topic.

I started by reading the book Paris: A Book of Shapes, which is part of the Hello World series. (I highly recommend it! Each book takes place in a different city and focuses on a different topic.) When I planned out this activity, I originally just was going to read one book. Yesterday, though, I found another book on shapes at the library (Louis the Lion Shapes), so we read that book too. While we read each book, we spent a long time looking at the pictures and finding each shape.

After reading, I gave Buddy a bag of Attribute Links as well as his shape sorter block toy to play with. The Attribute Links were given to me as part of one of my college courses, but because I’ve only taught middle school math, I’ve never used them. Buddy was very interested in the links because they were new to him. We picked out squares first. I turned the pages of both books to the square pages, and then we made a pile of squares. I linked a bunch of the squares together, which Buddy loved.

Playing with shapes

We continued to look at one shape at a time with both the blocks and the links. For each shape, I referred back to the book pages and placed the shapes on top of the picture. Buddy was able to pick out the circles on his own, but he needed help with the other ones.

Playing with Shapes 3

Buddy enjoyed putting both the links and the blocks in and out of the bucket. He did better than with the actual shape sorter on the top of the bucket than he has in the past. Maybe the extra practice looking at the shapes and the books has helped him figure out what holes to use. (Or maybe he was just having a lucky day.)

Playing with shapes 5

Overall, Buddy enjoyed both books and both sets of shape toys. It was a lot of fun for me finding something in my classroom that could be used as an educational toy for my son. I’m sure we’ll be playing with both shape toys again soon. Playing with Shapes 4

Goodnight Moon Storytelling Basket

Today for Time to Read Tuesday, I put together a storytelling basket for the book Goodnight Moon. Buddy has done discovery baskets of different objects before and loved it, so I figured this would be an activity he would enjoy. The reading teacher in me loved figuring out a book related activity that would be appropriate for my one year old.

Goodnight basketThis picture shows everything I put into the basket. All of these were items that were already in our house. I had to go digging in our ornaments for the “toy house”, and I cut out the moon out of a cereal box and covered it in foil. For the line “Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere,” I put some star beads in a water bottle. (The bottle has stars and air, and when it’s shaken, it makes noise.)  The flashlight is supposed to be the light from the room, Mickey is supposed to be the “young mouse”, and the watch is for the clocks in the room.

Goodnight basket 2We started by reading the book together. Then I took Buddy over to the basket of goodies. For each item he pulled out, I said “Goodnight_______” and we found the picture in the book. The bottle of stars was his favorite by far because it made a great noise when shaken. The balloon and toy phone were also favorites.

Goodnight basket 3

After awhile, Buddy decided it would be more fun to dump everything out of the basket and put it back in again. I’m in favor of anything that encourages picking up messes, so I was happy to let him change the structure of the activity.

Goodnight basket 4

Overall, I’m really happy with this storytelling basket activity. I thought it was a great way to extend reading with a little one, and I think it helped build his vocabulary as well. I definitely plan to do more storytelling baskets in the future.