Teaching a Toddler about Race

Monday, February 26, 2018
Raising a racially conscious child is something that has been important to me even before my child made his way onto this earth. Being a teacher, it is a topic I've thought about often, in order to be responsive to the diverse array of students that come into my classroom and so that I can seek to give them all a platform for bringing their wonderings about this topic to the forefront.

Research has shown that children are able to nonverbally begin categorizing people by race and gender by six months of age (maybe even earlier) and that by ages 3-5 children not only categorize people by race, but even begin to express bias based on race (Winkler, 2009). To me, this brings two key ideas to the forefront - first being, that neither children, nor we as adults are "colorblind". Colorblindness is more or less this idea of  "I don't see color" or "I see everyone as the same". But the fact of the matter is, we do and we should see color. We should be acknowledging each person's uniqueness, personhood and experiences. It's important. It matters. The second being, that we need to be talking about the concept of race and even racism, for that matter, with our kids long before they enter their school years. It needs to be something that we do on an ongoing, everyday basis through our everyday interactions.

This week I began to introduce some of the very basics of race to Asher. We read stories and did activities which enabled us to begin to have these conversations that I intend to continue and build upon as he grows. I want him growing up in a space where it is not only safe to talk about it, but it is encouraged and it is normal.

Olympics Themed Activities for Toddlers

Sunday, February 18, 2018

In honor of the Winter Olympics taking place over the course of these next few weeks, we took the opportunity this week to learn a little bit about the games and how to play some popular winter sports. As with all Olympic events, we kicked off our week by lighting our "Olympic Torch".

To make our torch, I snagged a flashlight floating around our house and simply wrapped a piece of tissue paper we had on hand around the top (you could certainly use orange or yellow as well). Then I wrapped aluminum foil around the based to cover it as well as hold the tissue paper in place. We closed all of the windows in the bedroom and had a blast watching our torch light up the ceiling and walls and making shadow puppets. After our torch lighting ceremony, we headed to our craft area for a little fine motor activity where we created the fire of the torch by gluing scraps of construction paper to the page. I drew an outline on the top prior to gluing to help guide Asher, but as you can see, one little friend didn't quite make it in - and I think it just adds character!

Valentine's Themed Activities for Toddlers

Monday, February 12, 2018

Last week we spent our days learning about L-O-V-E! And hearts - I'll admit there were lots of those too. Here are some of the books we read to start our "lessons" each morning:

Winter Themed Activities for Toddlers

Monday, February 5, 2018
We had a blast this week embracing winter! While we did get outside a few times to play in the snow, we also took advantage of the warmth and brought "winter" indoors for a variety of our activities. Below are a few of the books that we used to kick off our learning each day.

We began our week of winter themed fun with a snow sensory experience. I snagged some snow from outside while Asher was eating breakfast and then after our story, we dug in. He loved filling the measuring cup with the spoon and his dump trunk and then dumping it out to do all over again. You could certainly fill your tub with just about anything you have on hand.