This is one of the posts I mentioned that I wanted to share. I think I might see how coming on once a week to post updates might work, but we will see how it goes. Thanks for the lovely comments I got on my previous post! I will respond to them as I get the chance :)
I got this wonderful idea from Lori at Cachey Mama's Classroom and my boys are LOVING it!
To do this for your family, all you need is a large can, a bunch of lids, and some family photos. I used a few more supplies, but you certainly don't need to. Here is how I did it.
I figured out the size of the lids (spaghetti and applesauce jar lids because I wanted them to be Bam Bam safe) and made a template in Publisher to crop my photos. I chose 22 photos (2 great-grandparents, 2 grandmas, 1 grandpa, 1 great-aunt, 4 uncles, 2 aunts and 1 aunt-to-be, 5 cousins, and the 4 of us) of the family members that Boogie and Bam Bam see on the most regular basis and that Boogie would recognize and ask for. I do plan on adding more, but since I am cutting back on the time I am spending on this kind of thing, 22 was plenty. And soon, there will be 4 more cousins, but more on that later.
After printing the photos, I cut them to size, laminated them, and cut them to size again. I did the cutting twice to save on laminating pockets. I laminated them to protect them from Bam Bam's constant flood of drool.
Next, I used velcro to put the photos into the lids. I used velcro rather than glue so I can change the photos as my children and their cousins grow.
I covered the coffee can with paper and labeled it "My Family" and I cut a slit in the lid of the coffee can, so the boys can have fun dropping the lids in.
Here are some ways that I plan on using this with my boys, especially Boogie at this point:
* Identifying family members (Just say the names to Bam Bam. For Boogie, I can spread them all out and ask him to find so-and-so and drop the lid in the can to practice direction following.)
* Discussing family relationships (you could do a family tree, like Lori did)
* Sorting (I am thinking by gender or family relationship, ie- cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Or separate them by household families. We also have 3 different colored lids so Boogie could sort by lid color, too.)
* Playing with the lids- stacking, dropping, dumping, lining up like a train :P
I had considered putting names on the other side of the lid so that when Boogie is a bit older we can practice sight words with them, but with the way Bam Bam chews on them right now, I think we will skip that. With an older child that would be fun, though. They could flip them over and it is self-correcting. You could also have your child line them up in age order or alphabetical order or things like that.
I may or may not be linking up to these great parties at some point :)