The Bell Center Toddler Times – November

Happy fall y’all! In our classes, we’ll be discussing food, fall and Thanksgiving!  What an exciting time of the year to be at The Bell Center!

 Monthly Theme


Signs: “cookie”, “cracker”, “water”, “juice”, “fish”, “turkey”, “thank you”

Key Vocabulary Words:  banana, apple, carrot, potato, cookie, cracker, fish, eat, drink, spoon, thank you, turkey, feather, tree, leaf/leaves

Nursery Rhymes and Finger Plays


Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Five Little Leaves

My Little Turkey

Brown Squirrel

Teacher Time

November is such an exciting month here at The Bell Center! Our theme this month is food, fall, and Thanksgiving. We will focus our activities around food, fall/leaves, turkeys and Thanksgiving. We hope everyone will have fun talking about different kinds of food we eat, the leaves falling from the trees, and Thanksgiving.  We appreciate everyone dropping off and picking up their child on time! It helps our classes run smoothly. We love seeing all their smiling faces at school.

Some activities you can work on at home to reinforce the food, fall and Thanksgiving theme include: go on a leaf hunt and identify nature items like leaves and trees, make a tree using real leaves, tear red paper and glue them to an apple shape or plate, make a paper plate turkey, or paint a turkey using your handprint.   Talk about different foods at home and the colors of foods and sort fruits and vegetables.  Try different foods at home.

Some of our favorite food books at TBC are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Apple Pie Tree, Who Took the Cookies, What’s for Dinner? and Apple Farmer Annie.

There are so many fantastic Thanksgiving/leaf books that we could read here at The Bell Center. Some of these awesome books are We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, Fall Leaves Fall, Red Leaf Yellow Leaf, It’s Thanksgiving Biscuit, and Five Silly Turkeys.

We sing everyday here at The Bell Center! Some of our favorite songs this month include Pat-A-Cake, Do You Know the Muffin Man, I’m a Little Teapot, Five Little Leaves, and My Little Turkey. If you don’t know any of these songs, don’t hesitate to ask any staff member. We’ll be more than happy to help you out.

One of our favorite songs at circle time in the fall is about Leaves! Enjoy!

All the little leaves so bright and gay

Were dancing on a tree one day.

The wind came whooshing through the town

And all the little leaves came tumbling down.

Change the underlined word to do different motions:







Have a great fall!

Language Lessons

Often parents ask us how to facilitate language at home. One simple, affordable way to encourage language skills is by using pictures. These pictures can be found on the internet or can be taken on a camera or smart phone and then printed. You can even purchase contact paper to “laminate” them and make them more durable. Here are some ways that pictures can be used and incorporated into your daily routine:

  • Naming objects-take pictures of your child’s favorite items and talk about them. Some ideas include clothing items, animals, toys, and snacks. With the weather changing, you could also take pictures of “fall” themed items such as leaves, jackets, and pumpkins. Look through the pictures and name them and describe them to your child.
  • Actions-teach children action words and simple verbs. Consider taking a picture of a dog running, parent eating, or your child washing their hands. Talk about those actions and what is happening in the pictures.
  • People-take pictures of family members and friends. Name the people in the pictures and encourage your child to point to them.
  • Places-think about the places you often take your child such as the grocery store or the park. Take pictures of these places and show your child prior to going to that place. Talk about where you are going and what you will do there.

Have fun with these ideas while you also build language skills. The options are endless!

PT Pointers

In November we are talking about fall, food and Thanksgiving. We will be talking about leaves, and apples, turkeys and food.  Many of our classes will go on a “leaf” hunt either inside or outside the building. This is a way to work on walking on different surfaces outside and practice squatting and stepping up/down curbs. Inside this is a way to “look” for hidden leaves and set up balance beams to go across or steps or stairs to go up to find the different colors of leaves.

We encourage you to help your children work on activities such as “jumping” into leaves at home, running or walking around the yard, inside they can practice cruising around furniture and pulling to stand, or standing with their back to furniture, then taking steps to you.. You can also make a mini obstacle course indoors on the days it is too cold to be outside. This can be stepping over toys, putting a piece of wide masking tape on the floor to walk on like a balance beam, practicing throwing balls into a large bucket or trash can and trying to kick a ball into a bucket laying on its side. It is important to help your child practice these big motor skills at home to help them build strength, improve balance and to help them get energy out during the day too.  Many children are much more willing to sit and read a book or work on a sit down task like puzzles after they have moved around and expended some energy.

As we get closer to the holiday season, some families may be starting to think about gift ideas. Consider gifts for your toddler that are fun and also aid in their gross motor development, such as balls, push toys, ride toys, and tricycles.  If you need more suggestions for gift ideas for your child please feel free to ask your team and your physical therapist.

OT Tips

In class, we look for new and different ways to develop fine motor skills beyond the regular toys. Using edible dough provides opportunities for your toddler to strengthen their little hands and build manipulation skills. Also, learning to regulate their responses to sticky and messy textures is a necessary part of their play development. If your child is hesitant to touching novel textures there are many ways to negotiate their tolerance to it. You can put the dough in a thick plastic bag, such as a freezer bag, and touch it from the outside. You can give your child a toy such as a play car or plastic animals to push into the dough. Or tools to interact and touch the texture with such as spoons or play-doh rollers. Having a washcloth nearby to wipe hands and rejoin in play can be helpful for a child who needs a way to cope with having messy hands. If your child is requesting to wipe hands often you can put the washcloth out of sight and space the amount of time between usages. The ultimate goal will be full hand exploration of the dough. This may take repeated exposures on a consistent basis.

A simple dough recipe is: 1 can of pureed pumpkin, 1 box (16oz) of cornstarch, and 2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice. Mix well and add the spice as the last ingredient. After kneading the dough is ready for play. Encourage your child to use both hands to roll, pat, and squeeze. Demonstrate how to use both hands to make large and small balls, showing how your hands move in opposite directions. You can use cookie cutters to make shapes to develop finger tip strength and coordination. This can also be done with a crayon to practice thumb and finger grasp.  If snipping with scissors is a goal for your child, this creates a fun alternative to cutting paper with added resistance for strengthening.

*Please supervise at all times to prevent choking.





Thank you