The Bell Center Toddler Times

Wow!! It is May already!  Can you even believe how fast this year has flown by?  This has been a fantastic year and we will have a fantastic summer!

Monthly Theme

May, Bugs and Flowers

Signs: bug, butterfly, flower, leaf

Key Vocabulary Words: sun, rain, rainbow, water, dirt, seeds, plant, dig, grow, flower, bug, spider, butterfly

Nursery Rhymes and Finger Plays

Little Miss Muffet, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Here We Go Around The Mulberry Bush

Teacher Time

Hello Families,

It’s May!  Can you even believe that it is already May?  This has been such a great year!  We are looking forward to a fun filled month of May and a fantastic summer as well.

We ask that you please remember to bring cups to class for snack time and any supplies or items that your child may need while they are here, (e.g. change of clothes, diapers, wipes, etc.).   Also, please try to arrive at class on time.  It is very important for us to start class on time and for the children to have every opportunity while they are here for learning.  It is disruptive when children are coming into class in the middle of activities.  Thank you so much for your cooperation and help!  We thank you so much parents, for all you do!

Activities for home

  • Plant a lima bean seed in a clear plastic cup and watch it grow!
  • Plant a seed in dirt and watch it grow.
  • Make a picture using seeds
  • Use paint, and construction paper, fold in half to make a butterfly.
  • Make a butterfly out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.
  • Make a caterpillar out of egg carton and paint
  • Order real caterpillars and watch them turn into butterflies at home… (type in search butterflies or caterpillars)

Favorite books:  “Over in The Garden”, “Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!”, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The Very Busy Spider”, “The Very Quiet Cricket”

Favorite Songs: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Baby Bumble Bee, The Ants Go Marching, Plant A Seed

Play is such an important skill.  Take time to sit and play face to face with your little one.  Sing songs, read books and just act silly!  It’s ok!  Please always feel free to ask any questions.  Thank you so much for your support! We love your babies and value our time with them!!

Plant a Seed

Plant a seed and cover it up

Water it well with a watering cup

Sun please shine and rain please fall

Make our flower grow big and strong

Put in movements at the end as the flower grows and count to 5

Jump, rock, stomp, twist, clap

OT Tips

The spring is here and with sunny weather, there are more opportunities for wagon rides outside. Riding in a wagon provides good input to your child’s balance and sensation to their joints since the ride is usually a little bumpy. It gives them the opportunity to further develop their core strength by them keeping themselves upright. Feel free to add supports if your child is unstable in sitting. You can add support with firm pillows, rolled up towels, or even a booster seat with a strap until your child is strong enough. In occupational therapy, we often reinforce shoulder and arm strength to support fine motor development. If your child is walking they can get behind the wagon and push it to help you move it forward. It’s great to add a friend or something weighted to make it even more challenging. Indoors you can reinforce strength building by having them push a box or plastic box/barrel that is weighted around the house. Most toddlers love to do this! The wagon or container height should be right at chest level. Another way we develop shoulder strength in children who are walking or not is to lie on our tummies with propped elbows while looking at a book, coloring, or playing cars. If your child has difficulty lifting their head or keeping their weight through their elbows and forearms feel free to roll a towel to place under the chest for support. If you have any questions regarding specific needs of your child please ask your team members for suggestions.

PT Pointers

In May we will be talking about nature as we enjoy the warmer spring weather. We will read books, play games, and sing songs about insects and flowers. This is a great time to go outside for a nature walk or scavenger hunt. Your child can ride in a wagon, on a tricycle, or practice walking over uneven surfaces as they look for flowers, leaves, rocks, and bugs. Many of the activities they can do outside on a walk or at a park are therapeutic tasks disguised as play! Work on building strength as you encourage your child to squat to pick flowers or look at bugs. Practice stepping up and down a curb while you are on a walk. Crawling and climbing on and over playground equipment are also great strength builders. Swinging and sliding provide vestibular input that many children enjoy and that benefits their ability to process movement. Riding a tricycle is not only fun, but studies have shown that, when done correctly, it helps improve walking in some children. Get out there and play!

Be sure to talk to your physical therapist about any equipment or orthotics that may need checking one last time before summer break or before your child graduates. As you transition into your summer routine, remember to make time for activities that challenge your child’s mobility.  If you have questions about specific activities for your child this summer, be sure to ask Holley, Mary Beth, or Rachel.

Language Lessons

Spring is in full swing this month! During the month of May, we will be talking about nature and bugs. Some of the key words this month include sun, rain, dirt, seeds, plant, tree, flower, bug, spider, and bird. This month is a wonderful time to target vocabulary words and concepts with your child as you spend time outside in the beautiful weather. Consider talking with your child about the following concepts to facilitate your child’s receptive language skills, or in other words, understanding of language, while you enjoy the great outdoors.

  • Weather terms: May brings us weather that ranges from rain to sunshine. As you drive, discuss what you see out your window. For example, “Today, it is sunny outside.” When you are walking or playing outside, discuss the temperature you feel. “It is hot today.”
  • Size concepts: Discuss with your child the differences between the concepts big and small, and short and tall. “I see a tall tree outside” or “I see a small ant on the sidewalk”.
  • Senses: May brings us many different opportunities to discuss our various senses. This includes what you hear, “I hear a bird chirping,” what you see, “I see a caterpillar,” what you smell, “I smell beautiful flowers,” and what you feel, “I feel rough tree bark.” The options are endless!
  • Colors: May is a month where we see many plants and flowers blooming with beautiful colors. Talk with your child about the colors you see. “The grass is green” and “The roses are pink.”

We hope that you and your child will enjoy spending time together while also building receptive language skills.