THE CAT IN THE HAT 

It's world book day and I wanted to really celebrate a good book. Button is really into rhyming and loves Dr Seuss. So with the twins in mind for their first involvement in our crazy themes, we decided to go with the Cat in the hat. Button already had a cat outfit I just needed to get the accessories and the twins a vest each. 
   I wanted the day to be really colourful and engaging. I wanted something small for the twins to do so they could join in for parts. I planned the day a month ahead because I really wanted the day to go well. We are huge book fans in this house and it's nice to celebrate them and use them to make learning fun in all subjects. We included science, maths, art, sensory and English all from the one book. We even had some fun with a little photo shoot of the kids as they all looked so cute, plus daddy even used it in dinner, we had fish with a stack of potatoes like the hat. 
  It was a lot of fun and overall Button loved it. She really got into the whole thing and enjoyed listening to the story and really sinking herself into the lessons we set up. The twins also enjoyed being sat with Ayla with a couple of activities of their own. I cant wait to do another one.

Cat in the hat: - Balancing

Daddy read to Button the few pages describing the Cat balancing a variety of items until eventually going too far and dropping it all.

Daddy then talked briefly about centre of gravity and balancing with Button immediately linking it to her wooden scales. Button told Daddy that it needs to be in the middle to balance but Daddy explained that sometimes with funny shapes it can be about spreading the weight to make it balance.

Daddy told Button to find four random objects to balance. Button chose a book, a small tambourine, some balled up socks and a small coke bottle filled with dry beans etc. I then got Button to try and balance them on a small tower of two Montessori blocks. Button was over confident with the book at first with unsuccessful results. From then on Button took more care and achieved more success. I had to show Button how to balance the bottle on it's side but she caught on straight away.

However, Button was most keen, as the cat in the hat, to balance the items on herself. Also like the Cat himself, Button was not content with balancing one object at a time nor on two legs! The results were hilarious but also forced Button to think how best to balance the objects (although there was some definate cheating going on). 

This activity had the perfect balance (see what I did there?) of science and fun and Button really enjoyed it. I think it also brought the book alive even more which was another positive.

Science experiment

You will need: 
Vegatable oil, 
White wine vinegar,
Red food colouring, 
2 cups 
A dish (we used white but clear would be good), 
Pipettes

Method:
Pour the oil into one cup and the vinegar and food colouring into the other cup. 
 Now let your child explore what happens as they try to mix them. 

Button decided to pour all the oil in to the dish and then she used the pipette to add the red vinegar. She found it really interesting to watch. We spoke about how vinegar is heavier than oil so sinks to the bottom. We did try and explain that their particles can't mix but she's only 5 so we tried to keep it simple. We watched as the oil formed bubbles over the top of the vinegar and when sucked back up it seperated in the pipette. She played with this for a good while and really got into the science.

Thing 1 & Thing 2 painting 

You will need: 
White card,
A black pen,
Blue and red paint,
Water,
A brush,
A straw.

Method:
1. Draw Thing one without hair. 
2. Mix some water with your blue paint to make it runny. 
3. Dribble a small amount of the paint above the drawing of his head.
4. Get your child to blow the paint away from the head to form the hair. 
5. Get your child to paint the red top. 

Button loved this. I had only drawn Thing one but she enjoyed it so much I quickly drew Thing 2 as well. She loves finding new ways to do art and I think we will definitely do this again with other faces or without a face and let her just create some art work. 
  While she was doing this she had Bear and Buttercup at the table with her doing some sensory play and I think she enjoyed the twins being part of her learning and including them. As she painted she talked to them and showed an interest in what they were doing. She had helped me set it up before hand so that got her interested.

Baby oil sensory

You will need:

Baby oil,
Food colouring,
Water,
Ziplock bag,
Sellotape.

Method:

1. Pour the baby oil into the ziplock bag.
2. Add the food colouring (we used blue for Thing 1s hair but any colour will do)
3. Add a dash of water. Not too much, and do it last or the food colouring and oil will not work. 
4. Sellotape the ziplock bag to the table.
5. Let your babies play. 

The twins loved this, they were chasing around the blue bubbles with their hands. Bear really gave it some and was laughing away. I let Button pour each bit into the bag to help set it up so older children can be included in this. Buttercup enjoyed this activity and was trying to pick up the blue bubbles which was fun to watch. The twins are nearly 8months old and got a lot from this activity.

Rice rhyming words

You will need: 

2kg of rice,
Red paint or dye,
Red and white pom poms,
Red and white card,
Pen,
Scissors,
Scoops, 
Ziplock bag.

Method:
 
1. Fill the ziplock bag with one pack of rice
2. Add the dye or paint, close and mix together.
3. Leave to dry
4. Cut out small same sized  rectangles of card.
5. Write out rhyming words on each bit of card. We went for sounds with 'at', 'op' and 'am' in them. So for example, cat, hat, stop, mop, sam, lamb etc.
6. Set up the tray. I hid some of the words at the bottom of the tray then poured the rice on top. White then red, then white and red again. I then added the rest of the words and pom poms to the top. 
7. Then let your children play. 

Button loved the rice, she pretended to make cakes and told herself stories. She did do the rhyming words and got excited as she sounded each one out without help. However, she got bored of finding them as I wrote so many. She did ask to do it again and wanted to make up silly sentences with the words. 
  While doing this the twins had their second activity which was a sensory bottle. They could sit with Button and see what she was doing and be a part of the activity. Unfortunately, Button would get a little carried away with her scooping and kept spilling the rice near the twins so we moved them away. Nevertheless, it was lovely to see them all interacting and learning together.

Sensory bottles 

You will need:

Small plastic bottle(s),
Coloured rice (we used red and white for the cats hat),
Red and white pom poms,
Blue straws cut up.

Place all items in the bottles and close tight.
Let your baby play.

Buttercup loved these and even took hers to her chair for her nap and played with it for the rest of the day. Both twins seem to be fascinated by the lids. I can't decide if it was because they were blue or if it was becasue they see me drinking from water bottles all day. Bear also enjoyed the sensory bottle and gave it a good roll and suck but found the scoops Button was using more interesting and soon stole a spoon from her. Being seven months they found the bottles difficult to shake but they could lift them to their mouths and drop them for the noise. Another great activity to get the twins involved.

Stacking cups 

You will need:
 
Plastic red 'shot' cups, 
White card cut into rectangles.

Build a tower. Let your child experiment with the cups and card to see how they can build a tower and how tall they can get it.
 
 Button enjoyed playing with Mummy on this one. We first raced to see who could build the tallest tower and then together we built a wall. We really enjoyed doing this together and seeing how high we could go.

5Hat Counting

You will need:

A picture of the cat's hat with at least five stripes,
A pen or pencil.

Method:

1. Decide what block of numbers you want to look at with your child. We did 30-39 and 70-79.

2. If you are drawing the hat, draw or photocopy enough hats to have one stripe per number. So we needed 4 hats. However, we did our hat on 'Word'. Daddy found a picture on google with five stripes and copied and pasted it into 'Word' all on his mobile. Then we could just print what we needed.

3. Starting from the top, allocate each stripe a number from your block in order. (i.e for 1-5, the top stripe would be 1, the next 2 and so on. The bottom stripe would be 5). Then on two or three of the stripes write (or type) that stripe's number, leaving the other three (or two) stripes blank.

4. Let your child fill in the blanks. This practises their numbers/counting, their writing of numbers and patterns.

Button was not keen on this as it actually seemed like work. Which was a shame as Button enjoys maths and loves sequences and patterns. The sheet she did manage, Button did some lovely writing of numbers. However, I think it was the writing putting her off. A lot of her core maths is clicking buttons on a screen and so this possibly highlighted an area we need to have a little focus on. Maybe pre-dotting the numbers for her to trace might be a good starting point to build up her confidence.

cat in hat 1.pdf
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cat in hat 2.pdf
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cat in hat 3.pdf
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cat in hat 4.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [338.2 KB]

Build a hat

You will need:

Red and white paper,
Scissors,
Pen.

Method:

1. Draw the cats hat. 
2. Mark out enough strips to write either your childs first name or your surname. So if it is 'Eve' you will need three strips. 
 We were working on our surname as Button already knows now to write her first name. 
3. Cut out the matching colours in strips. So 'E' would be red, 'V' white and 'E' red again. 
4. Then write the letters on the hat and on the strips. It should look like a puzzle. Now let your children play. 

We dont have pictures of this one as we don't have our real names on the site but Button did this really easily.  The important part of it was the conversation we had while she was playing with the puzzle. We discussed surnames and initials. 
  You never know how much of the information Button retains but the next day she marked her picture with her initals with no encouragement.

 

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