Updated: May 26
A Companion Guide to Busy Toddler's Playing Preschool Curriculum
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By this point in the curriculum, my toddler and I had really gotten in the groove of learning at home. I was learning to improvise when my library didn't have the suggested books and my toddler was learning to match socks. We were both having fun and doing something meaningful with our time together.
Building Background Knowledge
Depending on their age, children will come with varying levels of understanding and vocabulary knowledge about clothing. I think my child knew the names of several items of clothing but not necessarily their function. It seems so simple to us but a "hat" can be used to keep your head warm in winter or shade your eyes from bright sunlight in summer. It's really just a matter of having conversations about the purpose of clothing as you go about your day.
Pete the Cat's Four Groovy Buttons <-- cute as a companion/alternative to the book!
*Books with an asterisk are my Top 5 Picks to Add to Your Home Library for this unit
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons - Lithow, Eric
Caps for Sale* - Slobodkina, Esphyr
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing - Barrett, Judi,
Red Shoes - English, Karen
Fancy Nancy* - O'Connor, Jane
The Runaway Shirt - MacMIllan, Kathy
Additional Book List
Books in bold are also the suggested books in another unit.
Where Did My Clothes Come From? - Butterworth, Christine (engaging illustrations)
What We Wear - Dressing Up Around the World - Ajmera, Maya (diverse cultures)
Clothes in Many Cultures (Life Around the World) - Adamson, Heather (diverse cultures)
Clothes Around the World - Lewis, Clare (diverse cultures)
I Can Do It! A Book of 5 Fasteners - Hegarty, Patricia
I Can Tie My Own Shoelaces - Graham, Oakley
Centipede's 100 Shoes - Ross, Tony
100 Shoes: A Math Reader (Step into Reading) - Ghigna, Charles (similar to above)
Gossie: A Gosling on the Go* - Dunrea, Olivier (promotes sharing)
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes - Litwin, Eric
Pet the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes - Litwin, Eric
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat* - Taback, Simms <-- Caldecott Honor Book featuring diverse characters
Do I Have to Wear a Coat? - Isadora, Rachel
Coat of Many Colors - Parton, Dolly (anti-bullying)
Hats of Faith - Cohan, Medeia (promotes diversity)
Do You Have a Hat? - Spinelli, Eileen
A Hat for Minera Louise - Stoeke, Janet Morgan
Jennie's Hat - Keats, Ezra Jack
The Hat - Brett, Jan
The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
Little Sock - Heise, Kia
A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes - Scanlon, Elizabeth Garton --> the author uses pockets as metaphor to charming effect.
A Pair of Socks - Murphy, Stuart (Illustrations by Lois Elhert)
Fox in Socks - Dr. Seuss
Corduroy - Freeman, Don (diverse characters)
Jamela's Dress - Niki Daly (diverse characters)
Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash - Weeks, Sarah
The Mitten - Brett, Jan
Llama Llama Red Pajama* - Dewdney, Anna
Vegetables in Underwear - Chapman, Jared
Under My Hijab - Khan, Hena (diverse characters)
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family - Muhammad, Ibtihaj (diverse characters)
Mommy's Khimar - Thompkins-Bigelow, Jamilah (diverse characters)
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed - Chodos-Irvine, Margaret
Froggy Gets Dressed - London, Jonathan
Getting Dressed with Lily and Milo - Oud, Pauline
Lacing Buttons (70 pieces) for sensory bin and other activities below
Melissa and Doug Wooden Lacing Sneaker - a high-top lacing toy that helps teach kids how to tie their shoe.
Melissa and Doug Basic Skills Board - includes a buckle, button, lace, and snap, which allow children to practice independent dressing skills. Also available in Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse versions.
Melissa & Doug Bear Family Dress-Up Puzzle - 45 piece ix and match puzzle helps to encourage multiple development skills such as color and pattern recognition, creativity, and hand-eye coordination.
Developing life skills: take your child shopping for an article of clothing they need. Talk about what purpose it should serve (i.e. they need a new coat for winter), how much money you can spend, etc. Allow them to choose between two options (that you can live with).
Days with Grey's Dress Your Bear: A Self-Help Skill
Pete the Cat Popsicle Stick "Groovy Buttons" Craft
Activity Cards: Button counting (see below in scaffolding/support)
Fine motor skills challenge: Sewing buttons for Corduroy
Caps for Sale pattern play extension: practice counting and stacking the red/blue/brown/gray buttons on a pipe cleaner in the order described in the book. For the peddler's checked cap, draw lines on a white button with a Sharpie.
For matching socks, try Days with Grey's Toddler Matching Game
I thought this was a really great way to scaffold counting individual items using a template. The website doesn't exist anymore so I'll just post the image here:
What was your favorite part of this unit? What other books did you read? What other activities did you do? Please share your photos and feedback in the Playing Preschool with Busy Toddler Curriculum Facebook Group in Photos/Albums/Year 1 Themes → Clothing
Until next time, may your coffee be warm and your toddler be busy!
Up Next: Playing Preschool: Unit 5 - Food