Welcome to this week’s Once Upon A Book series! This month’s theme is sports, and for a girl I thought Angelina Ballerina “A Dance of Friendship” (ballet) was perfect!
A Dance of Friendship by Katharine Holabird
Summary: A Dance of Friendship is about a sweet pair of mice who are in ballet class together. Their friendship hits a rocky path due to some jealousy, but of course Angelina makes things right again and finds the perfect way to apologize to her best friend.
Verse: I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Do-A-Dot activity: This game is easy and toddlers love the Do-A-Dot markers! Simply place one dot in each circle. When done, you’ll have a capital and lowercase letter B. (Download for entire tot pack at bottom of post)
Ballerina Cutting Practice: Cutting is such great practice for fine motor skills and hand – eye coordination. You may have to help hold the paper a bit just so they can get a clean cut.
Ballerina Coloring: Coloring is a great fine-motor activity. Make sure to encourage your toddler to color in as much as they can. You’ll notice the Ballerina Pack is about bears and not mice…I liked that B went with Bear and also Ballerina.
Pre-Writing Practice: This is also great for fine-motor and handwriting practice. Encourage your toddler to write on the lines, show them if necessary so they know what is expected. You’ll notice they tend to “color” on the lines instead of write a smooth stroke. Don’t worry, it is a natural progression!
Lacing practice: This is another great fine-motor skill activity, beads also work well. I suggest laminating the lacing cards so that they don’t tear. I also used a shoe-lace so that the end had that hard plastic on it. That helps them get the string through the holes.
Ballerina Magnet Page: For the magnet page, I found this cute little magnetic tray at a used curriculum fair. We use Power Magnets with it, and I direct her to put one magnet on each white dot. Just keep an eye so that none make it in their mouths, magnets can wreak havoc on tiny bodies.
Letter B practice: These larger letters are great for toddlers, they allow for broad strokes, and you’ll notice she is still coloring over the lines as well.
Number order Puzzle: I had to recruit my preschooler for the number order puzzle, we counted together, but she did the puzzle while the Teeny Tot watched.
Ballerina Puzzle: Puzzles are excellent for building logical thinking skills! We’ve been doing some larger piece puzzles from Alphabet Alley as well so I think that’s helped, plus they are good, thick, and durable perfect for little guys.
Counting Practice: We did 1-5 today with the number cards. Count often with your toddlers, you’ll be surprised at how easily they pick it up! You can also have them add the correct number of cheerios or gold fish to each card, then they can eat their snack when done!
Size Sorting: Guide your toddler to order the pieces from small to large. Make sure to ask things like “Where is the small one? Where is the large one?” if they can’t answer you, point to the small one and say “This one is small, or smallest”. Then point to the large one and say “This one is large/big/biggest” etc. Then ask them again, and see if they can identify them by size. Once you have small and big, make sure to teach them about “medium and middle”
Ballet Letter Matching: For toddlers, point to each letter and say it’s name. Then point to the first one, say it’s name and then have them find the disk that matches. Make sure to show them how to put it on right side up as well.
Basic Pattern Activity: Pattern activities are a great way to get in some pre-math and logical thinking skills. I find it works best to point to each picture, and say something like “Arms up, arms down, arms up, arms down” what’s next?
Capital Lowercase Sorting: For the Teeny Tot this went better as a color sorting. We sorted the blue vs pink bears.
Dress Up: I had this cute dress-up bear from my bears post, I let her play with him. This is super easy to make, just cut a large bear shape out of brown cardstock and laminate. Then cut basic clothing shapes from fun colored felt. Add a few velcro dots to the bear and voila’ you’ve got yourself a dress-up bear!
Reading: Of course we read A Dance of Friendship, everyone gathered around for this! I was surprised at how still my tot sat! She tends to grab the books and turn pages, a little impatient, but she sat and listened to the whole thing. Make sure to read to your toddler each day, it’s a wonderful way to build language skills, and a love for reading at the same time! Plus, how often do we get to sit and just enjoy our toddlers?
Click here to download the Ballerina Activity Pack
Want to see what's coming next (and books we've done in the past)?