Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Daniel Tiger Day

Our house is full of "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" (or DT, as we refer to him) fans. When the kids saw that new episodes began August 18th AND there was a new baby, there were squeals, excited talking, and begging to have a DT party. The kids got their wish granted, but we couldn't just do a Daniel Tiger party, we had to have entire day devoted to DT.

We began Daniel Tiger Day with homemade strawberry pancakes. For those of you who don't have DT freaks on your hands, in an episode in season 1 of "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" Daniel, his mom, and his dad go strawberry picking and make strawberry pancakes for breakfast. Ever since that episode aired, my kids have asked to go strawberry picking (we have yet to get around to going) and have developed a love of strawberry pancakes.

Most of the morning was spent playing with the DT stuffed animals and figurines playset. I was surprised to see the kids re-enact complete episodes of DT. At one point, they were even the characters and played school. This is by far the best show on PBS for preschoolers and toddlers for teaching appropriate behaviors and socialization skills.

Before we knew it, it was 10:00 a.m. and it was "Daniel Tiger time!!" I set a large veggie tray in the middle of all of the kids and let them eat while we watched DT. The kids were thrilled that there was not one but two new episodes on (I was less thrilled because it was an hour of t.v. watching). By the end of the hour the veggie tray was demolished and all of the kids were talking wildly, each claiming that their mommy was going to have a baby. Unless daycare parents are springing a surprise on me in the next two weeks, I know this is not true, but I still enjoyed listening to the kids try to relate to the episodes and how excited they were.

The veggie tray demolished by some veggie loving kids. Daniel Tiger has a tune he sings about trying new foods ("you gotta try new foods cuz it might taste good") and this is our theme song whenever I give the kids new foods to try. I was very impressed that 1.) This little jingle works with the kids and 2.) The kids willingly and happily tried each vegetable on the tray. Healthy morning snack success!

After watching back to back episodes of "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," my goal was to have the kids dance out some energy. I put songs from Daniel Tiger on the laptop and went to make lunch. I heard absolute silence, minus the DT songs, and when I investigated I found the kids swarmed around the computer whispering the words to each song!

After naps, the kids got to enjoy tiger cupcakes. They enjoyed these just as much as the veggie tray (surprise, surprise), but the orange and black frosting was quite messy.

The kids got creative painting their tiger masks. They were excited to wear them while they painted, we had to let them dry for a bit, and then they refused to wear them. Oh well, the painting kept them entertained and not every activity we do works out perfectly.

We read Daniel Tiger books several times throughout the day.

This was our last theme day for the summer (unless I find one that I just can't pass up for the 3 and 2 year olds I'll have this fall). The theme days were quite a hit this summer and will surely be returning for next summer. We'll be continuing to watch "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" this season at daycare and incorporating some of the topics into our daily play. I love when I find a cartoon that satisfies both parents and children (these are few and far between for me) and we can do activities based on the topics. This was one of my favorite theme days all summer...and the kids liked it pretty well too!