OK, so we skipped a few letters, but it makes sense to talk about the Nativity around Christmas time, doesn’t it?
We talked a lot about the Christmas story, the Nativity, Noel, Needles on the Christmas tree…we glued and covered the letter N with pieces of newspaper (fine motor skills, art, letter recognition) and talked about how the angels shared the good News when Jesus was born. We talked about how we hear News today, through the Newspaper, on the internet, on the TV. It isn’t nearly as spectacular as angels!
We also did a lot of pretend play! I cannot count the amount of time we spent being shepherds, Sweet Pea being baby Jesus, or all of us being the magi bearing gifts! Cutie Pie even set out his Little People Animals, all gathered around the basket which he used as a manger. We really need to find a Nativity that is kid-friendly for them to play with!
Next week is Christmas, and I’m trying to figure out when to do some field trips to places where our passes will run out, so we probably won’t have a Last week in review. I’m so excited for Christmas! I absolutely love watching my loved ones open their gifts and (hopefully) seeing their joy! I love to show love that way!
Mondays I’ll be blogging about our more ‘formal’ learning time with Cutie Pie. It’s only about 45 minutes 3 times a week of rather informal but directed interaction based on Hubbard’s Cupboard 3’s curriculum. Basically I go in the same sequence as the curriculum, but pick only certain things to try with the kiddos in addition to learning about the Bible Story of the week.
Last week we concentrated on the letter G.
The Bible story for the week was 12 spies in Canaan. In addition to reading the story in the Bible, we read it in the Children’s Bible we have. We talked a lot about the Giants found in the promised land as well as the Grapes. We also thought a lot about why the Israelites would have not wanted to follow God even after He brought them through trial after trial and how we can trust Him in our everyday lives for more simple matters.
I decided to do marble art again with the kiddos, similar to that found on the 10 Days of Christmas Fun over at 1+1+1=1, but we did our marble art on plain white cardstock and cut it into stars, which became Garland on our big mirror in the living room. The kiddos also used Glue and Glitter to decorate a big letter G, and made a Gigantic mess! But it was fun! They ended the week making Gingerbread men out of construction paper. They had plenty of items to choose from to decorate them, but they chose just eyes. We especially love Cutie Pie’s guy with 3 eyes!
Cutie Pie keeps talking about Santa loving him and bringing him Gifts. We don’t necessarily want him to think his Gifts come from Santa, but from his family members that love him, so we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the real reason for Christmas and the story behind the Christmas celebration story with St. Nicholas involved. We also stressed that many kiddos he meets will wholeheartedly believe in Santa, and that everyone who Gives Gifts is a Santa in a way, so we shouldn’t ruin it for them. We Give because we love…and so family movie night this week was Veggie Tales St. Nicholas, The Story of a Joyful Giver. Cutie Pie has been silent on this issue for a few days, and since then was a sheep for our church’s living nativity which resulted in pretend playing we’re shepherds going to worship Baby Jesus. I’m wondering if he’s understanding all this.
Sweet Pea has taken quite an interest in learning lately! I talked already this week about his new-found interest in bringing us books for him to read. He’s also been playing a lot with the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Alphabet set! He’s getting quite good at singing the alphabet along with it, and sang most of it at the library story time we went to on Thursday!
Sweet Pea has also been counting a lot. We’ve been counting a lot of things with Cutie Pie, as he’s working on learning to count up to 20 and evidently Sweet Pea has been paying more attention than we thought! One day last week he started counting with us as we were reading a book with him and made it all the way up to 10! Ever since he’ll just start counting out loud on his own while playing with trains or he’ll start singing the alphabet! It’s so awesome seeing him learn!
That’s what Ms U was saying at our lunch table today!
Ms U and her son, J (Cutie Pie’s 4 yr old best buddy), came over today for an impromptu play date and stayed for lunch. We had alphabet pretzels with our sandwiches and frozen yogurt. J started moving all of his pretzels into one long line. Then he asked his mom to say the word they formed. Some very strange things could’ve been heard coming from our lunch table, let me tell you!
Ms U fortunately is fluent in German, or I think she would have sounded much funnier saying everything J spelled! Cutie Pie loved it and Sweet Pea just sat and giggled away!
In our grocery store alphabet pretzels come in a larger bag and are ‘generic’, not name brand and not store brand. Ms U said that’s how J and her other kids learned their letters! Cutie Pie has fun learning them this way, too!
We enjoyed a nice weekend visiting family in central New York State, where Cutie Pie hunted for fossils in the stone fence assembled near a swimming pool and Sweet Pea thoroughly enjoyed his first encounter with a cat. We also had the fortune of gathering with Nana, Papa, Aunt, Uncle and cousins on Easter to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection! It’s always fun seeing the cousins together as they are relatively close in age.
This morning was grocery day here since we were away for the weekend. Cutie Pie picked the letter Y to search for on our trip. He was very excited for some reason to look for the letter Y and kept mentioning it until we got there. Unfortunately, I forgot to remind him to look for it until we were halfway through the store. Fortunately, it’s a very big store! Cutie Pie did a great job finding Y’s, however, there just weren’t that many on signs or printed largely in our store and I had to help more than I have had to with other letters. I admit I was very disappointed! But he had a great time anyway, and was a big helper retrieving only the items I asked him to put in the cart, which is a big improvement over past grocery store visits! Sweet Pea also did a great job finding everything I asked him to find and point to….apples…bananas…eggs…milk…yogurt… he got very excited each time he saw the item, and even more-so when big brother put it in our cart! (Maybe he was hungry!)
I continue to look for activities to do with the boys, but find it harder to set aside the time to actually do them with the weather as beautiful as it is. I should get my act together and get organized because Cutie Pie actually asked if we were going to do an activity today! That was a first! Usually, I have been successful getting the activity ready without mentioning it and thus gaining their interest, but have never had one requested and never thought he’d be interested having just had such a non-routine weekend! Next time I will be more prepared!
Tonight while dinner was being prepared little fingers of a 16 month old pushed the musical note on our Fridge Phonics Magnet Alphabet set by Leap Frog and we heard his little voice singing along for the first 15 letters or so! It wasn’t perfectly clear, but was music to our ears! It seems every day he is saying at least one new word, or phrase, and today was a major moment! Now, I doubt he will repeat this today, tomorrow, or even next week, but it was amazing nonetheless and witnessed not only by me, but his Daddy as well! I’d call this a Terrific Tuesday!