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Mama’s week in review – Letter B

Boy. Bubbles. Berries. Bananas. Big Blue Boat. Bee. Balance Beam. Beads. Balloons. Bounce. Bunny. Bingo. Belly. Book. Bath. Brick. Building. Bang. Bark. Barn. Balls. Bike. Birds. Bat and Ball. Bugs. Birthday. Big Boy Bike. Blue Box Thomas.

Can you tell we went over the letter B again? We actually had a Ball doing this the week before Memorial Day and it ended with a Big Birthday Bash for Hubby on Memorial Day. It was a fun, warm, outside kind of week, which led to a lack of photos – we were having so much fun!

Bible Story – We found ourselves talking about Noah and the Ark a lot this week, a carry-over from letter A week! A was for Ark and Animals. B was for Build, Boat, Bears, Baboons, Birds. We talked about what it must have sounded like, smelled like, felt like on the ark as well as how the animals got along on the ark (predators, etc).

Art – Cutie Pie wanted to make something out of a box a while ago. We painted it blue, with plans to make it into a Thomas the Tank Engine, but never finished it until this week! Here’s our Blue Box Thomas! (fine motor, coordination)

Play – Since this is our second time going through the alphabet I’m trying to keep things at Cutie Pie’s pace and keep it light and fun, and since the weather was gorgeous this meant a lot of B outside fun was had! Balls, Bubbles, Bikes (Cutie Pie is loving riding around the block on his 2-wheeler with trainers still and this has actually encouraged Sweet Pea to start peddling his own bike, even though only his toes touch the peddles!) Bat and Ball. We heard Bees, Birds, Bugs and Bangs (from construction on a neighbor’s roof.) We also checked some bugs out up close and personal with our magnifying glasses! (science, math, coordination, gross motor, fine motor, letter/sound recognition) We did do a science experiment, which will be posted later this week.

Music – We listened (and danced and marched…) to some Band music as well as Big Band music this week. In particular, we listened to Entry of the Gladiators, some Bach (from Hilary Hahn plays Bach), as well as Nickel Creek and Allison Krauss, both Bluegrass Bands. Of course, we always have Big Band favorites mixed in to our iPod playlists and the Boys are always Banging on the percussion instruments we have! (music appreciation, gross motor, coordination)

Snacks – chocolate covered Bananas, Banana cookies, Berry and Banana smoothies, and Birthday cake, too!

Saturday night we had a lot of fun celebrating Hubby’s Birthday! Both kiddos helped make the Birthday cake and frosting from scratch, and it turned out delicious! (science, math, coordination) The Boys really enjoyed the Birthday cake and ice cream, but I think Cutie Pie got more of a kick out of getting Hubby’s garden ready for planting (he didn’t want any presents this year, so we did fun work for him instead!) (science – worms, gross motor, coordination)

B week was a lot of fun, and so was C week this past week…but that’s for next Monday’s post!

Things I’d still like to try – Build a Boat to float in the tub

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft CollectionTot School

Swimming pool counting

Sweet Pea started playing this game in the boys’ little pool yesterday morning. He was jumping up and down splashing as much as he could, while counting each hop and giggling like crazy. He wasn’t exactly counting in sequence, but when I started counting with him hoping he’d catch on I heard “No, Momma, jump and count!” It wasn’t good enough that I jumped on the grass, I had to stand in the pool with both boys, all three of us jumping, while counting. But…he got it! He started counting in sequence and we all started laughing and giggling, and remarkably no one got hurt!

I stopped jumping for a minute and they followed suit. Then I heard the count down (or in this case the count up), “One, two, three….jump Momma!” and it all began again. I’m not sure why I worked my legs out today, they are so sore from a good 30 minutes of jumping yesterday! I can’t really complain, Sweet Pea obviously loves to count! (I should have taken a picture of our feet splashing or something…)

So, jump along to some blog hops with me!

A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Friday Blog HopFriend Finding FridaysBoostMyBlogFriday

…to get Cutie Pie to write

It’s really awesome to have a creative husband. He writes music and comes up with some great ideas to get our kiddos doing things! Cutie Pie has been interested in writing rather than just coloring for a while, as I think I’ve posted about before. We have encouraged drawing and painting and other sorts of things to try to get Cutie Pie actually holding a writing instrument, but none of these things have made his socks roll up and down…until Hubby drew some mazes!

Since Cutie Pie hasn’t done a lot of drawing and coloring, he needs help holding his crayons, markers, etc. (Horrible pic of me, but perfect of him holding his marker.) Cutie Pie loves following the mazes and often asks for them. Hubby even got super creative and made one of Cutie Pie’s name, which he adores!

Of course, Sweet Pea is always interested in what Cutie Pie is doing, so he had to give it a go, too. He’s our train guy, so naturally he drove his train along his mazes!

 …with a lot of concentration!

I love that this is also something we all do at the table together! (And Hubby can make these so quickly it’s great, although I still slip them into a sheet protector so we can wipe them off and use them again!)

Now, if you’ve been here before you know that I have been linking up here on Thursdays. Today I’m the Star Blog! Please go check it out!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop


Nana and Papa’s neighbor has chickens. They are great for eggs, but they also provide much entertainment for our boys and their cousins. We had a picnic at Nana’s for Memorial Day and to celebrate Hubby’s birthday yesterday and saw several chickens wandering through the yard at various points during the day. This was only unsettling to Rocky, the dog.

Upon returning home, Cutie Pie was very excited to tell me that he and his older cousin, played pretend “Cockadoodledoo”, which is what they say to make ‘bad guys’ go away. They also played many versions of “Chicken” this and “Chicken” that, in which they made different noises or ran to certain points in the yard to make the chickens ‘go away’ to their homes. I’m not sure what all this entailed, but I did see them playing hide-and-seek in the yard at the front of the house, which is closest to the chickens. Cutie Pie certainly did have a good time telling me the names of the ‘games’ he and his cousin played!

I’m very thankful Cutie Pie has cousins to play with like this, in innocent, creative ways!

I’m also very thankful for the men and women who have gone before us, making us who we are today. Be it a family member who has passed on, someone fighting in a war so we can know freedom, or someone special to us for another reason, I’m so glad we have the opportunity to remember them by spending time with those still physically close to us.

Now Go Play at We Play!

Lowercase alphabet

Cutie Pie wants to keep going with learning his letters, so as we go this time I’m trying to concentrate a little more on the lowercase letters. I happened to be blog hopping a week or so ago and came across a link to Chalk in My Pocket’s post the Easiest Letter Activity Ever. It is exactly what Cutie Pie needed to connect upper case to lower case letters and it truly is easy!

Simply outline the LeapFrog refrigerator magnets on a large sheet of paper and write in the lowercase alphabet!

It hadn’t occurred to me before, but the LeapFrog refrigerator magnets are all capitals, so Cutie Pie doesn’t have the opportunity to play with lowercase letters. Now he can! This isn’t something I make him work on, it’s just something that hangs on our refrigerator and I find him there every once in a while!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Gadgets and boys

One of the boys’ favorite things to do with their daddy is to play with his iPod! Early on Hubby was smart and downloaded some kid-friendly games because he knew they would want to get their little fingers on his ‘toy’! At first we didn’t really like this idea of them playing games on it, but it has turned out to be a good thing for Cutie Pie.

We’ve noticed, as I mentioned before, that Cutie Pie has taken an interest in wanting to write and until recently hasn’t really wanted to. Since he’s been playing some games on the iPod, his gotten much more accurate with his writing skills. It’s also been a sneaky way to reinforce the idea of processes and patience as he has to take turns with Sweet Pea, but also follow the steps to get to a game to play it.

I’m not endorsing or encouraging you to let your child play with an iPod, but in our case it was just the ticket to get Cutie Pie using his fingers and making them stronger for writing! Major fine-motor action going on here!

How have you been playing with your little ones? Check out ways others are playing at We Play!

(This is not a paid post and has not been influenced by the companies or their representatives. It is entirely the opinion of my husband and my children and I.)

Mama’s week in review – letter A

Here we go Again! Cutie Pie wanted to keep going with the alphabet and add numbers in the mix. We started over with Hubbard’s Cupboard’s 3’s curriculum. This time I’m trying to get Cutie Pie to be more ‘hands-on’, trying his hand at writing and drawing more, which he didn’t like to do the first time through. It’s been a challenge, however, he’s really been into counting this week, so that makes up for it! We’re also going a little more quickly than in their outline this time.

Bible Story – The Creation Story, where else to start?! Cutie Pie remembered much more of this than I thought he would! He seemed very excited to read the story each morning and was very good at counting the days as we read. Again, we didn’t do everything in the Hubbard’s Cupboard weekly outline, but did make use of some of the crafts as a basis for discussion starting. He also approached the topic of God creating Dinosaurs several times. I’m going to have to read up on this one!

Math – Cutie Pie was very into counting this week. He counted items on the table, the number of toy trains on the track, cars in their pockets on the door, the number of windows on the first floor, and the list goes on. Sometimes, when he wouldn’t eat, he’d more willingly eat if we counted bites on our fingers.

Cutie Pie was also interested in learning to write his numbers, so we used the number rhymes from Hubbard’s Cupboard and tried writing one and two. Cutie Pie needed a lot of encouragement, as he kept saying he ‘isn’t good at writing’. (fine motor, self-esteem) Both of these together got Sweet Pea counting quite often, too!

Science – To reinforce the letter A, I printed out large ants with a capital and lower case A on each half, then cut them in half and Cutie Pie and Sweet Pea took turns matching them. This led to an investigation! We checked out the ants in our driveway, in books and on video and learned about their body parts and some facts about them. I never knew they were so strong!

We were going to ‘decorate’ our letter A’s, however, Cutie Pie said A is for Alphabet and was wanting to put the alphabet letters all over his letter A, but he didn’t want to write them all and so we didn’t get very far…
I’m going to try to link up to these… The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft CollectionTot School


The boys and I like to go to The Strong National Museum of Play on days when it’s rainy and we haven’t been there in a while. A couple of weeks ago it was been rather gloomy, and since we felt a little caged in (it had been rather gloomy here for what seems like an eternity) we decided to take a field trip to The Strong and to treat ourselves a little bit, too, by going to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden that’s housed there.

Cutie Pie and I learned a bit about butterflies on the internet just a few days before this after he started asking questions about bugs, insects and butterflies! Also this particular morning he saw a bit about butterflies’ life cycles on a show he watched. It just seemed appropriate to go see real butterflies to continue the learning. They have a wonderfully informative short presentation before entering, which I loved. It helped prepare me to answer Cutie Pie’s questions while we were in observing. If you haven’t been before and have a butterfly garden in your area I strongly recommend going!

Here are just a few of the pictures I took on our adventure. They are a little fuzzy due to the condensation – it’s much warmer in there than the rest of The Strong and it affected my camera, but I think they still turned out quite well!
There are little plates of fruit here and there for the butterflies to eat from.
Did you know butterflies taste with their feet?
There are so many lush plants and trees in this large atrium. It’s gorgeous!

There are also two little pools of water. This one is home to several turtles.
This is Cutie Pie’s favorite thing to look at – a small pond with bright yellow fish!
Can you see them?
This was taken while we were peeking at the chrysalis holding area.
There must have been a hundred or so in there,
and maybe twenty were working their way out or stretching their wings,
including this one! Beautifully amazing!

Cutie Pie and Sweet Pea seemed to have a difficult time when we were in there. Sweet Pea would only whisper and Cutie Pie seemed almost scared to walk. They stuck right next to me, making it a little difficult to take pictures at times, and continually reminded me that we were instructed to talk quietly and move slowly. After we returned into The Strong, I asked the boys what they thought about the butterflies and found out they were so afraid of stepping on a butterfly or one of the many birds that can be found pecking around on the paths. They did both say they want to go again to see the butterflies, though! I guess they did enjoy it!

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More Chalk Play #2

Once again it was a beautiful week! We spent a lot of time outside in our driveway riding trikes and bikes and kicking the ball around! We also spent some time in the sandbox and on the swing set as our backyard has finally started to dry out! It’s amazing what a few sunny, warm days can do!

The driveway this week was covered with the usual bike ‘roads’ and train tracks to follow, along with a hopscotch layout, some numbers and letters, and some chalk paintings! However, we also tried our hand at tracing shadows with chalk, something we tried when Cutie Pie was younger, but which didn’t work because he wouldn’t stand still long enough, and seen just recently on Tinker Lab!

This time we used our chalk to trace shadows of inanimate objects as well as people! The boys got such a kick out of this, even though it was something rather simple, that I found myself on the driveway drawing quite often and Cutie Pie gave it a try too! (coordination, fine motor) couple of times I traced the shadow of a toy when the boys were occupied with something else and they loved trying to guess what the object was that I traced! (abstract thinking) It made for a fun game!

Chalk outline of a tree a few minutes after drawing it

We also used this shadow tracing as a science lesson talking about why shadows move. When they noticed the shadows changed shape, even though the item whose shadow was traced was not moved, I asked how they thought it happened. Cutie Pie really thought about it before answering. I don’t remember what he answered, but I do remember I giggled before talking about how the sun moves across the sky (the easy answer for Sweet Pea) and how it is really the earth moving around the sun. Cutie Pie remembered playing with flashlights making shadows and how the shadow of an object changed when the flashlight moved. He seemed to quickly understand the basic idea of the earth moving making the sun moving lower in the sky, thus the shadows got longer, simple answer!

Try chalk shadow tracing and see what your kiddos think! For more play ideas check out We Play at Childhood 101!


More Chalk Play

With the warm and sunny weather the past few days we were able to get outside for some more chalk play, much to my boys’ delight! We stuck with more simple things, though, as they both have colds (yet) again and I’m still recovering from mine, so learning something new or being super creative was not on the agenda. Simple chalk play is always fun, though, even for adults, don’t you think?

We played hopscotch and painted with chalk paint. The boys also directed me in creating a road for them to ‘drive’ their trikes on and use as a running path (including trees, houses and driveways) and helped me in drawing a train track to follow as they pretended to be steam engines (pic from the first time they requested a track a few weeks ago).

I love playing with chalk outside. My boys aren’t that great at drawing with it yet, but with a little help from me their creativity really comes to life and they are so excited to have an imaginary world to live in until rain washes it away! (It is supposed to rain later this week, so I’m sure we’ll have more chalk play from our driveway next week, if not I’ll share some ideas I’ve found on the internet!)

Head on over to Childhood 101 if you need more play inspiration!

Mama’s week in review – letter Z

Zebra. Zig Zag. Zip. Zero. Zoo. Zoom.

We didn’t talk a lot about words starting with Z this week, the boys were preoccupied with other things, but that’s OK. However, we did do a lot of playing with Z things!

Bible Story –  We followed Hubbard’s Cupboard’s suggestion and talked about Psalm 51 this week. Since it wasn’t really a story I thought the kiddos wouldn’t like it. I was partly right, as Sweet Pea always got down to play after the first few verses each day. Cutie Pie, however, listened intently. I tried my best to explain to him what some of the words meant and tried to break it down into sections and explained the meaning as best I could. The last day we read it all the way through and talked about how we can become white as snow by believing Jesus died for us and asking forgiveness for our sins. I explained that this involved talking to God, and that’s what we are doing when we pray and that we can talk to God whenever we’d like. He started talking to God right then and asked him to forgive him for something that he did. Then he kept very still with his head cocked to one side. I asked what he was doing and he said he couldn’t hear God talking to him! He was so sincere in the asking and in his response to me, it was hard not to giggle! 

We did a little artsy thing to illustrate being white as snow. I drew a Zero in white crayon when Cutie Pie wasn’t looking. Then I asked him to paint in black on the paper and explained that could be like our sin. Following that I asked what color blood is and had him paint in red over the black and said that Jesus’ dying on the cross saved us from our sin. He could then see the white Zero showing through the paint and I told him when we go to heaven and God asks if we have sin Jesus will answer for us and say we have Zero sin, making us white as snow. (idea from Hubbard’s Cupboard)

Language Arts – Cutie Pie again started coming up with words beginning with Z all on his own at random times throughout the week. He always caught me off guard, too! Usually when we come up with a letter of the week word we write it on the white board side of our easel and we did this with our Z words, too. Mostly the boys liked the words Zoo and Zoom this week, so we did a lot of Zooming of cars and we took a field trip to the Zoo. I was also impressed one day when I was just doodling, making Zig Zags on black paper with colored chalk at the table while the boys were finishing breakfast (hoping they would be into creating something for Nana for Mother’s Day) and Cutie Pie started drawing Zig Zags with me! I love it when he takes the initiative to try to write and draw! He’s getting really good at the letter P!

Art and Science- Cutie Pie loves car painting so we got out his monster trucks and as he was Zooming them around this week he realized the wheels have a Zig Zag pattern on them. So, I got the paint out, placed gobs of it in a pan, laid down a large sheet of paper and let the boys roll the monster trucks around in the paint and on the paper making Zig Zags! This sort of activity never gets old for them! It was also a great opportunity to get out the incline and ‘do’ some science! Sweet Pea then combined all the colors of paint on the tray and made neat patterns with the tires and his fingernails. (science again!)

This week we took a field trip to the Zoo. First, it was letter Z week. Second, it was finally sunny and relatively warm! We were all very excited to go see the animals, be outside, and have some fun! Unfortunately, we must have gone at an off time because most of the animals were in their dens while their cages were being cleaned or were sleeping. The boys had fun, though. 

As we walked through the Zoo we talked about the different animals we saw – how big they were compared to the previous animal we saw, their colors, what they eat, how many feet they walk on if they walk, etc. Even though Seneca Park Zoo is a fairly small Zoo, it almost always takes us a good 2 1/2 hours to go through it because my boys love to stop and watch the animals! Then there’s the Zot Zone where they can pretend to be a veterinarian taking care of animals, where they learn by doing. They love this place!

Play – (a carry-over from last week) – When we went to The Strong National Museum of Play last week we played with Zoobs. That’s the day we talked about the letter Z being our next letter of the week, so Zoobs deserve honorable mention here! (We did a lot of outdoor play this week, so we didn’t make it back there to play with them again…)

And of course we did a lot of zipper practicing!

Now that we’re done with learning the letters of the alphabet Cutie Pie wants to learn to count higher, so we’re moving on to numbers while we keep reviewing our letters. I think I will concentrate more on lower case letters and the letters in the boys’ names this time around! I’ll continue posting on those to complete our alphabet pages. Any and all ideas are welcome!

I’m going to try to link up to these this week:

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft CollectionTot School

Going to Work – Pretend Play

Hubby is a string music teacher at two of the local grade schools, and every morning when he leaves for work he takes along his violin and viola, sometimes his string bass and amplifier, too, to teach the students with. Most mornings the boys don’t get to see him leave for school as he leaves early to work out first, but once or twice a week they wave goodbye to him.

One particular morning recently Hubby left for a day of conferences with no students at school. As I was cleaning up after breakfast the boys came walking into the kitchen…

wanting to get their Daddy’s hat and coat on (it’s been very rainy here and he wears a funky almost-cowboy hat because he can’t carry an umbrella and his instruments and briefcase (and bass and amplifier) at the same time).

I was fascinated as I watched the boys for almost 20 minutes pretend they were their Daddy on his way to work. Several times they went through all the actions, setting the instruments down by the door, pretending to put on their jackets and hat, pouring coffee, hugging me goodbye and saying “go to the window, I’ll wave!” It made me realize just how much they watch their Daddy’s every move and understand the meaning behind them and how much little things like the routine of watching from the front window to see him waving from the car mean to them!

 Every day Cutie Pie says “When I’m Daddy….” and this day he really was!

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Chalk Play Shapes Game

Cutie Pie made up this outdoor chalk game, so I cannot take credit for it at all!

First, make sure you have several different colors of chalk.

Next, draw a few shapes with each color of chalk.

Finally, call out a color and shape and watch the kiddos run to find the correct place to stand!

We made this a little more difficult once or twice by adding a letter or number inside the shape!

We made this more simple by drawing one shape in different colors, calling out the color to run to and by drawing different shapes in the same color, calling out the shape to run to. These were perfect revisions to this game to get Sweet Pea interested. But we also made all one shape and put in different numbers (like in the pic above) or different letters!

Simple, but so fun, and especially neat because Cutie Pie came up with it on his own!

I’m planning on sharing more chalk fun we’ve been up to on Tuesdays for a few more weeks, so come back! For other fun play ideas check out We Play at Childhood 101!

Mama’s week in review – letter Y

Yo Yo. Yogurt. Yawn. Yelp. Yellow. Yip. Yell. You. Yarn. Yikes!

Bible Story – This week’s story, as per Hubbard’s Cupboard, was the story of Jesus’ resurrection. We didn’t read the story all in one shot, but over several days. Cutie Pie was anxious to hear more of the story each time. The last day he was very excited, “because Jesus is alive!” How cool is that?! We tied this story in to the letter Y, because Jesus died for You!

Language Arts – We listed every word starting with Y that we could think of this week and it seemed more kept creeping up as we talked about everyday things. I love that when they sneak up on You and especially when it’s the kiddos that realize they thought of one! Also, Cutie Pie can  now almost sing The Yellow Submarine song!

Yarn painting prep – Yellow Yarn,
paint, outlined letter Ys

Art – Cutie Pie wanted to paint his letter Y yellow. Simply put. However, he never actually sat down to paint or color it even though I gave him several opportunities. Sweet Pea, however, wanted to do Yarn art when I suggested it, so he was very excited and really got in to it, although Cutie Pie could have cared less! I got this idea from The Toddler’s Busy Book by Kuffner, although I didn’t tie the yarn to popsicle sticks as suggested. Instead we just used our fingers to poke 6-inches of Yellow Yarn around in tempura paint, then plop it onto our paper and pull it along to make designs. We also tried laying it on the paper, folding the paper however we wanted and then opening it to see the pretty result. (fine motor, coordination) Sweet Pea loved this – mixing the colors of paint in the pan and seeing the result on his paper! (science) This sort of doubled as our science experiment this week. I was down with a cold and Cutie Pie seemed to want to be on his own for a lot of time, so Sweet Pea and I talked a lot about how the paint colors changed when mixed together during this Yarn art project.

Play – The kiddos played a lot this week, mostly on their own, which was good for me to rest a little to get over this cold. Outside we did more chalk play on the driveway (fine motor, gross motor) as our backyard is still a swamp, however the boys did get a good soaking back there playing in the “sandbox pond” while I hung up laundry (with my rain boots on and the water sopping up over the top of my feet!) We also visited a local park and had fun at the opening of Wickham Farms (in conjunction with the YMCA, hence the above pic of Sweet Pea with a Y on his cheek!)  where Cutie Pie did a whole lot of physical play, which isn’t his style! I’ll have a separate post about that because it was a lot of fun for both adults and kiddos! (gross motor, coordination) And we paid another visit to The Strong Museum of Play where we noticed plenty of new things, and which is also worthy of it’s own post!

What we didn’t get to: Yo Yo play, Yo Yo painting, balloon Yo Yos

This week I’ll be linking up to:
The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft CollectionTot School

Prayer time

After putting Cutie Pie to bed Easter night and saying our prayers, he asked “How do you get to God’s world?”

I answered him as simply as I could, I didn’t want to get into a discussion about death. Instead I asked him how he thought it happened. He didn’t really know. Then we talked about the Easter story and that Hubby and I believe believing the Easter story we will get there someday. We had talked a lot this past Easter weekend about the Easter story, and so when he was happy and went to bed I knew he understood!

Isn’t that just the perfect question for a 4 year old to ask? I’m curious as to how you would answer it! I’d love to hear your responses!

Chalk play Letter Game

We spent quite a bit of time outside last week and a lot of that time was spent with chalk dust on our hands! We did your typical sidewalk chalk drawing and coloring, but also made up a few games of our own.

Letter game – I simply wrote letters on the driveway, scattered around and not in order. Of course doing this instead of playing in the gravel pit with Cutie Pie drew his attention to what I was doing. I started calling out letters and Cutie Pie immediately ran to them and stamped them with Sweet Pea dutifully following. The boys got giggling so hard! It was a lot of fun! (and sneaky learning!)

Next Tuesday I’ll share some more chalk games we did!

Check out Childhood 101 We Play Tuesday for more ideas!

Mama’s week in review – letter X

I had high hopes this would be a good week since Hubby was home to help with letter X. However, the letter X is challenging plus both boys had colds (yet again) so it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked.

X-ray. Xylophone. eXtinct. eXit. Excavation. Experiment.

We didn’t cover a whole lot of words, and actually only really spent time on eXperiment, eXtinct and excavation. 

Bible Story – According to Hubbard’s Cupboard this past week we were to have covered Judas betraying Jesus. My boys listened to the first group of verses, and asked each morning for the Bible story when I would read on, but as we started reading each day they lost interest quickly. Hubby and I did our best to tell them the Easter Story including Judas’ betrayal, but it didn’t seem like much sank in. However, in a future post I will share an interesting question Cutie Pie posed to me Easter night. (listening skills, attention span, comprehension)

Language Arts – Hubby and I both tried using many words that included the letter of the week, like we do most weeks, but somewhere along the way we both lost interest. However, we did pay a visit to the train store and pointed out the sign for a train crossing is an X. We also mentioned that a room you aren’t supposed to enter sometimes has an X marked on the door, but when you need to leave you look for the eXit sign. We tried hard, but had a lot going on this week and let it get away from us. (vocabulary)

Science – A few months ago a friend passed along a recipe for making dinosaur eggs to eXcavate. I don’t remember where she found it and haven’t been able to find it since. The scribbles I wrote down were as follows:

1/2 c sand
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/4 c dirt

Mix dry ingredients and add water until you can form an egg without it falling apart. Form an egg shape around a plastic dinosaur and let dry for several days. Excavate carefully!

This didn’t work for us. I’m sure it was because I had two little guys helping me add the water. Ours was very muddy, even after adding more dirt, so we just pushed our dinosaurs down into a glop! After about 5 days the boys eXcavated them and still had a lot of fun discovering the color of the dinosaurs in their eggs! (processes, cause and effect, sense of touch)

Another science activity we did was about one way dinosaurs became eXtinct and was spurred on by a different friend’s e-mail about a science kit she bought at the grocery. We combined cornstarch and water in a bowl and played with our dinosaurs in it. It was something we played with before, but not in this way. As the dinosaurs were left sitting on the mixture, as dinosaurs might have sat on mud by a pond while having a drink, their feet sank and formed a suction when we tried to pick them up!

Cutie Pie loved doing this experiment getting very excited that it was a little hard to pull the dinosaurs out and related it quickly to when he was out in the mud and his boot was pulled off his foot as he tried to take a step. Then he realized it would have been hard for dinosaurs to walk in this sort of gook and that they would have been stuck! He labeled this an eXperiment all by himself!

We were also very busy this week running errands, fiXing things with both real and toy tools, visiting family, and celebrating Good Friday and Easter! The letter X might be a letter we review again down the road.

Wanted to try: Scavenger hunt using X marks the spot. Pirate hats with the traditional X symbol on them. Make bones out of crumpled up paper and white glue/water mixture and play with them – look like X-rays. 

I’m going to try to link up to these places today…
The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft CollectionTot School

Bubble-ology – You can do this at home!

Cutie Pie and I took a Bubble-ology class (for preschoolers) through our Parks and Recreation Center, provided by a teacher from Rochester Museum and Science Center. It was soooo much fun! First, it was just fun spending time with just Cutie Pie (Sweet Pea had a Nana day!) and also it was so fun playing with bubbles!

The instructor first made a chart with the kiddos’ input about where they see bubbles every day. Some were very serious answers, others were silly, like ‘in your mouth!’ Then she showed us the different bubble centers she had set up for us to explore on our own (and can replicate at home which is why I’m sharing this with you today!) We were instructed to explore each center on our own once she showed us each center and to just have fun with bubbles. She could have explained all the science behind this, but it was great that she let the kids explore it on their own instead. At the end of our time together she read a great story about bubbles, I just wish I could remember the name of the book!

For each station the solution was the same. The instructor used Dawn dish detergent and water. Nothing special at all! She said you might have to play around with the ratio, but Dawn is what she finds to work the best for making bubbles!

Blowing for bubble print art
Bubble print art drying

First, we did bubble print art. Cutie Pie loved this more than I expected! You’ll need bowls, trays for the bowls to set in if you don’t want a complete mess, straws, paper, lots of food coloring, water, and Dawn dish detergent. You simply put the water, Dawn dish detergent and (lots more than you think you need) food coloring into a bowl, insert a straw and blow until the bubbles are almost overflowing. Then gently place your paper on top of the bubbles and wait until the bubbles pop, the paper is almost sitting on top of the bowl and a little color is peeking through the paper. Gently lift up the paper and repeat with as many colors as you’d like!

The next activity we did was play with tornado bottles. I’m not sure how to make these at home, but there’s got to be a way. Cutie Pie loved shaking, swirling, jiggling and trying to spill these! (coordination) If you’re not sure what these are, they’re two 2L soda bottles opening to opening being held together by some sort of pipe. The ones we played with were filled with colored water and you had to move them different ways to get the water to bubble. One neat thing at this station was simply a small hose (big enough to fit the end of a straw into – each person used their own straw) running into a big bowl of water. You take a big breath, blow into the straw, and make bubbles!

Dipping plant trays
Multitude of bubbles!

Another bubble station was outdoors and was the hit of the session! The instructor had saved several plant trays, the ones that hold flats and have many holes in them, and different household items like fly swaters for the kids to use. On the patio there was a huge bucket of water mixed with Dawn dish detergent inviting the kids to make a mess! Simply dip the plant trays or your tool of choice and run – tons of bubbles appear! Cutie Pie actually had more fun chasing all the bubbles with the fly swatter and trying to pop them than he did making the bubbles! (major gross motor going on here!) I can’t wait to go shopping for flowers this year simply to get one of these! I’ve always tossed them in the past!

Finally, the last station was also a magnet for Cutie Pie. So simple: a small cup of water mixed with Dawn dish detergent and a big empty container. Just insert your straw, blow bubbles and let them drip!

Cutie Pie asked me that same day when it would be Bubble Day at our house, and I have to admit I can’t wait until it is! I’m looking for even more bubble activities to do with him first! Why don’t you share some, too?!

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Those are the rules

The kiddos were in the living room the other day playing with the tunnel we have when I heard Cutie Pie say “I’m going to teach you the rules for going through the tunnel.” I didn’t actually hear any rules shared. I’m sure this was just a ploy Cutie Pie thought would get him going through the tunnel without Sweet Pea on his heels. It just made me stop and think about how he came to the conclusion that there are rules to play…

I know we’ve tried playing a couple of board games with Cutie Pie, explaining a few simple rules. I also know we’ve had rules in our home about play, like no grabbing around someone’s neck and no jumping on the couch. I also know we used to have a book called Everybody needs a Rock that talks about having ‘rules’ for finding the perfect rock, but it’s been a long time since we’ve read that.

It’s been interesting, as since this day Hubby and I have heard ‘rules’ come out of Cutie Pie’s mouth often. I’m going to try to pay more attention and try to figure out his ‘rules’!

In the meantime, join me for a little Thursday blog hopping!
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We Play with Bubbles

It’s finally getting nice outside, at least on some days it is! Earlier this week is was almost 70 out, although windy, and it felt great to be outside with the kids having fun.

Sweet Pea asked for some bubbles. I found the different size bubble-makers, poured the ‘juice’ and stuck out my arm. The bubbles flew and the boys got running after them! There were so many giggles coming from our driveway and front lawn that I’m sure some of our neighbors were peering out their windows or at least smiling!

My kiddos sure slept well that night after so much running, falling and giggling! I wish I could have gotten pics….

Check out Childhood 101 for ways other kiddos are playing and for some great ideas!

Mama’s week in review – letter W

We. Wet (lots of rain this week). Well. Water. Wash. Wish. Want. Wail. Wonder. Wipe. Wild. Wind (very windy, lost some siding on our house). Wiggle. Wagon. Went. Walk (some beautiful warm days). Words. Weather. Window (opened!). Workout.

Bible Story – Jesus heals the paralytic. Cutie Pie was intrigued by this Bible story and thought it was so neat that the paralytic’s friends would carry him and drop him through a roof to meet Jesus. I don’t think he understood the whole healing part, but it gave me the opportunity to talk to him about wheelchair-bound people as We’ve seen several people lately who are bound to Wheelchairs. We did talk about the faith the friends had and what it must have been like for the man to get up and Walk after not having Walked before.

Play Science- The boys Were really into their Hot Wheels cars this Week and one day I found them pulling out their Boomwhackers to use with them. They started out just leaning the Boomwhackers up against a basket next to one another and sending their cars down the ‘tunnels’ and seeing whose car won. Since the Boomwhackers Were different lengths the cars never came out at the same time. Cutie asked why and we talked about how the lengths were different and how that affected the incline. He remembered us doing a bunch of things With inclines before and Was excited about this answer! By the end the kiddos had lined up the ‘tunnels’ With one inclined and one setting on the floor but with their ends meeting and they were experimenting to see which car would go the farthest out of the tunnel! (fine motor, grasp and release, imagination, science)

Science Experiment – We actually did three Wet experiments, two involving balloons.

Experiment #1 – We did a Wet experiment with a balloon, vinegar and baking soda. We took a dry 20-oz plastic bottle and placed about 1/2 cup of vinegar into it. In the balloon we placed about 1 tablespoon of baking soda. We then placed the balloon carefully onto the bottle, so as not to spill the baking soda into it yet. With Cutie Pie holding the bottle, Sweet Pea then raised the balloon and gently shook it to make the baking soda fall into the bottle and We Watched the balloon inflate. The kiddos loved this so We did it several times! What happens? The vinegar and baking soda combine and give off carbon dioxide, which takes up more space than air and fills up the balloon! Please be careful if you do this experiment as the balloon could pop! (observe, contrast, compare) I found this experiment on Amazing Preschool Activities although we didn’t let the rocket fly like in the experiment.

Experiment #2 – We cleaned the bottle and placed another balloon on it. We then placed the balloon into a bowl of hot Water and the balloon inflated (although slightly). Then We placed the bottle into a bowl full of ice cubes and the balloon deflated. We talked about hot air taking up more space than cold air. Of course, my kiddos love playing with ice cubes and Water, so this led immediately to our next experiment…(observe, contrast, compare) I’ve seen this and experiment #3 on several blogs and science websites lately, although I neglected to write any of them down. When I find them I will update this with links.

Experiment #3 – Which is heavier? Water or Ice? Simply dump the ice into the water from the above experiment. Does the ice float? We expanded on this simple experiment and talked about what happened to both the ice and the water. Did the water get colder? Did the ice get warmer? Did the hot water make the ice hot? Of course, we had to do this experiment several times, too!

Throughout the rest of the week we did lots of wet things like washing our toys with water, water coloring, spraying colored water onto paper (that’s how we made our letter of the week! I just used food washable paint watered down and put it into spray bottles and let them go at it.)

The beginning of the week was beautiful so we opened our Windows and played outside with bubbles and after it rained We splashed in Water puddles. We Went swimming in the Warm Water at the Y. At the end of the Week we had a lot of Wet rain and lots of Wind. A good week for W!

We Play Outside

The other day Cutie Pie and Hubby went to the store and I found myself alone with Sweet Pea…at home…and he was awake! This never happens! When I have him by himself we are usually going somewhere, so this was a special day!

After the guys left I asked Sweet Pea what he wanted to do, expecting him to say “play trains”. We ended up outside at his request, again something that never happens with him. It was so fun playing in the muddy yard with him. He swung for a really long time – both on the baby swing, and on the ‘big boy’ swing! What a change from last year! He was even trying to pump to get going on his own!

Now when I ask what he’d like to do (when Cutie Pie is busy trying to get his coat on) he either says “swing” or “play trains” in that order! What a nice change…..most of my jeans have holes in the knees!

How have you been playing outdoors? Check out We Play at Childhood 101 for new ideas!

Mama’s week in review – letter V

Vine. Vehicles. Violin. Vase. Vegetables. Velcro. Vent. Violet. Vanilla. Veterinarian. Vacuum. Voice. Vibration. Vulture. Vertical. Volleyball. Vision.

Bible Story – This week we talked about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. To be honest, I didn’t get into the details of the story as far as explaining the parallels to our spiritual lives. Cutie Pie got separated from us for a short time at an area play place and ever since then he’s been very attached – I’m mean, major separation anxiety…at times crying when I’m upstairs for just a minute and he’s downstairs. It seemed just touching on the idea of the son being lost and then found was a good enough lesson for him that we didn’t go much farther than that. We ended up talking a lot about safety when we go places and who it’s safe to talk to and we reviewed what my name is, what I look like, and things to remember when someone is helping find his mom. (emotional development, safety awareness, trust)

Language – We had the capital and lower case V’s up on the wall again this past week. Cutie Pie seemed to have a hard time remembering it was a V, not a U. It makes me wonder if he’ll have a hard time remembering W, or if he’ll think it’s supposed to be with two curved bottoms instead of points! We talked a lot about the beginning sounds of words, concentrating mostly on V, but also playing lots of guessing games. Cutie Pie was also on a rhyming ‘rant’ this past week rhyming almost every word I said some days! (Which, by the way was both extremely annoying and extremely cute at times!)

Science – The weather was strange this past week – very cold a few days, gloomy/rainy a few days, relatively nice a few days – so we had a lot of time outside exploring. We got out the boys’ magnifying glasses and checked out the worms we found, watched them wriggle around in our hands, in the gravel pit and on the driveway before letting them crawl back into the earth for protection. Cutie Pie also spent a little bit at Bubble-ology! I’ll post about that later this week – very fun! (gross motor, fine motor, science)

Experiment – I was looking for a velocity experiment for the boys beyond the basic of dropping two objects and seeing which lands first and discovering why. I found a Comet Cratering experiment on Try Science and modified it a bit for my little guys. This is what we did:

materials: flour, tin pan several inches deep, several objects that are OK getting flour-covered, something to cover your floor (ex. shower curtain, large table cloth), paper and pencil for chart (if desired)

  • First, I poured flour into a tin, until it was about 2 inches deep.
  • Then I placed the tin onto a blanket in our kitchen as this experiment creates a little mess (this would have been great to do outside, but I chose to do this on a less-than-perfect day)
  • Next, one by one we took the chosen objects (several balls of similar size but different weight, a square magnet, a larger heavier ball) and dropped them twice into the flour, first from the kiddos shoulder height while kneeling, then from shoulder height standing up.
  • After each object was dropped we examined what the crater looked like – how deep it was, how wide it was – and talked about how much flour was moved when it dropped.
  • We followed that by dropping two different objects from the same height, trying to get them to land in different spots and we compared the craters to each other.
  • The boys also noticed the textures from our objects left imprinted in the craters, which was something I hadn’t thought of!

(The experiment on Try Science was much more complicated for preschoolers, although sounded pretty cool, still! If your kiddos are a little older you should check it out!)

We ended our week taking a trip to the zoo to see the Vultures! We didn’t end up decorating our letter Vs, however, we did talk about pasting dump truck cut-outs onto them, because, as Cutie Pie puts it, “they’re Vehicles!” We also didn’t get to the vibrations experiment or the volume experiment, but that’s OK, it will give us something to do on one of these rainy days!

Instrument Petting Zoo – Recorder (and blog hop)

Yes, another installment of the Instrument Petting Zoo! What can I say, other than we’re a musical family?! (To check out the others click here and here!)

It seems like almost every child has the opportunity to learn to play the recorder through school. Did you know there are actually several different ‘sizes’ of recorder? Soprano – the recorder you usually see and can buy in stores, alto, tenor and bass.

This was another day the boys wanted to play one of Hubby’s instruments. Since they already have a recorder (which is bright green, but is still a real recorder!), Hubby thought he’d bring down the different size recorders he has and see what they thought! As you can see they loved playing them!

I am tickled that the boys have an interest in music at such a young age, and, even though Hubby is a music teacher (strings, in particular) we aren’t going to push lessons just yet – just exploring!

Cutie Pie and Sweet Pea both also love the drums and asked to get out the practice drum pad again, too. (They had a chance to play a real drum set at church a few weeks ago…I’ll post about that later!)

If you’re interested in letting your child check out some instruments up close, check with your local music store or school, or local person giving music lessons to see if your kiddo can come ‘play’ with the instruments! Sometimes even community centers offer a ‘program’ where kids can get up close and personal with instruments. If yours doesn’t maybe you can suggest it! Also, check out any professional groups that offer child-friendly concerts. Quite often these organizations will have a ‘petting zoo’ before hand or during intermission. It’s a great way to get  kids interested in music!

I’m hopping along with a few blog hops again today, and today is the last day for the Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom! Check them out with me!

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First Bike Ride of Spring!

A couple of days ago it was nice enough out to go for a bike ride around the block. The boys got their bikes, I pushed one and the other peddled (much better and faster than last year I must say!) We headed around the block and it felt so good to be out in the fresh air! The boys asked to go again and I couldn’t say no…

…but we went around the other block – the one with a slight hill…

Both wanted to be pushed at the same time, which I just couldn’t do. Cutie Pie stopped and wouldn’t go any further, so I asked Cutie Pie what could be done to solve this problem. Here’s what he came up with that worked:

Yes, that’s right, they BOTH got off their bikes and pushed them up the hill! I could see the little cogwheels turning in his head and have to admit I was a little nervous about what his solution would be, but was so relieved and proud when this is what he came up with! Great problem-solving!

I’m joining Bassgiraffe’s Blog Hop Thursday this week, and if you haven’t already headed over to The Ultimate Blog Party, you’d better check that out too!
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Sweet Pea Lovey – We Play

Sweet Pea has always been our little lovey, and you can usually find his lovey, Hippo, with him wherever he goes. Even though Hippo is Sweet Pea’s lovey, he isn’t always that loving towards him…until lately! This is a new kind of play for him!

Sweet Pea has become quite gentle with Hippo, and has at times even been spotted rocking him, calling him baby and cuddling him, as well as wrapping him gently in a blanket and rocking him in his arms. Hippo is now his Baby Hippo, and he’s a great daddy to him! Surprisingly, at times he’s also even more gentle with Cutie Pie! (Yes, he’s younger, but not necessarily weaker!)

Mama’s week in review – letter U

Up. Upon. Under. Unique. Unicorn. Underwear. Until.

Words that start with the letter U were just not found around here this week!  We concentrated a lot on the words Up and Under (as well as using the word Underwear whenever we could!) We even taped our letter of the week Under the table (and on the wall, too!) The boys got a kick out of that and kept checking to make sure it was there! On Hubbard’s Cupboard they suggest covering the letter with Umbrella stickers while Under the table, but there was no desire to play with stickers this week.

Bible Story The Parable of the Lost Sheep was our story for the week. As always, we started Monday morning at the breakfast table reading the story from the Bible and just talking about it. Cutie Pie suggested maybe the Shepherd looked ‘high and low’ for the sheep (evidently we use that phrase a lot more than we realize!) I changed that to Up and down, so we could work the letter U in there once more. I told the boys the little I know about caring for sheep, which is that the shepherd knows each of his sheep are Unique in their features and that we are the same way! Cutie Pie especially seemed to like the fact that we are all different, or Unique, and had fun sharing how he thought he and Sweet Pea are Unique. (language/opposites, self concept)

Throughout the week Cutie Pie asked to hear the Bible story again, like usual, and so we talked about it from different angles, like what that lost sheep might have been feeling while it was lost, what the shepherd might have thought happened to the sheep, what the other sheep might have been feeling – were they worried about the lost sheep, or worried that the shepherd left them alone while he went searching for the lost sheep? (emotional development, imagination) We ended the week playing “Seek the sheep”, sort of like hide and seek, but I hid a toy sheep and the boys had to look Up and down to find it.

Language/Reading – I seldom seem to include a list of books we read for each letter. I suppose I should. This week we, of course, had several books about trains, but one the boys kept requesting, which talked about looking Up, down and all around for someone who is lost, is Where are You, Little Zack? by Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Gordon Tessler.

Art/Science – I tried to think of something Unique to do with the boys that began with U. I couldn’t think of anything but making puffy paint (because it goes Up from the paper) and making fingerprints (because by looking at them you can see how we’re all Unique). These activities were definitely a success!

I don’t think either of the boys quite grasp the idea of using a magnifying glass to look at tiny differences between fingerprints, but they did seem to love making them (sticking their finger on an ink pad and dabbing it all around a piece of paper) and using the magnifying glass! Cutie Pie considered this a very fun experiment!

Puffy Paint – I saw this several places this week as I was blog hopping as part of 5 Minutes for Mom’s Ultimate Blog Party. The blog I actually printed the recipe from was Making Memories with Your Kids, which is a blog I just found! Cutie Pie and Sweet Pea were both fascinated by the paint puffing up in the microwave and each made several paintings (very quickly!) to watch the puffing process take place. Cutie Pie and I talked about what made the paint puff up like that. Another successful experiment!

Anyway, this is how we did it:

Puffy Paint Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon self-rising flour (if you don’t have any, you can make it by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt to all-purpose flour)
1 Tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons water
food coloring

Combine above ingredients in small containers, making whatever color paints you desire.
After using brushes, Q tips or whatever other medium you’d like to paint your pictures, heat the pictures in the microwave anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds and watch the paint puff up! (fine motor, science, art, language development, coordination, sense of touch)

Play – We also made a lot of tunnels, a carryover from last week’s letter T. We used their foam letters for these and they had fun telling me whenever a train or car went Under a letter! This was great for Cutie Pie as it served as a refresher for his alphabet! (letter recognition, fine motor, coordination, gross motor)

Other ideas we didn’t do – I had the great idea of making wool nests this week as when we talked about looking Up and down we also discussed what other animals and things a shepherd might have seen. Cutie Pie was right on it with seeing birds. In the beginning of the week he seemed really into making these, but as the week went on he didn’t seem very interested, so I’m saving that idea and will probably make wool eggs instead, closer to Easter. (fine motor, art)

Another idea I had was introducing the boys to a Ukulele. Come on, you know, the musical instrument that looks like a little guitar?  (music appreciation) Sweet Pea was once again very taken with Cutie Pie’s guitar and tried to overtake Hubby’s violin, viola and bass this week, so I thought adding something else to the mix might be a mistake!

Once again looking at what we did this past week seems like a lot. Sometimes I think I’m making learning time too rigid or structured, but then I also think about the flow of our days and weeks and am reminded that most often it is Cutie Pie asking for the Bible Stories and leading the discussions and me offering a creative activity sometime throughout the week. Everything else sort of comes up as it does in play, probably because the letter and story are already on our minds. I am really itching to get the boys outside and possibly to the zoo or one of the other places we have memberships to, simply because we’ve been stuck inside with colds/runny noses for way too long!

A Counting Story and Blog Party

Today I’m just sharing a cute story about Cutie Pie that his Nana relayed to me. I was just tickled to learn he could count objects from memory! If you are joining me from the Blog Party, welcome and feel free to poke around and maybe stay a while!

Cutie Pie has been spending a few hours a week with my mother-in-law while Sweet Pea and I are at gymnastics (I’ll tell you about that another time) and they usually drive somewhere. This week while coming back from an outing at the library Nana was playing a counting game with him. She was asking questions like “How many beds are in your house?” and “How many windows are in your bedroom?” Cutie Pie was actually giving correct answers! I’m thinking this is pretty good for a four year old, or at least pretty average! It never occurred to me to see if Cutie Pie could think in this manner and he seemed to love it!

I’m so happy my boys get to spend time with their Nana doing fun things, spending quality time together!

Cutie Pie, my little partier!

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Rainy Day Play

We’ve had some pretty rainy or cold and damp days here lately and I found myself bringing out some tried and true activities for the boys when I’m baked out, frazzled from trying to think of ways to keep them busy and we’ve gone to all the favorite places to play.

First, Sweet Pea asked for his pom poms and tweezers. I got them out along with a couple of big bowls and he sat and played for a very long time! (He prefers these tweezers that we have – they have a scissor-like handle and since using them he’s become good at cutting paper, too!)

The second activity I pulled out, and have relied on several times since the snow turned to mud, is the rice box! Of course, that means more sweeping for me, but it’s been a construction site, a place to practice pouring and a multitude of other things and mostly has been a huge form of entertainment for the boys!

I’ll be glad when it’s spring in more than name only, however, being stuck inside has led to opportunities to develop coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills (believe it or not!), social skills like taking turns…so I can’t really complain all that much!
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Going to China in our spaceship

Cutie Pie and I cuddled for a while yesterday morning rather than me getting ready to start the day right away. We ended up having some great pretend/story time! Cutie Pie narrated the story as we went in a spaceship straight up into the sky and landed in China. We got out, explored, ate some bamboo (not sure why he thinks it’s there) then got some musical instruments and hopped back into the spaceship, which suddenly became our home because we like to travel, and went back to where we started. To make me less afraid Cutie Pie suggested we play our trumpets the whole way.

It was so fun to sit with him in my arms and listen to his mind working through this story! We never left the couch, although many items in the room became part of the story and came alive through his words. The words he chose were so descriptive, some words I’ve never heard him use before. I’m very much looking forward to the next adventure!

Check out We Play at Childhood 101 to see other creative play ideas!

Snow play on March 24th?!

Isn’t it crazy to get a bunch of snow at the end of March? We did all day yesterday, which led to a fun day outdoors in the sun and snow today! Cutie Pie and I were very excited that Sweet Pea actually asked to go outside! I think that’s only the second time this winter he’s wanted to be out in the snow and followed through!

We tried snow soccer. The soccer ball would roll in the light snow on the driveway, but would sink in the deeper areas. Cutie Pie determined the ball was heavier than the snow.

I shuffled my feet to make snow letters on the lawn, much to Cutie Pie’s delight! I didn’t expect this to be such a hit with him! Sweet Pea loved following me as I ‘wrote’. Cutie Pie did great recognizing the letters, by the way! It was a great review for him!

The boys always love shoveling – evidently Sweet Pea loves to do it in the snow just as much as in the sand!

Poor Sweet pea kept slipping. The ground was just right so when tire tracks were made in the driveway they turned to ice, which Sweet Pea unfortunately was fascinated with. Poor kiddo must have fallen 7 or 8 times!

The boys played ‘Snow Train’, where they pulled their sleds in a line and Sweet Pea ended up following in Cutie Pie’s ‘train track’.

This day ended up being a good outdoor activity day and great review for the alphabet we’ve learned so far! (especially the letter S!)

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St. Patrick’s Day Dance Party

St Patrick’s Day is not a big deal around our house, except for our annual pilgrimage to the fast food place that serves Shamrock Shakes! Gotta love it! I don’t know if it was from those years of having to march in parades with the bagpipe band I was a member of or what, but we just don’t ‘do’ this holiday. For my hubby, however, it is a day to wear green and play jiggs on his violin (or as it is affectionately called on this day, his fiddle) in the morning for all the students in whatever school he is teaching in for the day. Some teachers told him a few girls were even doing Irish dancing in the halls while he played!
I had ambitions of making green shamrocks with the boys this week, or doing something sort of festive other than our annual tradition. My ambitions were good, but were not achieved. Partly due to my lack of gumption as the boys were being boys, and partly due to the gorgeous 60 degree sunny weather we had today. However, when we came home from Shamrock Shake time Hubby got out his ‘fiddle’ and started playing jiggs for us while we had a dance party! It was so fun dancing with the boys to music we don’t normally get to hear. (obviously gross motor, music appreciation, coordination)
At one point during our dance party Sweet Pea and Cutie Pie were both drumming along. At another point, after Sweet Pea carefully brought his brother’s guitar into the room, he was playing along (sort of) with Hubby while Cutie Pie either danced or played the drums. And Hubby helped both boys ‘play’ a jigg on the fiddle, too! I managed to get a few shots of our St. Patrick’s Day dance party. Cute? I love how Sweet Pea hold the guitar like a string bass when he plays it!

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Sweet Pea likes to color!

Lately we’ve had the small table in the dinnette again, with crayons and paper within reach, after a short spell with it in the basement having made room for company at Cutie Pie’s birthday party. Sweet Pea has really taken an interest in it again. At least 2 or 3 times a day he stands at it or sits and colors. Sometimes he even spreads out his paper and a few crayons and lays down on the floor and colors. Cutie Pie can take it or leave it, but seems that Sweet Pea is definitely a taker!
We’ve seen Sweet Pea switch hands he uses for some tasks, like he’s not quite sure which is more comfortable. I’m told for a 2 year old (and actually all the way up to age 6) that this is quite normal. It seems, however, that whenever he holds a crayon or table utensil, it is almost always with his right hand. Another difference from Cutie Pie, who is most certainly a lefty! This is making me wonder if Sweet Pea likes to color and whatnot because we can more ‘easily’ do it with him and show him how, while it’s always been just a bit of a struggle to show Cutie Pie ‘correctly’. Either way, my two boys are perfect the way they are! I’m loving their individual creativity!