Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wednesday - Dance


Today is DANCE day.

We often have family dance sessions in our house - we put some of our favorite music on and all get together in the living room and just dance away! It is so much fun, relaxing and a big big stress reliever! Oh, and the kids love it too. :)

It doesn't matter what kind of music you put on, just all get together and bond for those few free moments - it's what memories are made of. Have fun!

Tuesday - Painting


Today is PAINTING day.

Just getting out the paint and letting creativity take over. My 3yr old loves to draw faces, but this is the first time I've seen her painting faces - pretty cool!

I'm thinking some of these would look great as wrapping paper or covers for books?? Endless possibilities...Have fun!

Monday - Nature


Today is NATURE day.

Our neighbor told us he has seen quite a few hummingbirds around lately and asked if we had seen any on our feeder. Oops! Haven't filled it for quite some time, so today is the perfect day to get out there and fill our feeder.

We have one in the backyard, and I bought another one for our front tree (since the girls love to look out from the playroom into the front yard).

The backyard one needs a good clean. It is really important to keep the feeders clean and change out the food every couple of days to keep the hummingbirds from getting sick.

We give the feeder a good soak and clean.

Next we mix up the food - one satchel mixes with 4 cups of water - the perfect amount for two feeders. My 3 year old helped stir the food.

Next we pour into the feeders, put on the feeding section and tops and now they are ready to be hung up outside.

Now we just have to watch and wait...Have fun!

Update - here are some photos of hummingbird feeding on the feeder! So beautiful!

Weekly Bus Schedule

Bus Schedule - Week 7

Monday - Nature

Tuesday - Painting

Wednesday - Dance

Thursday - Craft

Friday - Curiosity

Have a great week!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday - Reading


Today is READING day.

On Fridays we usually go to our local library for story time, but we went to play with friends this morning, so we didn't get to go. Each week we check-out 7 or 8 books from the library to read during the week. Reading is a bedtime ritual in our household - my kids won't go to sleep (without a fight) without two books being read to them.

Often, during the day, my 3yr old will have quiet time reading on the couch, or in her bedroom (and, if lucky, maybe a little nap after).

Reading to my 1 yr old is fun too. She loves to look at the pictures, especially of other babies. She has also just started saying "baby" when she sees one - too cute! This is really her first word outside of all the family names ("Daddy" was first, then "Gigi" for her big sister, then "Mama" and "Dixie" for our cat). It is so funny watching a language progression. My 1 yr old can pronounce "Daddy" as clear as a bell, but any kind of audible "Mama" is reserved for those special 2:00am wake-up calls, or if play gets a little rough.

I love to read too - just wish I got more time. I think I'm going to reserve a time for it, starting tonight. Reading is so rewarding, relaxing and replenishes the soul! Have fun!

Thursday - Drawing


Today is DRAWING day.

My 3 year old loves to draw faces at the moment, and pen is her favorite medium. So today she created some awesome drawings of her family. Using a pen also helps improve her dexterity, an important skill to develop for future writing (and artistic adventures). The other nice thing about this exercise is it kept her entertained for quite awhile - ahhh, a little peace. :)

So here is her portrait gallery:








And some more of her "peoples"...

And some ghosts...

Have fun!

Wednesday - Playfulness


Today is PLAY day.

The kids pulled just about every toy they have out onto the playroom floor to play with today. My 3 yr old loves to line things up, and loves to make towers, so she commanded the blocks. My 1 yr old loves to mess with anything the 3 yr old is playing with, so it becomes an umpire's game - negotiating with each side, trying to get them to meet in the middle.

The biggest challenge we are facing is how do we get these two beautiful girls to play together nicely? How can I help stop sibling rivalry? How do I encourage them to share their toys with each other? Some sisters/brothers just play together so nice and sweet right from the get-go (or so the parents say) and some don't! Mine are in the "don't" pile!

I'm reading a great book (when I can manage to find a spare 5 minutes in the day) called 'Siblings Without Rivalry' by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish (I bought my copy from Half Price Books).

In the younger kids section it talks about this and gives great pointers on what to do to help them develop a good relationship with each other. Encourage good feelings between the kids by talking about them, and what they have done together, positively. Encourage them (especially the older one) to help each other accomplish something (I know my 3yr old loves helping me teach my 1 yr old how to walk). Encourage them to work together as a team - this doesn't encourage rivalry, helps them work together and builds their relationship in a positive way. And concerning the dreaded "It's MINE!" toy snatching scenario - explain that your household has a general policy about property - most things in the house are for sharing (but there are some special things not for sharing and you must ask for permission to use them). I think the best quote in this chapter was "accept the feeling but reject the behaviour". So often I'm too quick to stop the behaviour that I forget to ask why it happened. Communicate with your kids, and listen to what they have to say. I must read more of this book.

It's challenging raising kids in some many ways, but raising kids who get along is one of my core goals. The message just has to be constant and consistent (and fun). I know many examples of where I have diffused a difficult situation with humor (and a goofy face or voice). Whatever works, huh! Have fun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday - Music


Today is MUSIC day.

We have drums, some echo microphones, a keyboard, a xylophone, and some paper towel cardboard rolls - all excellent music makers.

When I was little I had piano lessons, but I was horrible and consequently cannot remember how to play anything. But I do remember the basics and can read simple music. So I googled some simple tunes, like "Old McDonald" and away we went on a musical adventure!

OK, I'm the first to admit I can not sing in tune to save my life, but kids don't know that (yet), so we all had fun. Have fun too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday - Shapes


Today is SHAPES day.

We have had a bad run lately - both kiddos have had a stomach bug - my baby last week, and now my little girl this week. It is never much fun being woken in the middle of the night with a miniature person quietly standing at your bed throwing up onto the floor saying "Mommy, I have bugs in my tummy!"- truly the definition of a rude awakening! Hopefully tomorrow we will all be better. :)

After spending most of the morning on the couch with her favorite pillow, bear and blankie watching PBS (what else can you do with a sick kid??) my 3yr old felt up to doing something in the afternoon so we decided to "catch some breeze". It is still stinkin' hot here, but we are seeing a lovely breeze today, so what better day than today to make a "wind catcher".

We are using:
  • project paper
  • craft paper
  • tissue paper
  • stickers
  • crayons
  • washable pens
  • glue
  • tape
  • stapler
  • string
  • hole punch

We are learning our shapes today - I have cut out some circles, triangles and a rectangle. As my 3yr old glues them onto the project card, she has to name the shape. We also have stickers and marker to decorate our catcher with.

Let your toddler have (supervised) freedom with things like the glue stick - it may make a little mess, but it will help boost confidence and improve motor skills with the use of control and direction.

We are using tissue paper for the "wind catcher". I have three colors - green, yellow and blue. Fold the paper in half then cut strips about 1 - 2 inches wide.

To hold the cylinder shape together I firstly staple the ends together, then tape along the edge on the outside.
For the tissue paper - tape the folded side onto the inside of the catcher, overlapping the colors a little as you go around.

Hole punch two holes in the top of the catcher and thread the string through, to be able to hang it up with.

Now we are ready to head outside and put it up in the tree.

Back inside we have the perfect spot to look outside at our "wind catcher".

Bring it in each evening so it doesn't get spoiled by any moisture. Have fun!