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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back to basics. Q is for...

It's been a while since I have shared some of what I am doing with my lovelies for circle time. This weeks letter has been fun, but a little challenging because not much starts with the letter Q. I know there ARE plenty of words, but I mean words that Ruby, Bells and K can understand. I try to use words that the kids can experience or have seen. As beautiful as a Quail probably is, to my kids it just looks like a bird. And bird... does not start with Q. So, I had to get creative with my limited choice of vocabulary. Here is just a little of what I have done.

We always start learning our letters the same way. Looking at it, trying to make our bodies look like it, looking at words in our word book that start with it and usually coloring it. This week was no different so I will spare you that part and get to the things that really connected with the kids. For example, Q is for Queen!

I have a queen cape from a previous Halloween Costume that came in VERY handy this week. Looks like my tendency to hoard worked to my advantage this time. We talked about what a queen was and colored a picture of one. THEN, we played Queen says, also known as Simmon says. It was great. All day long all I had to do was say, "Queen says..." and it got done! It was AWESOME. So, I used it to my advantage with cleaning up the playroom, sitting in their spots at meals, and various other tasks that are usually like pulling teeth to accomplish. It's not rocket science, I know, but in my house... it was mind blowing! I'm keeping that one in my bag of tricks.

The second activity I wanted to share with you is Q is for Quilt! I took construction paper and cut it into squares. Then, I let the kids paint, color, and put stickers on each one of the squares. We practiced taking turns, which is pretty difficult at this age, but the kids were really excited about painting and using stickers, so they followed directions knowing if they didn't they would miss out on the fun.

You can see the complete concentration in their faces. It really was amazing how long this activity held their attention.

Next, I let the kids go play and I put the quilt together. I was planning on having the children help with that part, but they had pretty much used up all of their concentration on making the patches of the quilt. As you can see, Ruby is already taking her apron off.  I was so proud of their hard work. I didn't mind giving them the wiggle and snack break. It also gave me a chance to clean everything up without little people asking me a million questions.

Lastly, we had the big reveal! The kids walked in the room after I had put it on the wall and squealed at how great it was. I heard "Wow!" and
"oh pretty!" and "there's mine!" It was great to see them so proud of our project 'Q is for Quilt!"

I wish I had done this at the beginning of the week so the kids could have looked at it and gotten the reinforcement from the start of our letter Q exploration. However, I have decided to leave it up for a while and I can use it as a review tool instead.  I have also thought about cutting it up when we are done and sending the pieces home for them to enjoy. We'll see! I might like it too much to give it up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Summer? oh wait... here's Spring!

Last week, it seemed that God had decided to skip spring all together in Virginia and go straight to summer. We had highs in the upper 80's and mid 90's. Wednesday, it go up to 96 degrees! It was crazy! So, what do you do when it's 95 in the middle of April? There are no pools open to help you cool yourself off. We were still reeling from one of the most harsh winters ever. Just six weeks earlier where we were stuck inside, like people on house arrest. So, we didn't want to waste such a sunny day just because it was hot. 

I got a text from a neighborhood friend, Danielle, wondering what I was planning to do with Ruby in the heat. I didn't have Bells and K last week because it was spring break. Since it was spring break, we wanted to avoid the places we knew would be hot spots for school aged children to gather and possibly crush our little ones. I suggested a sprinkler day! Danielle agreed and as she put it, we had a redneck water park in her front yard. 
As you can see Ruby was loving it. She looked so cute wearing the bathing suit she got for Easter!
 However, not all of the children were fans of the sprinkler fun. This is Danielle's youngest, little T. Poor thing. 
But Danielle's oldest, Big T, knew what to do!

Little T had a better idea. He's hanging out with one of the other neighborhood girls. He likes older women. 
  One of the other girls wasn't so sure she wanted to get wet either, but she got the hang of it later on.You can see Ruby in the background. She didn't have that issue.

Ruby isn't afraid to get dirty. Here's how I got to take her home.

Not only is my friend Danielle a good sport about her yard becoming a redneck water park, but she is also a pretty darn good photographer.  I took some of the pictures above too, but I wanted to give her a shout out. Here is one of my favorites that she has taken. 
You can see more at her website

Beautiful hot weather last week has lead to unbelievably gross pollen this week. I guess God remembered about Spring! Yesterday, as the kids played with Ruby's new bubble machine ( Which is awesome by the way!It made the biggest bubbles I have ever seen and I didn't have to get light headed. ), the pollen was covering everything. It took me five minutes to de-pollinate one of our little slides. It was beyond disgusting. 

What we need is some big rain to come through and knock down the rest and wash away the stuff lingering on the ground and toys outside. I wouldn't normally be begging for a rainy day when it means 2 year olds will be stuck inside all day, but I'm willing to suffer for one or two days if it means less sneezing and less nose wiping. I can handle poop and pee until the cows come home, but give my one snotty nosed kid and my gag reflexes kick in. I have heard people say, that when you have kids, you get over that sort of issue, but it has yet to happen for me. I deal with it, but I am NOT happy about it. 
I know pollen is important for the plants and for little bees to make the sweet goodness that is honey, but I swear is this much really necessary!