Saturday, October 4, 2014

Baby Sensory Tub--SO FUN!

Want to thrill your child and give him hours of fun? Throw some dried noodles in a bowl and give them to him. Seriously. It's that easy .
Adam played with noodles for the first time in these pictures and he's been adoring this activity ever since. So much exploring happened during this time.

 People pay BIG MONEY for toys that assist their children in sensory play, fine motor skills, and dumping practice. What isn't understood is that sensory play can happen very organically and cheaply with materials you already have. Open your pantry and you'll find many options. When these noodles become old news I will cook them and he'll have a whole new sensory experience.

 This was the most fun he's had (with a toy) in a long time.
Now I will say that sensory tubs should be given with rules. Adam's rules were: don't eat them, don't carry them into other rooms, and don't stick them in your ears or eyes. Everything else was permissible. As he gets older, he will have to keep his sensory materials in one central spot, but for now throwing dry noodles all over the living room is really no big deal. Cleans up in 2 seconds. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our New Favorite Breakfast

Thanks to Pinterest, we have found a new breakfast meal and we LOVE it!
Sausage Biscuits
Ingredients: sausage patties, biscuits, eggs, cheese
 Pinterest helped with the eggs. I have never ever cooked eggs in the oven, but they turned out so yummy. You lightly grease your pan, dump in an egg, add salt and pepper and cook at 350 for 15 minutes. They come out like little egg muffins and you plop them onto your biscuit. Yummy!

Here's how they look when done. The yolk was not runny at all. They were perfect.
 So filling and delicious. I will also save the extra eggs for the baby boy. Dice it up for a baby breakfast. Whoo hoo!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Read to Self at the Library

At least once a week we choose to do our "Read to Self" time at the public library. This is a highlight in the boys week. They love to go to the library and that alone delights my little heart. They spent the first 10-15 minutes picking out new books and then they do their 30 minutes of independent reading camped out somewhere comfortable.

 Adam explores the toys and puzzles and I try my best to read as many board books to him as possible. Sitting and reading don't really interest Adam, but every now and then he'll get excited about a book. I've surrendered the "come sit in my lap" wish. Now I just read while he plays. He hears. I hope.
 I thought James looked so cute with his long legs crossed ;)

Learning with Adam

Adam is loving all the activities I throw at him. We've experimented with many things this week and I have found out a few things about him: his fine motor skills are awesome, his gross motor skills need help, and he LOVES to try to new things.
The other day I gave him a piece of paper and handed him random stickers. It was so fun watching him figure out how to get them on the paper and explore the little sticky things. He wasn't sure if he liked the sticky texture or not.
 After cruising around on PINTEREST last night, I found this little game that I knew he would love. He loves putting things into other things. He carries a cup around all day and puts things into it. I cut a hole in a milk carton and gave him 5 colored popsicle sticks. He immediately knew what to do. So cute!
 Great for fine motor!
 Of course we try to stimulate him daily with sensory activities. He's always loved water so the water table has been a huge hit.
 No one can practice piano around here without him getting in on it. He loves the piano and always plays it so sweetly. No banging. No hitting. Just soft playing.
 This is his favorite book. We read it as often as we can and he adores it. His favorite page is the peek-a-boo page. If you don't have this book then GET IT!
 This was my latest attempt at helping his gross motor skills. It worked like a charm. He begs to go outside and jump on the trampoline. Of course jumping for him is bouncing on his knees, but it's so good for his leg muscles and balance.
The days ahead are going to be so much fun. This is the age I ADORE! Little learner just waiting to be stimulated. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Randoms

I always love the random shots I get during the week. They are by far my favorites!
Here are the boys all cozy in Adam's tent. I'm thankful every day that my boys love playing together.
 My biggest boy studying God's word. His new glasses give him a super manly look and I can't believe how big he is.
 Someone discovered they really love peas this week.
 My view as we rode to the park on Wednesday. Love biking with my boys!
 We go to a local mall once a week to play at their play area. We go VERY early in the morning and no one is there. It's awesome! Terrance decided to climb this huge monster they have and he actually made it to the top. I snapped his picture before Mall Security could arrive. ha!
 My littlest explorer
 Our cousins came in to town and we enjoyed a fun trip to LEGOLAND. Mammy and Aunt Dawn came, too.
 Building their Lego racecar
 Waiting for a ride
 This was taken almost 2 weeks ago, but my biggest boys are in process of taking down our tree so we can expand our driveway. We are soon to be adding a new driver to our family and will need more space! They try to hack off more and more of the tree each Friday.

"Pookins Gets Her Way"-Reading Journal Reflections

We've been reading all of Helen Lester's masterpieces this week and our favorite has been "Pookins Gets Her Way". After we read it, we made some connections in our reading journal. Pookins is a little girl who always gets her way and when she doesn't bad things happen: fits, throwing apples, making mean faces. She finally meets a magic gnome and makes a wish that she later regrets.
After we read, I wrote a story reflecting on a wish I could make that sounded good, but probably wouldn't be good if it actually came true.
James then did the same thing in his reading journal. I've set the reading journal up a lot like our draftbook except we don't plan and publish. This did count as his writing for the day though.

I only have him write for 15 minutes or so so this is what he wrote the first day, "I will wish for desserts for the rest of my life."
Then the next day he came back and finished his reflection, "They would be tasty, but I would die and meet God." 

Bahaha! What I love about reading journal (and draftbook) is all the conversing about writing that happens while the actual story is being written. I was able to model good writing habits to him before he began writing and then during his writing we talked about stretching out sounds of words to help our spelling, thinking about how words look in books, and lots of grammar discussion and punctuation. I adore sitting right next to him while he writes. This is by far the most meaningful learning we do all day. I've seen more growth during draftbook, for both boys, than any where else.
Let me know if you need help starting draftbook at your house/classroom. You won't regret the effort.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Learning Songs and Nursery Rhymes

 For the past month or two I've been focused on teaching Adam different songs. The best way for me to remember and keep track is to have him make art work for each song and then I post it in different places: door to his bedroom, bathroom mirror, etc. Once the song is learned, I hang it by his diaper changing table and we review all the songs as we change his diaper. It's been great!
 This is the art we made today. He already knows this song, but I wanted him to have a picture to point to as we sing it. When we practice the songs in his room, he points to the picture and then I sing the song. If he points to the heart and I don't sing "Jesus Loves Me" he fusses at me. He knows exactly what song he wants me to sing.
The visual is a great reminder to us both. I highly recommend leaving visuals out for yourself. Without the visual I might just change his diaper. With the visual I change his diaper while singing. Works like a charm!