Friday, September 23, 2011

Playing with our food

Waffle + banannas = Yummy fun!

(Maybe we'll do chocolate syrup and a cherry next time...Mmm)

Preschool skills

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown

I'm finding out that gardening parallels alot of things in life.  Baking yields the same glorious results from the combination of sewing ingredients and patience you get wonderful results that you can take pride in because of your hard work. You may not necessarily enjoy every aspect, cleaning the kitchen afterwards... weeding... but the end result is what gets you thru it and makes it worthwhile. 

Now even school work too can be better enjoyed when the subject matter excites you and the end result is something you'll have longer than any flower or baked goodie; a life skill.

School work too can be like the hard work of pulling the weeds, especially in middle/high school with such large work loads, but only if you focus on the task at hand and not at the end result.  Hopefully instilling fun into the work when they are young will help a little in the long run :)

Thus, my dear Gavin enters the age of needing focused learning instead of just associated learning.  His teacher says he needs to work on his hand strength for writing and cutting skills.  I've noticed he needs help with fine motor skills, since the age of 2 really, and I guess instead of always saying 'It'll come in time' and working on things here and there, there's no time like the present to help speed the process a little more :)

*Starting with a layed back approach is best and let them cut scrap paper to their little hearts content.  Learning finger placement and how to open and close the scissors is key in this process.

*Next, move on to cutting lines.  You can draw out simple lines on paper to start but, to give them the desire and 'want' it may help to add pictures to the paper they are cutting. 

You can draw things or use a Word document page with dashes as I did and add some clipart, very simple!  You can even make it themed; animals to their habitat, foliage to the correct season, etc.
The best part is that these cutting line pages can be used for tracing excercises too!  You can also switch it up and make it a matching game.  The possibilites are endless!

*Then you can help further this skill by having them create a photo collage by cutting out their favorite photos from a magazine.  Again, this can be themed by cutting out certian colors, animals, or foods.  They will be so proud to see the masterpiece that they cut out themselves and look forward to it everytime until the skill is mastered!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Magnetic Tree Frogs

Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart. ~Russell Page

Ah yes, now this week is my kind of weather!  And it must be great for the tree frogs as well because it's this time of year that we see an influx of them attached to our windows.  Just yesterday the boys and I were watching one of the cute little fellas leave us a present as he was suction cupped to our back door, so I decided to put a magnet Science idea to use that I came across a few weeks ago. 

We talked about magnets and tested out what was 'magnetic' and was wasn't.  Then we made our own special 'Magnetic Tree Frog'

Paint a small paper plate green

Add spots if you'd like; hole punchers work great for small circles too

Our next step was to clean up the almost 100 cut holes that fell to the floor because it was hard for them to stop at just a few; saving them to use for other projects of course :)

Add the eyes and legs and you have a great little tree frog.  You can add a second plate stapled to the bottom and paint blue and add orange/red hands to complete the tropical tree frog look, but my boys just wanted red toes, have fun and make it your own!
I then hot glued a piece of magnet to end of a pipe cleaner.  I just cut some pieces from those free magnets you get on the front of telephone books, nothing fancy.  Then hot glue the other end of the pipe cleaner to the inside of the top plate.

My little guys were occupied for a while collecting flies for the frogs... paperclips :)

These would even be a great game to use at a birthday party to see which frog could catch the most flies!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pre-K 4's for Gavin today!

Now it's Gavin's turn for Pre-K to start!  So proud of my big 4yr old!  No tears for anyone today, including me! 

Someone was raring to go this morning!  So much for my shy little guy!

Drop off couldn't have gone smoother today!  Both were super excited and eager to get going with their class!

I couldn't say the same so I made sure to keep busy while they were gone- doing laundry, paying bills, making phone calls I otherwise couldn't with my 2 loud speakers that are usually in the background.  I thought had done it, gone a couple of hours without both of them on my heals and my heart wasn't aching... that is until I stopped at the post office and the teller asked, 'No kids today?'  That was all I needed to hear, I missed them now... bad, standing there all by myself, not playing I Spy games while we wait in line, or having them to help ring the bell at the counter.  I actually felt guilty they weren't with me. 

Thankfully it was my last stop and I only had 15minutes of that feeling until I had to pick the 1st one up from school.  That was a test for sure, and I know now I have to keep busy, and to avoid places with familiar faces for the next week, like the Bank too, that might do me in if they offer a lollipop and no kids are there to receive one! 

But of course it's always worse for Mom than it is for the kids, their smiling faces and glorious stories of new experiences and friends always make growing-up a wonderful thing!  I can only savor these days and try not to look ahead to the future school and college yrs too much, it's a learning experience for me too and I'm glad we're all in it together!