Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Turtle Helps at the Alphabet Hotel

Earlier this year we were gifted with a Geosafari Phonics Pad (sometimes it's REALLY nice that Jackie works at a school supply store!). I put it aside after deciding to use it for Jathan's "school" this year. Starting in August we started using it during our study of phonics for pre-k and it's been a lot of fun.

Part of what I love about it is that it's a complete system. It comes with worksheets that you use as pretests and post-tests before and after playing the game. It also comes with a sort of lesson plan book that gives you suggestions for extended activities. One of the extended activities was making an "Alphabet Hotel."

I drew a simple hotel on half a poster board tracing around a memo note pad to make windows. I wrote the capital letters A-N inside the windows then wrote lower case letters a-n on the sticky notes.

Since Jathan had just gotten a new toy turtle and it hadn't left his hands in 24 hours, it joined us for phonics time. The little letters were cry out (in my best helpless letter voice), "Help, help! We can't find our big letters! Can you help us find our room?" The turtle would reply, every single time, "Why, of course. I'm a friendly turtle. Watch my trick...and I can go inside my shell!" And so that the turtle wouldn't get too carried away the little letters would cry out, "No, no don't leave me! I'm lonely and want my big letter!" So then the turtle would walk the little letter to its room. = )

When we had helped all of the little letters find their big letters, Jathan said, "I want to play it again! That's my favorite!" I admit EVERYTHING enjoyable is his "favorite" but he definitely did enjoy this simple, fun alphabet game.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One of my favorite words is...


Because not only does Ryland enjoying using (washable!) markers...

He also likes to make coloring a full sensory experience. He observes how the marker feels on his skin by rubbing it all over his hand...

And how it smells by stuffing the tip of it up his nose and how it tastes by taking a little lick!

Ha ha ha! Yes, he's a full body learner so I definitely love that word, "Washable."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Zoo Mobile

Today the Zoo Mobile came to campus! A friend (thanks Ashley!) watched Ryland and Piper for me so Jathan and I got to go, just the two of us. Plus, you know, the other 20 little kids. = )

Jathan loves animals and we'd just watched a Magic School Bus episode about reptiles so today's little field trip was such fun for us! We got to see a red-tailed hawk then a snake. Here Jathan is checking out how many ribs a snake has.

I think it was thrilling to all the kids to get to pet the animals. Each time Jathan would whip around and tell me what it felt like.

I think he was pretty proud of himself for petting the spiny-tailed lizard. Doesn't he look like such a big boy in this shot?! I can't believe he's already 4 and going to educational field trips and everything!

On the mammalian side, we got to see a bunny and a tiny little opossum! We learned that the opossum is a cousin to the kangaroo. Most of them have little pouches for their babies but this one doesn't; it's too small! Also, opossums will eat just about anything--meat or plants just like us humans.

The opossum looked incredibly soft to pet.

Can you tell Jathan was excited?

At the end the kids got to tell which of the animals was their favorite. Jathan raised his hand after she named each and every one of the animals--I guess he liked them all!

And here's a shot of the second group (the one that Keeleigh was in). I didn't get to stay with Keeleigh but she said her favorite was the snake. She wants a pet one. That's probably not going to happen. = P

I know that Jathan was listening because, over lunch, he told me that birds can't hold it when they have to go to the bathroom. Hee, hee! If we learned nothing else, I guess now we know that birds aren't really out for us when they splatter our cars/heads---they just can't hold it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ryland's First Haircut!

I've been reluctant to get Ryland's hair cut because he has the cutest little curly mullet but the little strands in front finally made it down past his eyebrows so I figured it was time. Today we visit our new friend, Mr. Jeff, and he gave Ryland a cute little boy cut. Here's our "before" picture.

Ryland was such a good boy! I was so impressed with how he sat happily and let Mr. Jeff snip away.

He found it pretty amusing that Mama kept snapping pictures, too, but always laughed after the flash.

I did get one good smiley shot, though! This was how he was almost the whole time; he cracked us all up!

Here's the "after" shot. Isn't my little man adorable?

And those cute little curls? They're now stored in a baggie for Mama to treasure forever. = )

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Piper Plays

Piper is 15 weeks old now! I can't believe how the time has flown by; it truly seems like it was just yesterday that I was still pregnant! As sad as I am that she is (has?) outgrowing the newborn stage, it is exciting to see her personality emerge in smiles and giggles. She has also begun to reach out for objects so we've given her plenty of opportunities lately to practice this new skill by playing.

She got a new gym today and I think she's going to like it! (Had to post this pic because look at those chunky little legs!)

I think she looks like me in my baby pictures from this angle. It's kind of strange having a dark-haired baby for the first time! I can't wait until that hair grows a little longer and I can stick some bows in it.

Piper has also enjoyed some time in her baby seat lately.

And, though I considered getting rid of the swing because I couldn't keep Ryland out of it, I'm glad I didn't because it's been nice lately. I like this one because you can attach toys to the side for a little entertainment.

Ryland tries to give Piper lots of tips about playtime! He's got tons of good ideas I'm sure she'll appreciate in the future. For now she is quite patient with him and his tough-lovin' ways.

I'm looking forward to more and more playtime. I know it won't be long until my baby is rolling, crawling, and walking!