Sunday, August 7, 2011

Playdates, learning and the like

I have been pretty busy lately, so I haven't had a chance to blog. But here are a few things we have been up to lately...hopefully this week I will be able to blog again about this weekend, as it was quite an eventful one.

Item 1. School

I decided that since I went back to work, even though it is only a short period 3 days during the week, that my time with Axel needed to be filled with something besides him watching TV and me doing chores. So I decided that I would start doing "School" with him, to help him learn his letters, name, and numbers. I had read back when I was tending my sister Hilary's kids that young children need to focus on one letter at a time for about two weeks. I thought hey I could handle a little prep work and then we would just do the activities over and over throughout the week each day.

Because it is summer we mainly just "play school" the days we have cousins Story and Gauge.
Boy do these two LOVE to play school and learn about the letters.

The first day I was sooo surprised at how much they absorbed all the information and how such simple activities would entertain them so well.

A is for Acorn, Airplane, Alligator, and Apple.

A is for Aprons

We played dress up and put on Aprons

TV ZOMBIES: I know this isn't a school activity, this was right before the first lesson, but I couldn't get over their zombie TV faces...But they had fun playing dress up and wearing them all day.
Axel's is the most unfortunate...Magic Bag....A is for...

To introduce the letter, I cut out a GIANT A and some "A" objects and put them in what I called the magic bag (a giant pink gift bag) I got them really excited and made this funny accelerating noise (think the music machine folks) "do do do do" then would pull an A object out. They couldn't get enough of this game. Axel plays it daily over and over.

We leave the A on the board all week and talk about it at dinner.

After we are all done we sing a song I made up. (Too bad I don't have a way to record these songs because they are that fantastic and EVERONE would love them, and then I would be the next sighning time lady...ohh wait...)

It goes like this
Acorn, Airplane, Alligator, Apple
All begin with A
Acorn Airplane, Alligator, Apple
All begin with A

A says aah, A says aah
A says aah aah aah aah

Acorn, Airplane, Alligator, Apple
All begin with A!

I know I'm a genius!

Anyway, Story and Axel love love love it when I sing this and act it out, especially when I act like I am ho ho ho -ing the aah aah aah aah part.

A is for Airplane

So we made some killer airplanes out of paper towel rolls and cardboard

We colored them
We Flew them around outside
Made airplane soundsWatched for Airplanes in the skyRead Airplane books

And enjoyed an Airplane snack

A is for Alligator
We made "A -lligators "

Read books about Alligators
And had an alligator snackWe also sang "5 little monkies swinging from a tree"ooldles too.

We also did a whole bunch of Apple activities but I don't have pictures :( Maybe next week)

So far A was a huge success, if you ask Axel what A says he says very proudly aah aah aah!

Item2: Baby girl is two months!

And is more smiley than ever! We just love how smiley she is and how happy. Don't worry she has her moments but she is pretty content most of the time. We get complements all the time about her beautiful long lashes, which of course we are totally in love with too. She is going to be TROUBLE when she is older! Overheard by one of the tweens at the Anderson 50 wedding anniversary "She is going to be a KNOCK OUT!" and I agree :)
She has discovered her hands, and is constantly sucking on them or her little fingers, and is SOAKING from her drool most of the time. I am going to have to start layering her clothes to keep her warm in the coming cool months. She loves baths with her brother, this was her first one, but she really likes Axel and was smiling at him and watching him play with all his toys, and of course he was so kind and gentle to her.
This is Axel giving her loves. He always says "Ah cute" after he gives her hugs. :)
I am pretty impressed with her ability to hold herself up. She is a big fan of the bumbo, mostly because she can look at herself in the mirror, and she thinks that is pretty neat. She also loves looking at other babies in magazines, and will often smile and study their faces.
She is a GREAT sleeper, and is already sleeping in 7-8 hour stretches at night! She also self soothes. Sometimes this is sad though, because she will NOT let us rock her to sleep almost ever. Although she will sometimes. But I am not complaining. I love that I can put her down when she is tired and she just dozes off.

That's all for now!


Kelli said...

I am pretty sad about not being able to rock Felix to sleep too. It was such a great time (although sometimes it was annoying) and I miss it. You have to be on meth, I don't know how else you do all this when babysitting. If I make it through the day with my three (not four) alive I count it good. That's a compliment by the way. You should invite Felix so he can be educated on something besides Alias and Grey's Anatomy.

Sarah said...

I am very impressed with your teaching skills - you should become a kinder garten teacher or open your own day care. It's great to know your kids are learning as well as being looked after well.

KaSs MiLeS said...

story was totally that way, we bought a rocking chair and NEVER used it with her. I'm pretty excited that Gauge will let me rock him every night. Finally getting my money's worth from that rocking chair.
I'm so so so so impressed with your school!!! that looks like so much fun!! You are so good to do that with them!!

KaSs MiLeS said...

i agree sarah. she's so good. don't you know she already runs a day care. :)

Judd & Leslie Zimmerman said...

I would send my kids to your "play school" anytime! Looks like a blast :)

Jessie Eyre said...

I love all of this! Isn't teaching your kids the BEST?!

rain said...

I'm super impressed with the kiddo classes you are doing, as well. I am in awe, actually. I mean, I'm on my third kid...and I STILL don't have the patience to do something with them for more than an hour. Please don't take my children away from me--I hate admitting that if it wasn't for TV--which basically entertains my children for every occasion, every second, I don't even know what I'd do. All three of my kids wear the zombie television faces for at least two thirds of each day. It's no picnic for me admitting to everyone that I'm such a terrible mother. However, I think it's important to realize what you're doing is excellent. Truly amazing, and makes me want to go back to work so you can watch my kids, and I can feel better about myself because I will know that they're learning stuff and enjoying it.

Ashley said...

Seriously you might as well open a daycare or preschool if i didn't live so far i would definitely enroll Ashdon. You have so much patience and are so great with kids.
Ashdon knows about a third of the alphabet but that's mostly from his books and super why. Keep posting what you do so i can steal your ideas. :)

Axel and Dani are just to cute, love all the pictures!!
Can you believe our kiddos are pretty much out of the newborn phase how did that happen??

Kory said...

The raisins on the plane look like people that were burned in the crash.

maida said...

I am amazed at how creative you are with the kids, you are a born mother. You are so good to do all of that when you have 4 kids under 3.