Friday, May 28, 2010

Outdoor Friday Fun!!

Just a few shots from our day... we have enjoyed starting our mornings out with Operation. We are learning some great turn taking skills, patience, and fine motor. The kids love to be the one to hit the patients nose when they get their piece. We didn't know that you did that yesterday, so we heard the drip, drip of his runny nose the whole time we played. Silly me, I must have missed that in the directions.

We have been doing a lot of water play outside. Today I promised the kids they could run in the sprinkler. I also got out the turtle sandbox and the outdoor water table, they enjoyed both.

The sprinkler was a lot of fun. I think Little Miss M enjoyed that the most. I was surprised my friend D loved it as much as he did... He really got wet and ran in and out of the sprinkler spray.

Of course any kind of water play at my house turns in to this!! MUD!!! The orange clay is the worst, it gets into their bathing suits and it's REALLY hard to get the orange out. It was very slippery and the kids started out just "skating" around.

Then is went on to all out mud wearing. They sat in it, they ran through it with their trucks, and painted themselves and each other with it. I wish I got more of those photos, but I was to busy watching and enjoying them enjoy themselves. One of the kids said, "Yeah, summer is really here!!" It was cute.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What we have been Up too...

We Play

I have linked up with all the other Players over at Childhood101... Take a minute and see all the things you can do to PLAY!!!

We have been doing a lot of finish up work... tying up loose ends, practicing for our Spring Program, and creating those last minute things you need to create before you lose your kids to the summer or school. Here are just a few shots of what the kids have been doing in between all that....

Here is a toy that I had talked about a while back... the Little Tykes Making Mud Pie Kitchen. I was kind of surprised that people needed to get a toy to get back to nature. You can see that blog post here. Well, I received one from a parent that knows how much we LOVE the mud and I have to say, the kids love it!!! I wasn't so sure at first how much I would love it since it is not the best construction, the pump gets stuck when sand gets in it and the kids can't pump it very well, the top is one piece and to get it on, you slide it back until it's clicked, but it sometimes comes undone. Other than those two things... the kids LOVE it!!! Now, I also have 5 to 8 kids playing with it on a daily basis, and most people don't have that many, so it might hold up better with less children. I don't think it would be as much fun though, if you didn't have a few extra people to play mud pies with. All in all, it is a good outdoor toy. I do hope it holds up like the rest of our Little Tykes toys.

We experimented with water yesterday. One of my older sons decided to freeze a golf ball in a cup of water, he took it out yesterday for the daycare kids to see and they were quite impressed!! They ran off to get their cups and filled them with water. We didn't have enough time to find something to put inside the cups (it was pick up time) but that didn't deter the kids. They filled their cups up, popped them in the freezer and today this is what we found. One of the kids ice froze kind of away from the sides of the cup... it was neat. After nap we are going on a hunt for items that we can freeze and then take them outside tomorrow to let them melt in the sandbox. Can't wait!!!

We also got out this great game!! Operation!! I love how now it has different levels, the sides aren't so sensitive on level 1 as level 2 and the lightening bolt level is most sensitive. Fun Times! I think it was both practicing our fine motor skills, and hearing that zapper going off that was most fun. They loved putting them back in and trying again.
So, we are having fun, running around, getting wet, and just being Kids this week!! LOVE IT!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Becoming a Big Sister

Our Princess is becoming a Big Sister, hopefully today!! When I see her with Little Miss M I know she will do such a great job!! She is caring, sweet, helpful and funny. She loves making sure the babies have what they need, are cared for if they get hurt or if someone does something she finds unjust, and she loves to love them. I think that is what I find so special, she is such a loving little girl. I am so happy for her to become a Big Sister, she will be the best!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Gross Motor experiences are very important to young children. When I brought my son to his Dial 3 Screening they said he did great, but, if I wanted to work on anything in particular with him, work on his gross motor skills. I thought, "Huh..." We participate in many different gross motor activities... Skipping, Running, Climbing, Dancing, Wrestling, Riding Bikes, Pushing Scooters, Actions Songs... I mean the list can go on and on. So when they said that I thought, "He must be having a bad day." I am so not worried...

As the year winds down and we are playing outside more and more, I have a chance to watch the kids practice their gross motor skills. It is amazing to see the toddlers navigate the ladder to the slide, or the preschoolers climb to the top of the play house and jump/slide off the other side. They kick the ball around, they throw the bean bags, and even "play" baseball with the wiffle ball bat. It is truly amazing to see how far they have come.

We have had a lot of wet weather here lately though. So, we needed to find some indoor gross motor activities... Now I have a slide inside, bean bags, hopscotch, and bowling, but their favorite is...

They gather every pillow, blanket, dress up clothing, and soft thing they can find, put it in a pile and JUMP!!! Watching their little faces and bodies, I know the feeling is exhilarating for them. To be flying through the air and landing in that pile of stuff... the yelps, giggles, and belly laughs are contagious. The arts and crafts, science experiments, and yummy snacks are all great, but this is what it is all about!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Liquid Watercolors

I took out the water color paints the other day and I got this shot of our Princess inspecting her work. I just love it!
We usually just have out the Crayola Watercolor Paints that you get at the store, but on this day I poured some of the Discount School Supply's Colorations Liquid Watercolors. Wow... what a difference I saw in the kids. They were so interested in it.
Them: "What is it??" Me: "Watercolors."
Them: "What do you do with it?" Me: "You paint with it, like your other watercolors" {grin}
Them: "No, it's to wet." Me: "Yes, just dip your brush in and see" {giggle}
Them: "Shell, it won't come out on the paper." Me: "Just try it, I assure you, you will like it"
The walked around the table, looked at it, poked at it... I realized that I hadn't really let them use this kind of paint process before. I had only used the liquid watercolors to dye things, or I would add it to our water transferring work, but I hadn't let them actually paint with it!! I can only shake my head at myself sometimes :) They really thought it would be like painting with water and it wouldn't be a strong enough color. Boy were they surprised, and delighted to see the vibrant colors on their paper!!
Well, to say they liked it would be an understatement!!! They painted for a long time, hung all their papers to dry on the drying rack, painted some more, and only stopped when we realized there was no where else to dry their work. Then they had fun cleaning off the paint from the table. The watercolors would make their wash clothes very bright indeed, but what an amazement when it ALL washed out of the cloth in the sink. I think that was almost as much fun as the actual painting!!! I like this paint!!!
I have to remeber it for next year when I have Little Miss M and Little Miss O... I think it will be a very rewarding art experience for Toddlers. I also must remember to order more of it for next school year, because I think we will use it much more often!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Park and The Tree's!!

I was so looking forward to doing some work inside today, then getting out in the yard and messin with the mud puddles that are drying up. But it rained AGAIN last night!!! My yard is so full of mucky mud, that I can't even let the kids play in it. They would look like a bunch of Mud Wrestlers when they came inside, and even I am not into having that much muddy fun :)

We Went To The Park Instead!!!

This is our neighborhood park. It is very nice, we have some nice equipment and they installed some swings in the Fall. Although, the swings are so high off the ground that young children can't get on without help. My stance on that is, if you can't get on yourself, then you can't go on. I don't have to worry about Little Miss M because for some reason they didn't put any baby swings in, go figure!!! We like to get on with her and swing with her on our lap... we called it the butterfly swing when I was younger.

There are climbing parts, sliding parts, swinging, and tunneling. So it is an all around nice park.

Who says you can't get Fine Motor Work done at the Park??? Who ever said it, has never met these two friends :)

My friends were sticking the little pieces of mulch through the holes on the platforms... ingenious they are!!!

Here are the girls trying to get on their swings!! They were laughing and giggling, until they finally got on. I don't have a photo of that one, because after they finally got on, and I gave them each a push, I was called to help clean some wet slides.

Now, this beautiful Park is great, for awhile!! Believe it or not they get bored after just a short time. Unless other kids show up, or I pull balls or toys out of hiding they get bored. Today was no exception. After a few "I'm bored" and "Go and Play or were leaving" exchanges, I realized that they had ventured off the mulch into the grassy area surrounding the park. They had found the TREES!!!

Let the climbing commence!!!

We put all our effort into mastering this skill, and climbing up as far as possible.

One of our Mom's was driving past and only saw her son running around. It took her a couple seconds to locate myself and my best friend, but she couldn't see any other kids. I felt like the Von Trapp Family, where the kids are hanging out in the trees when the Dad drives home with the new girlfriend.
But with all that expensive play equipment... what do the kids eventually gravitate to?? The natural parts of the playground, the grassy area to run, the trees to hide in or climb on, and the woodsy area to look for bugs and insects. It was a nice morning :)
We decided to link up to Childhood 101, in their We Play Post!!! Check it out to see all the wonderful things people do all over the world!!! Play is Contagious!!
We Play

My favorite photo of the day... How can that be comfortable??? This was the way Little Miss M fell asleep today. I must have moved her back up 3 times, but every time I would look, she would be hanging off. She was asleep the whole time. To cute!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Messy Day

This was the scene at my house yesterday :) I don't know if you can see, the top left corner of the first picture, the kids have filled every available container with sand from the sand table... and yes, the majority of them fell to the floor before the morning was out.

I don't know how the rooms got so messy, but the kids were very engaged, busy and interactive yesterday morning. The rooms just seem to come alive. It rained most of the day, so we were couped up inside... so I guess it could have been worse.

The kids love making messes, but usually hate picking up. It takes us almost as long to clean up as it does to make the mess. The fun along the way is just an added bonus. It stopped raining, but it is still wet and muddy in the yard, even to much mud for Ms Michelle. We went outside in the front today and rode bikes before lunch. It was nice to get some of those wiggles out. I am looking forward to the dryer weather coming tomorrow :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back to Babies

Here are just a few photos from last week... I have so many, it was hard to choose :) We really wanted to get to know what it might be like to have a New Baby around, but I don't know anyone with an actual new baby... so we improvised :)

Emily brought in her Princess Baby Center she got for Christmas, we got the books, diapers, dolls and baby paraphernalia out so the kids could practice being Mommies and Daddies.

If you look close at the photo, you will see what they used for Babies most of the time... Yup, Kitty's. Those kitty's are involved in everything.

They even pop up where you least expect them.

Worm Babies were a favorite too, especially since they sing and make music all by themselves.

Putting the diapers on was the most fun to do (and watch for me). They were so serious and proud of themselves when they got them on right, and let me tell you, getting those diapers on Kitty's was no easy feat!!!

Here are some actual Baby Dolls, all diapered and ready for their naps.

A Proud Mama!!

On Friday I had to go to the Dentist for a (unexpected) root canal. So the weekend was one for relaxing and getting better, not organizing and getting material ready for this weeks theme. It still hurts a little, but getting better. So, I decided we will be reviewing our Alphabet and numbers to 30 this week. We can count to 30, but we are going to try and match all our numbers this week. I am sure we will also spend time outside, in the garden, in the sandbox, getting wet and messy and just enjoying the good weather. The Spring/Graduation Program will be the 2nd Week of June this year, so we will continue to practice for that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bare Feet

The computer is still out of commission... but I think it is on the mend :) I miss it. I have some great photos of the kids playing "Babies" that I can't wait to post. A lot of wonderful little Mommies and Daddies in the making :)

Today we were outside before lunch and I was watching the kids play about the yard. They were all busy, talking, moving, and interacting. I watched as my son took his shoes off (which are probably still outside, by the way), threw his socks near his shoes in a pile and proceed to walk about in the grass. Was it a conscious decision to walk in the grass? It seemed not to be, it was like a detour. He walked in a small circle on the grass, then moved up to grab his truck and began running along the "truck path" they have made over the last month or so. But, it was also deliberate, as he had to walk out to the grass and back to the truck, which was up in the sand area. Watching him explore the grass in that split second, was amazing. The look on his face showed that he found what he was looking for. Maybe it was cool against his hot feet, or moist since it is very humid today. I am not sure, when I asked him, he looked at me like I was crazy and he had no idea he stopped what he was doing and took a jaunt in the grass :) Children amaze me everyday!!

My best friend comes to visit pretty much every day, and we were talking how important it is that the kids have the freedom to run and play in bare feet. The sensory experience a lone is amazing. Everyday the kids take their shoes off to play in the sand... I know everyone thinks it is because the sand will get in the shoe, but I really think it is that they KNOW if they take them off in the sandbox they won't have to worry about putting them back on until it is time to bring them inside, and even then they just carry them in. Plus, have you ever felt cool, wet sand between your toes on a hot day. Scrumptious!!!

We have some wee ones that don't like the feel of the concrete or even the grass on their little toes, and I respect that. We have everything from sandals to mud boots for the kids to choose to wear. I am partial to bare feet myself, but respect the sensory issues of each child. Though, I am a firm believer that given enough opportunity to run bare foot, a child will choose no shoes hands down to shoes.

That little action, watching my son take his shoe off, gave me a lot to think about. Made me grateful that I am here and he can take his shoes off and feel the grass on his toes... that I can give that experience to the other children as well. I always think about all the synapses going off in their brains with such a typically mundane thing, something I may have missed if I weren't watching today... I am sending him out into the world in the Fall... Kindergarten, new rules, new people, less freedom... Wow, going from taking shoes off to that dreaded bus ride to school (for me, not him)... not sure what's wrong with me today, maybe not enough sleep :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Babies and Baseball

Okay, my computer is at the shop. I have always said to myself... back everything up... it is only a matter of time before the computer goes down. Well, it started with a touch pad not working, then the port for the mouse stopped working, then the computer went black... I sent it out, I am confident she can save my photos... that is what I am most worried about. 2 yrs of photos saved, I need them :)

Today was an off day. I was out at baseball games from 5pm to 10pm last night. We ran out the door at 5, didn't straighten up, like I would have liked, ran to pick up the van, then off to 2 baseball games at 2 different fields at 2 different times... one overlapping the other!!! Then to top it off, my best friend (who was watching 1 of my sons, at her sons game) had to rush her son to the emergency room, due to a line drive to her poor sons cheek... whoever said baseball wasn't dangerous... obviously hasn't played :) Every year there is some sort of injury. I had to go pick my son and her daughter up at the emergency room after my other sons game... whew.... what a night. Thankfully he will be ok, lots of swelling and man will he have the best shiner to go to school with when he goes back.

So, all the cleaning, planning, and setting up I planned to do last night, well.... you know how it goes. We read, What to Expect When the New Baby Comes Home by Heidi Murkoff. It was a great compare and contrast book. The kids are so close to the baby stage that they could relate (even though they can't remember) to how much an itty bitty baby needs.

They talked about how and what they eat compared to a new baby. We also have kids who were very knowledgeable on formula fed babies, as well as, breast fed babies. We talked a lot about dirty diapers and who should take care of that (not them) and how they don't use them anymore. When reminded that not so very far in the past, they indeed, wore diapers (I have photos to prove it)... there was a lot of EEWWWing and NOT ME's. But, all in all, they were able to relate to what a new baby will be like when it comes home from the hospital. Now, when reality sets in and the Little Man does come home... well, that will be a whole new ballgame :) Though, I think Princess will love being a Big Sister and do a wonderful job adapting and helping out.

The kids also played house with their baby dolls, tent making with all the baby blankets we had out, and picnics in the Living room. The blocks were everywhere, from buildings to instruments. The Sand Studio was used for some Monster Truck racing, and the Science Center had a lot of traffic... the kids used the magnifiers to study the branches and leaves from yesterday... I wish I could get them to stay a live... they look so nice in that corner.

I hope I get my computer back soon... we have a t-ball game tonight (unless the rain keeps up) so hopefully we can get everything done before we leave. If not, thankfully a Baby Theme is a lot of free play choices :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Branches & Planting

The touch pad on my laptop is broken... it is very frustrating to have to use a mouse to move my cursor around. It never works right, I can't get it to go where I want to go because the pad is not even... it is beginning to get to me.

Anyway... I hope it was a good weekend for everyone. I got to sit and relax this weekend... even got to get a pedicure. The guy who did it told me to wear my shoes more... Not something I can do, Dude!!! I love this weather... barefoot weather.

Today one of the kids brought these "trees" in for our Science Center. We tried looking them up to find out exactly what kind of trees they came from... We know one definitely came from a Maple, another from a Honeysuckle, and one from an Oak. The Honeysuckle was fun to pass around... most of the kids liked the way it smelled, only 1 didn't. We compared the smell to the other branches, which didn't have much smell to them, but the kids had fun comparing anyway.

On Thursday we got to planting some of our veggies, herbs, and flowers. The squash is going to overtake the little garden, but I don't think the kids mind. I think it will just be interesting that they are growing. The flowers kind of wilt in the noon sun, so the kids run and get water to "wake them up." They found that if they water them before nap, then by the time they wake, the flowers wake up too.

They had a grand time planting, I wish I had more space for them to plant more things. I love the square foot gardening idea... I think we will have to set some of those boxes up around the yard. Then we can have cucumbers, squash, peppers maybe... the ideas are endless. I do know that the kids eat more of what they themselves grow... so when I put squash on the pizza or make a cucumber salad (which happens to be out of this world, Thank You Dana!!), they won't EEEEWWWW!! it to death.

One of the Mom's came while we were planting in the garden and she took some photos of us working... I am always amazed at how I look when I see myself in the photos. My hair never seems combed enough, my clothes never seem professional enough (I mean, how professional can I get in the dirt), and I always think I should lose a few pounds... I guess that's why I am always behind the camera :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun in the Sun

We have been outside a lot this week. It has been beautiful, warm and dry. But, don't let that fool you into thinking we haven't been working too. We have been hard at work creating some special Mommy Day things. We have also been learning some new songs, finger plays and poems for our Spring Program... so, this outside stuff, while the focus of much talk and photos, isn't all we are up to!!!

We got to get WET today!!! It was warm enough to get the sprinkler out and run, play and have fun. The kids made potions, mud pies, castles... while filling, dumping, measuring and experimenting with the sand and dirt. Little Miss M had a ball running through the spray and then wading in the mud pond the water made in the backyard. She held her own with the big kids and loved the feel of the water when the spray came up and "got" her.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Fun in the Sun
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

No Child Care Tomorrow... Miss Michelle has a Dr's appointment. We will start our "Baby/Big Sister" theme next week... the girls can't wait :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What is it about Paint??

We have been busy making some special things this week. It involves PAINT. What is it about Paint that makes a child say, "EWWW" anyway??? The kids in my care have ample opportunities to play with paint, paint with paint, slime with paint, or pretty much anything they can come up with to do with paint (besides throw it). Yet, some of them still can't stand touching it, or getting it on their hands or fingers... and OMG should it get on their arm.

It has got to be the sliminess of it... that smooth, cool quality of it. Because these same kids are knee and elbow deep into the mud in the yard. It seems the boys have the hardest time with Paint. They touch it like it was a dirty diaper they had to throw away :) Using only their littlest tip of their finger, and that is only if they HAVE to touch it. If they can get away with not touching it, or using another utensil they will. Interesting....

I know some children have Sensory Processing issues... but can the number of children I have seen in my career ALL have Sensory Processing Disorder (to some degree) or is it a learned behavior in some children?? Have they been told "No" "Don't get dirty" "Your making a mess" or "You'd better not get that on your cloths" so many times, that anytime they see or touch paint it brings consequences that are not worth the short amount of fun they may or may not have. I'm guessing that the latter plays a big role in Sensory issues for most children.

Princess loves the paint!! She can have the paint up to her neck (and sometimes does) and not have a worry about it.

Little Miss M loves the paint too. She gets it on her hands and looks to me to figure out how to react to it. Should she get it off, can she leave it on, and can she happily go on with her project. She likes to rub it between her hands like soap sometimes... I'm glad :)

We were excited today... a bean sprouted!!! (and it wasn't mine!!) This little guy was just peeking out this morning, we noticed as we went outside this morning... by the time we came back inside he was stretching up to the sun!! What a wonderful experience... the kids were sooo excited!!!

This little one is peeking out too... and he wasn't even there when we came in from outside. We noticed him after we ate lunch. Can't wait until after nap to check if he is stretching yet...

Friends helping one another!!!
We read a special book the Princess brought in about new siblings... Froggy's Baby Sister, by Jonathon London. Froggy is waiting until his new sibling is born (he wants a boy). When the baby finally comes, it's a girl, and he is disappointed, for a second. He gets more disappointed because his new little sister is so small he can't teach her anything right away. Until finally she loses her tail and grows legs. It was great for the Princess, and we tied it into our "Mommy" theme by talking about how helpful Froggy was to his Mom, how much he must Love his Mom to help her so much. As well as, how thoughtful Froggy was being a Big Brother. We also talked about how when a new baby comes home, he/she is very tiny and can't play right away. But, more on that next week :)