Friday, September 25, 2009

Tools for Motherhood!

So, I'm taking this great class at my church. It's called Tools For Motherhood. I've taken a quick day class overview of it, but this is a more in depth 7 week class that is just wonderful! It basically gives us stats of children and how they learn and how their little brains work. It's mainly geared toward mothers of preschoolers and teaches us how to use everyday items in just 10-15 minutes a day and give them a firm foundation for the schoolyears! We are soo indisposable to our children right now. It is soo true that we are indeed our childrens first and most important teacher! We give them their attention span, their respect for others using eye contact, their love of reading etc...

We learned that a childs attention span is 3 times their age! So I can't expect my 4 year old to sit through and pay attention to an hour long church service. It's been very good to know this info! I learned that in between the ages of 0-4 they will learn 50% of all they will learn in life! Wow! If that's not pressure I don't know what is! By the age of 8 they will learn 80% of all they'll ever learn in life! Wow! Who knew?

Anyways... along with this our teacher, Mary Duncan, gives us ideas of using everyday household items to teach our children through play. What a great way to learn.

This week our class was on Pre- Math skills. Now, really, can a 2-4 year old grasp the concept of multiplication? No, we all know that, but did you know that just by talking about things, i.e... when shopping at the store and just saying out loud how much something weighs and the price and then doing the math, this is laying a foundation later for those children. By doing something as simple as a 1 year old putting golf balls in a muffin tin and teaching one to one corrospondance also lays the foundation for great math skills during the school years. It's like reading to a baby. They don't necessarily understand it at all, but they are getting to hear the words and thus their little brains are developing. This is just wonderful. My favorite game that I took away from class this week was the simplest game ever and honestly most of her games are and I sure feel stupid that I didn't think of them myself, but this game is great for those days when you are trying to get your grocery shopping list done and you've got the ads spread out on the table and your child is, the dreaded word, "bored. So, you take a dice or even just shout out numbers and let them circle them in your ads. The first person to get say 5 or 10 of those numbers can win. It's obviously geared toward the 3-5 year olds, but wow! How easy. It keeps them occoupied and no longer "bored" and lets you still get stuff done.

There are soo many other games too. I like the one that teaches shapes and burns off that energy. Cut big shapes out of material ( we all have that old shirt that just has to go) and then on a block draw the shapes and take turns rolling and running to get the shape. The first person to get 2 matches or one of each shape wins! I mean, really how easy! Then I just put all the little pieces in a ziplock baggie to save for another time when I'm going insane with all the extra energy they seem to have that I never do! I can also make this game grow with the child by cutting the shapes out of different colored cloth so they can learn the colors and then the shapes later on! And when they know their shapes and colors then I'd write the shape word on the block for them to "read" and then go get their shape! The game that just keeps growing and growing.

So, next time you find yourself at a loss for what to do with those little ones yet you still have stuff to do and you've already let them lick the cookie dough utensils while you ate the cookies remember that there are a lot of ideas out there if you just get a little creative! Enjoy and happy weekend to all the "teachers" out there! Feel free to visit for more info and ideas for each age your child is now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Photo Booth Friday- on Tuesday!

So, I'm a little late for my blog for Photo Booth Friday, but here is the best picture of last week! Here's a BIG thank you to my little photographer- Zoe! What a great shot!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and here's to a great rest of the week


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zoe's thoughts on preschool

What Zoe thought of Preschool....

Ok, so I picked my little blue lipped girl up from Preschool. Here she is waiting patiently to be put in my car by Mr. Richards! So patient!

So I asked her how she liked it and she was soo excited about the snack... that's right, the snack- orange slices, blueberries, crackers and apple juice. Wow, as long as the food is good right?Thus the blue lips! Soo cute! So, there was circle time... boys had to sit on the blue circle and the girls got to sit on the yellow line. Then they listened to a story called Dog goes to School. Then they had craft time and she got to color a car that she made into a necklace- blue and purple on a red yarn necklace... see below! Again, what a great craft for her first day of preschool! Nice little nametags!

They sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and some other songs that she didn't know. And then got ready for their snack. Such fun! Washed hands with that yellow soap that you just squirt on and then one of the kids passed out the snacks.
I guess Zoe tried to understand one of the girls names but she couldn't, so we'll try again on Thursday. But she did enjoy playing with the sparkly ponies and the cabbage patch dolls during play time! Such fun!

So no matter how much she said she wouldn't like preschool, it sounds like she rather enjoyed it! And said "I guess I can go back again, I liked it a little bit, not a lot!"

Labor Day....

First Day of Preschool!!

Today is Zoe's first day of preschool! So, this is for some moms and dads a bittersweet moment, but alas, I'm not one of those! I'm soo excited for her to have this experience! It will be soo good for her! And me too! I mean two hours a day for two days a week! Yeah! What will I do with myself! I mean Lexi is napping and I'm at a loss.... clean? Nah, cook dinner? Nah, laundry? Definitely not! So today on this day of semi independance I choose to spend my time for me! I'll watch my favorite tv show, read a little of my book, and of course catch up on my blog! Don't worry though... I've still done the mommy thing and I've baked brownies and grocery shopped for our celebratory dinner with Zoe! A picnice in the living room and a movie night complete with brownies for dessert! I think she was looking forward to actually going to "school" by the time we left... perhaps it was the pep talk daddy gave her there...

Here are some pictures from today! Enjoy! I'll let you know more Thursday on how her first day was, but as far as my first day... it's been wondeful!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Manhattan Sunset Zoo!

Ok, so we woke up Sunday morning in the mood to play a little hooky from church. This is a rare occurance, but it'd been a rough night with the girls the night before and we all slept in and just decided that we'd make it a family day! And what a day it was! Beautiful weather- mid 70's in August. It was just a day to be spent outdoors!

We slept in. We ate breakfast and then we packed up our car for our day trip to Manhattan, Kansas! Now, it's only about an hour away, but my 4 year old doesn't understand the concept of time, obviously as proven by all the stuff she just HAS to bring with her! So, after packing their stuff and getting the sunscreen, juice boxes, fruit snacks and jackets, etc.. we headed west!

We've never been to this Zoo, but after careful research (done very quickly before I told Zoe to ask daddy if we could go to the zoo) we decided it would be the best one within an hour or so that didn't cost much and wasn't too huge for the girls who tire walking easily and get heavy when we have to carry them! It actually would cost us less (not including gas) to get into the Manhattan zoo an hour away then it would to go to our very own "world famous" zoo here in Topeka! Don't get me wrong, I guess it's nice having a zoo in town, but really, I've seen farms with more animals then our local zoo! So, instead of paying $13.50 for us to go here we spent $10 to go to the Sunset Zoo! What a beautiful zoo! It's the perfect zoo! It's a smaller zoo, but a zoo that's done right! They have a small petting zoo, and different Continent areas set up! We really enjoyed the South America section! It was really great and only took about 2 1/2 hours to make it through! Then we came home, un"packed" and then headed out again for some fishing and a campfire. Well, after not eating dinner, we stopped for some chineses so needless to say we never made it to the lake in time to go fishing, but the campfire was great! Zoe loves when Patrick tells her a "scary" story! Then she spends the next 30 minutes telling princess stories! This would be kinda funny if she actually knew them, but she just knows bits and pieces and I have to fill in the rest! Makes for a long night, but she's great at the ending, which was just how our day ended... And they lived happily ever after!

Pictures to come later. We seem to be having some computer problems, thus I can't download my pics to them and can't put them up here, so... stay tuned!