Monday, February 27, 2012

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Dr. Seuss's birthday is this week, and so we are celebrating every day this week with a different book. He wrote 46 of them and it's easy to find five I love to focus on. He'd be 108 this year... what a cool legacy to leave behind, right? I think it would be hard to find a kid who gets read to regularly, who hasn't read at least one Seuss book.

Today we did Ten Apples Up on Top. This is one of my personal favorites, and we've done units on it before- see here. O'Malley and Roo are the only ones still here this time around though and they don't remember doing that, although they loved seeing the pictures of themselves.

This time we had a lot more trouble getting apples to stay on their heads. I'm not sure if I just needed an apple with a different shape, or if they were too wiggly to make them stay. Maybe both. But they had fun.

This was really leaning against the back of the couch and not so much actually on his head. Trifles....

Hercules was the most successful, I think, managing both a smile and the apple staying up there.

Tarzan apparently thought that "be still" was code for "look super serious and scared like I'm gonna throw the apple at your face..."
Tigger kept laughing and ducking it off so Tarzan helped.

Now it works. With a little help from the couch again.

Hey wait, where did that apple go?

Here, take this please. It doesn't work!

Mr. Ham and Cheese, needing me to take his picture one more time!

Next we took their old pictures off their cubby box and glued it on a piece of paper, and used thumbprints to put apples on top of their heads. They turned out pretty well.

We got a lot more than ten apples on top, I think!

Hard at work!

For snack we're having apples and little pieces of tootsie roll that are put on the back for spots and a head, and hopefully it will look like a ladybug. It's not officially in the book, but it's an apple snack. :) A fun day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Focus: Mater

Mater has become quite the big boy lately. He runs all around, flirts with the ladies, sings and dances during circle time, and otherwise proves that nobody better mistake him for a baby.

I really love the fancy threads. Grandma got him the whole outfit for Christmas and he wore it here one day to show off, even it's a bit more formal than he usually wears. SO cute.

Lady was quite enamored with him too- they played peek a boo a lot that day and it was super cute to watch. They took turns peeking around the corner and laughing hysterically.

Eating breakfast is one of his very favorite things to do here. Lunch is kind of hit or miss, depending on what we're having, but he pretty much always eats more breakfast than anyone else. Some days that includes me and Kanga. This picture is blurry because he was signing "more" so ferociously. See the worried look on his face? He was afraid I might cut him off at only three bowls of oatmeal. Seriously. Sometimes it's all he eats for the day, but the kid packs in the breakfast! He doesn't often remind me of the Disney Mater, but in this case it's like the part in Cars 2 where Mater is fussing at the guy who only wants to give him a tiny bit of wasabi. Oh come now, don't be stingy! :)

I enjoy just looking down the row of buckle chairs. So many cutie pies in one place...

Today he did big kid art with us. It was the first time I let him paint and so he needed a bit of supervision, but he did some cute thumbprint apples for our Dr. Seuss week crafts. He was extremely pleased with himself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet Remy

I love new friends! Our new little guy started today and he is doing well. He fits right in age-wise: he's between Alice and Perdita and holds his own. :) Here he is enjoying some rice.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Focus: Tarzan

Wow, I went back and looked at the last focus I did on Tarzan, and he looks so much older in just a couple months! He's saying I instead of me now, and counting in the right order, and working on workbooks and patterning and all kinds of big kid stuff.

Since O'Malley is getting ready for kindergarten, I'm doing more work on writing with him. I really think Tarzan is not to the stage where it's necessary- in six months it would be a lot easier and more natural for him. But he WANTS to right now, to be the same as O'Malley, and so we're going with it. I had gotten him a workbook for ages 3-5 and he blew through the first 30 pages or so pretty easily. Now we're getting to parts that have concepts he really doesn't understand so well yet, so we're doing concrete patterning and sorting and talking through the ideas before we go back to the book. He's chomping at the bit to get back to it- he doesn't think that the "playing" we do is as good as the "important work" in the books. I would disagree. :) In fact I think it's more important. But hey, we work with their interests, so there you go.

I put up the big play yard we have and let the older ones do their patterning in there so the babies couldn't eat the pieces. They felt super cool and had lots of fun.

I've started a ticket system with O'Malley, Tarzan, and Roo for their work. When they listen to books or complete a task or get some writing done, they get to put a ticket in the jar. On Thursday afternoons we count all the tickets, and for every five they have, they get to pull an activity out of another jar we made. Then we do all that stuff on Friday. Yellow slips are snacks and orange ones are activities. They are loving it.

Example of one Friday's treats: Make popsicles, play dress up, watercolors, and sidewalk chalk. They earned 23 tickets that week so 3 went back in the jar toward next week. I try to hand them out pretty liberally so they feel productive. :)

One week we drew the activity of making masks from paper plates. They had a really great time with that one. I am so terrible at artsy stuff like that, but I managed to make a Batman for Tarzan and something or other for O'Malley. It was fun.

He's very into Toy Story right now- lots of Buzz and Woody. My kids loved it last year and asked for a lot of the figures for Christmas, so we have a ton. It's really fun to pretend you're Andy and do creative things with all the toys. We've been doing some of that too- lots of Potato Head and silliness. I'll have to get some pictures to put up. And also buy the last of the ones we NEED with some of the supply fee. They're wanting a Bullseye.

And in other lists of things he wants, a sister is at the top right now. He has mentioned several times that he thinks he'll be getting one soon. :) No news on the home front, but hey, a guy can dream!