Showing posts with label boys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boys. Show all posts

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Ring Bean Bag Toss

In honor of the Olympics we are going to do a mini sports camp this week. Our first activity was an Olympic Ring Bean Bag toss, sort of inspired by this post from Makes and Takes. But instead of pipe cleaners, I simply traced around a bowl in each of the five colors to make the Olympic rings. I added numbers also so they could practice their numbers and colors at the same time. Using our mini bean bags, the boys would just stand a few feet away and try to toss them into the rings.

You could do this activity many different ways. You could call out a number or color they are supposed to hit, or you could have them call one out before they throw it. Or they can just try to get one bean bag in each ring some time during their turn. We ended up doing the activity all of these ways, and the boys just kept wanting to play over and over.

For one game Andrew (2.5 years old)
declared he was going to throw at five,
and he got all 6 of his bean bags
to at least touch the five ring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Unit Study: Chinese New Year

I didn't blog much about our November and December school with the boys since we did less "official school." We had a wonderful time when my parents visited and celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas. We did a lot of special stuff together to get ready for, celebrate, and focus on the real meaning of the holidays, and those we're our "unit studies" for those months. There are so many things I appreciate about home schooling, but I think one of the best is how easily life and learning blend naturally through the day. And if we're too busy to do to much of anything, reading the Bible and spending time together as a family is plenty of learning for our little guys.

Anyway, we've already started doing some extra activities in January to learn even more about China and about Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is actually not called that in China. They call it Spring Festival. But it is China's biggest holiday. We're talking a bit about the origin of this festival and things they do to celebrate it with our boys. We're using some printouts from about China and Chinese New Year. We may also try some of these and other crafts. We also get to experience a lot of things like the amount of fireworks being lit off in a city first hand this year. I'll be writing more about individual activities and the celebration in general in the next few weeks.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Family Fridays: Andrew is Two Years Old

Andrew officially turned two years old on Sunday. He is terrific and trying at the same time. He is definitely way ahead in everything to do with physical abilities; trying to keep up with big brother is highly motivating to him. Andrew is trying hard to run and jump like Aaron. He can throw and hit with about the same accuracy as his older brother. He is also meticulous with fine motor skills and already has an excellent pencil grip. He can also use a fork and spoon really well, but that isn’t surprising given his love for food.

Andrew is recently becoming able to sit still nicely for short periods of time and is starting to get interested in learning. He is talking more and more and using short sentences, and of course his favorite word is "no-no." He has learned a lot of numbers and letters lately and seems to be on the cusp of reading. He just surprised mommy by spelling "daddy" with 4/5 letters correct.
He is a sturdy young man at 28 pounds and 34 inches tall, which is 50th percentile for weight and 40th percentile for height. He and his brother seem like they compete for who can eat more of certain foods, like eggs and noodles.

We went out to dinner at KFC a few days early, so we could get the last of the Thomas characters (wouldn't want to miss out on Harold) in the happy meals for the boys from Grandma and Grandpa. So it was a quiet day at home for Andrew’s birthday, but it provided more than enough excitement. Waking up to balloons and Pooh characters around, talking to grandparents on Skype, opening presents, and a singing and fire shooting flower candle on a Piglet cake (see below), made Andrew so excited he couldn’t possibly nap and barely ate anything all day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Fun with Kids: Cutting Out Sugar Cookies

One of my favorite holiday traditions is cutting out sugar cookies with family. I can remember making cookies and gingerbread houses with my mom and grandmas as a little girl, and now it is fun to make them with my own kids. So I really wanted to make sugar cookies when my parents came to visit for Thanksgiving. I think everyone had a lot of fun. I found a great recipe, and the boys had fun cutting out cookies for a while. We used all the shapes we had, mainly shapes from their shape sorter toy that we thoroughly washed first. Grandpa John even got really creative cutting out Christmas Tree shapes free hand.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Fridays: Playplace Fun

Today, a friend of ours needed help babysitting a little girl named Zoe. Our friend was unexpectedly asked to babysit and needed some help because she had to go to work. Our friend felt really bad asking for help although it was no big deal to us. However, I think we may have ended up getting the better deal because our friend insisted on treating all three kids to a playplace for the morning and pizza for lunch. Zoe was generally very easy going and all three kids had a really fun time. Here are some pictures from the cool playplace.

Cozy coupe
Giant bouncing balls and crawling tunnel
Andrew and Zoe riding cars
Aaron and Zoe playing in the plant sand
Andrew climbing
Aaron about to go down the car slide
Aaron swinging all by himself
Slide and ball pit
Zoe and Aaron on the teeter-totter
Andrew riding a green horse
Aaron jumping on the trampoline
Look at the giant Fly, Pooh, Bounce, Pig, and Your
The kids loved the tiny western potty,
having to flush it by scooping water from the bucket
seemed to just make it more fun for them

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Train Themed Preschool Snacks

Like I did for dinosaurs, I made some special snacks to go along with our train unit study. These are simple foods I was going to make anyway just cut and colored to look like trains. If you have train cookie cutters, these would be even easier.
Train soda crackers
Eating train crackers
Eating a carrot train
Train themed lunch: Train egg salad sandwiches and carrot trains
Carrot trains are fun to eat

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Train Themed Preschool Craft: Train Buttons

This is another fun train activity we did. A friend of ours gave us a couple of these create you own buttons. This makes a quick easy craft, and the buttons are reusable. I am thinking we might try to change out the button design to go with each month's unit.

Train Themed Preschool (or Tot School) Craft: Train Buttons

  • Create your own button
  • Small train coloring pages (or plain paper to draw trains on)
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors (for a parent or older preschooler to use)
  1. Have the children draw or decorate their trains.
  2. Open up the button.
  3. Show the child how to trace around the circle and cut it out, or do this step for a younger child.
  4. Put the button back together, and you're done!

My boys think the train buttons that they made themselves are really neat, but they do prefer to have the buttons on their backpacks instead of their shirts, so they can see them more easily.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Train Themed Preschool Activity: Island of Sodor Sensory Play

    We've had so much fun with our train unit that once again I didn't get to write about all the things we did during the month of our unit study. The boys play with trains a lot every day, but this was one way I changed things up a little for this unit.

    Train Themed Preschool Activity: Giant Island of Sodor Play Mat

    • Blue blanket
    • Some green felt or other green fabric
    • Train tracks
    • Trains
    I have constructed more elaborate play mats for each boy, but for this activity I wanted to keep things simple, fast, and reusable. So I just laid down a large blue fleece blanket we already had. After quickly consulting my Island of Sodor map, I put some green fabric I cut out on top.  I then helped them find their train tracks and trains to bring to the island. I helped them set up the tracks and start playing. I asked about the colors and numbers on the trains for a while, and then just let them make up adventures with their trains. Both boys played for a long time with this very simple activity.

    This activity is good for reviewing basic numbers and colors, as well as simply encouraging imaginative play.

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Family Friday: Amazing Andrew

    Andrew is at a really fun stage now. He is saying new words almost everyday and starting to use short sentences. Andrew loves hearing and telling stories now. One of his favorite stories is David and Goliath, which he calls Bump, Bump for the bumping sound Goliath might have made when he walks. He tells the story so sweetly. We want to catch it on video, but he usually doesn't cooperate.

    His rendition usually goes something like this:

    Bump, bump (Goliath)
    tall, and holds a hand over his head (Goliath was tall)
    choose man, holding hand over his mouth to make deep voice (choose a man to fight me)
    rock (stones)
    round (sling went round)
    Bump, bump (Goliath)
    down (fell down)
    God win (God helped David win)
    Hooray, holds hand up in the air (the people were glad!)

    He is also starting to say words on his flashcards much more consistently. We'll see if this continues; it might be the start of him really reading.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Family Fridays: Aaron and Andrew's Corner

    Aaron and Andrew have always loved computers, and Aaron has become increasingly fascinated with them. He is teaching himself  how to type, and is also teaching himself to spell that way. He loves to write emails to the grandparents and search for Swagbucks with mom or dad.

    Lately, he has been asking Nate to teach him more and more things on the computer. Nate has been showing him some simple programming things, but Aaron really wants to make his own website, and one for Andrew too. So this week Nate helped Aaron set up his own blog: Aaron and Andrew's Corner. This way Aaron and Andrew could get a start on their own website before they are able to program a whole one on their own.

    Now the boys have their own little area to write and put up pictures that they drew. Aaron helped pick out the design, drew the background, and did all of the typing for the first couple of posts himself. I look forward to what Aaron, and later maybe Andrew, will do with their blog.


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