Playing Catch Up!

We’ve had kind of a strange week around here, with both kids having some kind of low grade sickness that we thought were allergies, but seem to be a cold, but we can’t really tell and it is causing lots of runny noses and coughing…. uggghhhhh. Ready for cold AND allergy season to be over.

Before the sickness set in, we did manage to get in some strawberry picking at our favorite farm. We got lucky with beautiful weather and enjoyed some ice cream after filling our bucket.

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We spent mother’s day weekend at the beach!

On our way home we stopped at a state historic site that none of us had been to before. It was the Governor’s home in the late 1700s. We explored the gardens and took a tour of the house.

Seeing inside the home was neat, because we recently started watching Sofia the First and I was able to relate things to that… i.e. “This would have been Baileywick’s Office” and “This is where Amber and Sofia would have had their tea parties.” It actually kept Maribel’s attention really well.

In the kitchen Maribel got to try her hand at grinding cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper. We were all exhausted by the time we left, but it was a cool experience!

We need to get back on track this week with our letter of the week. We moved on to I last week, but didn’t do much at all… just some flash cards and one worksheet.

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H is for Hiking!

We moved on to letter H last week and got to do one of our favorite letter H things… HIKING! Twice in one week!

On Monday we were supposed to meet some friends at a state education forest, only to discover they are closed on Mondays. As one friend said, “Who knew you could close a forest?” Apparently you can. So we headed a few miles down the road to this nice, but much less shady greenway along a river.

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The kids enjoyed running down the greenway and checking out the river. We stopped in the shadiest spot we could find for lunch and tried to get a group picture with a ridiculous number of kids!

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Then on Thursday at our kindergarten readiness program our teacher had a nature hike around the school planned for us!

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We had these cool little scavenger hunt cards to help us find things in nature.

We found almost everything on our card!

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We have gotten into the routine of having a craft or art project to go with each letter. This week’s was easy peasy since we had bunches of heart stickers left over from Valentine’s Day!

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Dino-mite Dinosaurs!

Another Parks & Rec program! Last week’s topic was dinosaurs and I am AMAZED by how much they pack into a little more than an hour.

First up was making dinosaur masks! All we needed was half a paper plate with an eye hole cut, some triangles for ears and nose, googly eyes, and crayons. And a straw for the handle.

Next, the kids got an idea of the size of a dinosaur by seeing how many of their feet could fit inside the print of one dinosaur foot. Then they headed out into the hallway with the longest tape measure I have ever seen and pulled it out to the length of several kinds of dinosaurs. Even the parents observing were amazed seeing how big some of these creatures were! I mean, you know they’re BIG, but WOW!

After that they headed back into the classroom to make their dinosaur feet to complete the whole dino look 🙂

Then some hands-on fun and probably Maribel’s favorite part… they used droppers of warm water to melt the “glaciers” to find the little plastic dinosaurs. It took team work and the girls were SO excited when they got their dinosaur out. Then they headed over to these bins of sand where they were able to play paleontologist and dig for fossils. Let me just say those table clothes under the sand bins were a good idea. My kid is not good at keeping the sand in the sand box.

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They ended with a fun snack, so I actually stand corrected… eating dinosaur claws (bugles) was Maribel’s favorite part!

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G is for Grape!

We have moved on to letter G and started our week with some G worksheets and a fun craft. It’s funny though… I feel like I spent 15 minutes prepping something like this and it takes her all of 3 minutes to do and she has moved on to the next thing!

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But at least she enjoys it while she’s working on it…

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And is proud of it when she is done!

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There we go 🙂

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Now off to the Grocery store this afternoon to buy some Grapes for snack… and some Green leaf lettuce… and Granola bars…

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Fun on the Farm

We are fortunate enough to have a local vet school nearby that opens up their training facility once a year for school groups to come and visit the animals. Homeschools are welcome! We were certainly not the only ones to take advantage of this event, as I was blown away by the number of people there! We did have to wait in some lines, but overall it was worth it.

Maribel got to pet a goat, and saw sheep, turkeys, pigs, horses, and cows!

She also got to try her hand at milking a “cow” ..although back in my day they let you try it on the real cow! We were able to watch a presentation by a dairy farm about how cows and milked and got to watch.

There were 8 or 10 tractors out for the kids to climb on and check out. That was a big hit!

Maribel loved our visit to the farm! And Wesley wore his overalls for the ocassion 🙂

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We went straight from the farm to our kindergarten readiness program. We lucked out that animals were the theme and Maribel got to stamp and spell out several animals.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

I have mentioned before how much we love our town Parks and Rec department. They offer lots of great programs for preschoolers. Last week we attended one centered around the kid’s book, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!” This program was intended for 4-5 year olds, but Maribel loves the book and we’re deep into learning letter sounds, so I asked if she could join in a little early. I’m so glad I asked, because she LOVED it!

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The first activity related to the book was to color in the coconut tree, cut it out and paste it on construction paper, then put foam letter stickers in it.

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The second activity was letter matching. I have seen different versions of this on pinterest, but never the coconut tree. It was perfect! I’m sure there are free printable versions out there, and you just use regular dot stickers and write letters on them to match those on the worksheet.

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An alphabet memory game was next, but that proved to be a bit too much for the kids. I think using just 6-8 letter pairs would have been better. The idea was to match the upper and lower case letters, but to do the whole alphabet was taking foreverrrrrr. Haha!

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Last was a game of letter bingo that Maribel thinks she “won” because they kept going until everyone got bingo 🙂 This ended in tears because it was the last activity and she didn’t want to go home!

We have signed up for a few of these events in the coming weeks. They aren’t exactly cheap at $8 per event, but those 4 activities would have taken a lot of prep time/materials and planning for me, so I feel like it is worth it. I limit it to just the subjects she is really interested in and especially things that would be hard for me to set up (like today we’re going to a dinosaur event where they’re digging for fossils). I’ll report back on that one!

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A weekend adventure! (with the letter F)

I had to travel for work this past weekend, so we made it into a fun family trip. We do wish the weather had been a little better for the beach in Virginia, but since it wasn’t we were able to squeeze in some other really cool activities instead of hanging out on the beach.

 

The first adventure was the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. We saw all kinds of marine life… fish, rays, crabs, snakes, turtles… SHARKS!

And we got to touch some too! I was so impressed that Maribel didn’t hesitate to stick her hand in the pool of rays or in the horseshoe crab tank. Brave girl!

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We made sure to keep our eyes open for F words throughout the aquarium… including this photo panel with fish, fox, flower, and frog!

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There were some neat interactive exhibits, including this one where she got to see which was heavier – brackish, salt, or fresh water.

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This family selfie from the aquarium cracks me up because clearly me and daddy didn’t get the memo to stick our tongues out!

We also got to check out the Old Coast Guard Station on the VA Beach Boardwalk.

And got a little (freezing) beach time in.

We also got to visit this lighthouse in North Carolina and learn a little bit about life on a lighthouse over the river in the late 1800s.

A stop for a picnic lunch at the Dismal Swamp State Park was a highlight of the trip for Maribel. We saw some turtles on a log, so she started calling it “turtle swamp!”

One thing is for sure… we sure do know how to pack a lot into 3 days!!!

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