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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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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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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Slow week at home: no letter!

We had a lot going on last week, so homeschooling got put on the back burner. Work for me is entering busy season, which means a lot more phone calls, emails, and meetings in the evening. I was very grateful for some beautiful weather that kept the kids occupied outside while I worked!

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On top of that, we were packing and getting ready for a weekend trip. We managed to fit in a few fun things though…

Maribel has gotten into numbers and wanting to do math a lot here lately. This puzzle goes up to 20, but she can count easily up to 30 now because of practicing with our wall calendars in the play room.

Grandma Stephie brought over a new book called “No More Cookies!” In it, there was a recipe for Silly Monkey Bananas. They made the recipe, which was good practice for following directions (something we’re really working on right now), counting, and measuring. I think Maribel’s favorite part was eating them 🙂

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We have a friend who just moved out to the country and got some baby chicks. We have some other friends with full grown chickens that we’ve been to see many times, but I’m pretty sure this was Maribel’s first time seeing the little chicks.

And finally, I thought this was a neat idea for the sensory bin at our kindergarden readiness program. Little plastic pots and fake flowers with shovels and potting soil for the kids to “plant” their flowers. They loved getting dirty!

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The Weekly Basket

I wanted to share something that has been working for us this week. The idea is far from revolutionary, but it has made a big difference around here! I found myself pulling out all the same supplies every day from 4 different places and then just piling them up on the kitchen counter if I didn’t have time to put it all back. This week I cleaned out what was affectionately known as our “basket of crap” in the play room and turned it into our weekly supplies basket.

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I went to the dollar tree and got a few plastic containers to keep things organized within the basket. It holds our do-a-dot markers, regular markers, glue, scissors, books we’re focusing on that week (wind/weather, alphabet books), flash cards we’re focusing on that week (Phonics I, Sight Words I), as well as workbooks we’re working in. It also holds that nasty place mat that really needs to be replaced, but has saved my kitchen table from a lot 🙂 Now I can easily move from the play room for reading and flash cards to the kitchen table for workbooks and crafts without leaving piles everywhere we go.

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I also added a zip loc baggy to the front that holds the flash card for the week’s letter. The idea is for me to prep all our crafts and activities on Sunday and store those in the basket ready to go as well. That didn’t happen last week!

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