Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

In the Good Ol’ Summertime …

Just fishin'

Just fishin’

My summer plans have been curtailed due to an injured Achilles’ tendon and a cumbersome pressure boot. But Little Bear and Bitty Bear enjoyed some old-fashioned summertime fun this weekend fishin’ with their daddy at a local park.

"Sister, take the reel ..."

“Sister, take the reel …”

No, they didn’t bait a hook or catch any fish. (It would seem they fish much like their mother. …) They each got a turn handling a rod and reel, however, and they managed *not* to embed a hook in anyone’s face. And that, my friends, is a WIN.

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Laugh More …

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine. Six and a half years into this crazy venture called “parenting,” I’m finding that laughter is sometimes the *only* medicine that keeps us all sane. It diffuses tension, lightens mood, makes people feel good, and keeps the atmosphere positive.

So how we are going to laugh more this year?

(1) Develop a sense of humor.

You know all those “laugh or cry” moments that go along with parenthood? Well, I’ve found that laughing usually helps us recover a lot faster than crying. So I’m working on finding the humor in diaper fails, craft messes, clothing mishaps, and haircuts executed by pint-sized barber wannabes.  And along with learning to laugh at life’s little mishaps, I’m also learning to laugh at myself

(2) Be silly.

Kids excel at “silly” quite naturally, but I often find myself reining them in — “Don’t sing at the table!” “Don’t hang upside when you’re supposed to be doing your schoolwork!” “Knock it off with knock-knock jokes!”

Now, I think we can all agree that there’s a time and place for silliness and a time and place for more serious behavior. I’m not going to let my kids sing and dance their ways down a hospital corridor or share knock-knock jokes in the middle of a church service. But if Little Bear wants to bounce on an exercise ball while she does her spelling words, or if Baby Bear wants to share her latest favorite song with her immediate family at the dinner table, so be it.

Beyond kid silliness, though, this Mama Bear is making an effort to insert more silliness into daily life. Sometimes a silly voice, a crazy face, or a deliberate “mistake” can make the most tedious tasks a little more fun.

(3) Read silly books or tell silly stories.

Books are our go-to when we all need a reset. We snuggle up in a recliner or on the sofa and read our hearts out. Here are a few silly favorites that appeal to all three of our little people:


(4) Sing silly songs.

Whether we’re watching classic Wee Sing DVDs style= on TV or listening to something like Beethoven’s Wig CDs style= in the van, fun music lightens any mood and brings a smile to the kids’ faces.

(5) Play together!

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Living More

After promising my children that we would “live more” during 2015, I found myself wrestling with how to keep that promise. There’s just not a lot of down time any more. It seems there are always diapers to be changed, laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, meals to be fixed, disputes to be arbitrated, clutter to be picked up, floors to be vacuumed … you get the picture.

To “live more,” I quickly realized I’d have to …

1. Prioritize.

      Twenty years from now, my kids aren’t going to care remember whether the refrigerator door was free from fingerprints, but they are going to remember whether Mommy took time to finger paint with them (or at least let them finger paint, even at the risk of “a mess”).
      That doesn’t mean that we’re going to let garbage pile up knee deep and dishes grow mold while we stand around singing “Kumbaya” or “The Alphabet Song.” It does, however, mean that at least one of us (ahem) needs to figure out what does and doesn’t really matter. A kitchen that’s clean enough to safely prepare food? That’s a priority. A bathroom that doesn’t spawn microscopic life forms? Priority. Spotless mirrors and glass doors? Not necessarily a priority.
      For me, prioritizing means making sure that certain chores consistently happen at certain times. The dining table (which doubles as craft/school space) needs to be cleared before each meal. Period. It’s a lot easier to clean up spilled milk when it’s not soaking through a math book. The table needs to get wiped down, and the floor under/around it needs to get vacuumed after each meal. Period. Clean-up is a lot easier *before* crumbs get mixed in with Play-Doh or tracked all over the house. The bathroom is most easily cleaned while the littles are bathing. I need to be in there anyway, and it’s easy enough to wipe down counters, clean the mirror, scrub the toilet, and steam mop the floor while they’re splashing away happily in the tub. Granted, the mirror may be covered with water spots by 3 p.m., but as long as all surfaces get wiped down once a day (or even every other day!), the bathroom won’t test the limits of bacterial evolution.
      On the flip side, we live here. The 48-piece floor puzzle my 3-year-old put together all by herself, the one she wants to leave on the living room floor until Daddy gets home so that he can see her work? It’s OK. It can stay out. The floor doesn’t have to be clear at all times. We have small children. And they live here.
      The jumbo cardboard block tower with a blanket roof that’s populated with dozens of Safari Toob critters and guarded by a mishmash of Playmobil knights (armed with LEGO weapons) and their dinosaur Anamalz companions? It can stay out for awhile … even after a 29-inch Godzilla roars through the bedroom and reduces it to rubble. It’s OK if active play consumes the bedroom floor for awhile. We have small children. And they live here. (Come bedtime, though, everything *must* be picked up and put in its place. In the event of a fire or other emergency, I don’t want half-asleep children tripping over toys as they try to make their ways out doors or windows!)

2. Simplify.

      In the midst of a recent “I’ve told you to pick up your toys at least three times. WHY IS THERE STILL JUNK ON YOUR FLOOR?” Mommy tantrum, I grabbed a box to start packing stuff up. And about two minutes into the process, I realized that my kids weren’t opposing me. There was no mad scramble to save “stuff.” They were actually pulling things off shelves to add *to* the box. They craved order almost as much as I did, but didn’t know how to achieve it on their own. No small wonder. I’m seven times their age and still struggle with achieving the order my brain craves.
      I took a deep breath and called the girls to me. We hugged. We regrouped. And we talked things out. When I looked at their room through their eyes and with an open mind, I realized that most of the toys that consistently created problems were things that they had outgrown.
      The rack full of wooden peg puzzles? The only person who found it irresistible was Buddy Bear, and he’s far more interested in dumping puzzles than doing them. I put one age-appropriate jumbo knob puzzle in his room and packed up the oh-so-tempting puzzle rack until he’s actually ready for it, much to the relief of his older sisters who’d spent way too much time cleaning up his daily puzzle messes.
      The Fisher Price Little People Princess Songs Palace Bitty Bear got for her second Christmas? She liked it when she got it, and she played with it for a few months. But it had barely been touched in the past year, and it occupied precious space the girls wanted to put to better use. “I think we should give my castle to another little girl,” Bitty Bear said. So we did. It went to a 2-year-old whose single mom was struggling to make Christmas happen for her kids. It brought a smile to her and her Mama’s faces, and the space cleared to welcome LEGO creations and Zoob monsters brought smiles to the faces of my girls.
      After the castle and puzzle clean-up, it became easier to part with other outgrown toys (that truth be told, I was far more attached to than my kids). We tucked one large box of high quality, open ended, wooden toys away for Buddy Bear to enjoy in a few months. We donated two more boxes overflowing with pink, plastic commercial toys that had done little more than occupy space since coming into our house.
      And the pre-Christmas purge was just the tip of the iceberg. Now that the girls have tasted the freedom of decluttering, they’re continuing to par down possessions. Their beloved My Little Pony figures? The ponies stay, but we all agree that we don’t need the half dozen junky plastic brushes that accompanied them. The Melissa & Doug sorting clock whose “4” mysteriously disappeared some months ago? Goodbye. Completed sticker story books? Trash. Old art projects that DD1 hoarded for months? Tossed to make room for fresh new work.

3. Be more organized.

 For me, this means lesson planning and meal planning. Not an unrelenting, etched in stone, “law of the Medes and Persians” plan, but a plan nonetheless. If the weather’s nice, we may well put academics on the back burner and head to the zoo for the day. If the girls are happily painting or reading or building the next great invention, I’ll leave them to their own devices. But when quarrels start and small bodies struggle to occupy their time appropriately, I have a plan. When a child interrupts our read-aloud time to announce that she’s starving and ask how long it is until lunch, I have a plan. When an unexpected ice storm strands us all five at home for the better part of a week, the refrigerator and freezer are well-stocked, and I have a plan.

4. Enlist help.

Though it may be obvious to most, it’s taken me eight years of marriage and motherhood to realize that I really can’t do it all alone and that it’s OK to ask for help. No, my 6-year-old can’t do laundry all by herself, but she can sort socks and turn underwear right side out. My 3-year-old isn’t ready to take on the dirty dishes, but she can sort clean silverware and put it away. Even my 1-year-old can help pick up blocks or hand me books to re-shelve. What’s more, they’ll all three help willingly and cheerfully (most of the time!) if I “use my nice words” and ASK for help. They respond much less positively when I try to do it all alone, get overloaded, and start barking out orders that must be carried out now, now, NOW. (Kids want to have their time and efforts respected just as much as the rest of us do!)

5. Take time to enjoy life.

There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year. There is no way to “make” more time. To “live more,” we must take the time we have already been given and consciously choose to use it to its fullest potential. …

Spend more time reading to the kids and less time reading online.

Spend more time enjoying what we have and less time in the race to acquire more.

Spend more time making memories and less time fretting over messes.

Spend more time forging connections that will last a life time and less time cleaning stuff that will need to be cleaned again tomorrow.

Choose to invest limited time in the things — or more precisely, the people — that really count.

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New Year, New Adventures

2015 sneaked up on us. Yes, the calendar gave us warning that 2014 was drawing to a close, but life was so busy that I had no time to “process” the fact that a new year was about to be upon us.

Then January 1, 2015, rolled around, and my 3 1/2-year-old bounced out of bed way too early with the words, “Mommy, Mommy, it’s a brand new year!” … followed quickly with the question, “What are we going to DO this year?”

In my sleep-deprived state, I wanted to mumble, “Try to survive.”

I mean, I have a twice-exceptional 6-year-old who alone is enough to keep two parents on their toes, an always-busy 3-year-old who’s desperately trying *not* to get lost in the shuffle, and a teething 15-month-old who’s into everything during his waking hours and still waking regularly to nurse through the nighttime hours. I’m exhausted. (Hence the seven months of no blogging …)

But my kids deserve more than “Survival Mode Mom.” My husband deserves more than “Survival Mode Wife.” And for that matter, I owe myself something more than a “survival mode” life.

So when my sweet, snugly girl asked what we were going to do this year, I pulled her into the bed beside me and sleepily told her, “We’re going to live, laugh, and love even more than we did in 2014.”

Thankfully, she’s a big picture kid. She was content to know that Mama had (or sounded like she had) a plan. She didn’t demand details … which was good, because at 0:dark thirty on New Year’s morning, I didn’t have details.

In the days that followed, however, I would formulate a plan.

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We’ve had several exciting changes in our home since I last posted some 3 1/2 months ago. First and foremost, we’ve added a family member:

Introducing Buddy Bear

Introducing Buddy Bear!

The new little guy officially made his appearance shortly before noon Oct. 10, 2013 — on my 39th birthday. What a birthday present! And while I was recovering from a c-section, all three kids enjoyed a rare visit from Nana.

Precious moments ...

Precious moments …

Of course, Buddy Bear’s arrival threw a kink into our Little Bear/Baby Bear nickname system. Baby Bear politely informed us that she was no longer the baby and no longer wished to be referred to as such. She was, however, perfectly content to continue responding to “Bitty Bear.” Meantime, our new little buddy quickly became known as “Buddy Bear.”

The arrival of a new cub put us over the legal limit of four residents in our two-bedroom apartment, so house hunting became the chief focus of November and December. With a move looming on the horizon, we hadn’t planned to take of a break over Christmas. But between family visits and house negotiations, our planned one-week break quickly stretched into three.Yesterday, we we officially dusted off the school books and began easing back into a school routine. So how much ground did we lose amid the chaos and craziness of life?


With more free hours to fill, Little Bear has read and read and read. Over the past three months, she’s progressed from easy readers to classic picture books to chapter books. She’s entertained herself in the car with various “mental math” games and mastered double digit addition with regrouping in the process. She’s discovered Playmobil and progressed from Duplos to Legos — great for honing her fine motor skills. She’s learning to play the zither and the xylophone. She’s spent countless hours watching Wild Kratts and Popular Mechanics for Kids, and she can remember almost every detail of every show. She’s learned plenty, even with limited formal schooling.

That’s not to say that we entirely abandoned school. We trimmed quite a bit of the extras and cut Mommy’s involvement sharply, but have continued working steadily through math and phonics texts. Little Bear is now nearing the end of a first grade phonics curriculum (and reading at a high second or low third grade level) and has completed Horizons Kindergarten Math, Mathematical Reasoning A, and the first three levels of Life of Fred. She’s now midway through Mathematical Reasoning B and Primary Mathematics 1B … and she’s begging for more. (She lamented today that she had forgotten to put more Life of Fred books on her Christmas list.) Handwriting continues to be a challenge, but we’re continuing to work on it. She desperately wants to be able to keep “fact notebooks” like Jack does in her beloved Magic Tree House books, so she’s at least writing more willingly than she did six months ago.

Bitty Bear, meantime, has begun to show an early interest in all things mathematical as well. She loves counting, likes comparing groups of objects, and is beginning to understand the concepts of addition and subtraction.

On the language front, she loves books. She’ll sit and listen for as long as anyone — parent, sister, grandparents, or aunt — will sit and read to her. And when no one is available to read, she’ll sit down with a stack of favorite books and “read” them to herself, looking at the pictures and retelling the stories in surprisingly accurate detail. She recognizes most letters of the alphabet and can match many of them with their initial sounds.

Most of her time, though, is devoted to singing, dancing, taking care of her baby dolls, cooking in her play kitchen, making noise with her toy instruments, scribbling with crayons, dressing up, running around wildly, and enjoying life at top volume — exactly what she should be doing at 2 1/2 years old.

We’ve got still more changes looming on the horizon. We close on our new house Friday, then comes the work of painting, making minor repairs, packing, and moving. We’ll soon be adding in one morning a week of coop classes. We’re also looking forward to more outdoor time and some spring planting once we get into a space of our home. There will be days when we do extra bookwork and days — perhaps weeks — where we barely touch the textbooks. But I’m confident the kids will go on learning because life itself truly is the best teacher.

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Some days …

Ever had one of those days where you wish life had a rewind button? Today was a day when we could have surely used one.

It was supposed to have been a fun day filled with new and exciting learning adventures. I stayed up late last night reviewing my plan and making the needed preparations. The girls went to bed on time and got a fairly good night’s rest …

except that Baby Bear woke up about an hour earlier than she should have this morning and spent the first half hour of the day making it abundantly clear that she was NOT happy to be awake. That alone should have clued me in that today was going to be r-o-u-g-h one. Nonetheless, we moved forward according to plan. By 8 a.m., both girls were dressed and ready to begin the day. I had just a bit of laundry that I wanted to fold and put away first.

Then, disaster struck.

“Mommy, Mommy!” Little Bear shouted, “Come quick!”

I walked toward the living room, my hands full of laundry, expecting to see a stray ant or perhaps even a few drops of milk spilled on the carpet. Instead, I met Little Bear clutching an empty tube of triple antibiotic ointment.

“Baby Bear found the medicine you put on my knee yesterday, and she’s smearing it everywhere!” Little Bear informed me. “She’s got it all over her, and she’s painting your chair with it. She even got it on me!”

Little Bear did not exaggerate. And just for the record, a nearly-full 2 oz. tube of triple antibiotic ointment is enough to coat a toddler, a large recliner, and a significant portion of carpet. Oh, and did I mention that the stuff is even more impervious to common household cleaning agents than, say, Silly Putty?

Suffice it to say, the hour that followed was not pleasant. But lots of scrubbing and not a few tears later, the living room was once again habitable, and both kids were mostly ointment free. I brewed another cup of coffee, gave all of us a dose of Rescue Remedy, and pulled both girls into my lap in the hopes of regrouping and salvaging the morning.

… except in the midst of the ointment craziness, I’d forgotten to eat breakfast. And two cups of coffee do not settle well on an empty, already queasy stomach. Three stories and a handful of Mother Goose rhymes into the day, I had to cry uncle. I sent the girls to play, dug out my Zofran, fed myself breakfast, and closed my eyes for 20 blissful minutes …

until angry shrieks sent me running to the girls’ room, where I found two would-be little princesses feuding over a crown. The crown ended up in time out, and we made yet another attempt to start school. We actually got through calendar time and Bible time unscathed. Then, Little Bear begged to do Life of Fred.

The unit we’d stopped on yesterday introduced time to the minute. Little Bear had really struggled to understand how the long hand being on the 1 translated into :05, how 2 translated into :10, and so on. I’d chalked her struggles up to fatigue and put the book away, hoping we’d have better luck with the material today.

But we didn’t.

She’s capable of counting by 5’s. She had no problem counting out minutes on our teaching clock (which shows minutes in the form of small numerals). But whenever she was asked to read time from a “real” clock, she immediately reverted to reading 4:10 as “4:2,” 6:30 as 6:6, and so on.

“Come on,” I challenged, “you can do this! You just have to count by 5’s!”

Instead of rising to the challenge as I expected, my math-loving child suddenly dissolved into puddle of tears and wilted into my arms.

Ever feel like you’ve “broken” you kid? In that moment, I seriously wondered whether I had forever quenched my child’s fascination, and I too melted. Several hugs and a Mommy apology later, she asked to continue on with math. We finished the day’s lesson with some basic geometry and several logic puzzles, but the clock was set aside indefinitely.

Math done, I went to check on Baby Bear who was supposedly looking at books in the girls’ room, and indeed she was.  But she’d apparently grown tired of the easy-to-reach shelves filled with toddler books and had repurposed her bathroom step stool to reach “big kid” pop-up books — one of which was thoroughly dismantled all over the bed.

“Look, Mommy!” she cried in excitement as soon as our eyes met. “Dese pictures come out!”

Yet more tears ensued when I not-so-gently broke the news that without its pop-up pictures, the book she had so thoroughly enjoyed was reduced to landfill fodder.

Then Little Bear arrived on the scene of the carnage, and her eyes also began to fill with tears. “Can’t you fix it, Mommy?” she pleaded. “I love those books so much! I wanted to keep them for my children!”

With that, another hard and unplanned lesson ensued: Some things Mommy just can’t fix.

Science has a great way of distracting from sadness, though. So I pulled both girls onto the bed beside me, pulled several of the undamaged books from the same series off the shelf, and showed them how the pop-ups worked as we read through the stories. The last book finished, Little Bear asked, “Mommy, is it lunch time yet?”

“Probably,” I said. “What time is it?”

“The short hand is on the one,” she replied, “so it’s 1 o’clock. The long hand is on the two, so it’s 1:2 — no, 5, 10 … it’s 1:10! It’s past time for lunch!” (Funny how those “failed” math lessons suddenly seemed to take root when she actually had a reason to use the target skill!)

As we sat eating lunch, Little Bear once again piped up: “Mommy, I have a great idea! What about going swimming this afternoon? We could all use some fresh air and sunshine.”

She was right. We could all benefit from fresh air and sunshine. And today of all days, it seemed that we could benefit more from active outdoor play, fun, and happy togetherness than from any number of formal lessons. At my request, Little Bear cheerfully practiced her reading, reading aloud as I cleaned up from lunch.

Then, we were off to the pool for some much-needed family fun. … Life may not come with a rewind button, but at least “recharge,” “rejuvenate,” and “reset” made the list of options!

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Happy Birthday, Little Bear

My sweet Little Bear celebrated her fifth birthday today!

Five years old!

Five years old!

At her request, we celebrated with a family party, balloons, and princesses:

And, fittingly, her birthday presents included a new princess dress, crown, and wand. (Thanks, Aunt Jennifer!)

Our birthday princess

Our birthday princess

Happy birthday, precious girl! You’ve made our lives richer than you can ever imagine, and you’re loved more than you’ll ever know … at least until you have a child of your own. I delight in each moment we share, each opportunity I get to see life through your innocent eyes. May your gentle heart, boundless enthusiasm, endless love, unbridled curiosity, and sense of wonder continue to grow with each passing year.

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No Guarantees …

As  I sit down to write tonight, I’m not even sure where to begin. I’m still reeling from the senseless tragedy that unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut, Friday morning. I cannot even comprehend the fear the victims experienced in their final moments or the pain in the hearts of those they left behind.

I spent much of Friday glued to the computer screen. I refused to turn on the television news because I did not want to burden my own young children down with the heaviness of the situation, but I surfed from news site to news site to keep abreast of developments. I guess in some way my former journalist’s mind hoped that getting answers to when, where, what, who, why, and how would somehow help me make sense of it all. But each round of news updates brought more questions than answers, and by nightfall, I finally realized that no report would ever make the tragedy make sense. Because it was senseless.

A broken man in a broken world did the unspeakable.

Breaking into what should have been a place of safety, he snuffed out 26 lives … silencing laughter, destroying potential, shattering dreams. His vicious act not only tore through the hearts of 26 families that cruel morning, but dealt a crushing blow to the carefree innocence of every child in that school and countless children beyond. … There’s just no way to “make sense” of a crime like that.

Ultimately, I found myself searching for lessons in the tragedy, and one that stood out above others was that there are no guarantees in life. There is no place I can take or send my children and guarantee their safety. My knee-jerk reaction would be to keep them home, virtually tethered to my side. Yet even that is no guarantee of safety — or even of tomorrow.

So how am I choosing to respond to the events of December 14, 2012? By making the most of the moments I do have with my precious girls. Yesterday we had a picnic at the park, played outside, read stories, sang songs, and decorated a gingerbread house. Today we went to church, then went out for lunch. I forgot Baby Bear’s bib, but somehow ketchup and honey mustard stains didn’t seem like such a big deal. We came home, piled in the recliner, and watched Adventures In Lalaloopsy Land. We went outside and played freeze tag and hide-and-go-seek, and for once, I didn’t worry about the noise. We accepted a last minute invitation to join in a birthday party for a new neighbor. We skipped naps and ate birthday cake close to dinner time. Baby Bear crashed about 5 p.m., but instead of fretting over what a late nap would do to bedtime, I chose to enjoy holding my sleeping baby and listening to my bigger girl play happily in her blanket fort. DH seized part of the quiet time to introduce Little Bear to Ticket To Ride. She’s not old enough to play the game as designed, but she enjoyed collecting cards and building trains, and she especially enjoyed one-on-one time with Daddy. Baby Bear hit the ground running about 7 p.m., eliminating all chances of an 8:30 bedtime. So I put a tired Little Bear to bed at the usual time and enjoyed a couple of rare hours of one-on-one play time with Baby Bear.

Nothing I do can change what happened on December 14. No amount of tears will put those precious children back in their mothers’ arms. But the choices I make today, tomorrow, and in the days ahead can make a difference in the lives of the two precious girls I still hold in my own arms, and I pray that I use each moment to its fullest potential.

… Because life comes with no guarantees.

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In the Good Ol’ Summer Time

Little Bear has been begging to go to the park — not my favorite place to be in 100-degree weather! But as we tackled the letter Ss this week, sun, swings, slides, seesaws, sunshine, and smiles seemed to be in order. So we rolled out of bed a bit earlier than usual this Saturday morning and headed to the park for some Ss-inspired fun:

Seesaw, seesaw …

Ss is for swing …

… and smile!

Ss is for sand

Ss is for slide


And again …

Ss is for skip

We rounded out the day’s fun by crafting silly faces for Mrs. Potato Head, splashing in the pool this afternoon, and enjoying the following read-alouds before bedtime:

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The Week Ahead

With Valentine’s Day just two days away, our theme for the upcoming week is Valentine’s Day. I’m planning to devote most of Monday and Tuesday to holiday activities — making Valentines and paper heart chains, playing a heart memory game, sorting candy hearts, baking a special Valentine dessert, completing some Valentine pattern cards, creating a holiday treat for our squirrel friends, and of course, reading as many Valentine stories as we can squeeze in. Beyond the Valentine’s activities, we’re focusing on the Letter Ii this week. Planned activities include the following:

Letter Ii
Use ink blots to decorate uppercase I. Transform lowercase i into an ice cream cone.

Ii Lunch
Indian food, Italian food, or an ice cream date.

Paint with ice. Make a paper chain inchworm. Use straw to blow line of white paint into icicles.

Memorize Phillipians 4:13.

Make ice pops or ice cream sundaes.

Fine Motor Skills
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop ice cream.

Gross Motor Skills
Move like an inchworm. Roll ball in between two pins.

Language Arts
Differentiate between short /i/ and long /i/ sound. Play rhyming word game with short /i/ words. Practice reading -ig and -it words.

Measure items in inches. Use insect stickers or stamps to create patterns.

Listen to and play with different instruments. Sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Social Studies
“I am special” — Sequence pictures from birth through present; make mini-book about self.

Freeze water into ice. Melt ice. Introduce the three states of matter.

Last, but not least, despite the snow today, we’re supposed to have sunny skies and a high of 78 on Tuesday. I think we may need to pack some heart-shaped sandwiches and spend a good part of Valentine’s Day at the park.
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