Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Introducing Ollie the Octopus

I stayed up far too late last night making plans for this week, only to decide at some point during the night that we really needed to spend one more day wrapping up the letter Oo. … Then, Baby Bear woke up with a head-to-toe mystery rash, Little Bear woke up struggling to breathe, and Daddy Bear woke up and reminded me that I needed to go to the grocery store this morning.

Suffice it to say, the school day I’d planned twice over was postponed until after lunch today, and we ended up doing a much-abbreviated version. Our top projects of the day were Ollie Octopus and Orange Julius knock-offs.

Adding cereal suction cups to Ollie the Octopus

First came the creation of Ollie Octopus. I drew cutting lines on a sheet of construction paper, and Little Bear followed them to create Ollie’s legs. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a “real” cutting project, where she had to pay attention to details (like not accidentally amputating one leg while cutting the next). But after one close call, Little Bear figured out how to use her left hand to hold just the leg she was trying to cut and to “shield” the ones she’d already cut. No octopus leg repairs were needed.

Next, she glued O-shaped cereal to Ollie’s legs for suction cups. This was quite possibly the first time Little Bear had used white school glue instead of a glue stick, and while Mommy Bear got rather perturbed at the off-brand glue that was almost too thick to squeeze out of the bottle, Little Bear demonstrated a surprising amount of patience with it.

We practiced patience again as we waited for the glue to dry. Then, we rolled each of Ollie’s legs around a marker to curly them a bit, added googly eyes (because googly eyes make everything better), and taped him up.

Little Bear and Ollie danced around the living room, swam through the deep dark ocean, and ran from a hungry shark while I took pictures of them … only to discover afterward that the memory card had been in the computer instead of the camera. Oops!

Little Bear really wanted to be in the picture with her octopus, so we resorted to a quick posed shot in front of the toy bins. (Pardon the mess and the pajamas!)

Introducing Ollie the Octopus

Of course, we also had to read Olive the Octopus’s Day of Juggling from the Alpha Tales collection and watch a BBC Wildlife video clip of a Giant Octopus.

Adding the final ice cube ...

Orange Julius (or something similar)

Our other project of the day took place in the kitchen, where Little Bear helped re-create the icy, creamy goodness of an Orange Julius. Of course, I first had to educate her on what, exactly, an Orange Julius was. (Does the chain even still exist? I remember frequenting one in Itaewon, Seoul in the summer of 1996, but haven’t seen one since.) I lined the ingredients up on the counter — orange juice, milk, ice, sugar, vanilla, and a few thin slices of orange for extra zip). With help, she measured each one and poured it into the blender. She balked a bit at the idea of mixing orange juice with milk … until we powered up the blender. Blenders apparently fascinate 3-year-olds. (And, yes, we had the “Don’t you DARE push that button without the lid on top” discussion.)

Little Bear is a tough critic when it comes to beverages. She drinks juice reluctantly, water more reluctantly, and little else. She’s recently decided she doesn’t like milk or orange juice, so I wasn’t at all sure she’d be open to this melding of the two. But the blender proved the magic component. She downed the taste I offered her and begged for a glass of her own:

Yum!

On a more mundane note, she did a couple of tracing activities in a Kumon workbook, practiced writing the letter Oo, read the Otter Everywhere: Brand New Readers books with me (and read two of them independently), and practiced her word-building skills. She helped Baby Bear build with Mega-Bloks and built with Magna-Tiles. We played ball in the living room (since we didn’t want to expose anyone else to the mystery rash de jour), read just-for-fun books, and brainstormed a list of Oo words. Now to move on to weather, seasons, and the letter Pp.

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Of Dirt and Other Delights

One of the things we love most about our current home is the huge semi-enclosed courtyard where our kids can run and play, chase butterflies, pick wildflowers, or sprawl under a tree and watch a bird build its nest. There is, however, one small patch of dirt where seemingly nothing will grow. And guess which one spot of earth our kids (along with the neighbor tykes) find most attractive?

Most days, I specifically ask the girls to play in the grass. I’m just not a fan of dirt in any form — on their clothes, on their bodies, or tracked into our apartment (not to mention Baby Bear’s propensity for eating dirt). For the past couple of days, though, Little Bear has sweetly asked, “Mommy, if I sit on the sidewalk, may I please dig in the dirt with my shovel?” Sigh. Who could say “No!” to that? Not this Mama!

So today, I didn’t even try to discourage dirt play. Instead, I dressed the girls in play clothes and turned them loose.

Digging in the dirt

Little Bear carefully filled her dump truck, then drove it to a new location where Baby Bear promptly dumped it. They repeated this scene several times over, then proceeded to give their feet a “dirt bath.” (We’d read about different ways birds clean themselves earlier in the week, and Little Bear found the concept of a dirt bath fascinating …)

Little Bear wanted to make her dirt pile more inviting to the local bird population, so she topped it with bird seed and built a “nest” of twigs, grass, and weeds alongside of it. Baby Bear wasn’t particularly interested in nest building, so she toddled over to a tiny flower bed (that also refuses to grow anything) and “planted” herself:

Growing in the garden

Just as the Texas heat drove us indoors, one of our young neighbors came out and asked if he could play. We ended up inviting him and his brother in for a fun-filled impromptu play date that ended only when the entire crew needed lunch and rest.

Little Bear spent some time on ABCMouse.com and ReadingEggs.com this afternoon while Baby Bear napped. She used her alphabet Duplos to build words in the -at and -an word families. She counted out the date in Duplos, then grouped them to show that their were two groups of ten and eight ones in the number 28. She also spent some time playing with Play-Doh and succeeded in fashioning a surprisingly-recognizable Play-Doh person.

Once Baby Bear woke up, we braved the heat and headed outside for a little more fresh air and sunshine. This time, a dove came within a few feet of the girls, and Baby Bear attempted to catch it. She’d toddle after the bird, and the bird would waddle along just a few steps ahead of her. Then the bird would tire of the chase and fly up to a low branch, leaving behind a bewildered Baby Bear. She’d stand on the ground, staring up at the bird, and pointing as if it say, “How did he do that?!?” Eventually, she’d lose interest and toddle away. The bird would fly right back down where she was playing, and the chase would resume … again and again … and again. Little Bear, meantime, acquired magnolia leave wings and “flew” around the yard herself a few times.

We ended the day with some farm-themed read-alouds, which included the following:

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Celebration!

Birthday girl

Our precious Baby Bear celebrated her first birthday today, so we’ve enjoyed some birthday themed activities the past couple of days.

Yesterday, Little Bear helped me bake Baby Bear’s cake. She counted eggs, helped measure flavoring, added ingredients in the correct order, and helped mix the batter. Her favorite part by far, however, was adding sprinkles to the top of the frosted cake. (Well, perhaps adding sprinkles and sampling both the cake and the frosting.) I was a negligent mother and failed to take pictures of the cake baking process, but here’s a shot of the finished product:

First birthday cake

Little Bear has been counting down the days to her sister’s birthday and practically bouncing off the walls with excitement for the past week. Tuesday night, she finally asked her most pressing question: “Is she going to get birthday presents?!?”

I assured her that there would indeed be presents, and she wanted to know every detail of about them — not just what they were, but how they were manufactured, how they got to us, and how exactly I planned to wrap them. … We spent a fair amount of time on Google exploring manufacturing and distribution processes, but she was most fascinated by the wrapping process. Continuing her barrage of questions as only a 3-year-old could, she asked me to explain the wrapping process in explicit detail — not just (1) cut the paper, (2) position the paper, and (3) tape the paper, but how I knew how much paper to cut, why the paper had to be bigger than the box, etc. … I quickly discovered that surface area isn’t the easiest mathematical concept to teach — especially when your pupil is a 3-year-old. She settled for a brief demonstration and the promise of an opportunity to practice her own wrapping skills at some future point. (Mental note: Pick up more tape at Dollar Tree.)

Of course, we also had to read about birthdays:

On a math note, we looked at pictures of both girls and sequenced them from earliest to most recent. We also made younger/older comparisons.

On an art note, Little Bear made a birthday card for Baby Bear and drew a picture of our family on it.

On a language arts note, she attempted to write “Happy Birthday” on her card.

The one challenge of the day came when it was time to open presents. Little Bear had helped Baby Bear open Christmas gifts and had eagerly anticipated doing the same with birthday presents. But Baby Bear has now learned how to rip paper quite well without assistance:

Pick up a package.

Loosen one end.

Rip away!

Baby Bear neither needed nor wanted help, much to Little Bear’s disappointment. She was really sweet about it in her sister’s presence, but as she walked out of the room afterward, I heard her say sadly to herself, “I didn’t get a single present. I didn’t even get to open one.”

… Some people would have seen a discipline issue. I saw a tired, disappointed little girl who’d been building this day up in her mind for days and who was having post-party let-down. I called her back into the living room, picked her up, and chatted with her about her upcoming birthday as we rocked together in the recliner. Soon, all was right in the world, and she was once again dancing around in wild celebration of the fact that her baby sister was one year old.

Mama's little present

Cake face

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Down on the Farm

A girl and her farm

We began the day with a trip to the library, where the cubs enjoyed story time and helped select books for the week ahead. Then, with triple-digit temperatures on the horizon, we came home to spend as much of today (with highs “only” in the low 90s) outside as possible.

I’d gotten a free Melissa & Doug Farm Blocks Play Set a few months back and tucked them away with our farm theme in mind. We pulled them out of the closet this weekend, but quickly discovered that the blocks did not work well on carpet. So this morning, we decided to try them on the flat, relatively smooth surface of the sidewalk. As you can see from the picture above, we had much more success building there.That said, I was left with mixed sentiments regarding this product.

The blocks are cute, and both the cubs and the kids next door enjoyed playing with them for the better part of an hour. The play set was not as open-ended as I would have liked. (Much like a puzzle, the buildings could be assembled only one way.) That said, Little Bear’s  puzzle-loving playmate had a blast trying to figure out how to assemble them, while Little Bear opted to play with the more open-ended fence and animal pieces. It’s worth noting that all of the pieces were quite small. The barn was only about six inches high and could hold only one animal; furthermore, the chicken coop was not designed to accommodate any animals (much to the consternation of certain little farmers). Overall, the blocks proved a fun morning activity, but didn’t earn a permanent spot in our toy collection.

We continued our farm-themed fun by pulling out our Duplo tub (which includes the Lego Duplo Ultimate Farm Building Set) and building a variety of barns, animals, and tractors with it. Although Duplos are one of our always available toys, they held the kids’ interest much longer than the wooden farm blocks. I realized after the fact that I failed to photograph this morning’s creations … perhaps because I was too busy building alongside the kids.

We paused from our play long enough for lunch, rest time, and story time. Today’s read-alouds included …

1-2-3 Farmyard

A winning hand

Next, we pulled another new game 1-2-3 Farmyard! off the shelf. Little Bear loves games, and this one was no exception. That said, like many moms, I tend to play kids’ games out of obligation and was surprised to actually enjoy this preschool game.

The game is made up of animal cards (representing numbers 1-6), empty pasture cards, and a single wild card. Players begin with a hand of six cards, then draw and discard to achieve one of four objectives. In the first variant, players seek to build a hand that includes one of each animal card. Little Bear grasped the game play concept quickly, proving real competition the first hand and winning the second. In the second variant, players draw and discard cards to make a farmyard with animals that add up to 10. Little Bear loved this variant as much as the first. In the third variant, players create a farmyard with only odd or even numbered animals (not a concept we’ve covered). In the fourth (and in my opinion, simplest) variant, players build a farmyard with their two favorite animals.

After three hands and two variants of this game, Little Bear was begging to continue playing, and I quit only because Baby Bear was demanding my attention. Of the two dozen or more preschool games we own, this one is easily makes our top five favorites list and might edge out Richard Scarry’s Busytown as Mommy’s favorite. According to the box, the game is for children ages 4 and up, but at 3 1/2, Little Bear could easily play three of the four variants. At the same time, there’s enough variety and strategy to the game that I could see her playing it just as happily at 5, 6, or even 7.

The only negative aspect of the game, in my opinion, was that the cards were printed on cardstock instead of chipboard. I suspect this game will get enough use to warrant replacement a couple of years down the road.

Neigh!

In other farm fun, the girls played with our Melissa & Doug Farm Sound Blocks again today, and Baby Bear was still captivated by them. Little Bear played with her Alex Toys String a Farm, while singing a verse of “Old MacDonald” for each animal she added to her “necklace.” Little Bear also completed farm-themed cutting and tracing activities.

Wrapping up the day’s excitement, Little Bear pulled out her ABC Duplos for some free play this evening, while I attempted to get some work done. Minutes later, she called out, “Mommy! Come see! I made the word ‘cat’!”

… In the past, she’s had a tendency to stick random letters on the board and call them words, but when I looked in on her tonight, she had indeed succeeded in spelling the word “cat.” “Bug,” “dog,” and “hen” soon followed. Slowly but surely, my little book lover is becoming a little reader.

"I made the word 'cat'!"

Three-letter word success

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Good-bye Nn, Hello Oo

With our “letter of the week” in danger of becoming our “letter of the month,” I made an executive decision today to wrap up our letter Nn activities so that we could move on to the letter Oo.

We’d read about nocturnal animals over the weekend, and Little Bear had especially enjoyed Where Are the Night Animals?, part of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out-Science series. Today, we made a list of all the nocturnal animals she could think of, re-read Where Are the Night Animals? and added to the list, then sorted pictures of animals into nocturnal and diurnal categories.

Nature makes the best toys!

We rolled two dice, added the dots, then put a corresponding number of plastic Easter eggs in a playsilk “nest.”

Little Bear gathered acorns (nuts) and arranged them in the shape of an N. She also counted out the date in nuts.

We snacked on celery sticks filled with nut butters (peanut and almond).

We pulled out our bin of toy instruments and made a lot of noise. (This was, undoubtedly, Baby Bear’s favorite activity of the day.)

We went on a quiet nature walk, observing squirrels, birds, trees, insects, trees, and flowers.

Little Bear practiced reading and spelling words in the -an and -un word families.

Finally, we talked about the differences between night and day as we observed a beautiful sunset.

In other activities, Little Bear completed her next ReadingEggs.com lesson, enjoyed some Earth Day activities on ABCMouse.com, and completed two more preschool lessons on ABCMouse.com. We read Earth Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) and Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire!, then talked about ways we could help take care of the earth. We carried a trash bag along and picked up litter during our nature walk. We also continued our farm theme study. Today’s farm-themed read-alouds included:

Baby Bear is beginning to take more interest in our read-aloud time, so I’m making an effort to include more toddler books in our routine. We also pulled out an old set of Melissa & Doug Farm Sound Blocks. Little Bear “showed” Baby Bear how to match the blocks (read “did it for her”), while Baby Bear watched wide-eyed and squealed happily each time she heard an animal sound.

Last but not least, we headed outside for some fresh air, sunshine, and fun with friends. The girls fed the birds, watered the plants, chased butterflies, danced around the yard, climbed on everything they could find to climb on, colored with sidewalk chalk, tossed a balloon around until it popped, drew in the dirt, put Mommy’s stain removal skills to the test, and had a great time doing it.

Whee!

"I'm on the top of the world ..."

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Animal Adventures

A number of community groups come together each year and sponsor an afternoon children’s fair, complete with petting zoo, at one of the local parks. This year’s fair coincided with our farm theme, and Little Bear was overjoyed to be able to see and pet some of the animals about which we’ve read over the past week. The girls got to see a nanny goat and five kids, a couple of sheep, a ram, a miniature horse, two donkeys, and several chicks and rabbits.

Three kids ...

Little Bear wanted to pet all of the animals. Baby Bear was ready for a nap, and showed surprisingly little interest in the four-legged creatures surrounding her … with the exception, that is, of the donkeys.

Pet the donkey

Kiss the donkey

Found a pillow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Bear also got a first-hand look at some unique insects, rodents, and reptiles, courtesy of our local nature center. She kept her distance from the tarantula guarding the ticket counter, but would quite happily have brought the bearded dragon home with her. She also had no qualms whatsoever about petting a yellow python.

"No, you may NOT have one!"

Gentle touches ...

 

 

 

 

 

Both girls also had the opportunity to play some traditional African drums. They each played their own for awhile, then decided it was more fun to play together.

Joyful noise!

Of course, no trip to the park would be complete without a bit of playground time, so we briefly traded the happy chaos of the fair for the relative calm of the playground. We didn’t spend much time there since (1) it was nearly 90 degrees and (2) we’d been the day before. But a little bit of wildly energetic free play was just what the girls needed to wind down. Little Bear was soon ready to head for the car (by way of the tractor ride, the face-painting booth, the sundae-making station, and a couple of carnival-style games), and although Baby Bear briefly protested the end of fun and games, she settled down into her stroller and fell asleep within minutes.

On the go!

Making memories ...

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Saturday Fun

The cubs woke up fever free this morning, and after two weeks with no playground time, Little Bear was beginning to go through withdrawal. So we spent today as a beautiful spring Saturday should be spent: We played.

We played at the park:

Bliss ...

We climbed, we swung, we skipped, we slid, we ran, and we laughed.

Making music ...

Love that smile!

First one foot, then the other ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did she get up there?!?

We played at home:

We played in the yard. We fed the birds. We drew with sidewalk chalk. We watered our flowers and sampled the leaves on our peppermint plant. We dug in the dirt. We watched the squirrels. We played in the house. We built a Duplo barn and filled it with wooden farm Anamalz. We did a wooden farm animal jigsaw puzzle. We played our wooden percussion instruments while singing “Old MacDonald had a Farm.” Baby Bear climbed the toy shelves and played the role of a villain, toppling stacking cup towers, hurling Oballs, and raining interlocking plastic monkeys down on an unsuspecting MagnaTile village. Little Bear donned a play silk cape and played the part of a superhero, rushing in to rescue the toys and restore order to the living room.

Last but not least, we read:

Growing a reader ...

We read in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The girls shared stories with Mommy and with Daddy. We read about day and night, about nocturnal animals, about gardening, and and about farm life. Little Bear identified animals, while Baby Bear tried to mimic their sounds. At the end of the day, we accomplished a little learning, a lot of fun, and a whole lot of family time. What could make for a better Saturday?

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Running on Fumes …

I’m beginning to realize that there’s a direct correlation between sleep and creativity … and enthusiasm … and patience.

Unfortunately, no one in this house has had a decent night’s sleep all week. Both girls are still feverish, congested, and cranky, and their grown-ups aren’t too far behind them.

We started our day today with yet another check-up only to discover that Little Bear’s respiratory issues had gotten worse in the day and a half since our night at the ER. Two long hours, two breathing treatments, and an ENT referral later, we left the clinic and headed to a medical supply store to get a nebulizer for home use. Then, it was on to the pharmacy, where (1) the computer system was down so the pharmacist had to phone the insurance company before filling Little Bear’s $300+ prescription and (2) the pharmacy had only enough medicine to fill half the prescription today.

And when I say we “started our day” at the doctor’s office, I mean exactly that. After a restless night last night, both girls slept later than usual this morning and had to be awakened in order for us to get to their appointment on time. I handed Little Bear a cup of juice as we walked out the door and promised her breakfast after her check-up, never imagining that it would be nearly lunch time before we left the doctor’s office.

I did grab the girls’ activity bag on the way out the door, but in keeping with the whole “no sleep = no creativity” theory, today’s activities consisted of a wipe-off alphabet book, a generic preschool workbook, a couple of story books, a set of beginning readers, and a couple of bean bags. I realized after we got to the clinic that the picture books I’d grabbed off the sofa and stuck in the bag were actually books we’d read the day before. Thankfully, they were favorites that Little Bear was happy to hear again. Over the course of the morning, Little Bear …

  • listened to Flap Your Wings and The Best Nest.
  • practiced this week’s letter Nn in My Alphabet Book Wipe-Off® Book, reviewed last week’s letter Mm, then backed up to the beginning of the book and practiced letters Aa-Dd.
  • completed several beginning sounds worksheets out of School Zone’s Big Preschool Workbook; grew bored with worksheets, cut up completed pages and sorted pictures according to initial sound.
  • followed along as I read Eddie the Raccoon: Brand New Readers, then read three of the four books to me.
  • tossed a bean bag back and fourth with her sister.
  • attempted to balance a bean bag on top of her head as she walked.

Once home, our somewhat-productive-but-not-exciting day continued. Little Bear …

  • completed 4 pages in Get Ready for the Code – Book A.
  • completed a lesson on items that go together in Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics and reviewed the concept with Ravensburger’s Can You Match It? picture association game.
  • made up mini-stories based on randomly drawn animal and object cards. (We’ve re-purposed a Memory game for this activity. Instead of making matches, we take turns drawing two cards — one an animal and one an object — then making up a short story that involves both items.)
  • completed cutting and pasting exercises out of Kumon First Steps workbooks.
  • sorted puzzle pieces (after half a dozen small jigsaw puzzles got dumped together) and re-assembled puzzles.
  • built with Magnatiles.
  • hunted for insects.
  • watched an episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and an episode of Super Why! (entertainment makes breathing treatments a lot more tolerable).
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Two Sick Cubs

Both cubs are once again battling upper respiratory infections. In fact, a relatively unproductive day turned into a late night in the ER yesterday when Little Bear’s fever surpassed the 105-degree mark. Two rounds of antibiotics (including injections at the ER), plus half a bottle of ibuprofen later, both cubs have more “normal” fevers, but still feel miserable. And so, despite my plans for the week, the cubs have spent the past couple of days sleeping, crying, listening to stories, whining, watching television, and playing just enough to make a mess, albeit not necessarily in that order.

Nn is for nature lover

We did go outside for about half an hour this morning so that the girls could get a bit of fresh air and sunshine. Little Bear inspected her flowers, then hunted for nests and nuts to accompany our letter Nn studies. In the process of searching for birds’ nests (all of which were far above our heads), we encountered a baby dove who’d either fallen or been pushed from the nest too soon:

Too little to fly

Shortly thereafter, s/he was joined by a sibling, while a concerned parent circled above them. There was no way we could return them to their nest, so we tossed generous handfuls of bird seed in their direction and hoped for the best.

Back indoors, we read The Best Nest and A Nest Full of Eggs. We looked at pictures of different types of nests and watched a video clip of a robin building a nest. Little Bear completed math and phonics lessons, then spent about 20 minutes on ABCMouse.com. We read at least a dozen other books over the course of the day, plus watched a couple of hours worth of educational television. I realized just how little we’d accomplished today (and, correspondingly, how bad the girls were feeling) after bath time tonight. See the mini-Duplo mess below? That was the ONLY toy mess either of the cubs created all day long.

Little builder -- or demolitions expert

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

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Just Another Monday

We kicked off the week with a day full of reading, working, playing, and learning — busy, fun, and altogether ordinary. We read today’s Bible story, began learning this week’s verse, and did a lesson in Get Ready for the Code before breakfast. Little Bear watched an episode of Sid the Science Kid while I dressed Baby Bear and got a couple of packages ready to mail. Then, we headed outside for some fresh morning air and sunshine.

Little Bear wanted to draw and write on her easel:

Young artist

Baby Bear just wanted to fuss … and nurse. So we headed back inside to tend to her perceived needs. Little Bear asked me to read, and we tackled yet another stack of garden-themed books while I got a certain grumpy little person to sleep:

Cruisin'

Building a nest ...

After lunch, Little Bear spent some time building with MagnaTiles and playing with Baby Bear. She did a couple of tracing activities and a couple of logic exercises. Then, we headed outside for more fresh air and sunshine. This time, Little Bear wanted to build a nest and pretend she was a bird. Baby Bear happily cruised along the sidewalk for awhile, then wandered around the yard collecting twigs, leaves, and anything else she could find to pick up. None of the girls’ usual playmates were outside this afternoon, so when Little Bear tired of playing alone, we headed back inside. Little Bear drew a picture, looked through some books, and entertained herself with dress-up play and yet more building.

Tending the plants

Sometimes a girl's just gotta twirl ...

We headed outside one final time this evening to tend our plants and get mail. Of course, no errand is quick with two little ones in tow, and this one was no exception. Though the mailbox is, at most, 10 yards from our front door, the cubs wanted to take the “long” way home, circling the entire apartment block. A still-dressed up Little Bear danced and twirled, sending her hat flying at least a dozen times and watching her skirt fly in the breeze. Baby Bear cackled at her sister’s antics and did her best to keep pace. Then, we headed back inside so that Little Bear could do her ReadingEggs.com lesson and practice writing this week’s letter Nn.

We wrapped up our day’s activities with some number fun. First, we counted out the date in Duplos. Little Bear observed that the number 16 was made up of one ten and six ones.

1 ten, 6 ones

Next, we explored various number groups that equaled sixteen. We used our blocks to discover that 16 could be made up two groups of eight (and that 8 equaled 1/2 of 16), four groups of four (and that four equaled 1/4 of sixteen), and eight groups of two.

Counting to 16 ...

Next, we pulled out a number train floor puzzle. Little Bear put it together on her on, then raced to find numbers as I called them out.

Number hunt

We ended the day with a number memory game. I asked Little Bear if she’d like to pick some bedtime stories, but she just wanted to curl up in the recliner and snuggle with Mommy. Ten minutes later, she was asleep.

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