Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Introducing Ollie the Octopus

on April 30, 2012

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:


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.

One Response to “Introducing Ollie the Octopus”

  1. Stefanie says:

    I’m totally making that octopus next week. Cute!

    Popping in from Pre-K corner.

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