Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

A Hard Day’s Play

on May 30, 2012

Exhausted ...

I thought we’d had a relatively slow day today, but the girls seemed to think otherwise. Baby Bear (my night owl) conked out shortly after dinner. Little Bear started picking up toys in true 3-year-old fashion — pick one up, play with two, pick another up, play with three, etc. Some time passed before I suddenly realized she’d had ample time to clean up, and I hadn’t heard from her in awhile. We found her in the corner of the living room, surrounded by toys and sound asleep.

We babysat for part of the day today, and our newborn guest was not her usual happy self today. Add the needs of a tiny infant with an upset tummy to the needs of a teething toddler, and it doesn’t leave a lot of time for academics!

We did manage to squeeze in a little reading time this morning, though not as much as I would have liked. We’ve been reading through The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: A Classic Disney Treasury and today read the story of “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too,” a tale of friendship, kindness (and the lack thereof), forgiveness, and acceptance.

We’ve been learning about bugs this week, so Little Bear entertained herself for part of the morning by drawing bugs. She also completed several activities on ABCMouse.com while I was busy with the little ones.

Mighty Mind

This afternoon, she and I spent about half an hour doing Mighty Mind together. This problem-solving game has easily been one of our best purchases this past year. When we first got it, I had to walk Little Bear through the puzzle-solving process. Now she’s moved on to more challenging tasks, and she’s capable of completing most of them independently. I stay near by to help her get pieces in and out of the puzzle tray (no small task for little hands) and to offer tips if she gets stuck.

Next, I pulled out Little Bear’s Theraputty, which she hadn’t worked with recently. I began by mixing in a handful of plastic Letter R’s for her to find. As she dug each one out of the putty, she had to name a word that began with the letter R and a word that ended with the /r/ sound. She had trouble coming up with words ending in /r/, so I gave her clues along the way:

  1. Never open the _____ to strangers!
  2. I’m big and fierce. I hibernate in the winter. I have babies called cubs. I’m a ______.
  3. Mommy Bear is your _____, Daddy Bear is your _____, and Baby Bear is your _____.
  4. Push in your _____ when you leave the table.
  5. A doe, a buck, and a fawn are all members of the _____ family.

We moved on to random letter mix-ins, and Little Bear simply listed as many words as she could think of beginning with each letter she pulled out. Of course, she also had plenty of fun just playing with her Theraputty. She stretched it and kneaded it and shaped it and rolled it, before finally transforming it into a “pie” and filling it with her letter R “raspberries.”

We wrapped up the day with some fun in the sun — a good hour or more of pool time, along with a couple of neighbor kids. Little Bear jumped in and swam across the pool at least 30 or 40 times, and Baby Bear broke free from Mama and attempted to swim on her own (with the aid of her Puddle Jumper life jacket) for the first time today. She succeeded in making her way to the stairs, climbing out, and climbing back in the water at least half a dozen times — no small feat for a 13-month-old! Fun, fresh air, sunshine, and two little girls tired enough to want to sleep … what a great way to end the day!


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