Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Our Not-Back-to-School Day

on August 27, 2012

Public schools in our area kicked off the 2012-2013 school year today. Since we’re following a looser, year-round learning approach, we didn’t really have a “first day of school” this year. We did, however, spend this morning enjoying a not-back-to-school celebration of our own. With most of the town’s juvenile population back in school, we headed to McDonald’s (a rare treat in and of itself) for breakfast and a morning of uncrowded play at one of the few indoor play areas in town:

So excited!

Sisters and friends …

By the time we got home, both girls were ready for naps. I read several chapters of our current read-aloud, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, to Little Bear while I nursed Baby Bear to sleep. Midway through the sixth chapter, I felt Little Bear’s head slump down on my shoulder, and she was out for half the afternoon.

As the girls woke, we headed back to the recliner for more snuggle and story time. The girls took turns choosing books for Mommy to read and happily listened as long as my voice held out. Then, Baby Bear pulled Ruff’s House, a tactile memory/matching game, off the shelf,  and convinced both me and Little Bear to play with her. At 16 months, she doesn’t really grasp the idea of making matches, but she loves pulling the bones-shaped playing pieces out of the dog house, examining the textures, and putting the pieces back in while Mommy and Big Sister make matches. Next, the girls turned their attention to puzzles, Duplos, and drawing on the iPad while I started dinner.

Little Bear tackled four new puzzles in Can You Find Me? and two more exercises in Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 (PreK-K)while dinner cooked. She loves both of these books — to the point that she begs to keep going, then asks to go back and revisit the puzzles we’ve already solved whenever we hit our “quota” for the day. (I’ve ordered sequels to both, but would like to make the current volumes last at least a couple of months!)

Princess to the rescue!

One more puzzle solved!

After dinner, we pulled Camelot Jr. off the shelf and worked through five puzzle cards. Each puzzle begins with castle blocks and gulfs between a knight and a princess, along with pieces that must be manipulated to bridge the gulfs. In theory, the knight then rushes in to rescue the princess. But we’re not exactly raising damsels in distress. … Little Bear loves the story The Paper Bag Princess, and as often as not, Princess Elizabeth goes to the aid of Prince Ronald — or a more worthy knight!

Last but not least, we read Frog and Toad Are Friends, which of course, prompted Little Bear to question the differences between frogs and toads. She’s asked this question before, and given how much she enjoys the Frog and Toad books, I have no doubt she’ll ask it again. So tonight, along with giving her my standard “frogs live in or near water, while toads live on dry land” answer, I took time to Google it. Next time she asks, I’ll be ready with a handy chart that compares the two, plus this slightly more detailed answer.


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