We had a BLAST this week! It was space week here and we were not at all short on crafts and activities. It was a pretty crazy week, but overall Big Boy did well with his lessons, and Little Man has discovered some wonderful new (to him) developmental toys.
Originally, the plan was for this week's unit to be apples... but on Sunday night while I was trying to get ahead with my preparations I introduced to Big Boy the materials I had put together for the space unit. We had such a great time with the match game I made that we decided to go ahead and do the space week now.
Monday was great! Daddy had a day off of work, and once Little Man was napping he was able to join in on Big Boy's lesson.
We started with a letter "S" craft.
"S" is for STAR.
For this activity you will need to print images to copy, black paper, colored chalk, glue, glitter, stars (stickers, or in our case sequin shapes)
I put together a mini flip book for him featuring three different images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. After looking at the pictures together we created our own versions of them. He got as far as the Sagittarius Star Cloud and Orion Nebula. When we got to the interacting galaxies picture he was done with the activity... I was not. It was way to fun making these pretty space pictures! So the art on the blue construction paper is all me... aren't I talented?
After spending the afternoon out and about, the boys napped in the car in the driveway... so Big Boy's bedtime got pushed back a bit. Just long enough for a science experiment with daddy.
This very simple activity was a huge hit. Daddy has been wanting to get more involved so I picked up a book of physics experiments from the dollar aisle in Target for him to be in charge of. The explanations for the experiments are too advanced for Big Boy, but the activities themselves are all so fun and simple.
Plastic bottles, water, food coloring, vegetable oil.
We added glitter (space dust) and stars to fit our unit theme for the week.
I knew right away Tuesday would be a challenging day. You just cannot count on the attention span or mood of a two year old!
He HATED the activity I had for the phases of the moon. It was a picture matching activity (I admit... a little difficult) with numbers drawn on the moons to encourage counting and numeral recognition. It was a bust. It was beyond him, BUT I think in the future he may have more success with it.
The activity ended up going somewhere very different.
I sang "Hey Diddle Diddle" to him, using a nursery rhyme book to follow along. Then we got a toy cow to jump over one of the moons from the matching activity.
That got old fast, so we found other things that could jump over the moon. The book became a ramp we used to launch trucks and trains over the moon. I got a few giggles out of him for that.
He let me tell him about stars in the sky that form shapes called "Constellations" while he laced through some images I printed, cut, laminated and hole punched.
He enjoyed making himself into an astronaut. I was preparing this craft for Wednesday, but when he saw me cutting out the suit, boots, and helmet he insisted on doing it. A good thing too, because we got NOTHING done on Wednesday! Ugh what a bad day Wednesday turned out to be!
Big Boy had his first session of speech therapy on Tuesday. His therapist, E, used Mr. Potato Head to get him to say "please". It worked great. He went from "dee" to "pee" in just a few tries. And from needing a prompt to say it to saying it on his own in just a few more tries. (side note- Daddy and Big Boy came back from running errands at Walmart tonight with a Mr. Potato Head... good job Daddy!).
They played more games together, and I got a lot out of watching her interact with him. I used a few of her techniques at home this week and have been pretty happy with them. Big Boy got his first homework assignment (I guess we both did, going into this I knew that the success of therapy rested on my own involvement and dedication to it).
Big Boy went to his school skills class at Gymboree. He loves his teacher (and so do I)!
After lunch we worked on some of his words that E assigned him. His inability to focus had me seriously doubting wether I could do this homeschool thing. But then I picture him being forced to sit still... oh dear. That would be torture for him. He definitely needs to incorporate movement into his learning. And while I went in to home learning thinking I wouldn't force anything on him, I am beginning to think that I may need to be just slightly more rigid in getting him to focus on one thing at a time. At this age anyway, I see the importance of providing more structure and limitations. Then again... we have just had an off the walls kind of week.
We made some Alien Art while Little Man napped.
I cut shapes from my Cricut and gave him crayons, stickers, pom poms, pipe cleaners and googley eyes to create his own alien. Of course he insisted I do one also.
He let me read I Like Stars by Margaret Wise Brown to him, but he didn't stick around for the very simple activity that went along with it. His Mega Bloks were calling him. So I did it by myself. I thought maybe he would join me once he observed what I was doing (which is what happens a lot of the time), plus... I have fun with the artsy stuff, why shouldn't I play too?
It's a very simple book, so a very simple craft will do. The book is great for learning colors (which is something Big Boy has mastered, but still it's good to reinforce), and it also introduces other concepts like far, quiet, bright, etc. Big Boy loves to play with stickers. Just randomly placing them on paper is great fun to him. He has trouble removing the stickers from their sheets though, so this would have been a good opportunity to practice that bit of coordination and problem solving (bending the sheet while peeling the sticker); which is something he did do during our Alien craft, so I wasn't going to push this on him.
Today Big Boy did AWESOME working on his therapy homework! I modified the activity to suit his learning style and it really paid off. We must have run through all his words three times!
He played with lots and lots of puzzles. No more peg puzzles. Please! He has moved on to jigsaw puzzles. Yeah... he is so good at them that it scares me!
We read Today is the Birthday of the World by Linda Heller. I love this book. So sweet. We made a birthday card for Daddy and a paper plate Earth to go with this book.
While he glued the pieces of paper down we talked about the Earth being made of water and land, and which color paper represented which. We talked about life on Earth- I exclaimed that I live on Earth, and asked him who else did... he rattled off names of family members and friends, and then we named different animals that live on Earth too.
Little Man's Week
My baby is 11 months old this week. He is at the age the Big Boy was when we decided to have another baby. I can't imagine doing that now. While Big Boy seemed so old, Little Man is still such a baby! With that thought I revisited pictures of Big Boy at 11 months and was overwhelmed by guilt. Big Boy was walking, drinking from a straw, given utensils, playing with more toys...doing lots of things that Little Man isn't. I know I shouldn't compare the two kids, but I'm comparing the difference in opportunities I have given each one. Big Boy had all of my attention (and he still takes up most of it!), no sibling knocking him down, free run of the condo we were living in at the time.... things have definitely been different for Little Man. To give him credit...he has been clapping for MONTHS, which is something his brother had just started doing at 11 months, he can climb stairs like a pro, and he seems more "verbal" than Big Boy was.
With that realization is the realization that Little Man needs to be given his own opportunities to learn and discover. He just loved these toys I introduced to him. He even surprised me with his level of interaction with the toys.
There were ups and downs throughout the week, but the week ended on a high note. Daddy's hard work was recognized by his employer, and we celebrated Daddy's birthday with Spiderman cake!
HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!