Wednesday, December 4, 2019

November Fun

November seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. I feel like we did a lot and hardly anything at the same time. The biggest thing November brought was a change up to the daycare room. I reconfigured the daycare room and instead of the weekly change up to the room, I left it be the entire month. I was surprised that the kids didn't seem to get bored with the toys and thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities I had ready for them.

Here's some highlight from our month of gratitude:


Sensory activities at our sensory table. After the first week, I removed the mini hay bales and figures and put scoops in the corn. The kids really enjoy digging in it.

Fall magnets (found at Dollar Tree last fall) on a magnetic white board and our Little People Thanksgiving set. 

Our Thanksgiving kitchen and table, complete with a stuffed turkey and a "camera" so no one would miss those memorable moments. This was probably the most popular station all month long.

The kids were thrown off by the rearranged room for a few days, but then loved the set up. I liked the tabled at the back of the room, minus the fact that it meant less big toys out.

It snowed in November. We didn't go out to enjoy it. I like to keep all snow related activities for winter when it's too cold to go outside and the kids are climbing the walls. Bringing snow indoors seems to brighten their days. We're not quite there. Yet.


First crafts of the Thanksgiving season, turkey ornaments. Then the kids were confused about why they were decorating Thanksgiving ornaments when there aren't Thanksgiving trees. Couldn't give a great answer to that one!


We still had a list of fall activities that required leaves. I wasn't planning on those leaves being snow covered, but we made them work. I really didn't want to buy the craft feathers because, quite honestly, I hate those things. They end up everywhere, so I figured we'd use nature instead. The turkeys came out really cute!


As usual, our Wall of Thanks is my favorite. I love hearing what the kids are thankful for.



We do a lot of free play around here. Sure we have activities (some guided), story times, coloring/art time, and a lot of themes, but for the most part it is free play. Kids learn and explore with toys and games that interest them and we emphasize learning to play together, sharing, using words, etc. I love seeing what kids come up with all on their own....like this child who built a fence with the Magformers and told everyone (as they came near her), "I want to be by myself now!"

Unlike October, November only had one birthday to celebrate. No one complained about the brownie bites topped with frosting and M & M's!

Just like every year, we did our turkey hunt. The kids had so much with it! I loved it because there are a few new faces in our crowd and it's been a long time since I got to do this with kids who didn't know what to expect. It's always nice to see I still have the creativity to keep the kids interested!



I fully realize this is an Aladdin book, but the kids love our seasonal books. Their favorite Thanksgiving books are There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Turkey, 10 Fat Turkeys, We're Going On A Leaf Hunt, and The Berenstain Bears Trick Or Treat.



More turkey crafts. This time with stickers that make a turkey. I can't remember exactly where I got these (possibly Oriental Trading), but I ordered them a year or two ago and discovered them in my Thanksgiving bin in storage. Score!

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is another one the kiddos LOVE! We watch the movie, read the book, then eat what they eat in the movie (minus ice cream sundaes). Here's where it all started five years ago.

My nights are just as crazy as my days. I give you the many faces of Elizabeth, who is stalling at showering and opts for a photo shoot instead.









All of my kids love the daycare littles, but the middle one in particular is a favorite among the baby crowd. He likes to hold them, read them books, and give them one on one attention. They love him for it.

Harrison and Jeriah (middle one and daycare friend) made our Christmas and New Year's menus. Because daycare celebrates everything.


Everyone loved these clay turkeys. I gave each child a ball of brown clay. On the table I set out leaves, googly eyes, and buttons/beads in separate bowls on the table. I set out a demo turkey on the table, but I really enjoyed watching the kids put their own spin on their turkey and doing it to the best of their ability. This was perfect for ages 2-4 (although the two year requested help shaping her clay...only to pat it down again).



The play kitchen and setting the table was a favorite among all the ages (infant - 4 years old).


Our annual Daycare Thanksgiving was exceptionally fun and awesome this year. Read all about that day here.


Now we're busy with our Christmas time activities and fun! Our activities this time of the year (fall and Christmas) are never ending and some of everyone's favorites!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Top 5 From The Long Weekend


holiday movies in Christmas jammies


Long weekends are perfect for catching up on life and connecting with everyone and everything. We got a little bit of everything during our four days off: family, friends, neighbors, shopping, projects, creativeness, relaxing, playing. The only thing missing was adventuring, but the weather seemed to have other ideas. Here are some of my faves from our weekend:



1.) Thanksgiving weekend was a good one for Christmas movie watching. Noelle on Disney + was cutesy and fun for our whole family.

2.) We didn't go shopping for much on Black Friday (actually Thanksgiving to cap off our night) other than Benadryl and laundry pods, but I managed to walk out of the store with a new tool bench for daycare.

3.) Breaking out our Christmas decorations is something the minis look forward to every year. Our Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer stuffed animals are particularly beloved (and yes, in this house they also serve as decorations). This year they've taken up residence in the daycare room in the "Christmas house," also known as our playhouse that now has a blanket, pillows, and books in it to read all of our holiday books (and play with a stuffed Rudolph).


4.) While I was busy with Museum exhibit shenanigans, Hubs took the minis to Valley Junction for Small Business Saturday. Our favorite place to grab all Iowa products and garb for our out of town family and friend gifts is Heart of Iowa

5.) After all our Thanksgiving meals were consumed, the Christmas music began. My favorite holiday playlist on Amazon Music, Christmas Past, has a little bit of everything (and many of my favorite songs).

+1:

6.) Family jammies are where it's at this year. I actually can't believe my husband went along with this one!