Thursday, July 25, 2013

Keeping the Kids Busy!

It has been a busy week here! I've gotten a taste of what "school life" will be like this week with Max
participating in Windsor Elementary's jump start program. Lets just say it entails me waking up even earlier (still not so much a morning person and probably never will be) and requiring even more organization on my part to get him out the door on time. This will take some getting use to, but luckily we'll still have a few weeks left of summer to enjoy before it becomes part of our regular routine. This is also Max's last week of t-ball, so no more rushing to be somewhere on Tuesday's and Thursday's!

While Max has been busy with school and our evenings filled with t-ball, I've kept the kids pretty busy and entertained during the day. On Monday, we got the results of the grow snake from the pool. The kids were very excited by how big it had grown. We also started new grow animals and by Tuesday the zebra and

elephant were twice the size they had started at. I had the kids draw pictures of the grow animals and how they grew. Monday afternoon brought about an impromptu experiment of Kool Aid painting (see previous post for recipe and results). The kids LOVED this activity so much we did it again Wednesday morning.
The kids also painted pictures using Melissa and Doug's paint with water. I bought this booklet at the Science Center several months ago. The first time the kids tried these, they weren't a big fan (something about how "the paint isn't bright enough! I can't see!"), but they've really enjoyed doing it within the last few weeks.
Wednesday morning we gave Kool Aid painting a try outside and painted the driveway. This time around, I was prepared enough to have all different colors of Kool Aid on hand instead of all pinks and red! The kids started with brushes but very quickly turned it into full body Kool Aid painting.

I usually have the kids paint on the patio in the backyard, but I didn't want them to run through it since we were spending the gorgeous July morning (seriously, 70 some degrees with very little humidity in July in Iowa is unheard of!!) outside. So, I tested the kids on their listening abilities and drew  two lines on the driveway, leaving a large rectangle on the driveway with the paints in the middle. They were allowed to paint anywhere within those lines, but could not cross the lines (I didn't want anyone running into the street). I only had to remind them once not to cross the line. I was very pleased with how well they listened to and followed directions with this project.

The kids wound down from Kool Aid painting and playing outside with some foam crafts. My sister in law
picked up the ones on the left from Target for half off. The ones on the right I grabbed from Dollar Tree. I like foam crafts because they're easy and safe for all of the kids to do.

After naps, the kids had lots of energy so I created a game: I took the bean bags and made an oval on the living room floor. I placed each bag a small step (for myself) apart from each other. I then put on music and had the kids hop/jump/step from bean bag to bean bag, stopping when the music stopped. When the music stopped, I had them either count to 10 or say their abc's, then put the music back on. They continued to do this for a good half hour, some of the kids continued this activity longer. Bean Bag Hopping, as I named the game, helps with balance and coordination, listening skills, plus helping with their counting and abc skills. I had kids ages 1-5 that day and they all tried to participate. Most of them followed directions perfectly and all understood the activity. I like to test the kids on their abilities so I know what activities are appropriate and they would enjoy the most. I am continually amazed by what these kids are capable of!

This morning was another gorgeous morning, so we got out the bounce house. Good times had by all of the kids. I love this bounce house (my parents got it for my kids for their birthday's) because it exhausts the kids!
Tomorrow, our plans include: getting out the chalkboard table top, a few coloring pages for the kids, putting the hatching penguin in water so it will be all ready for the kids to see Monday morning, and of course, making our plans for a sure to be fun weekend.