Friday, August 9, 2013

Week In Review: August 5 - August 9

Put your hands up and's Friday!!! Our week was filled with sickness. All of the kids so kindly shared their germs with each other and myself, making for a rather long week even though it's been slower with several kids out sick. There's been quite a bit of Netflix watching, oatmeal and soup eating, and long naps this week.
The kids spent a good portion of their week playing with play money (another courtesy of the great clean out) and quizzing each other with flash cards. I decided to set flash cards (Dollar Tree has an excellent selection of flash cards including colors, letters, words, numbers, shapes, opposites and more) out for the kids to see what they would do with them. I do flash cards with the kids occasionally, but I've never just given them to the kids to do what they pleased. I figured they would instantly be crumbled and chewed on, but I'm very pleased to report all of the cards have survived a week and mostly properly played with. The older kids have particularly enjoyed testing the younger kids on their letters and sounds. The play money was enjoyed even more than the flash cards. The kids had a blast pretending to buy things, going shopping with their money, and played what I would call bank teller (Harrison was the "money keeper" and the other kids had to do things like run around the train table) to earn money. I was very impressed with their creativity and how well they did using their words and sharing while playing. It also made me realize, once again, how much kids pick up about day to day life yet how differently their brains process everything. It was definitely entertaining for me to watch and listen too!
On Tuesday, the kids weren't up for any of the activities I had planned for them. Instead, they happily built with Legos and played hide n' seek. When the kids are happily playing and going a good job sharing and using words, I choose not to interrupt them and let them play. Most everything I have planned, I can do another day or later that day.Wednesday morning the kids had a very tough time sharing. It was a perfect time to review using words and time out procedures though! Thursday and Friday the kids spent most of their day building with the Lego Duplos. They're really doing a great job and getting very creative in their building!

Here are a few other activities the kids have enjoyed throughout the week:

Coloring puzzles and paper shapes: I bought these at Learning Post several months ago and found them last weekend during the art supply clean out.

They also colored paper shapes of caterpillars and dinosaurs. I find these at Dollar Tree in the school supply items (they also have many other shapes). They're meant to be bulletin board decorations, but the
kids enjoy coloring and decorating these so they work just fine.

Sand Art: the kids did the sand art I found on clearance at Target during my Friday night shopping spree.

The kids enjoyed layering the different colors, but this is definitely is not a project for kids younger than maybe 6 to do themselves. The packaging said 7+ years, but I helped each child with the scooping the sand, pouring, and layering. This took a good chunk of time as I had to help each child individually, but the kids really thought it was cool.

Coloring and foam crafts: During this time, they quizzed each other on their ages, counting, their mom and dad's names, and the colors of the crayons. It's these simple things like quizzing each other and off topic conversations that teach them!

Tooth Brush Painting: Just as it sounds, painting with a tooth brush. I always like to let the kids experiment using different items and textures for painting. All of the kids really enjoyed this and liked making circles with the brush.

Window Markers: Crayola makes window markers and crayons, but I'm more of a fan of the window markers. The crayons are brighter, but the markers wash off of the windows easier (and clothes and the carpet too). The kids have a blast with these, but beware, younger kids have gotten confused and I've heard back from parents saying their kids have tried using markers/crayons on the walls and other places after using them on the windows here. Oops!

Chalkboard Table coloring: this spring, the hubs helped me make a chalkboard table top for the train table (yes, I will do a post on how to make one for your train table because it's super easy and affordable). We had this out a lot over our cooler than normal spring, but haven't used it much this summer. The kids were thrilled for an afternoon of coloring with chalk!

On Monday, the kids started a hatching penguin and a grow tiger. The penguin hatched extremely fast (only 10 hours compared to 2 or 3 days) and turned out to be bright yellow. The kids loved the penguins unique color, asking if they would see this penguin the next time we went to the zoo. My thoughts on the penguin: super creepy!!!

Matt took the boys to National Night Out in Windsor Heights Tuesday evening. The boys played games, won prizes, jumped in bounce houses, and did spin art (I may need one of
these for the daycare kids. They had a blast with it)! This also presented the perfect opportunity Wednesday morning for me to talk to them about the importance of following rules, safety procedures, sexual abuse (for this I reminded them that no one but mommy, daddy or their doctor should ask about, see, or touch their private parts), and the role that police officers and firefighters play in our community. This was a very important topic to cover with the start of the school year coming up and I was very proud of the discussion I was able to have with them.

During the great clean out, I came across a Melissa and Doug paint your own rubber duck I had gotten Max more than a year ago. He finally painted it this week and it is awesome! I originally found this at Toys R Us last year. I'm not sure if they still carry it or not, but you can find it on amazon for $6-$8. I was a rather leery as to if the paint would really stay on after it was in the bath water, but so far so good!

It is becoming more evident that the end of summer is nearing as I now only have a handful of days with two of the little girls I watch. It is always sad to say goodbye to kids when they leave me for school. These are kids who are in my house everyday and have become my kids friends. Emotional for me but I am so happy to be able to have had the time with them, to play the role I have in their lives, and to watch them grow and learn. Next week we will be welcoming a new little boy into our daycare family. Those first couple of weeks can always be rough for any new child, but I am always amazed at how well all of the kids do at teaching the "new kid" all of the rules, helping them, and befriending them. That is one of my favorite experiences as a daycare provider. My biggest hope for next week is healthy and happy children so we can do some of the fun activities I have planned!