Saturday, April 29, 2017

Month In Review: April

I have been horrible about updating our daycare shenanigans. A lot has happened in the past month: we've successfully gotten into a routine in the new house/daycare digs. It was a tough transition for a lot of the kiddos, but now they're really enjoying having a space just for them. Easter came and went, along with some fun activities. We got a new play system for the backyard, but unfortunately, daycare hasn't been able to use it much due to fencing install (update: it is still not in, but WILL be up and functioning before the summer crowd arrives). We did NOT jump on the unicorn frappucino bandwagon, but we did fall in love with Moana and now listen to the soundtrack daily. Also high up on the cool list is the game hide n' seek, which is played daily as well.

Here are a few of the fun things we've done in April:

Our Easter center was a hit. We had stuffed bunnies, baskets, and Easter eggs. We played "find the eggs" quite often and the kids loved taking them apart, putting them back together, and making various color combinations. I made sure to buy cheap Easter eggs because in the end, half wound up broken and the other half wound up lost.

I made a water bead balloon sensory activity for the kids. While the kids loved them, I played with them too....those little ones felt like stress relief balls! Here's a video I made about them:

We did Peep experiments....and I will never eat another Peep again. We put one purple and one blue in a cup of water. The waters instantly turned color, however it hardly affected the marshmallow part. I expected the Peep to expand or deteriorate or something, but other than get a tad mushy, it kept the same shape and size. 

You may remember our little sex talk we had with the kids (if not, read about that gem here). During said conversation, the oldest mini (and only child to do this), exploded one of the water bead balloons all over him and the we were walking out the door for his spring concert at school. This house never sees a dull moment!

The joy of living so close to school. The sidewalk in front of our house literally goes up to the school doors. We easily walked up to the school for the concert. I had a mini mama with me for the walk (please note her purse that had lip gloss, "debit cards," and a fresh pair of undies).

We (and by we, I mean my husband with me giving directions) took out the ridiculously heavy chandelier in the daycare room and replaced it with a light.

Giant bunnies made their way into our Easter center (thanks to Target). The kids mostly enjoyed laying on them and snuggling. By the end of the first day, we had to make the rule that they could no longer pick up the giant bunnies after an episode happened where a bunny was thrown and sent a kid (literally) flying through the air. It was a hold-your-breath moment for me, but everyone was okay and everyone listened to the rule (for the most part).

During one of our many egg hunts, the kids couldn't find this yellow egg and spent a good thirty-five minutes searching for it.

Our bunny lunch one day: bunny mac and cheese, a banana, lettuce, and carrots.

The kids used Roll On Painters to make their bunny butts. I loved these!

I bought foam eggs for the kids to color (similar to this) and we taped them to the window to display.

The simple sensory bin of water beads and plastic eggs was a hit. 

Dot Markers made the kid's egg shapes beautiful and bright!

The big kids took part in a Jelly Bean Build. They used tooth picks to stick in the jelly beans and build things. They've done the marshmallow build several times (same concept but sticking the tooth picks in marshmallows) and that proved easier. They had a hard time getting the tooth picks into the jelly beans, so we didn't have as elaborate structures, but it sure kept them busy and engaged!

We got to take our first walk around the new neighbor (with daycare kiddos that is). It made me miss our old neighbor a lot because after six years, we had a lot of friends who would look for us on our walks.

The cute bunny treat bags I put together. Find out how to make them here. 

The kids got to paint hard boiled eggs and eat them for snack the next day. Turns out no one likes hard boiled eggs but they thoroughly enjoyed peeling the shell away and playing with the shell.

Watching the new play system install was a morning long activity that captivated all of the kiddos. I even let them stand on the table to watch!

I bought these eggs for a simple, fun, and quick activity for the kids. They LOVED them. Bonus that I have plenty leftover for next year. I think part of the reason they loved them so much because I stuck a surprise piece of candy in their egg when they were done coloring.

Spring time play dough with cookie cutters.

The play set is going to be a life saver for the big kids this summer! I opted not to get the swing beam put on (so I didn't have to worry about kids swinging and kicking younger kids). Hubs and I even got to try out the play set one night once the minis went to bed!

The Peg Board is STILL a beloved toy by all.

We brought up the little kitchen for the first time in a month. The kids have been busy "cooking" food for each other and playing "dinner at a restaurant."

The day after Easter, we used all of our plastic Easter eggs to have the funnest snack we've ever had! Each child had 6 eggs filled with their snacks: a mini muffin, grapes, crackers, mini cookies, carrots, and yogurt melts. The kids LOVED it! We'll definitely be doing this again next year!

Rainbow shaving cream play.

The day after Easter, a few of the big kids were at daycare for the day. We all know how beloved the big kids are around here. The couple of days after that were tough for the littles. To make things a bit easier, we made a paper chain counting down until summer vacation, when the bigs are back. It is one of the biggest blessings in my life to witness how much these kiddos all love each other.

We tried our hand at shaving cream art. They turned out so awesome that we hung one on the daycare room wall.

We go through an insane amount of waffles around here! Upon taking a peek in our freezer, I realized half of the freezer was filled with frozen waffles and chicken nuggets. I call this #daycareproviderlife

The chalk colored flowers. The kids thought it was silly that I let them color with sidewalk chalk on paper.

Pete The Cat is a favorite book series around here. We did a repeat Pete The Cat theme day (read about that here). We spent A LOT of the day reading the books over and over again.

We celebrated Earth Day a day early by recycling a bunch of moving boxes (that were sitting in the basement) and making our Earth. We also read the books Why Should I Recycle?, How To Help The Earth, and The Lorax.

Mud goop (corn starch, water, and a scoop of mud) got mistaken for Cookies n' Cream ice cream. Thankfully no one ate it, but there were requests for ice cream all day long.

For the last several Tuesday's, the kids and I have been placing online grocery orders for delivery. It started one day when I realized I wouldn't have time to run to the store, so I opened up the laptop and asked the kids what they wanted for lunch. We've gotten to the point where every one knows the drill. First, we make our snacks and lunch menu for the week, we place the order, one child gets my debit card from my purse (this is the most coveted roles), and then when the groceries are delivered the next day, the kids help me put everything away (this past week we learned about tipping and why important to do). This past week we also ordered new daycare toys and a new Alexa (Amazon Echo) for the daycare room.

Markers have been banned for the younger kids (they're what I call cap throwers) and crayons have been getting a tad boring. We broke out the colored pencils to the kid's delight. I was a tad worried about the freshly sharpened pencils and someone stabbing themselves (or another child), but the pencils were used without issue.

We put the sensory corner to good use with our noodle play. The kids mostly scooped the noodles into one bowl, scooped them into another, and then repeat. There was also a whole lot of eating of the noodles.

We played with muddy animals (dirt, a bit of water, and animal figurines) to end our April.

Yes, at nine years old they can still put their shirts on backwards....and leave them that way despite being told multiple times, by multiple people (even friends at school!) that it was on the wrong way.

It's hard to believe that in just a matter of weeks, the summer insanity begins. I'm prepping myself for busy days, loud kids, so, so, so many questions, and huge grocery bills. The littles are VERY ready for the bigs to be back though!