Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Summer Week 11

August 6 - August 10

This was the start of "there's only so many days of summer left so we must do everything we haven't done yet!" week. They played with Play Doh for an entire day, they made clay sculptures, we made TONS of slime, we used the window markers, made and played with water beads, watched cartoons, had a board game day, and got to play with all new toys! The previous week I had a moment of boredom (how that happens here I'm not exactly sure) looking at the same toys, so I ordered plenty of new outdoor toys and several new indoor toys. There was very little down time in between all of the playing. Here's what I (or the boys) remembered to snap pictures of:

Play Doh is now ground into the carpet in the daycare room because the kids played with it for 10+ hours. I usually make my own play dough, so it's a special treat when we have the "real thing" to play with!

Another toy rotation for the week brought toys and figurines the kiddos haven't seen in a while. It kept the floor extra messy!

Earlier in the summer the Little Tikes Cube Climber bit the dust. Well, I mean, it had cracks all over from years of being jumped on, climbed on, and used in numerous obstacle courses. We put it on the curb (along with a few other toys that were cracked from all of the hard play day after day). It took me most of the summer, but I finally settled on new outdoor climbers and toys. This climber replaced the old cube climber, new slides, a garden table and chairs (which replaced our cracked picnic table that was nine years old!), and more. Hopefully these toys will hold up just as well as our other's did.

 Coloring and "making art."

It's always super fun when I hand my phone over for the kids to take pictures of the things they're doing and I find 100+ random selfies on it!

I finally remembered to buy clay for them. They used the entire tub in less than an hour making all of their creations.

I completely forgot I bought this color-your-own globe a year ago. I figured I'd have them do it this summer so we can use it for next summer's theme.

We haven't used window markers since we moved to this house (so a year and a half) because we don't have a great window that's easily accessible to daycare kids. The kids solved that issue with chairs and stools. It was one of those things that the kids just had to do before school started.

I remember when I would have to make the water beads for them. Now they can make them for me! It's pretty awesome having these big kids around in the summer.

I walked through the hallway and into the bathroom to find everything coated in mud. Muddy hand prints all over the walls and every surface of the bathroom. I made the kids come in and clean it up, along with informing them that if they can't clean up after themselves, I'd take away the mud kitchen for the rest of the summer. They asked for a towel to bring outside. Then I saw them wiping their hands and feet on the towel. After a while I realized they were doing this instead of coming in to wash their hands. They really didn't want to lose mud kitchen privileges!

I have kids that come at various times throughout the day. My favorite is early morning (even though I'm not a morning person) because everyone is snuggled into the couches. It doesn't last long though because they've been out the door to go play in the backyard by 7:45 every morning! I think our neighbors might be excited for the start of school.

The kids LOVE slime. While I've been making it for years for them to play with, this summer has been all about them making slime (and a good majority of our sensory activities). We tried out Starburst and marshmallow slimes one day. Not a fan of either as it turns out. Our favorite is still Model Magic Slime.

The melted Starbursts were HOT. It required me to be more hands on than I had planned. I was the one who stupidly put the hot Starburst slime on the counter, to which it promptly melted into. It took me soaking it for 11 hours for it to come up. 

The Starburst slime hardened easily and quickly. We could warm it up for a few seconds and make it slimey again, but then it would get too hot to play with. We like our slime to stay stretchy for hours/days/weeks at a time.

More Oregon Trail. The kids seriously love this game!

I love everything that this photo contains: the regular outdoor toys, a blanket laid out for a doll picnic, water beads on one table, another table filled with slime, the very corner of the mud kitchen. I'm sure I'm forgetting more because there's always so much that goes on daily!

Giant bowling and checkers came out for an afternoon.

We (okay, who am I kidding, Matt) spent his nights this week putting together the new toys as they were delivered. The Coffee Time Kitchen is a favorite for everyone. 

We had some "help" with the putting together part.

I had planned for frosting cupcakes for a Wednesday activity.....but the kids made their way to the mud kitchen before 7:30 a.m. and they can never seem to get their hands extremely clean after that. Soooo, cupcake frosting was left for an early, early Thursday morning activity (think before 7:10 a.m.) for only a couple of kids.

I threw the kids off big time when I did a toy rotation and moved all of the toys and shelves around. No one quite knew how to react.

Did you know we hadn't played with goop all summer long???!!? I was reminded of it by the older kids. Goop wound up in the water table for a day.

Board game day. I had no planning in this one what-so-ever. Two of the oldest kids wanted to organize an game day, so they did.

Thanks to all of the big new toys, we had a lot of boxes around (and no room in recycling). The kids put the boxes to use and made a box fort. Then it became a box house and everyone had their own bedrooms, they drew things on the side of the boxes (inside), and forced me to unpack a couple of boxes that were sitting in a corner of our basement from moving (a year and a half ago. No judging). This idea started with two kids, but by the end of the day all of the kids had joined in.

My favorite conversation from this activity happened when two kids came in for a drink. One kid was upset because another kid got his box he had been working on. I overheard "but think about it! If Max gets my box, I know it's bigger and he's bigger so that makes sense, but now he has the blender, the washer, he has bananas....I drew all of that on there so it should still be mine!" I died a little trying to hold back my laughter. I'm not completely sure what became of that situation because the kids figured it out for themselves.

We did have to stop the box fort playing before the end of the day because it was a 90 degree day and the boxes had very little ventilation. At one point the kids who were in the boxes came inside and were completely dazed as they chugged water. I made them stay in before heat exhaustion set in!

Those beautifully frosted cupcakes were for a good-bye party for our daycare helpers. They moved on to college. I hope we left them with plenty of memories to laugh about through the school year. The kids will really miss them this year!

I had the kids sign pillows the girls could easily take with them. The kids got to help pick out the pillows too. 

Making keys for a game they created in the backyard. I have been so impressed with the kid's creativity and willingness to take the lead throughout the summer. I have a great group of kids who work very well together!

Nap time continues to be planning and book work time while the bigs watch a movie and/or play in the backyard.

Snack time and a round of Qwirkle.

The oldest mini has been cooking recently and helping me make lunches. Right now it takes more work for me to supervise him, however I think it'll be pretty awesome next summer to have him help with lunches! He's also been helping to get the little kids their snacks and pass out plates at meals. All signs of how old everyone is getting.

One thing that has been very apparent this summer is the lack of interventions I've had to do. In the past, a lot of my days were spent helping the kids talk through situations, deciphering right from wrong. This summer the kids did an amazing job handling any issues or problems themselves. I had an ear on how they were handling things, but overall, they've been a great group of kids who really know each other (of course, at this point they've pretty much known each other their entire lives!), respect each other, and show a whole lot of love towards each other. I'm reminded daily why I do what I do through their actions. What an amazing summer to have!