Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crab for dinner.....

I've had this in my files (I still do paper files....can you believe it?) for a while now and decided it was a perfect fit with our little ocean studies! 
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Seashell fun

This activity was a sensory activity that was modified to address each of my children's developmental level.  We started by just encouraging Beck to drop the shells in the water and grab them out again.  We also showed him how to brush and clean the shells.  As expected, he was interested for about 2 minutes, then the cat got the best of his attention and he crawled off after him.  Q "washed" (AKA scrubbed with plain warm water and a scrub brush) the shells.  Then she noticed some had tiny holes in them and some did not, so we got two containers and 2 signs were made.  They were then sorted by Holes and No Holes. 
For Beck this activity promoted vocabulary development, practical life, science skills, and sensory awareness.  For Quinn it included the above plus emergent reading and writing, classifying skills and even some premath skills as we talked about which dish held more. 

And all the sorting tired Beaux out.  So he guarded the shells and napped.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Birthday Party Pretend Play

 We've had a bunch of birthdays in the past month in our family, including both kiddos.  I decided it would be a great time to turn our little kitchen into a birthday party play area.  That way we could keep out some of the birthday items that were used at the celebrations for further play.

I started by hanging up Beck's birthday garland across the area.  I put out a birthday plate and a glass birthday candle that looks like a cupcake.  I wrote a birthday sign on the little chalkboard.  Mimi had given Q the Melissa and Doug birthday cake set, so of course that would be perfect for the area!
 I moved in the little table and chairs from the playroom, covered them in a pretty cloth and got out some butterfly placemats Oma had given Q.  The balloon came from a friend's 1 year birthday party.  It's been a huge hit around here with both kids!
 We have a small basket of birthday cards--Q loves to have me read them to her, and also use them to give to her babies when they have their parties.  Of course we also have the card Oma and Opa gave Q last year with the meowing cats singing "Happy Birthday" in meows.  That's the most popular item.
 There's also a basket with gift bags, tissue, bows and goody bags.  Q wraps up all sorts of things for gifts.  It's so funny to hear her playing because she has the nicest manners with her babies.  "Tiska, thanks for giving Pink Baby a napkin!  She just LOVES it!  Say thank you, Pink Baby!"

 And of course there are party hats!  One from Q's 2nd bday and Beck's from his bday.

 I had this little metal treat tray.  I put our cardstock cakes we'd made a while back, two cupcakes from a cupcake set we have, the serving spatula from the birthday cake set, and two plastic strawberries inside silicon minimuffin liners.
 Q has done some decorating of her own.  These are invitations.  ;)
 And of course festive napkins.....
 There are a few things we keep put up.  The smaller pieces to the birthday cake set are just the right size for Beck to eat, so we keep those on the top shelf. 

 And Q's glass dishes also stay up on a high shelf that she can reach and her brother cannot.  I've talked in previous posts about why I think it's important for Q to play with fragile objects, if you are wondering.  :)
Both kids have had lots of fun playing in the birthday area.  Beck, of course, just explores the objects.  Q actually does wrapping and card writing and cake-decorating and pretend play.  They each work in the area at their own level.  Vocabulary, imagination, manners, and literacy skills are some of the areas of development that are touched by this activity.

Of course I got all the items from stuff I rounded up in the house.  This is an easy dramatic play area to set up because the props are simple and stuff that is always in most homes.