Category Archives: growth and development

A Year in Review {Letters to our Children}

Since another birthday has passed, I thought I’d focus this month’s letter on how far you two have come in the last year. Here you are on your third birthday:

Happy Birthday, Pirate and Princess!

Happy Birthday, Pirate and Princess!

And here you are on your fourth birthday:

You Wrecked it!

You Wrecked it!


Everyone loves an adorable winner

Everyone loves an adorable winner

Not only have you grown physically (we’ll know how much when we go to your four year check up June 27th), but you’ve come leaps in your language, motor, socialization, and cognitive development!

Language
You started speech two days a week in November. At that time I had to translate just about everything you said for people, including your dad a lot of the time. I found it interesting that you had such different problems with articulation. Kyla, you put all of your consonants in the front of your mouth (example, /t/ for /k/) and Lucas, you put yours in the back of your mouth (example, /k/ for /s/). In the 6 months you attended speech with Miss Nitchy you have worked so hard and mastered ALL of your goals!! You both are self correcting more often and everyone says you are getting easier to understand (ignore Aunt Erin. I think she just doesn’t listen. 😉 ). I am so proud of you.

Fine Motor
You are both able to write your names (you kind of have to know what you’re looking for, but I totally see it) and have written lots of other things when I tell you how to spell them. You’re working on scissors skills (you love to use them, but I haven’t really worked with you on control just yet) and have come a long way in your coloring and drawing. You still don’t stay in the lines necessarily, but I see more control than you used to. And you’re suddenly starting to actually draw things that are recognizable, not just scribbles! You are both starting to draw your own versions of people.

Gross Motor
Lucas, you’ve started showing an interest in baseball, so we’ve been playing “catch” with lots of different sized balls. You’re getting pretty good at both throwing and catching, though I wouldn’t say you’re a star athlete in the making just yet. I think you’re pretty much average with other 4 year olds (though I don’t really have anything to compare you to). I asked you the other day if you’d rather do t-ball or a class with lots of sports and you said “lots of sports.” Then I asked if you wanted to do lots of sports or gymnastics and you said gymnastics. So now I need to get you signed up for that when I figure out our July schedule.

Kyla, you love to dance and you like to show us how you can spin around on one foot. You’ve asked to take ballet again, which I’m happy to do if we can find a class that will work for us. You both took swim lessons in the spring and it amazes me what a little fish you’ve become. Lucas has come a long way as well, but it’s clear to me that you really love it. Lucas hesitates a little, but you have no fear when it comes to water!

Social
You both surprised me when we went to Disney in January and you had no problems going up to every character we met to give them a hug and get an autograph. Yet, when we came back home, your usual personalities came back.

Kyla, you still shut down around new people, hiding behind anything that is convenient. I wish I knew how to help you. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure you get it from me. Yes, I’ve gotten better as an adult, but I usually have to call upon my theatre background to get through it.

Lucas, you don’t necessarily walk up to total strangers and strike up a conversation, but you’re definitely more comfortable around new people. You love to make people laugh and have even started telling jokes. If you get even one laugh, you will tell it over and over and over again. You have also started trying to learn songs so you can sing them on your own. So cute!

Cognitive
You both are SO smart! A year ago you were still working on the alphabet song, recognizing letters, and counting to 10. Now, you’ve got the alphabet song down, you know all of your letters and can even write most of them, you’re starting to tell me what letters words you hear start with and can sound out words with help, can count to 15 consistently (still working on higher than that), and can even do simple addition and subtraction! I’ve stopped doing focused lessons with you and just let learning happen naturally, which doesn’t seem to have slowed you down any! Of course, you’ve got speech class, which exposes you to letter sounds and hearing the individual sounds in a word. You’ve also attended Zoo School, which has developed your knowledge and love of animals. So the formal learning is still there, just not being done by me.

Every day you both amaze me. I can’t believe that I got so lucky to be the mom of such great kids. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings. Though, to be honest, I’d like it to go by a little slower so we can enjoy every moment. I love you both so much!

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Some of my friends in my moms group and I have decided to create a blog circle where we will share monthly letters to our children. Please check out my friend, Carolyn’s, beautiful letter to her children here and then follow our circle around until you get back to me.

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Filed under Communication, growth and development, Letters to our Children, Parenting, preschoolers, progress, socializing

Budding Photographers {Letters to our Children}

Sorry I’m a couple of days late. We’ve been busy, busy around here!

Kyla and Lucas,

Boy am I glad we live in the age of digital photography! You two have taken a shine to taking photos, probably because I take so many of you, and you certainly capture a unique perspective. Right now all I have for you to use is my point-and-shoot and you have to share. I’m considering seeing if I can find another so you can each have one to use.

With the pretty weather the last couple of weeks we’ve made two trips to the zoo and one to Gramps and Jan’s house. You both took tons of pictures while we were in the great outdoors. Some were great! Others were a bit difficult to decipher. It’s interesting to me to see what you view as important. It reminds me that even the things I take for granted are new and exciting for you.

Here’s a small sampling of your photography skills:

Kyla
Kyla, you’re a bit more “into” photography than Lucas at this point. I think he mostly does it because you do. You even came up with the game “Hide and Seek Pictures” where one person hides and the person with the camera takes a picture when they find them.

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Lucas
Lucas, you take photos like you do everything else in your life. With enthusiasm! You might not get it “just right” but you give it a go and have fun no matter what the outcome.

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I love my little photographers in the making!

Love,
Mom

Some of my friends in my moms group and I have decided to create a blog circle where we will share monthly letters to our children. In a world where we all get so busy with life, for me it is an opportunity to slow down and hopefully record some of our moments together for them. Please check out my friend Carrie’s beautiful letter to her children here and then follow our circle around until you get back to me.

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Filed under family, friends, growth and development, Letters to our Children, Parenting, photography, preschoolers

Happy Birthday, Babies (that won’t let me call them babies anymore)!

How is it that 3 years have gone by? It just doesn’t seem possible. I want it to slow down, but at the same time I’m loving watching them grow and learn. They’ve come so far in the last year.

Language and Communication
Wow! They are talking up a storm these days! We still have to translate for people most of the time, but the sentences are definitely there. And I do believe we’ve entered the “Why” stage with Lucas. It happened overnight a few days ago. Now, any time I tell him something he responds with “Why?” again and again, no matter how many times I answer the question. Thank goodness Kyla’s not doing it (yet). Though I’m sure it’s only because she’s just letting Lucas do it for her (like almost everything else). It amazed me Wednesday when N and I decided to each take a kid as we ran errands, then swap mid-way. The constant chatter from each of them is astounding. I’m used to it from Lucas, since he talks all day long, but when I had Kyla it was surprising how much more talkative she is without her brother doing it all for them!

Gross Motor
I really, really want to get them each into a class. Kyla wants to do ballet and Lucas wants to do gymnastics. Unfortunately, because of N’s schedule, it was impossible to work it out. But now that they are 3 I think there are drop off classes available so I wouldn’t need N to be home. I’ll have to wait for the next round of classes in the Fall, though. It’s fun watching them “do ballet” or “do ‘na’tics.” Lucas can do a full somersault on his own! Oh, and we got a new wooden play set for the back yard Thursday (Thanks, Mom!) and both kids are already pros at climbing the rock wall.

Fine Motor
We’ve been working on writing a little lately. Nothing serious, just trying to give them an idea of how to hold a pencil (crayon) and the basic form for letters. Every now and then they will accidentally write a letter and get so excited. Thursday we played with chalk outside in the rain (it was only sprinkling) and Kyla squealed “M for Mommy!” Sure enough, she’d scribbled what looked like an M. They don’t really have the skills to write on their own yet, but when I give them a worksheet with a letter to trace they are getting pretty good.

Cognative
Let’s see. They know all their colors and shapes, can count to 10 consistently and sometimes as high as 15, can sing along to the ABC song (not quite ready to sing it on their own), sing several other songs on their own (like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Row, Row, Row Your Boat), can recognize MOST letters (we’re still stuck on about 6 of them), are recognizing that letters put together make words… When we stop at a stop sign they tell me “S-T-O-P, Stop!” and they can recognize that Z-O-O spells zoo. I’m constantly amazed at the things they pick up. Like the time Lucas told me it was going to rain. I asked him why he thought it was going to rain and he said “Because there’s clouds.” What a smart boy!

Social
They both have their shy moments, but they’ve become much more social than they were. I noticed in April when we had several large gatherings to attend that they were much more willing to separate from me and play with other kids and adults. When I went to volunteer at my coop I was able to send them off to play on the play ground and they only came to me once or twice. The rest of the time they were having fun with the “big kids” as they say. It’s been fun watching them play with their 5 year old cousin the last couple of weekends, too. They really have a lot of fun.

We haven’t been doing as many play dates as we used to. Mostly because schedules are harder to coordinate than they used to be. Especially with summer traveling and whatnot. I’m starting to wonder if I should join another group, perhaps a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), so that they have more opportunity for social interaction. The MOM group I’m in doesn’t seem to do many play dates anymore, and the ones that do happen aren’t always shared with the whole group, so we haven’t played with those friends in a long time. We still try to get together with E & N as often as possible, though we haven’t gotten to in a couple of weeks because of illness and traveling. They talk about them constantly, though, and said they wanted them to come over and be pirates and princesses with them. I love how much they enjoy using their imaginations!

Eating
We seem to have come to the point in their eating where they are just like any other kid, regardless of how they were introduced to food. Lucas will eat just about anything (usually), but Kyla will tell us she doesn’t like something before she tries it, even if she’s had it before and loved it. They also have gotten to where they throw a fit if they don’t get the food they wanted (even if it’s not what they asked for). We had quite the ordeal at a restaurant yesterday when Lucas changed his mine 3 times and when the food came Kyla decided that what she’d asked for was not what she wanted after all. What a mess! However, I can’t complain too much. They really do eat pretty well and the coop we’ve joined has gotten them to eat a wider variety of fruits and veggies than we’d been exposing them to before. As a matter of fact, Kyla loves to eat lettuce! Who knew? And raw bell peppers (mostly red, but she also likes the others as well). Lucas loves vegetable soup, carrots, broccoli… Like I said, he’ll eat almost anything!

Sleep
I’m still pushing to keep their nap the way it is. They really do need it. There are times when they fight it hard. And times that no matter what I do, one or both of them just won’t sleep. But when that happens, we’re almost certain to have a horrible night’s sleep with night terrors and other sleep disturbances. The last week and a half has been crazy busy with all the birthday festivities, so their nap and sleep schedules have been off. Which has resulted in multiple terrors from Kyla. It’s a pain, but at least MOST of the time we’re able to keep them on schedule and we do pretty well. That doesn’t mean we always sleep through the night without incident, but they sleep pretty well. I’m not fond of the 6:30 wake up time (though we make them stay in bed until 7), but I suppose it could be worse. We’ve also had issues with them not wanting to go to bed either at nap or night time, so we tried a sticker chart to get them to stay in bed and be quiet. It didn’t really work. It’s hit or miss on whether or not we’ll have to go into the room and quiet them down. Which is pretty annoying, but probably pretty typical.

Affection
Lucas continues to tell us “I love you” multiple times a day. I think he’s figured out that it helps him look cute and maybe get his way. One day I was getting onto him about something and he looked at me with his long eye lashes and said “Mom. I love you, Mom.” It was hard not to relent, but I said “I love you too. But you still need to make better choices.” Or something along those lines. Kyla doesn’t give out the “I love you”s as freely, but when she does it makes it even more special.

Kyla still has her baby (and several others) that she will play with, feed, and sleep with. And when a real baby is around we have to be careful that she doesn’t knock them over or smother them with affection. Actually, that’s true of Lucas as well. They really love babies! LOL

Discipline
The time outs are not working as well as they used to. Most of the time there’s not a lot of reason to need to put them into time out, but when there is it’s becoming less effective. They just say “I’m sorry” to get out of it or tell me “I calm down now.” I’ve been working on finding other ways to deal with some of the issues we have occasionally, but haven’t really found the magic wand. I’m ashamed to admit that we have resorted to spanking, which I hate. I feel badly afterward every time. I want to change that, then find myself losing patience and we’re right back where we started. And N is more apt to spank than I am. It bothers me, but I don’t know how to change his reactions to situations if I can’t even control my own. This is definitely an area of parenting that I need improvement in. I’ve been praying about it, but I still haven’t found my answer.

Potty Training
I can pretty much say that both of them are fully day trained. We do have occasional accidents, but that is usually when they are busy playing and don’t get to the bathroom quite fast enough. There was an incident last week where Kyla peed on the floor at my sister’s house (I was not there) and everyone blamed Lucas, even though his pants weren’t wet. They thought he had taken his shorts down and peed on the floor. It wasn’t until I came home and Kyla got on my lap and I said “Why are you wet?” that the truth came out. 😦 However, to be honest, Kyla has had next to no accidents in months, including night time, so I might not have checked her either. Lucas still has a hard time staying dry at night, but he does occasionally, and he has had a few accidents here and there. Most of the time we’re great, though.

Check Up
We had their 3 year check up today and here are their stats:

Kyla
Height- 36.5 inches (35%)
Weight- 31.2 lbs (55%)
Apparently they don’t measure heads anymore.

Lucas
Height- 37.5 inches (49%)
Weight- 31.2 lbs (44%)
Yes, they weigh the same. LOL

I thought it was weird that Lucas is no longer in the 70% for height. We changed practices (same doctor, different office), so this office didn’t have our previous records yet. When I voiced concern the doctor said it could be because they switched from laying down to measure to standing up. She suggested we try again next time we come in, just to check.

No shots this year, which was great!

This year has gone by so fast. I’m amazed at how much they’ve learned and developed. I love seeing them take everything in. For their birthday they got a ton of dress up clothes and their imaginations are going wild. I love it! I am looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.

Happy Birthday, Pirate and Princess!

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Filed under doctor's appts., feeding, friends, fun, growth and development, Parenting, potty training, preschoolers, sleep, socializing

30 Days of Hands on Play- Day 15

Today’s suggested activity was “Playing with Junk.” There were several suggested ideas, but I wasn’t sure how “creative” my kids could get just yet. Don’t get me wrong, they have imaginations for sure, but they’re just not quite at the point of creating things on their own just yet (though Kyla told me she made a rocking chair out of the play dough today!).

So instead I read the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, then asked them if they wanted to make a caterpillar. Of course, I hadn’t really thought things through, so I had to quickly come up with what we were going to use. I grabbed buttons and pom-poms. We pulled some out and lined them up to make our caterpillars. But that didn’t last long. So we started counting and sorting the buttons. I’m constantly amazed at what they can do!

Then I grabbed two egg cartons I’ve been saving for something (had no clue what) and gave one to each of them. They promptly started placing buttons (Kyla) and pom-poms (Lucas) into each cavity. I didn’t even have to give them any direction. They would place one in each space, counting as they went. So I grabbed a pen and wrote the numbers 1-12 in the inside of each space. When they got tired of that, they started looking for letters they know on the outside of the carton. They are very into spotting “K- Kyla,” “L- Lucas,” “D- Daddy,” “M- Mommy,” and any other letters they know. Some of which I didn’t even know they knew (like “R”)!

This activity wasn’t one of the “best” ones we’ve done, but it definitely showed me that they can do things I hadn’t tried with them in a long time (I had tried to get them to sort pom-poms into ice cube trays several months ago and was not successful). A good reminder that their skills develop quickly and when you’re not looking!

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Filed under 30 Day Challenge, fun, growth and development, Parenting, toddlers

Why I’ve been missing

I feel bad that I’ve gone so long without a post, but then I look at what the last two weeks have been like and I realize why. Let me try to condense the craziness as much as possible.

potty training

I got the kids back in underwear on Sunday, the 23rd. I totally regretted even offering Kyla the diapers. It took several days of accidents, but Lucas finally got back on track. Kyla held out, though. Almost like she was determined to make my life miserable. She would look right at me and squat. I’m not exaggerating. Then we happened to be at a friend’s house on Thursday, the 27th, and she actually told me she needed to pee! I gave her all kinds of praise, of course, then I told her that if she could stay dry the whole weekend, we would go to McDonald’s. I guess that did the trick because she was dry all weekend (except nights and one accident I forgave her for). I didn’t want Lucas to feel left out, so I told him that if he stayed dry we would go to the pet store (he likes to look at the animals). He stayed dry too! It’s good to know they really can do it!

Birthday

My birthday was on the 26th. My only request, from all the way in September, was that we go to the Arboretum as a family on the 25th to get some pictures and then we were going to have D watch the kids so N and I could have dinner alone. Not too much to ask. But neither happened. 😦 I couldn’t ask N to walk around the Arboretum when he was in pain from walking the neighborhood, and Kyla started getting what Lucas and I had had a few days before (Oh, yeah. Did I mention I caught Lucas’s germs?). I was pretty bummed and told everyone I was postponing my birthday to some other day when everyone in my family was well. The actual day turned out okay, but nothing exciting. We went to McDonald’s (this was before the promise to Kyla) so I could get a McRib (yes, I actually love those things!) and that evening the kids and I went to dinner with D and Granny.

Oklahoma

LD’s first IM and her kids (who live in New York) were coming in to town, so LD decided to have all of her IPs and surro-kids in one place. We drove up on Sunday and spent the evening visiting with people I have little in common with other than that LD carried our kids. They were all nice enough, I just didn’t have a lot to say and had to keep track of my kids anyway. N seemed to have a good time, though, and hit it off with at least one of the other IFs. That night in the hotel was exhausting, though. The kids woke up a lot and we got little sleep. But at least they were good and tired for the drive home! They slept most of the way, which was nice, considering all the false alarm stops we had to make on the way up. Regardless, I’m happy to say that both stayed dry on the long drives!

Halloween

We got back in town just in time to get the kids bathed and dressed to go trick or treating at Scare on the Square. Since it was the only event we were actually well enough to attend in costume, I was determined to go. I made their costumes this year and they were both looking forward to wearing them (see previous post for pictures). They were Kai-lan and Tolee from Nick Jr’s “Ni Hao, Kai-lan” which is one of their favorite shows right now. I was really proud of how the costumes turned out, even if Lucas refused to wear the hoodie while we were trick or treating because it was so warm out. At least he can wear it as a jacket through the fall/winter. After trick or treating we went to PetSmart and McDonald’s to reward both of the kids for staying dry.

N’s surgery

We got a late start getting out the door, which drove me crazy, then halfway to D’s house to drop off the kids N remembered he’d left the paperwork he needed the doctor to fill out at the house, so we had to turn around. We dropped the kids off and left pretty abruptly, which I think upset Kyla (she’s been clingy since Saturday). We got to the hospital at 10:30 and he was taken to the OR a little before noon. N’s mom came to wait with me, which I really appreciated. She was a good distraction from the wait. The surgery took a little longer than they’d anticipated (they’d said 1.5-2 hours), but everything went well. We didn’t get released until 6 PM, so I decided to take D up on her offer to keep the kids overnight. Had I known at the time that Kyla had had nothing but accidents the whole day, I probably wouldn’t have made that decision. After having so much success over the weekend I’m sure it was in response to being left (she hasn’t had any waking accidents today). When I picked them up this morning Kyla saw me first through the window and she screamed “MOMMY!!!!!” It’s nice to feel loved. ❤

N is still in pain, of course, but he's doing well. The kids have been great with him. When we were on our way home from Music class I told them that they could give Daddy a kiss, but they couldn't climb on him because he's got big ouchies. They told me they were going to kiss him and make him better. So cute! Of course, the minute we got home they wanted to find Daddy to give him a kiss. They've done it several times throughout the day (he's hiding out in our room with the door shut). It's amazing how much more they understand now than they did last December when I had my surgery.

Nik’s Naks

I’ve been trying to build up my business with things that I think will have a broader audience than what I started out with. I’ve spent several nap times sewing and have made some pretty cute stuff (if I do say so myself). My favorite is a peasant blouse that I made for Kyla. I love how it turned out. I just wish that I could say that it’s paying off. Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten one order (from a friend). 😦 I’m trying not to give up, but it’s very disheartening.

To say that life has been hectic the last couple of weeks is an understatement. It doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon, either. We haven’t been able to do a Tot Time since October 11th because of busy schedules and illnesses. We plan to do one next Tuesday, though. So hopefully we’ll get back on track. Which reminds me, I should probably post about our trip to the pumpkin patch (we went that Tuesday that N went to the ER)! But it’s way past my bed time, so it will have to wait for another time. Goodnight!

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Filed under doctor's appts., family, friends, growth and development, husband, illness, Nik'sNaks, Parenting, sewing, sleep, socializing, stress, toddlers, travel

Tot School- Pumpkins

This week was full of fun activities and learning. My mother sent us an Alphabet DVD that has a song for each of the letters.

Alphabet DVD

from Have Fun Teaching

I decided to let them watch one letter. I randomly chose letter B. We watched it 3 times, and the ABC song twice. Then we talked about all the things we could think of that started with the letter B. Then for dinner I made a B Muffin Tin.

B Lunch

Bacon, broccoli, bananas, black beans, bread, and balsalmic vinegarette

I really think Lucas gets it. He can tell me what “banana” starts with, and he can identify a B in a word (he’s better at capital B than lower case b). Kyla can probably do it, but chooses not to. 😉

Then on Tuesday we headed to our friends’ house for Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkin

P is for Pumpkin

While we were outside taking our P is for Pumpkin pictures, the kids discovered that the pumpkins roll down the hill and had a blast chasing them.

rolling pumpkins

Rolling Pumpkins

Next we went inside and tried reading 5 Little Pumpkins and singing some pumpkin songs, but the kids were still wired from chasing the pumpkins and weren’t really in the mood, so we moved on.

5 Little Pumpkins

5 Little Pumpkins

This activity was a huge hit! C had filled the water table with packing peanuts and pumpkin paper plates to create a “pumpkin patch” for the kids to play in. They had SO much fun and spent a good chunk of time throwing peanuts in the air, filling cups to pour on each other’s heads, and just having a blast. C and I loved watching them go to town.

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch


Fun with peanuts

Fun with peanuts


Yea!

Yea!

After lunch, we had the kids make a pumpkin sun catcher using contact paper. The kids were a bit overzealous when it came to sticking tissue paper to the contact paper, but the final results were actually pretty cute (I forgot to get a picture, but will try to add one later).

making pumpkins

Making pumpkins

Wednesday we started our Gymboree Music class! It was so much fun and all of the kids (yes, our friends are taking the class with us 🙂 ) did really well. I didn’t get any pictures, though. Maybe next week.

Thursday we stayed home. I didn’t have any specific activities planned, but Kyla surprised me with the way she’s starting to be more precise in her drawing. We were playing with the magnadoodles and after I drew stick figures of the whole family (holding babies, for some odd reason), as per her request, she began to draw lines from the heads to the edge of the frame. She was very careful about it and I’m starting to see some prewriting skills. I think I’m going to have to start printing up some tracing worksheets for her to practice with. Oh, and Kyla also discovered that the Magnatiles will leave marks on the Magnadoodle and enjoyed making triangles all over the screen.

Kyla's lines

Kyla's lines


Magnatile triangles

Magnatile triangles

They also pulled out the lacing beads and were much more successful than the last time we tried them. I really need to pull out the pipe cleaners and let them lace the beads on those. But then they wouldn’t have fun necklaces to wear.

Beaded necklaces

Beaded necklaces

We also spent a lot of time reading, of course. And on Friday we attended a Musical Story Time at the Frisco Music Institute. Unfortunately, Lucas went a little nuts, so I have no idea what they actually did. Kyla seemed to enjoy it, though.

Overall, a fun filled week! I just love watching my big kids learn and grow!

I’m linking up to Tot School and Muffin Tin Monday.

To see more activities for little ones, visit Tot School.
Tot School

To see other Muffin Tin Meals, visit Muffin Tin Mom.
Muffin Tin Monday at Muffintinmom.com

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Filed under friends, fun, growth and development, Muffin Tin Mondays, Parenting, socializing, toddlers, Tot School

Tot School- At the beach & more

This week has been fun! This week’s Tot Time was at our house. We had hoped to start our Tot Time back in July and had chosen a Beach theme at that time. Unfortunately, schedules got crazy and it didn’t happen. So it might be a little strange to be studying the beach in September, but hey, the kids had fun!

To start with, I chose several beach related books from the library. I read this one to the kids at the start of our day:

All You Need for a Beach

Then we went outside to play in the sand table, where I’d hidden seashells for the kids to find.

Sand & Shells
Sand play

The water table was set up as well. Which soon became a mud table as all the kids carried sand and shells across the yard to it. LOL

Sand in water table

I had several beach balls and intended to work with the kids on kicking, rolling, and throwing the balls. We did it a little bit, but it didn’t hold anyone’s interest.

I then pulled out some playclay (got the recipe from First Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl) and a muffin tin of beach supplies.

Beach supplies

Lucas and Kyla really got into working with the clay (we’ve been doing a lot of playdough lately). E played some, but N mostly felt that we needed more sand! 😉

Lucas's creation
Kyl & the playclay
E having fun
N and the sand

As the kids started getting antsy, I pulled out the “Mini Beaches on Ice” that I’d made the night before (a little sand, a couple of little shells, and water frozen in an ice cube tray while I went inside and made lunch.

Mini Beach on Ice

(You can't see the sand and shells as well as I'd hoped because the ice got cloudy)

After lunch, I pulled out these sticker beach scenes. Kyla and Lucas were all about the stickers. E and N just wanted to play, which was fine.

Beach stickers

(I bought a beach sticker book and attached them to construction paper, then added a sand paper S and wrote in the rest of the letters)

Our friends went home, but the learning continued throughout the week. We read more beach books.


The kids have really been enjoying the beach books and have asked me to read them over and over. I love that my kids love to read!

I had also made a couple of other activities for our Beach Day that had not gotten used on Tuesday, but we tried out later in the week. They did surprisingly well, though I did guide them through the process. I hope to see how they do at these activities (or ones like them) on their own.

Counting Shells
These Counting Shells were printed from Playing House

Beach patterning

I got this Beach Patterning printable from Kidsparkz.com

We also brought out the watercolors on Thursday. Mostly it was a “get them out of Mommy’s hair” kind of activity, but hey, they had fun!

Kyla painting
Lucas painting

I’d say we had a pretty good week. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when Mommy actually gets some sleep!

I’m linking up to Tot School. To see more activities for little ones, visit Tot School.
Tot School

I’m also linking to Read, Explore, Learn at JDaniel4’s Mom.
Shibley Smiles

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Filed under friends, fun, growth and development, Parenting, ReadExploreLearn, socializing, toddlers, Tot School