Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Sensory Bin

I have had so much fun planning this bin and it turned out exactly as I could have hoped so I am very excited for Boogie to see it!

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So many fun and different types of things this month! So, what's in the bin?

* black beans- the base for dumping, pouring, transferring and all kinds of fun things (walmart)
* pom poms- counting, colors, matching, fun with googly eyes :) (I think Michaels? I have had them awhile)
* feathers- counting, colors, matching (Michaels)
* stretchy skeletons- counting and colors (Target)
* erasers- counting (Target)
* foam stars- counting (Target)
* black cauldron- dumping and pouring (Dollar Zone)
* pumpkin container- opening, closing, dumping, pouring (Dollar Zone)
* pez dispensers- opening, closing, up and down (No idea! They were mine)
* plastic bats- counting and colors (Target)
* spider rings- counting, lacing on pipe cleaners (Dollar Zone)
* wind up black cat- fine motor twisting (Walmart)
* glow in the dark magnet letters- learning letters (Dollar Zone)
* pipe cleaners- lacing, colors, counting (Michaels or Walmart)
* snakes- colors, counting, animal sounds (Target)
* pumpkin table scatters- counting, dumping, pouring (Target)

He hasn't seen it but you can look forward to pictures after he does :)

Looking for more sensory bin ideas? This site has a great list!

Our Worldwide Classroom
Looking for more Montessori inspired ideas?

Montessori Monday

Looking for more kid friendly activities?

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Felt Board- Noah's Ark

Not to scale at all, and I had a different idea in mind for the ark, but this is what we ended up with. I wanted to use photographs of real animals because so often he sees cartoon animals or drawings. It isn't perfect but he enjoys reading the Bible and now says "ark."
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Shelves- Attempts 1 and 2

I have really wanted to try tot trays and shelves because so many of the homeschooling mommies I follow use the Montessori type setup with shelves and contained activities on them. We do not have a separate schoolroom so I have been struggling with how to help Boogie understand the difference between the things we use for school and the playroom toys. I want to keep the play dough and sensory bin and things like that for school time use so they are interesting and special during the day, especially the morning, which is when I am trying to plan our tot school. It is a work in progress and Boogie is still so young, so we are just taking one day at a time and doing a lot of trial and error, as Hubby keeps reminding me when I get discouraged about the lack of space.

So, this was my first attempt at some kind of changeable activity area.

I packed up all his toys that did not begin with B, were not blue, or did not have anything to do with colors, shapes, numbers, letters, or Noah's ark. On the top row of bins, from the left, there are barnyard animal balls, blocks, random blue toys, blue beads for lacing from a pool noodle (I kept the rope separate). On the second row, some random things that start with b, bear loveys, bottles (for washing with a blue sponge with water in a blue bowl), balls. Third row- cars felt pieces because he loves them, clank can to practice colors, foam big and little B lacing cards I made him and blue pipe cleaners for lacing, the blue and B play dough supplies so he could let me know when he wanted to use play dough. Bottom row- animal memory game for Noah's ark, B sponges (bus, letter B, boat), some cars (blue or his favorites), color and shape puzzles.

The problem with this system was that he was very confused about what went where when we were cleaning up because things were not where he was used to them belonging. For a meticulous child, this was frustrating. So, I put everything back and set up a shelving system in the kitchen with a few of the activities for a week instead. This seemed to work much better for both of us for the one day that we have tried it so far.

I ordered trays from Oriental Trading, so it will be more organized and not just in random containers when those come. Having a place for the sensory bin and dry erase board is nice with this setup because he loves both of those things. The bottles have been the biggest hit so far out of all the B activities.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Tot School September 10-September 23 (A is for Apple)

**Boogie is 23 months old**

So we have been doing "A is for apple" for our theme for a couple weeks now because I had a lot of ideas. It ended up being a good thing because I am much more confident that he will like what I am planning for our "B" week. I do not think we are going to have a specific B theme because there are a lot of things he likes that start with "B". And I definitely overdid it with printing things out and laminating apple activities. It was a learning experience for me, though, and maybe Bun will like different things than Boogie.

Using a spreadsheet from 1+1+1=1, I did a quick check of what Boogie already knows and what we should focus on over the next couple years.  For colors, he has correctly identified black the most, followed by brown and green. I think the only one he has mastered (correctly identified on 3 separate occasions on his own, without being quizzed) might be black, but he does call things black that are not black as well. He has mastered circle, triangle, heart, star, diamond, oval and he calls crescents moons. All other shapes he groups together as "ock". The only letter he has mastered is R (rah rah!), and no number mastery yet. For the physical skills he should master over his preschool career, he can tip toe, walk backwards and jump. So, that is our beginning of the year assessment for Boogie's first year of homeschooling!

Tot School

Before all the apple pictures, I wanted to share this one. Boogie has been very into reading by himself lately, so when I am nursing Bun or tidying up before or after a meal, I often find him buried in this book specifically. Vehicles, of course. He is very into trucks now too. Any yellow truck is "dump", anything with big, wide front windows is "bus" (because of the one he and Hubby went in at the Please Touch Museum). So, that fire truck he is pointing to is a "bus" that goes "wee new, wee new" :)

We got Boogie a Crayola dry erase activity center, and he LOVES it! Anything dry erase really entertains him. You can get one of these with a 40 or 50% off coupon at Michaels, and by the way, all Crayola products at Michaels are being advertised as 40% off without a coupon right now! So if you have toddlers, I highly recommend the dry erase stuff! Regular price is about $15, so it is definitely worth the money if you have a child (like I do) who is a minimalist with his art work. This way, we don't waste paper because he would draw two lines then want a new sheet. Here he is working on tracing his A's (courtesy of Confessions of a Homeschooler) except really he was making squiggles and circles and saying "app" a lot. I think that just seeing the letter and hearing me say the letter and telling him what they are and telling him which color he is using will get in his head eventually. But also, practicing "please" and "help" and "thank you" as well as putting one marker back before using the next one are all just as valuable as learning the letters right now.

I printed out a three piece apple puzzle for him from 1+1+1=1 but it did not hold his attention for very long. I tried to talk about position words with him (top, middle, bottom), but he wanted to play with his cars instead.

We have been reading the story of Adam and Eve several times a day (from this children's Bible), at Boogie's request, and in the morning he sometimes wants to play with the calendar or felt board. The calendar photo was taken before it was finished and before I decided it was not a good idea to let him climb all over it. See the finished product here. And see more about the felt board and Adam and Eve here.

We made crafts for the uppercase and lowercase letters A. I got the idea for the lowercase one from Totally Tots, but created the uppercase one myself. I actually don't have a picture of the other A page because Boogie was in a mood but the uppercase A was a ladder and we made an apple tree with pom pom apples and pasted a picture of Boogie on the ladder. He loved the picture of himself!

I thought Boogie would really like playing with these apple dominoes from Developing a Heart for Home, especially because he loves to put things in a row and loves apples, but he did maybe two pieces then told me he was done. Ah, well.

The apple sequencing pieces from File Folder Fun went over better. He likes putting things in size order and he understands the word and concept of "big" so we talked about which apple was biggest. He has asked to play with these a couple times.

We watched a Blue's Clues episode about mixing colors, so I thought maybe Boogie would enjoy sponge painting (A's, airplanes, and circles) but doing some color mixing first. This was another activity that did not last very long. Boogie does not like to be messy for more than a few minutes if he can see that he is messy. Crumbs don't bother him too much but anything that is a bright color does. So finger painting and sponge painting are not a huge hit right now. We used finger paint the first time (for washability) but it didn't show up with the sponges at all, and acrylic paint the second time. We were not having much success with either type of paint as far as getting the right design on the paper. Any suggestions?

We used a letter printout from Confessions of a Homeschooler for a play dough mat and used, you guessed it, A, airplane and circle cookie cutters with Boogie's playdough. He loves playdough so we have done this a lot. He likes to put the little A cookie cutter in the triangle opening of the big A. So cute! I don't think Boogie minds, but I am ready to make some new play dough for him and break out some new cookie cutters in October!

Last but not least, we used circle label stickers with a do-a-dot page from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Boogie was not really into it but humored me for a couple minutes.

Today, at the end of the week, he is not saying A but he is calling A's triangles. He has a point :)

Veering away from apples, Boogie loves to play with his Cars pieces and felt board all day long. So I tried to do a color activity with him. He caught on with the black cars the best.

We also enjoyed a walk to the park and looked at the big circles on the basketball court. Boogie is always so excited to find shapes in real life!

On to another busy weekend and then our week of the letter B!
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Calendar

After weeks of planning and putting the pieces together, I have finally finished our morning time calendar!

We have been using it for a little while, unfinished, but I am really pleased with the finished product. We have tried doing this several different ways and right now the way that works best is for me to do the parts while Boogie is eating breakfast. I have tried doing this in the playroom after he eats breakfast but he is too distracted by his toys and not interested. While he is in his high chair, I have his full attention. I will ask him questions and then do what needs to be done. So, right now, we do calendar time and Bible time with the felt board during breakfast.

The calendar has a lot of different aspects, as you can see, and he doesn't understand a lot of it, obviously. But it is another tool that he enjoys for the visual aspect and songs right now, and will grow into the other parts over the next couple years.

I used an Elmer's tri-fold foam board. On the left panel, we have our seasons wheel, our daily weather mat, and Boogie and my personal favorite, and (as far as I know) a brainchild of mine called "what should Daddy wear today?" Boogie LOVES this. We talk about if Da Da is hot or cold, wet or dry. I made a whole bunch of felt clothes for different temperatures for his Da Da to wear and when I have this down at his level, if he is in the right mood, he will just try and put everything on at once! I got the paper doll pattern and the clothing patterns from this site. I laminated and hot glued my husband's head onto a felt cut out of the paper doll pattern. Then cut out the clothes in different colored felt, adding stickers or marker designs to make them look like Hubby's clothes when possible. This raincoat and hat is Boogie's favorite because I glued yellow plastic from a shopping bag over the felt to make it more raincoat-y.

The seasons pictures are from here. The images for the weather mat came from all over the web. I just chose the ones I liked best.

In the center, I have the months of the year on binder rings. I bought these for a dollar at Target. The calendar and numbers came separately, also from the dollar section at Target.

The days of the week section, under the calendar, was inspired by Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts. It's just laminated cardstock pockets for the days and popsicle sticks with the words "today", "tomorrow" and "yesterday" to move around.

The bottom of the center portion is the color, shape, and number of the day sections. The color section is a dry erase board from walmart. The idea is that Boogie can scribble the color of the day all over it or that I can write it or both. I made the shape of the day background in Word, and added velcro. The shapes are all cut out of foam. Boogie loves velcro and foam. The number of the day background is another word document, with a magnet behind it to use number magnets with. On the far right is a sign language alphabet book I made from printables Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations put together.

The right panel holds the most important part- the weekly Bible verse and our prayer book. The Bible verse printables come from Totally Tots and correspond with a letter of the alphabet. The verses come from Songs for Saplings, which we bought because music is so easy to memorize. I have the page in a sheet protector with the holes cut off so it is easy to change each week. When we change it I am going to put last week up on the cabinets in the kitchen until we run out of space, for review.

The prayer book contains pictures of family members and friends. Each morning we look through all the pictures and name the people in them, then pray for one person or family. Boogie really likes seeing these faces each day.

The last item on the right side is the letter of the day, using an alphabet printout, also available from Totally Tots and also with a magnet behind it.

When I was planning this whole thing out, I  was especially inspired by Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations, two blogging homeschooling mommies whose sites have really motivated me.

I wanted our calendar to utilize as many different types of fastenings as possible so Boogie could be exposed to a variety of things for his fine motor skills. A quick summary- the seasons wheel is an arrow spinner, the weather has four corners to stick in, the clothing part is felt, the months (and sign language and prayer book) are flip books on rings, the dates and shapes are velcro, the days of the week are movable popsicle sticks, the color is a dry erase board, and the numbers and letters are magnets.

So far, Boogie has been enjoying this little routine, and I look forward to including him in it more and more as his skills develop.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Felt Board- Pixar Cars, Adam and Eve

I really enjoy changing the medium of learning for my Boogie whenever possible and expanding on his interests, hence the Cars felt board pieces, and now, the Adam and Eve story set. I thought I would share my sets as I make them to give you all inspiration and make it easier for you to find the information I had to search for.

So here is a close up of what the Cars set looks like.

I google searched for the 16 main characters. I do not have or know how to use a fancy program, so I just made them all about the right sizes is a Word document. I have it as a Word document and a PDF if you are interested! I printed them out, used contact paper on both sides, cut them out, then put a small piece of rough sandpaper on the back so they would hold to the felt. Boogie has a book we got from Costco, which highlights Boost, Wingo, DJ, and Snot Rod, so I am considering adding them as well. I had to do some fancy work on the Mack truck when Boogie discovered Lightning couldn't go inside.

I just printed out another copy of Mack, cut out the back of the truck, laminated it, used packing tape as a hinge, velcro to close it on the bottom, and put some felt inside so Lightning would stay there.

Last night I finished the Adam and Eve set for our Bible story of the week. To go along with our A theme, specifically apples.

Here is the set in pieces:

I decided I didn't want to make new characters for every story every week. Making accessories would be more fun for Boogie and easier for me. I used the cricut paper doll template for the people. I made the hair myself (which is why the hair is so strange! I need more practice) out of colored cardstock. The googly eyes are from Walmart and I love them. I debated whether or not to use them and am so glad I did. Everything is laminated with my new Scotch laminator. I got the snake and apple from here, the clothes from here and the tree from here. Why didn't I use one of the complete sets I found, you ask? I honestly don't know! I just pictured something different, so I put it together myself. More work, yes. More satisfying, yes. This is what I was aiming to do with Adam and Eve initially, but couldn't find the picture when I went looking for it, of course.

We did a sitting down felt board Bible story time for the first time this morning and it went really really well! So did calendar time today (yesterday is another story).

One thing I love about being a SAHM and homeschooling is how much I learn about my little Boogie all day long and the fact that I have to adapt quickly based on what he does and doesn't like. It is such an interesting challenge. Like with the Mack truck and Lightning McQueen. Or today, he was trying to stick the apple back on the apple tree, so I put felt apples over the outlines that were originally there. The apple has sandpaper on the back so it now sticks to the felt apples on the tree. He will be very pleased next time he sees it :)

It might look like a lot of work, and it is. But there are so many wonderful blogs out there that I get my ideas or activities from, that I hope putting my ideas together in one place will help someone too.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Tot School September 2nd- September 9th

It's that time of week again! 

Tot School
Boogie is 23 months old

Hubby had a long weekend thanks to Labor Day, so we got to go on an adventure- our first field trip as a family of four to the Please Touch Museum. We took Boogie to an aquarium last summer,but we haven't done any day trips since then. So we were very excited but also apprehensive since we were taking two kids and it was a long drive. We told Boogie we were going to go on a trip to find circles and cars. Little did we know!

Boogie didn't want to go inside! He was perfectly happy pointing at the giant circle. He must have said "circa!" about a million times. Thankfully there were cars inside.

There were lots of cars actually! And a bus that was a big hit. It's a great place, but was very crowded and poor Boogie kept getting bull-dozed. Both boys behaved really well and we considered the whole day a success!

This week, Boogie also got to play with chalk for the first time, and we made, what else, circles!

We are starting some official schooling this coming week, doing the letter A, apple, a Bible verse, and the story of Adam and Eve. In preparation for that, I bought some new fruit magnets for the fridge, which Boogie really enjoyed.

His back to school sensory bin was a HUGE hit! Even though he thought the calculator was a phone.

We also did our first apple worksheet. In a funny coincidence, my mom brought over my old copy of "The Giving Tree" and Boogie has been LOVING anything to do with apples recently. So I am very happy that our first "unit" is apples. 

We have been reading the story of creation and of Adam and Eve the past few days at breakfast, along with looking at the cabin calendar. I have everything organized for his calendar time, it is just a matter of putting it together. I am so hoping to get it done this weekend! We have also starting singing our ABCs, while jumping on the alphabet mat we used in our last house when he was rolling and crawling. We had hardwood floors so it was a bit of a cushion. Now we are using it again as a fun learning tool for letter recognition. 

We have been jumping on the letters, using it like a puzzle, throwing a bean bag and talking about what letter it lands on, driving cars across it and talking about what letter it stops at, and talking about the circles, semi-circles, and triangles in the letters.

Besides all that, we have been having a lot of pretend play time with pom pom balls, spoons, bowls, and our collection of containers. He is loving "cooking" pom pom balls this week. The play dough has come out every day too, and lots of circles, stars, and hearts have been made than squished. Anyone know a good shape set of cookie cutters? I would love triangles and squares and crescents and things like that but can't seem to find a shape set.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School Sensory Bin

I have been planning my themed sensory bins for the year since I first saw the Counting Coconuts blog. That is where I got the inspiration for my first real sensory bin- the back to school bin! My inspiration, and most of the ideas, came from this bin. I just modified it a bit for Boogie, since he is 2 years younger than her son.

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Isn't it pretty?? I love it. So, what's in the bin, you ask?

Shredded paper
Alphabet Blocks (Dollar Zone)- stacking, lining up, spelling
Apple (Dollar Zone)- pretending
Leaves (Dollar Zone)- counting
Calculator (Dollar Zone)- pushing buttons, talking about numbers
Football pencils and erasers (Dollar Zone)- on and off with the erasers
Some letter magnets (Michael's dollar section)- letter recognition
Some number magnets (Walmart, I think. I already had the magnets on the fridge)- number recognition
Giant paper clips (Dollar Zone)- linking
Bus (Border's closing sale)- playing :)
Scissors (they were mine when I was little!)- cutting shredded paper
Acorns and pine cones (Dollar Zone)- counting
Dry erase board (Walmart- $2.47)- coloring
Foam shapes (Target dollar section)- colors and shapes
Zipper pencil case (Dollar Zone)- putting things in and out
Crayola dry erase crayons (Michaels- $4.99 I think)- coloring

I realized when Boogie accidentally drew on his face that I hadn't checked the dry erase marker to see if it was non-toxic. Since it didn't say, I put it away and took out the Crayola dry erase crayons, so those and the erasing mit that came with them) are now in the zipper pencil bag. I believe they were $5 at Michaels.

My philosophy with the sensory bins is that whatever I put in them that I already have stays in the bin until I change it. For example, we won't use the dry erase crayons for anything else while the back to school sensory bin is out. That way, the items in the sensory bin are special just for the time he is using it. When I change the sensory bin, some of the things will be available again (the crayons and dry erase board will go in the diaper bag, I think) and some of them will go into storage to wait for another sensory bin or project. The lovely thing about sensory bins is so many of the items are either things you already have, things you will use in homeschooling in general, or things you can reuse if you plan on doing sensory bins consistently.

Like with the rice bin, I put the blanket down on the floor (in the playroom this time), because he already sees that as a boundary for the contents of the bin. It worked beautifully. Even though he knew that some of the items usually belonged somewhere else, he played with them in the bin or on the blanket. The only reason he stopped playing with it was because Bun woke up and I had to feed him, so we put the sensory bin away. Boogie was VERY mad that it was time to clean up and he had been playing with it for 45 minutes! Success :)

Linking up to some of these great parties!
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Tot School- August 20th-September 1st

**Boogie is 22.5 months old**

Well, what with the earthquake and hurricane here on the east coast, things have been a bit crazy around here! Not to mention the daily ins and outs of parenting two under two! But Boogie and I have been tot schooling it up and I wanted to share some of what we have been doing leading up to, hopefully, starting some kind of daily routine next week. The Boog LOVES repetition and routine, so I am looking forward to implementing my grand plan for calendar time. One of the things we started doing yesterday was looking the calendar with pictures of cabins on it that my mom got me for Christmas. While he was eating breakfast, I told him what month and day it was. We counted up to 30. And by we, I mean, I did :) I sang the 7 days of the week song as I learned it from years of babysitting and watching Barney. He was VERY interested and made me sing the song several times. He actually pointed to the calendar this morning so I would do it again, so I know he will love it when I bring out his calendar time board. More on that next week, hopefully, if I can get it all put together this weekend.

Tot School

One of the activities I was most excited to do with Boogie that we started in the past week and a half was creating art with do-a-dot markers. Ever since the first time I saw them on a blog, I have been dying to see how Boogie would like them. Especially since he LOVES circles. I got the printable you see (and other shapes too) here from this site but there is another good one on this site that I found later.  It took him some time to get the point, and he still doesn't really stay in the circles, but he had a good time and we talked about the colors, circles, and matching the right tops to bottoms. Boy, does this kid love putting tops and bottoms together! It is the thing he likes most about so many activities- he is all about in and out, dumping and pouring. He has started saying "dump" actually. He also says blue, green, brown, purple and black pretty clearly, though not usually about the right color! He will say orange from time to time, says the Chinese word for red better than he says red. My husband is bilingual, but, unfortunately, I am not at this time. My efforts have been thwarted when I have tried to take classes and now finding the time is hard. But I am trying to encourage Hubby to teach both Boogie and I the words for the colors whenever we are talking about them.

Going along with his need for order and routine, he also kept lining up the markers because heaven forbid they should be crooked! :)

The rice bin came out every day for awhile, but he stopped asking for it, so I have plans for next week to change it up. He was re-interested for a little while when I added shapes to it. I got some 3D shape counters at the dollar section of target, I cut some shapes out of foam, and I made some shapes out of pipe cleaners. He was so excited when he realized there were shapes "hiding" and we played hide and seek with all the shapes for awhile. As of today, he knows circles, triangles and stars and will point them out to me everywhere. He often gets diamond right too. Sometimes he distinguishes circles from ovals. He calls crescents, "moons". He calls all the "-gons" by his word for "octagon" and has no interest whatsoever in squares or rectangles right now. When we played in the rice bin, he would take out the circles and put them in a pile, but didn't care what happened to the other shapes.

We made circles with a flashlight when we thought we were going to lose power last weekend. He loved finding circles around the room and seeing if they were the same size as the flashlight beam. He also really enjoyed doing shadow puppets with Hubby. 

Boogie hates vegetables, so the only way I can get him to eat them is by making muffins with vegetables hidden in them and giving them to him in cupcake liners and calling them cakes. My mom got a GIANT zucchini from a friend's garden and brought it to me so we spent the better part of one morning getting it ready to make into cakes. I gave Boogie his own zucchini circle and knife to experiment with.

We spent a lot of time last week playing with plastic Easter eggs and pom-poms. While feeding Bun one night, I came across this site, which had SO many wonderful activities using plastic eggs. When my mom realized how much Boogie loved them, she went out after Easter and bought about 10 dozen for a dollar. I am trying to find productive ways to use them because at this point, the halves that have survived are all jumbled in a bucket that Boogie dumps from time to time then walks away from. So, we put pom poms in them and played the good old fashioned in and out, open and close game with eggs and pom pom balls. Balls in balls is always fun for my ball-loving boy. He did not do much with the matching of colors, but he is much more interested in movement and shapes than in naming colors right now and that is fine! I will just keep naming them for him and eventually he will pick up on it.

I also got very fancy and made an all-inclusive colors, counting, shapes, matching, patterns, fine motor skills egg carton activity. When I have time, I would like to post specifically about this. For now, here is a picture to give you an idea of what it includes. There is definitely more involved than he can do right now, but it is something he can grow into. He asked for it a few times, but has been more interested in other things since then. I need to create a space where I can put a few things at his level so he can choose activities when he wants to.

The pom pom balls were a huge hit last week. He asked for them everyday, and did tons of transferring between containers using different tools. We tried the dollar Target ice tongs, and every time I said "tong", this is what he would do...

Who can blame him? Tong and tongue do sound very similar! Cracked me up every time he did it :)

He loves poking, transferring and pouring so much that I wanted to make him a poke container for his balls. So I used a cool whip container and my exacto knife to do that. He had more fun with sticking the tongs in the holes than the balls but as long as he had fun :) We also played with a tube and the balls, pouring them through it and blowing them out of it.

One of the highlights of the week for him was when I finished the felt board I was working on (re-purposed from a small bulletin board we aren't using) and made him the Cars characters to play with.

We downloaded two of the songs from Cars for him so he asked for them when I gave this to him. My hope was that it would be something new and quiet that would keep him happy while I make dinner or clean in the kitchen. When "Life is a Highway" came on, he brought over Mack and McQueen to me and showed me that he was frustrated that Mack couldn't haul McQueen across country during the driving song. So, while the chicken was simmering, I added another layer and velcro so he could hide the McQueen piece under the flap of the Mack piece. The things mamas will do for their little ones! This kept him busy an hour that first day. Partly he was taking them out and putting them back in the (laminated) envelope and enjoying the velcro I put on the envelope so he could open and close that too.

Using a template from 1+1+1=1, I made Boogie a shapes puzzle with velcro. He did it by himself and did it a few more times besides.

I also made him foam shapes with holes for lacing with colored shoelaces or connected pipe cleaners. This did not keep him interested for very long because it is beyond his fine motor skills but we will try it every once in awhile.

I have not done very much practice with sequencing with him, but he seems to naturally gravitate towards math-type activities. He will arrange things from smallest to biggest every once in awhile.

In alphabet news, Boogie recognizes the letter R now because of the R on our car for our university. Because he likes R's, I made him a sheet with the letter R and some red things on it to play with with his pom pom balls. I got the letter from the same site as the shapes, but here is the exact link for the letters.  He was not impressed but liked throwing the balls around when I tried to show him what the goal was. I plan on making him a little laminated book on rings, just for him to look at in the car. It will be lightweight enough so if he drops it on his brother, it won't hurt.

I introduced the idea of keeping an activity that we are working on contained to a tray and as long as I am enforcing it, he does pretty well. He loves dropping the clothespins in and dumping them back out. These are for the color wheel but he would much rather do other things with them.

I tried getting out the 10 different colored laminated circles for him again too, with the idea that we could put the clothespins on the same colored circles. Instead, we dumped them out of the container and onto the tray, and moved the circles back and forth between the tray and the floor. He liked lining them all up in a row on the floor.

Otherwise, we read books, played with cars, threw balls around, played with bubbles outside, had a playdate or two, survived a couple natural know, the usual :P
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