Thursday, September 15, 2016

B is for Butterfly and other fun things

We're almost through with week 3 now, but it takes a while to upload all the pictures! When I went to do it I realized just how much we had done! Feel free to skip if learning activities are not your thing. ;) But browse below if you want some fun activities to learn and play with your kids. I was really sick during our B week - low fever, coughing keeping me awake at night... But having something planned made me still able to intentionally do things with Hadassah and it made for a much better week overall, though sickness makes anything more exhausting. :)

Dassah had the most fun with this birthday cake, because I let her use glitter. Yes, it made a mess, but she sprinkled all the glitter and it turned out so pretty. :) She carefully drew three candles since she'll be three soon too. And I quizzed her on her birthday a few times during the week, and after this craft she remembered and would carefully and cutely answer: "October 29th."

 This butterfly sandwich (from The Toddler Busy Book) was a hit! Dassah enjoyed decorating it with dried fruit and is here demonstrating how it has fluttery wings. :) I used peanut butter but you could also use cream cheese.

 These felt butterflies I made were fun, and I could tell she liked them because she wanted to do them twice in a row as well as a few times later on in the week. She is surprising me how well she's doing with counting too! I'm going to have to start doing higher numbers because she has 1-5 pretty much down. :)

 We couldn't let B week pass this mama by without a ballet lesson! :) She really enjoyed it too and chose her rainbow tutu to wear. She's getting more into dress up which I find pretty cute.

 She copied everything well, and the rest of the week would show me different things ("look - my feet are in first position!"). I need to do this with her more often, just for fun at this age, but she enjoyed it and so did I!

 We did a nature hunt Bingo (printable here). She wasn't as into it (and she was in one of her not very cooperative moods) but it gave us a new thing to do outside and she did get into the spirit of finding things after a while. :) I think it may be more geared for spring though. :)

 This box Boat was super easy to make, and a bigger hit than I was anticipating! Dassah's imagination is definitely alive and well! It was a fun thing for sister play too. Dassah pretended to fish with her beads while Ellie just enjoyed dropping them for me to retrieve. ;)

 Little sis seemed proud to be in the driver's seat for a change!

 Dassah for months kept saying how she wanted a purple fishing net. I found one for $2 so bought her one a few weeks ago. She was a bit disappointed though, as we've never been able to actually catch a fish with it. So I had some "fish" (colored baby beads) swim and jump into her net and she loved it!

The boat stayed around for the week and often Dassah would sit in it to read a book. I think she liked a little spot. But it did get ripped and the nice thing about weekly activities is that we could move it out as I knew more fun was coming!

 Bubble wrap was something Ellie particularly liked. :) I had it ready after naps one afternoon, but Dassah had woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I never fully understood that expression until I had a toddler. ;) Nothing would please her. But Ellie had a grand time crawling up and down on this long strip, secured to the floor with masking tape.

 She also loved practicing her walking on a fun new surface. She probably would have done it longer but I got tired. ;)

 Finally Dassah came over and crawled and ran some, but mostly enjoyed pocking the bubbles with her finger, much to Ellie's fascination.

 This snail (from the Beautiful Bugs Playdough Mats) was fun for a few minutes. Dassah has never played with playdough for very long, but these mats are fun to give extra inspiration. I made the shell, Dassah decorated it with beads, then she smashed and cut it up. ;)

 These popsicle stick ballerinas were a pinterest idea that I couldn't resist. I did most of the work, since we were making one for each of her friends at Bible study so wanted them done well. But Hadassah enjoyed watching, helping where she could, adding her own touches, and squeezing glitter glue on the cupcake liner skirts.

 Another thing that never lasts long with Dassah is a ball. She'll play for a few minutes but then be done. Still, a few minutes is a few minutes with a preschooler, and balls fit B so well, so we had to have a "basket ball" time!

 Ellie lasted much longer, taking the balls out of the muffin tip as fast as she could (whereas Dassah was much more interested filling her muffin tin!)...

 ...and tasting each and every ball she could. She kept this up as long as I kept retrieving balls for her!

 We did a sensory bin of dried beans and I hid felt bugs and the letters of her name as well as beads that were already in there. It may have been too much, or the fact that I left for a few minutes to help Ellie with something and Dassah lost interest. She's really enjoyed finding things in beans in the past though, so it was either the amount of things to find or she just wasn't in the mood.

 We read the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible and then acted it out with blocks and dolls.

 She loved knocking the tower down and the dolls speaking gibberish to each other. ;)

 We did some heart animal crafts (from pinterest), she filled a B with bandaids, and she did the same coloring sheets and letter find activity pages linked to in our A week. Dassah really enjoys finding letters, but I learned I can't leave her completely alone with the sheets yet. I tried giving her stickers for the one where the letters make a maze while I nursed Ellie, but maybe because I gave her a lot of dot stickers, she covered every single letter, not just the b's. Gotta love her thoroughness though, and at least it kept her busy!

 We tried bucket ball another day, and while Dassah did it for a few minutes, Ellie was fascinated dropping things in again and again...

 She especially enjoyed dropping blocks in as they made a nice kerplunk sound!

 Not everything turns out. I tried making this sensory box after noticing how Ellie loved trying to pull off stickers from the top of Dassah's cardboard doll house. But maybe that was just because they were slightly forbidden or the fact that it was simpler (this was pretty busy!). I'd hoped it would be something to keep her occupied in the kitchen while I cook instead of her trying to pull dishes out of the cupboards, but to no avail. She was fascinated at first, but quickly gave up when she couldn't pull of the things hot glued down, and moved quickly to the cupboard with silverware...

 But she did enjoy dropping blocks in the bucket for the second day until I had to take it down since the bucket doubles as my laundry basket. Yes, our washing machine is small enough that one load fits in the bucket!

 I had fun making my own butterfly from the "Beautiful Bugs Playdough Mat" collection (linked above). I pressed some wings down for Dassah, but she enjoyed cutting them up more. I think these play dough mats will be something she enjoys more in the next few years. I mean, even know I have to admit if I take the time to, I enjoy playing with playdough! ;)

 She really enjoyed this coloring page (printable here) inspired by the Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book. We've read the story enough that she knew pretty much every animal's color, though she always checked with me (while I prepped lunch - sometimes you've got to multitask!). She colored them all very thoroughly and was very proud to show Daddy how she did so at lunch. :)

 We did a Blindfold taste test for snack time. I told her to guess what I gave her, but it wasn't very hard. ;) We did an M&M, a pickle, and a few chips. I think she enjoyed the excuse to eat food we don't normally do for snacks.

 The activities don't always need to be fancy. Just pulling out bubbles when I was sick and exhausted and just wanted to sit on the couch thrilled the girls. I don't usually do them inside, but a little soap won't hurt a rug, right? Just think of it as it's shamphoo...

 It's blurry, but shows the absolute joy Ellie had watching Dassah blow bubbles. She was mesmerized by it. It gave Dassah the opportunity to practice blowing (she's gotten good!), saved me from blowing too much when I kept coughing, and Ellie even got to pop a few.

 Best of all, it prompted a Dassah-to-Ellie hug just because they were having so much fun playing together as sisters. These moments make so much worth it.

 It wasn't a specific B activity, but sometimes just turning on music and using silk scarves to dance makes everyone more joyful!

 "Bubble painting" was another fail. I don't know if I just didn't mix enough color in, or maybe it was this particular bubble solution. But it was an interesting try and I think could be fun if improved on. We had more fun pouring some of the bubble solution on the page and tipping it so it could drip and run in cool patterns.

 Bear in the basket was another fun game! Ellie is all about dropping things these days. :)

 And things that bring the sisters together to play helps their relationship grow and gives fun for all!

 Blanket Riding turned out to be a huge favorite too! It was my back that got tired bending over before they got tired being pulled around!

All in all we had a good week! We both like things that keep us engaged together, and it's fun for my planning brain to have things to plan and then look back at as "done." Sometimes life with littles seems to pass in a blur without anything ever seeming to get done. ;) Dassah feels a sense of accomplishment too. She loves showing Daddy and whoever else comes to our house - "Look what I made in Pre-school!" and we are learning a lot together. Just the Usborne book about the Body (with lots of cool flaps!) was fun for me to learn facts from too.

It makes me intentional to teach her the Gospel too. Following last week's "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" this week we learned "But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" Hearing her sweet voice say it over and over is good for my heart, and as we sung "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" each day I prayed for true belief. She often sings to and talks about God, and it's fun to be the one to get to help instill God's truth in a sweet young one. May she truly Believe.

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