Tot School 33.5mo Twins – Wrecking Ball

There’s a hospital being built near our house and the boys are just fascinated with the tall cranes.  When driving on 635 with all the  construction, my boys love naming each piece of machinery.  They like machines.  So a few days ago on a blog swap I saw a clever mom that made her own wrecking ball.  I knew the boys would have so much fun and would like this new piece of machinery.

To make our wrecking ball, I took an old knee high hosiery sock and put a wiffle ball down in the toe then tied a knot at the top.  Not too complicated.  Very simple to operate too.

I pulled out our wooden blocks and the three of us made lots of towers and castles.  Lance’s version of a castle right now is a 1 story big collection of blocks.  I don’t see the castle, but if he does then great.

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James likes to build skyscrapers and that works best for this activity.  So we built them up, stepped back and took a big ol swing with our wrecking ball.  It took a few tries before they found the technique that worked best for each of them.  James prefers the high in the air-wind up around the back and swing approach while Lance prefers the start by the knees and turn the whole body method.  We talked about how Lance’s method made the blocks roll away while James’ method required hollering duck at anyone within a 12 foot radius.  It’s a little pre physics here, which sadly my knowledge is pretty limited.DSC_0879DSC_0893

 

 

 

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After a short while, I built my tower on a base of 2 blocks.  I explained that the carpet was squishy so by spreading the blocks out over a bigger area it lessened the movement of the tower.  We got 14 blocks high before it started to sway.

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Then I made a base of 4 blocks.  We were able to get it up to 22 blocks high before it swayed.  I think if I had helped centered the blocks more, we might have gotten it higher, but I’m still happy with our 22.  Before I built the tower I showed that 4 blocks moved less than just the 2 blocks.

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I know that all that info was sinking in.  Hahaha!  I know it because while I was explaining further about a solid base, the boys ran full sped ahead into the tower.  What they really did was learn that the higher the tower, the more crash it will make and that my friends is what most boys are concerned about.  We built a few more super tall towers and had fun knocking them down.

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This is not an activity for a mom who is afraid of a fewflying objects nor is it an activity for a boy who can’t control his excitement very well.  As you can imagine, this could cause a broken window or a slug up side the head.  I’m proud that my boys used some self-control and I’m claiming that as my mercy for the day.

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Tot School 33.5mo Twins – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

We are into reading around here and I can’t complain.  From age 1-2.5yr my boys were into eating the books, not reading them so I’m taking advantage of this reading stage.  I like reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and using lots of different voices so the boys giggle and stay interested.  I love what Train Up a Child did for an activity to go with this story.    It’s a super cute palm tree with the alphabet.  Check it out at http://trainupachildlearnaswego.blogspot.com/2013/03/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-alphabet-tree.html

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When I finally got an hour during nap time, I quickly free hand drew a palm tree with coconuts using Train Up a Child’s photo as a visual guide.  I can not draw, but this is super easy so don’t be afraid to try it.  I layered up my green construction paper, drew the leaf on the top  and cut the whole stack at once.  Any color of brown will work for the trunk as well as the coconuts.  I hoped over to Confessions of a Homeschooler for the cute alphabet printable http://shared.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/phonics/ChickaboomAlpha.pdf.  Next I put everything onto laminating sheets and sealed them up.  All of that barely took 10min.  What took the rest of my hour was cutting out all the laminated letters.  It’s worth the time though, I can reused these for so many different things besides this one tree.  I then used lock tac putty on the back to secure it to a door in our living room.

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When my boys got up from their nap, they were so excited to see the tree.  So excited that we couldn’t pay attention to read the book.   I pulled out my stack of alphabet letters and asked the boys to find the A &B letters.  I put some putty on the back of the letters and I let the boys put them wherever they wanted on the tree.

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The jumped around in front of the tree and we sang the alphabet song.  By then the boys had calmed down enough that we could read our book.  Throughout the summer we will be reading this book again and adding more letters each time we read it.  The boys loved this activity so I expect we will have more energetic jumping and crazy letter placing on our tree in the future.  What a mercy to have a cute, cheap, little tree that make my boys happy.

Tot School 33.5mo Twins – Going On a Bear Hunt

 

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I have two boys that just love for me to read “Going On a Bear Hunt.”  We borrowed it from the library on Monday and I’ve now got it memorized because we read it so much.  I saw a great activity at http://mylittlehappies.blogspot.com/2012/03/were-going-on-bear-hunt.html that goes with this book.  Please take look at that site.  She takes her kids on a bear hunt in the backyard.  It’s so adorable.  I decided that we too would go on a bear hunt.  What I ended up with was a lesson in expectations.  Let’s just say that while my pictures look somewhat calm and planned, what mostly happened could be compared to a wild group of drunk indians going on a bear hunt.  With that said, here’s our bear hunt today.

We’re going on a bear hunt.

We’re going to catch a big one.

What a beautiful day!

We’re not scared.

 

I took our book outside with us on this beautiful day and read it out loud as we acted out the pages. 

 

Oh-oh!  Long, wavy grass.   We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

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    As you can see, the boys ran through the grass, around the shed and looped back through the grass many times.

 

 

 

Oh-oh!  A deep, cold river.   We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

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Oh-oh!  Thick, oozy mud.   We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

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Oh-oh!  A big, dark forest.  We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

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                              (Ok, so our forest was circling around one tree)

 

Oh-oh!  A swirling, whirling snowstorm.   We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

I cut up several tissues, put them in a baggie, stuck a straw in and had the boys blow hard to make a swirling snowstorm.

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Oh-oh!  A narrow, gloomy cave.   We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

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In our story, we found 2 shiny wet noses!  4 big furry ears!  4 big googly eyes!  We found 2 bears!!!!!!  Clearly Lance knows how to handle a bear with just a stick.

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That, my friend is the cleaned up version.  I wish our hunt went like the little happies hunt, but here’s what happened around the good shots. 

1.  I hung up the wavy grass first.  Mistake!  Keeping kids out of it was hard while I set up the other things.  Then during one of the laps on our hunt, James grabbed the streamers and tore the whole thing down.  They had fun letting them fly off in the wind as they proclaimed the crepe streamers to now be kites.

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2.  The river, my biggest competitor to getting the boys to do the hunt.  I filled the boat with water.  They played in it before I even got the rest of the stuff besides the grass set up.  Note, don’t set this up in the order of the book.  It will help you out.  This wasn’t supposed to be a messy activity, but I know my boys and why I thought I could keep it clean and orderly, I don’t know.  They had the best fun sitting down in the water.  Then later during the mud time, James got distracted and decided to pull a David Letterman on me.  He threw everything that he could find into the water and just stood there looking at it as if he was doing a giant “Does it sink or float?” experiment.  It took a lot of coaxing to get him back to the hunt.

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3.  The boys loved blowing the tissue around, so much so that Lance wouldn’t put the bag down but carried it for the rest of the hunt.  After our hunt, they found the bag and dumped it all out so it looked like my backyard really did snow.

4.  The cave.  Lance just wanted to pour water and sand all over the top of my furry blanket.  Not cool!  Laundry coming soon.

5.  Our bears even went for a quick swim to see if they sank or floated.

So, that’s the real story of our bear hunt.  Great pictures with a crazy interlude between each one.  As soon as I let go of my expectations of how this would play out, we all three had a good time.  So dive into your own bear hunt, just remember your child’s natural bent will go into play here too.  This is well worth the effort.  Happy hunting!

Tot School 33mo Twins – Bathtub Painting & Light

WARNING: A BIG mess is ahead.  Stop reading if messiness scares you!

It’s the perfect storm today.  I’m sick and can barely hold my eyes open while my twin boys have all the energy in the world and are in a defiant/destructive mood.  I desperately needed a plan today.  During the activities, the boys were mostly ok, but the brief lulls were hard.  The two best activities of today went very well.  So here they are.  We’ve been singing the song “This Little Light of Mine.”  I printed out a candle from www.abcjesuslovesme.com and I had the boys coloring it. 

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I don’t know what possessed me to do the following, but I did and now my kitchen will never be clean again.  I helped each boy put glue around the flame outline.  Then I handed them a bottle of gold glitter.  That’s right, wild boys with glitter.  I have a big ol mess that I’m still trying to sweep up and probably will be for the next week.  As you can see in the picture, the boys hold to the philosophy that more is better and I had a lot of glitter to pour back into the bottle.

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We let that dry a bit while I tried to clean the table, floor, kids and myself.  When we came back to the table I gave the boys preschool scissors and asked them to cut out the candle.  I knew they couldn’t do it, but I want them to get practice so one day they can do it.  I followed up and cut out the candle for them.  The picture shows the boys’ skill level in cutting.

 

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I then helped the boys get double-sided tape put on the back of the candle.  They got to place the candle anywhere they wanted on a big yellow sheet of cardstock.

 

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With that done, we held our candles high as we loudly sang “This Little Light of Mine.”

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I couldn’t get all the glitter off my boys so we headed upstairs for a creative bath.  Oh, how this lasted a gloriously long time without any hassles.  All three of us were in the bathroom together and the boys were anxious to get this started.  I sat on the edge of the tub and used Crayola washable crayons to draw two rainbows on the tile wall.  Notice that I put them on either side of the soap dish so there would be no fighting and messing up the other brother’s painting.  I squirted five piles of shaving cream onto the edge of the tub.  Then I added two drops of food coloring, a different color to each pile, and stirred it with spoons.  I took off all the boys’ clothes and set them in the tub.  I got to sit back and relax for a bit while they laughed and painted to their hearts’ content.

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They made big circles with smooth textures and slapped the wall to make hilly textures.  They painted every inch of that tub.  The pictures don’t show the colors well.  They were pastel, but you could easily see them on the wall in person.  The color blending down the side of the tub made a beautiful marbled look.

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When the whole tub and walls were covered, they turned to each other and began painting their brother.  What a sight.  After that, I ran some water and the three of us quickly washed off all the shaving cream and crayon.  I filled up the bathtub with water and I let my boys play with their bath toys for a while.  When the water was finally drained, my bathtub sparkled.  It smelled good too.  This was such a blessing today because it occupied the boys’ time while  I got a much-needed rest.

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