I had made no plans for the day, but it turned out the day had adventures of its own for us.
One of my friends came over in the morning and she played wonderfully with the boys! They loved the attention and she helped them get a lot of wiggles out. The boys danced to their favorite song (photosynthesis! I’ll do another post on this later) and played lots of running games — ninjas, bad guys, police, octonauts … they’re all basically variations on the same game: running in circles around the living room, giggling riotously.
After yesterday’s encouraging game experience, we tried this Daniel Tiger game. I had picked it up for a couple dollars at Goodwill. There’s no way to win or lose, so that works for us at this stage. ;)The only action you do on your turn is spin the spinner and move in any direction since there’s no end goal (although N insists on “spinning” so that he gets the next consecutive number each time). Then you draw a card and talk about the pictured story or the character’s feelings; anything you say is right and you get a token for your trolley card. For a 2 and 4 year old it’s a good game; it helped them with skills like taking turns, following instructions, communicating, and developing empathy.
Then we got out paper, magazines, scissors, and glue. I didn’t know exactly what they would want to do with this, but I offered to help them make posters by cutting out pictures of things. This turned into randomly cutting the pages (J) and getting some solid cutting practice in but running out of patience (N). The posters turned out to be books, but it was all good.
I showed N how to draw a secret message on the inside and he figured out what he wanted to write and how to spell it (mostly on his own). I like giving him opportunities to practice writing in some context that’s meaningful to him, rather than just do repetitive letter tracing worksheets. Sometimes I try those with him, because I love the cute workbooks, but he doesn’t share my enthusiasm for rote drills. If he can write all the letters, however, and figure out his own kind of spelling and get excited about seeing his own stories in print I guess that accomplishes the same purpose that the workbooks were designed for, and it keeps him happy so he’s willing to practice more.
We were making plans to meet up with some neighbors so the kids could play when another friend texted to invite us to join them for a picnic dinner. We met up with them and about 6 other families we knew at one of my favorite parks in the city ~ it has trails and trains and playgrounds and picnic areas and fields and a huge beach where you can find lots of treasures in tide pools when the tide is low. The boys ran around with a dozen or so other kids and loved it all. They didn’t want to stop to eat dinner until we were done for the night and getting ready to pack up and go home, so we had our picnic dinner in the parking lot sitting by our car. … Food … by any means, at any time.
We could have stayed to watch the sunset if I’d been more flexible … but i was determined that the boys would keep their bedtime. So we went home. The boys didn’t fall asleep till 9:30, long after sunset. Note to self: don’t miss another sunset on the beach on a perfect summer evening when both boys are happy and well fed …