Today is the last day of WOYC, and this fabulous Friday is devoted to family fun! My family of three enjoyed the day together, with our little one taking the lead and requesting lots of play time outside!
Family Keepsake– The weekly lessons from my daughter’s teacher suggested that we make a family keepsake to commemorate this time together. This is what my family of three created. Although our time in isolation has been filled with frustration and some ugly moments, it has also brought tenderness and joy. When I look at our hands, represented here on colorful paper, I will be reminded of the moments that changed us for good.
The Live Generously Twins– My daughter and I decided to dress like twins by wearing our matching Thrivent, Live Generously, t-shirts. Live Generously t-shirts have become my quarantine uniform of choice as the message makes my heart happy and the soft cotton is comfortable. Living Generously has been our family slogan throughout this time of isolation. By leaving surprise gifts on doorsteps, delivering food to high risk individuals, participating in drive-by parades and reaching out to family and friends virtually; our hearts are overflowing with joy! The reward we receive when we give unto others is far greater than the gift that was given! Seeing how happy we are making others during this time of uncertainty is a lesson I want my daughter to remember forever!
A huge thank you goes out to my childhood friend, Stacy, for making these quarantine themed wine glasses at cost. She brought joy to others during a time of uncertainty.
Family Game Night– Tonight’s Family Game Night was a real “game changer.” For tonight is the night our little one was first introduced to a gaming system. We dusted off our old Wii and my little one enjoyed an evening of Super Mario Brothers and virtual bowling!Whether we are teaching our daughter to live generously, to love music and science and Jesus, or how to play Super Mario Brother’s, my husband and I are and will continue to be our daughter’s first and most important teacher.
Today is Artsy Thursday and my daughter dressed in purple and blue (her two current favorite colors.) The weather was beautiful so we spent a majority of our day outsideenjoying the beautiful landscape God has created.
Natural Art– We walked around the backyard gathering natural materials to use for an art project.Upon returning inside we sorted the items; counting how many we found in each group. Then we created a graph to show our results. I asked the following questions… What do you have more of? The least of? Are there any that are equal? How many do we have altogether? Then we used our outdoor treasure and created abeautiful naturalist collage.
Cat’s Colors– My daughter checked the book Cat‘s Colors, by Airlie Anderson, out of the library the day before we went into isolation. When cat finds herself in the midst of a grey. dull day, she seeks to collect splotches of color among the dreariness. This charming, deceptively simple story about making the most of the world around us and giving something back in return, is an anthem for the challenges we are facing as a result of being quarantined. Living generously and finding splashes of color in a world otherwise filled with darkness, has been our family of three’s motto during this time of uncertainty.
Let‘s Go Fly a Kite– My daughter got a kite for her birthday and she has been begging to fly it. Since daddy is home this week he helped her assemble it and the dynamic duo made attempts to fly it in our backyard. They celebrated the fact that they got the kite into the air but it simply wasn’t windy enough to stay in the air for long. They talked about what makes the kite fly and how the string needs to be taunt to get the kite going. The scene reminded me of the time my dad and I took a bicycle ride to my elementary school where we attempted to fly a kite. I don’t recall if we had any success but I sure enjoyed the mini chocolate covered donuts we packed as a snack and spending quality time with my dad. Keep reading to find out what yummy snack my family of three enjoyed.
S’mores– After the sun set daddy (a proud Eagle Scout) built a fire for his girls so we could roast marshmallows and make yummy s’mores for a nighttime snack. While we munched on the sweet gooey goodness, we counted the stars in the sky, located Jupiter and enjoyed hearing stories about the giant campfire daddy built at Boy Scout Camp. I can’t think of a better way to end the day!
Today was Workout Wednesday. The children were asked to wear their favorite sports gear and my daughter dressed in a St. Louis Cardinals shirt. The absence of sports is simply bizarre, like a scene from the Twilight Zone. Although I’m not a huge sports fan, if the Cardinals are playing, the game would surely be on in our home. The non-existence of the announcers and cheering fans is unsettling. My husband is a loyal University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball fan and he rarely misses a game. The abrupt ending to their season, along with the cancelling of March Madness, leaves me heartbroken for college and high school athletes across our country.
Today was about something more than sports, it was about moving, building and playing. When children build and play together they experience teamwork and develop their social and early literacy skills.
Get Moving– My daughter and I enjoyed moving to the sounds of Koo Koo Kanga Roo. I wrote about this dynamic duo last month. CLICK HERE to learn more. We also enjoyed dancing to The Freeze. CLICK HERE to move along with Greg & Steve and CLICK HERE for another popular freeze game.
Constructing a Cat Condo– Although I had plans for us to play a movement game with dice and another game with bean bags, my daughter had other plans. She asked if she could use some of the recyclables laying around the house for a project. She wanted to construct a cat condo, or exercising station, for her cat stuffed animals. This construction occupied her attention all afternoon. Without any direction from me she proceeded to get a tape measure and used it to determine how long she needed to cut the piece of string for the feather toy. She used two lemonade containers as the foundation and taped a paper towel around one bottle to create a scratching post. The structure included a cat walk across the top along with an automatic feeder in the middle. I was a bit unsettled because we didn’t complete the suggested plans sent by her teacher. But her teacherreminded me that my daughter had done tremendous work!! She was using math, science and problem solving skills and gained a sense of accomplishment as a result!Today was another reminder that things don’t always go as planned and that is…OK! As our family of three navigates this time of uncertainty we need to continue to be open and flexible. For wondrous things can happen from the unexpected!
Today is Tasty Tuesday! This fun, food themed day is about more than cheese and crust! When we cook with our children we incorporate math, literacy skills and science, while teaching them about good nutrition.
Pizza– My daughter and I made pizza for lunch. She topped her pizza to look like a funny face complete with pepperoni eyes, ears, and mouth, and dressed with cheese hair. My little one doesn’t like cooked cheese so that’s why her pizza face only had a wee bit of cheese hair. In keeping with the pizza theme we read one of our favorite books,The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza written by Philemon Sturges. A modern twist the classic tale, this retelling has our mouth watering every time! CLICK HERE to read The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.
Jesus Feeds 5,000– We read the Bible story about Jesus feeding 5,000 men with just five loaves of bread and two fish. The story validates that God provides miracles when we trust in Him. CLICK HERE to watch an animated version of the story. After watching and discussing the story we traced my daughter’s hand and made a collage with Goldfish to remind us of God’s miracle.
I Can’t Eat the SOUP!– We really enjoyed watching the “soup opera,” I Can‘t Eat the Soup! by the extremely talented children’s performer, Jim Gill. A few summers ago we were lucky to see Jim Gill in concert at our local library. After watching several different versions on line, we enjoyed acting the “soup opera” out ourselves! CLICK HERE to watch the most recent version of I Can’t Eat the Soup! and CLICK HERE to watch one complete with a symphony orchestra!
Today begins “Week of the Young Child,” (WOYC) an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). WOYC was established in 1971 and through fun-filled activities it’s a way to focus attention on young children (birth-age 8), their teachers, families, and communities. The official WOYC was April 13-17, during Zion Lutheran School’s spring break, so my daughter’s school is celebrating this week with daily themes and dress up days.Today was Music Monday. When children sing, dance, and listen to music, they develop their language and earlyliteracy skills while being active and encouraging movement. My family of three enjoyed making music together!
Dance- My daughter takes dance class so she chose to dress up in her leotard. During the quarantine, her dance studio has been providing virtual dance class where the young dancers are taken on a trip around the world. Tonight they visited France.
Musical Books- We read a variety ofmusical books throughout our day. I have so many favorites it was difficult to pickwhich ones to read! We love Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss. This award winning musical counting book introduces young readers to different types of instruments and musical groups from solo, trio to octet! CLICK HERE to read Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin. The Music in Me was new to me but it was relatable as a little boy navigates his place in a family full of musicians. CLICK HERE to read The Music in Me. by Jane Pinczuk. Hey Diddle Diddle by Eve Bunting is a playful rhyming book with animals playing various instruments. CLICK HERE to read Hey Diddle Diddle. Olivia books are a staple in picture book libraries all over the world. Join Olivia as she forms a one person (pig) band in Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer. CLICK HERE to read Olivia Forms a Band. Tubby the Tuba by Paul Tripp is about a tuba who grows tired of playing accompaniment and wants to have a solo part in the orchestra! CLICK HERE to read Tubby the Tuba.
Making Music- My husband and I are both active musicians so our daughter has grown up attending our concerts and sitting in the balcony at church while mommy and daddy play their instruments. Today we let her play. With our help she played a few notes on the trumpet and on the clarinet. Our daughter has a basket full of percussion instruments that she pulls out and plays on a regular basis. The jury is still out on what band instrument she will play but for now percussion is her favorite!￼￼Make Your Own Instrument– Look around your house and make your own instruments out of recyclables. Make a shaker by filling something with rice, beans or rocks. Make a drum by decorating a plastic container or tub. Full glass bottles with various amounts of water, blow across the top and hear a note. How much water do you need in the bottle to make a low note or a high note? Have a parade and march around the house playing your new instruments!
Musical Vocabulary– We listened to various pieces of music and moved our bodies to match what we heard. We danced quickly when the tempo was presto and moved slowly when the tempo was largo. We danced on tip toes when the dynamic was piano and stomped our feet when the dynamic was forte!