We do want summer to be more laid back, however, so instead of structured time we decided on two things. First, we will do one "fun" activity every day. This activity can vary greatly. It can be a learning activity or not. It can mean going to the park or staying home and playing with sidewalk chalk. I have a calendar of the month and filled it in with all of our "obligations" such as Micah's gymnastics class and playdates we already have scheduled. Then, I fill in the rest of the days with an activity that I want to do. At the beginning of the week I look at what I have planned and make sure I have all the supplies. This has helped us already so much. It helps with the "I don't know what to do" that can often happen when staying home all day. Micah would be perfectly happy playing with his trains all day long, but he's always very excited to do whatever activity we have planned.
The second thing we decided was to do a literature based curriculum this summer called Before Five in a Row. I taught this curriculum when I worked at a daycare and fell in love with it. Basically, you read the same book five days in a row and then do an activity to go along with the book. The activity can be as in-depth or simple as you like. I love the wonderful literature that the curriculum introduces Micah to and he has really been enjoying reading the stories over and over again.
Last week we read Corduroy. This is such a cute book about a bear who is looking for a friend to take him home. After the first reading, Micah asked us several times to read it to him again, he loved it so much. Here are the activities we did with it:
By his request, we took out one of our quiet activities. He loves stuffing the pom poms into his bowl. To make it a little more challenging, I gave him some tongs to use. He is really getting good at using the tongs!
We had a rhyme that we said and then he got to color a picture of Corduroy. He was really interested in coloring at first, but that lasted about 10 seconds and Mommy ended up doing most of the coloring.
After Judah's morning nap, I took out some colored ice I had made the night before. Then, I filled some containers with shaving cream and one with water and let them go at it. Both boys loved this activity! Judah especially loved the smooth texture of the shaving cream. This kept them entertained for a good 30 minutes.
After Micah's gymnastics class we came home to find that Daddy had set up the little swimming pool and water table for the boys to play. Everyone was so happy for the warm weather! The best part was pouring water! Both boys thought it was hysterical when Micah dumped water on Judah. I have a feeling it won't be long before Judah fights back and learns how to dump water on his big brother!
I found some picture cards that went along with the story and printed them. Micah had a fun time trying to match the cards. This is the first time we've ever played any kind of memory game. At first he didn't get it, but he caught on pretty quick and loved getting a match! He's asked to play this several more time since then. We might have to buy him his first memory game!
Micah loves doing puzzles! Here he is putting together his Thomas puzzle. He can do the whole thing by himself. He got a new Toy Story puzzle last week. It's lenticular (when I was a kid I think we referred to them as holograms!) so a lot harder to put together, but he did pretty well.
One day, our baby sitter drew a hopscotch for Micah. Now, whenever he goes outside he hops on the sidewalk and shouts random numbers. He loves it! I decided to challenge that love and draw some shapes on the sidewalk. Micah loved jumping on the shapes and yelling out what they were. He didn't even need any instruction for me on what to do, he just did it. He knew all of the shapes without any help, too. I really wish we had a paved driveway so that we had more space for chalk--this is one of Micah's favorite activities.
The last thing we did was go for a walk. Of course, no walk is complete without a stick to carry. We had a storm earlier in the week so there were sticks all over our yard for him to pick up. We're still working on being careful with them so as not to poke our little brother, though!
Not all of the activities were geared towards Corduroy, but we had a lot of fun doing different things last week, and as a two-year-old he learns from everything we do! Stop by next week to find out what activities we do with our book this week.