Friday, August 30, 2013

PeeWees: The Tale of Peter Rabbit (week 2)

From PeeWee mom Julia...

So today we started with making bread. I'd picked a simple recipe with
6 ingredients so that each child could have 2 turns adding one. I did
it in my bread maker on dough cycle so they could add ingredients and
watch it knead without too much initial mess. 1.5 hours later we
rolled out the dough and put it in our pans, which they thoroughly

Then we built a long track with our alphabet letters. They remembered
trying to walk on it earlier in the year and did so again, with
greater success! Their coordination and balance have really improved.
Then we undid the track and re-did it with the letters in order.
Jackson is really good at finding the letters! Following this we sang
our alphabet song and pointed to the letters. This was not intuitive
for any of them but it got better.

 We then sat down for circle time, where we sang "Stand Up" and counted our letters (26!), they needed help with this but followed along really well. They were all familiar with these numbers. We read through Peter Rabbit and they all knew it realy well, especially that
he was a naughty bunny. :)

Next was snack time: bunny food first (carrots and cucumbers), followed by bunny crackers. They ate lots of bunny crackers! We went straight into art time, where they "planted" a garden on green paper.
They made little "plots" of glue and I passed out seeds to put on them. Your gardens have: broccoli, cucumber, squash, cantaloupe, pole beans, and purple beans. Then they each wrote their initial on the

Then it was time for an exciting game of "pin the tail on the rabbit." I'd drawn the back of a rabbit, blindfolded them and told them to stick it on the rabbit picture. They ended up needing to be pointed in the right direction because they weren't able to figure out where they were in the room by feeling (each of them thought the door or the bookshelf was the picture). Just shows how much they will learn about using their tactile sense over the next few years!

We then headed out to do our gross motor: jumping and balancing! They headed right back to the hopscotch and had a great time trying to actually jump onto one foot and then back to two feet. Each of them got the concept really well and worked hard on getting it "right." We also did plenty of balancing on one foot (stand on one food and count to 10! Then the other foot to 10!-- have them show you this) and just plain hopping on one foot. Then we tried to "walk a tightrope"-- staying on a crack on the driveway the whole time (I had a starting mark and an ending mark). None of them could go the whole way but in a few months I bet they all will be able to. During this time they discovered a dying worm inside the crack, which became much more interesting than anything I did or said ever after.


However, we did try "Jump the River"-- a two-footed jump over a crack-- which they all did really well. Then we tried "side-to-side" over cracks and although this was trickier they all eventually got it
much better than I'd anticipated, which was great. And finally I tied their legs together and had them jump up and down the sidewalk!

At this point we headed back inside to roll out our bread dough, sing our goodbye song, and play "find the carrot".  It was a great day!


PeeWees: The Tale of Peter Rabbit (week 1)

From PeeWee mom Julia...

We started outside in the garden. I knew it was going to be hot so I wanted to do as much as possible outside before it became unbearable.  But we ended up spending most of our time outside because they were so happy out there and Abigail was so happily asleep inside.

Our garden work came first. I had a big pile of new soil for them to dig in and fill their planting cups while I took each one one-at-a-time through the lettuce patch and had them help me cut. We came out with four good sized bags of lettuce that their families "needed." But let's be honest, cutting lettuce with me wasn't nearly as interesting as piling dirt with their friends. Once we had enough dirt in our cups and on ourselves, we planted our bean seeds. Each cup should have at least 2 seeds in it so hopefully at least one will germinate for you! Then we talked about how each plant needs three things: soil (dirt), water, and sunlight. So we had to water our plants after that. They should be able to tell you that their plants need sunlight and can't grow in the basement with no sun.

We gathered on the trampoline for circle time: counting seeds and reading the whole story of Peter Rabbit. We talked about whether he was a good bunny or a naughty bunny and then we had to go on a hunt for Peter Rabbit's missing clothing: his blue jacket and shoes. I'd "hidden" a blue jacket and a pair of shoes in the yard and they went looking. It didn't take long for them to find them!

Abigail was still asleep at this point so we stayed outside for some hopping bunny games, first on the sidewalk, then on the driveway with the hopscotch, and then on the trampoline. It was absolutely hilarious to watch them do their very best to hop on one foot. I taught them how to play hopscotch and their various efforts to only put one foot on the single boxes were really funny. I was really impressed, though, that some of them could do a hop or two on one foot!
Then we came in to clean up, have snack, and do art. Snack was carrots (of course) and the "meal" that Peter's siblings get to have the night that he only gets to go to bed: bread, milk, and blackberries.
Everyone but Jackson drank A LOT of milk. Poppy and Henry ate all the blackberries because Bodie and Jackson didn't want any-- I was shocked since I'm a huge berry fan myself.

Then we made bunny art. I had all the materials set out for each one and a q-tip with glue for them to do it pretty much themselves. I did add a bit of glue here and there to help things like the button stick
but other than that help they did them independently. they told me where to staple the ears and where the eyes were to go. I had a sample one for them to look at and the different variations were pretty


Abigail was STILL asleep (bless her!), so we headed back outside for a rousing game of "Bunny Says"-- think Simon Says. They didn't quite get it that they weren't supposed to do what I said if I didn't say "Bunny Says" so basically I was the leader for several turns and then they each had a turn being the "big bunny." I was pleased that, after a few tries, they started to think of commands that were different from the ones I'd done.

To finish off we did some bunny hopping on the trampoline, reviewed the book, and then had one more bathroom run and our final chant. It was a great day. More to come next week!

PeeWees: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (week 2)

From PeeWee mom Shaunel...

Today's vision was to travel through each of the things the King does in the bathtub. The Knight invites him to "get out" because "it's time to battle"--to which the king says, "Come in.... today we battle in the tub!"
The Queen invites him to lunch; the Duke invited him to fish; and the entire Court invites him to a masquerade ball. Each activity then occurs in the tub, until the Page pulls the plug. My Aunt also joined us (visiting from PA), and was fabulous to watch Allie when she woke up from her nap!

Open Play:  We started with a bubble battle outside. The goal was to pop everyone else's bubbles. Poppy was really the only one who cared--all the boys seemed to just want to blow as many bubbles as possible.

Activity 1:  We then headed inside to create mega-block forts around toy animals. Each kid got 5 animals to stand up (the animals could not be laying flat), and then they needed to protect them by building a mega-block wall. When everyone was ready we tried to knock down each other's forts with newspaper balls. Bodie and Poppy totally got this and had completely solid forts. It was hard to knock down Poppy's with our feet. Jackson and Henry seemed to be more focused on aesthetics. It was pretty fun to try and come up with ways for the Pee Wee's to "battle" without fighting.

Circle Time: During circle time we did the normals, abc's, counting fish, and reading the book. I am proud to say that 14 and 15 both came out of Jackson's mouth.

Snack:  We had cupcakes, pears and grapes today as we lunched. Jackson was thrilled to be able sing Happy Birthday to himself.

Activity 2:  We then listened to the sung version (via cassette tape) of King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, compliments of my aunt. The kids loved it.

Activity 3:  Next, we decorated fish and put a paper clip on them. I stuck the fish in a bucket in the tub and the kids took turns "fishing" with magnetic fishing poles. On the back of each fish I had written a little activity for the kids to do (10 jumps, sing twinkle, find and touch a rectangle, etc). It was a little crazy with all the super active activities in between. Henry was by far the best fisher.

Art:  We went down stairs to make masks. Good old water colors--well loved by the peewees.

We had a bathroom break, and then read our story and chanted goodbye. We ended with more bubbling outside.

Fun day!

PeeWees: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (week 1)

From PeeWee mom Shaunel...
We had a perfect weather day for our exciting water activities that were planned.
Synopsis: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub is about a King who will not get out of the bathtub. The duke, Knight, Queen and Court all try to convince him with the activities he could be doing throughout the day (battle, fishing, lunch,) only to have the king say, "Today with lunch in the tub!" etc.  The pictures are the best part.
Open Play: We started the day by discovering what sinks and floats in the tub. Super fun, the kids would have thrown things into the water all day long-- though maintaining some sort of dry clothes would not have occurred.
Circle Time:  We then went in for circle time and left our items to dry. After standup, we found letters on the cover of the book before making our bodies into bubbles as we sang the ABC's. We then counted bubbles (which was definitely difficult, but it meant we just kept re-counting). Henry and Bodie can successfully get through 14 and 15! Good work boys.
We then read the book. Jackson was so beside himself with excitement. Oh my, energy!
Snack:  During the book we identified some food they had while lunching in the tub. Cake and grapes. Easy enough, especially with a Poppy birthday to celebrate.
Activity 1:  We danced to "Splish Splash" as a energy release--and managed at least one head bump.

Activity 2:  We then made our crowns. The kids caught on, and were extremely enthusiastic about this part. I tried to warn Bodie about the difficulties of decorating a black crown, but he was insistent. He also was not interested in wearing it. So, we'll let him be the Duke :) The others seem to really enjoy the power of a crown.
Activity 3:  We then tried to act it out--but this was a bit of a failure. Just a little too much energy (thank you Jackson).  The kids did remember most of the lines, and enjoyed getting in and out of the bathtub. We'll revisit this next week.
Activity 4:  Outside we went to bring water from the bottom of the play set, up to King Bidgood's bathtub [aka, buzz lightyear in a bucket]. The Paige does this on the first page. We were trying to get enough water for the king to start floating. We got close, but had to take a bathroom run and started getting a bit distracted before he was completely comfortable.

We went back inside for a re-read, (which they were totally reciting the book by this point) and our goodbye song.

We ended with bubbles, but since I misplaced the bubbles from earlier I was short one, and all mayhem broke loose. Luckily we all survived, even Allie who was not missing out on this party!
Fun day. Definitely check out the "Woods" section at the library. They collaborated (husband and wife) on a number of books including "The Napping House," "The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear" and "Heckedy Peg." Love their stuff!
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