L had to work New Year’s Eve this year, so mom decided to do some fun new years activities with Z.
We played with a multi-colored rice sensory bin with our clock puzzle in it. We watched the ball drop in New York City from last year (2020) and learned about how they design the glass for the crystal ball.
When L got of work we had a glow-in-the-dark dance party to kids music and lit off some fireworks. (We all went to bed way before midnight).
Z is adjusting well to “big boy” preschool. It is quite the routine and environment change .We have been reading books on how to accept change, be excited about preschool, and how to express our sadness and frustration. Even exciting changes can be hard. In car rides home I hear about: gym and playground time, playing with new toys, singing new songs, and snack activities. We are proud of him as he adjusts to new friends and expectations for learning.
Mom is also learning to adapt to the pick up and drop off routines. I am learning to check Z’s backpack for paperwork sharing expectations for that week. We are prepping items from home for sharing time and reading emergent readers, practicing songs/scripture verses and recording books he has read etc.
I am trying to connect home learning on Monday and Friday mornings with his classroom preschool activities Tuesday through Thursday. Fortunately, activities for this month aligned easily: snow, snowflakes, snowmen (all things snow) as well as animals of the arctic and how animals handle winter. Z enjoyed making a snowflake out of pretzels and marshmallows, a snowman out of a bagel, and a penguin hat at classroom preschool. He also shared about a snowball “fight” game during gym time.
At home we focused on snowflakes for the first few weeks. Our first sensory bin was a snowball and flake bin: with snowflake buttons, couscous, Styrofoam balls, and pom poms. (The snowflake buttons were great for water play too as the float). We made snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and beads, learned about how snowflakes form and why so many different shapes. Z decided to make a red snowflake for the window, practicing his scissor skills.
The next week we worked with snowmen. For our sensory bin we bought “Floof” and a snowman plastic kit that included buttons, hands, hats, and carrot noses. It was a hit! I made an activity board on the front living room window using contact paper. Z used cotton balls, rounds, qtips and pipe cleaners to make shapes and snowmen. For our craft we made a snowman snowglobe. It was a little complex but Z begged to do it after seeing it in his holiday highlights magazine. Fortunately G slept long enough that with mom’s help we pulled it off. We also enjoyed watching frosty the snowman this week (even though it’s a Christmas movie).
For our last week of the month, we focused on animals in winter. For our sensory bin I made “snow” with baking soda and conditioner and put in winter/arctic animals (don’t mind some are water animals). We watched videos about hibernation, adaptation, and migration for animals during the winter. Z read “the mitten” and “the snowy nap” and did activities and worksheets that connected to them. We also worked with our music puzzle, learning about categories of instruments and watched and listened to “peter and the wolf”. For craft we practiced our fine motor skills using yarn to weave a blue felt mitten and put all of the animals from “the mitten” inside.
A bonus: the last week of January was “spirit week”. Z wore his fireman’s outfit for “wear your favorite character” day pretending to be “big frank” or “Smokey” from his favorite firetruck books. The next for Wacky Wednesday he dressed in mismatched clothes and hat-including PJs that fit into the months preschool theme! For Throw-back Thursday we did what we could with his closet and went with “80’s” in a puffer vest, popped collar, and sunglasses to look “cool”.
I look forward to sharing more of Z’s awesome learning moments with you (and plan to backtrack ones we have not covered from the fall and winter soon).