Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Work and Eat

Little Guy is 3 years and 0 months old
The Little guy loves doing transfer activities.  The little bowl with spoon set is perfect for him to practice with.  Last week at snack time he served up the snack for us.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Playing in the Kitchen

Little Guy is 3 years and 0 months old
Little Lady is 2 months and 3 weeks old
I am hesitant to say that these two play together so perhaps it could be called parallel play?
While I was making lunch today I had the company of my two little ones on the kitchen floor.  The Little Guy wanted to give his dog a bath and the Little Lady just wanted to be where the action was.  I have to admit that having them both within my site made it much easier to get the cooking done!  Our old house had a kitchen/dining/living room which made family life a bit easier.  In this place the kitchen/dining is across a hall from the living room/play space so I feel a bit disconnected at times while working in the kitchen.

At one point I heard the Little Guy praying and I turned to see this...
He was thanking God for his little sister and telling the Lord how wonderful she is.  He then proceeded to pray for the various great-grandparents in the hospital.  It was so cute! And a great reminder that even at 3 years old kids can have faith.  They are never to young to learn to worship, praise and pray!

Seriously though, when was the last time you got on your knees in the middle of the kitchen to thank the Lord for something?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nature Detectives Site

I was reading another blog this week and one of the activities mentioned came from this site: http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/download/autumn/

It is a AWESOME site!  If you haven't bookmared it yet I would highly suggest you do!

There are so many great ideas for activities and wonderful resources.  I guess I should buy more paper for the printer so I can put together a few things as the leaves start the change solors and temps cool off enough for trips to the park!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Little Guy is 3 years 0 months old
Little Lady is 2 months 2 weeks old
My lesson this week has been one of patience.  Being a parent sure takes a lot of it!
The Little Guy wants so much to be independent and gets so very frustrated when he can't do something by himself.  Today the challenge was clothing.  We had a fit in the genkan this morning over putting on socks, a time out at nap time for not taking off his shorts to use the toilet and in the evening there was finally success when he was able to change to the shirt he wanted, all by himself.
Last week matching things was his "I want to do it myself" topic of choice.  With the U-Play mat we set out V-Z, 1-5 and 5 categories of subject cards to be sorted and matched.  After a short time Little Guy decided he'd rather be the teacher and I should be the student who does the matching.  He's a very hands-on teacher though, taking the cards from me to show me how to match things correctly.  Guess I wasn't fast enough for him!

The other tester of my patience is still too cute to intentionally test my patience... but I still caught myself wanting to do things for/with her when she should be given the chance to try on her own.
The intentional use of her hands is her current skill of choice to practice.  Last week it was trying to roll to her side.  There are times when I want to just put something in her hands for her because I can see she is struggling to grab... but usually I will stop myself and let her do the reaching.  At supper last night she touched the bowl, chopsticks, napkin, my shirt and even made a go for her brother's hair.  Earlier in the day she had grabbed a lego that we set on her tummy and the rattle that we held in front of her.
It is fun to see the day-to-day progress but it is equally hard to see the frustration when the hands don't move as intended!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Marble Tower

Ok, so I have no idea what this toy would be called in English so I made up a name that seems to fit.  I'm calling it the marble tower because you build a tower to let the marbles go through. The Japanese name is くみくみスロープ from Kumon.  In general I'm not a fan of plastic toys but I make an exception when the wooden counterpart is over $200 and this set is about $30.
Yes, there are small pieces so you have to count your marbles (catch the pun?) and make sure they are all accounted for.  I think four at a time is enough for normal play.
For the Little Guy's birthday we wanted to find something he would enjoy for hours, not minutes.  When looking around online we came across this marble tower.  I remember having one as a kid and loving it.  It wasn't nearly as fancy as this one but it was just as much fun!
The most difficult thing about this toy is sitting back and letting the kids play.  It is so tempting to take over!  After bedtime I have my fun and leave a newly arranged tower to be "tested" in the morning.  The only thing I can think of that would make it better would be getting a 2nd set for Christmas!  

Monday, October 4, 2010


There isn't much in the way of activities for a 2 month old to do. This is one thing though that our baby seems to enjoy.  When placed under a mobile she coos and smiles.  Mr. Big Brother says she's talking to the hanging critters.  Could be!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tokyo / Japan Books

For the past month or so the Little Guy has been napping in a room where I keep our *extra* books. In his efforts to avoid sleep he has been exploring the bookshelves. These 4 books surfaced so we read one at naptime each day.
All of them explore various aspects of life in Japan or Tokyo from a child's view point.  There is much an adult can also learn by looking through a child's eyes.  I think part of whey these books are so popular in our home is that the situations fatured cover topics from our daily life.

Here they are:
I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi

Tokyo Friends by Betty Reynolds

The Way We Do It In Japan by Geneva Cobb Iijima

How My Parents Learned To Eat by Ina R. Friedman