Jul 6 10
by cara
at 5:47 PM
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Finding Our Summer Rhythm

We’ve been simplifying our scheduling and to-do lists around here and enjoying  a summer of simple activities.  I don’t want to be on the go all day in an attempt to keep The Littlest Apple entertained, and I’m trying to cut back the amount of TV he’s watching.  I’m no longer referring to or creating rigid daily lesson plans for Tot School, just a loose framework of daily activities.  A routine.  A rhythm for our days that The Littlest Apple can look forward to.  We’re not (nor have we ever been) doing lapbooks, worksheets, and all of those super neat printables I keep seeing everywhere.  Although that suits my personality just fine, and I dream of The Littlest Apple and I sitting side by side at the kitchen table each doing our “work” for 30 minutes each day, it does NOT suit The Littlest Apple’s personality and learning style.   He needs to be MOVING and DOING.  So here’s a little glimpse into our daily rhythm

We’re spending at least an hour outside every morning before it gets too hot.  (Temperatures are in the 90s here.)  We walk around our neighborhood or go to one of the many nearby parks.  I’ve been encouraging The Littlest Apple to walk more and more on his own, instead of being carried or pushed in the stroller.  Because he is relatively light for his age, he gets carried (and expects to be carried) way more than most kids his age.   Since his energy level is still on the high side, our morning outings have helped him to focus better on other activities the rest of the morning.  There is a park within walking distance that has 37 baby ducklings!  We’ve even gone out in the rain, which makes for great puddle jumping and slug-hunting.  In the late afternoons, we often go outside again, spend time tending the garden, playing with the sand and water table, or splashing in the kiddie pool.

We spend time every day on art.  I rotate out the supplies available to him(markers, crayons, dot paints, tempera, watercolor, chalk, glue and collage supplies, etc).  Sometimes I have a definite project in mind (and incorporate additional supplies), sometimes I just let him create whatever he wants.  Last week we used markers to draw still life portraits of a vase full of sunflowers we had on our kitchen table, and painted an American flag.  The Littlest Apple also created some great art using his dot markers, and practiced with his safety scissors.

Building. We’ve got giant blocks, small blocks, and stacking towers, and we’ve been using them LOTS lately.  Making skyscrapers, castles, houses, towns, and bird nests.  Sometimes we count the blocks or sort by color, sometimes we use toy dump trucks and loaders to move the blocks around, sometimes we just build.  I let The Littlest Apple lead the way on these projects, using his imagination (which never fails to amaze me!).  Last week we also built roads with ramps and lined the blocks up like dominoes and knocked them down, over and over and over again.

Sensory activities like rock tubs, seasonal sensory bins (time for a new one!), playdough (sometimes store bought, sometimes homemade), pasta, lima beans, pom poms.  We use shovels, scoops, buckets, tongs to move, pour, and transfer stuff from place to place.

We read.  LOTS.  We read downstairs on the couch, we read upstairs in the playroom.  We read in tents made of blankets.  We read in mommy’s bed.  We read in The Littlest Apple’s rocking chair.  Sometimes we even read outside in the late afternoon.  Even though he never really sits STILL for stories (sitting still for anything is still a really big struggle), The Littlest Apple is staying interested in longer stories, and more stories at a time.  Our current favorite books include Mike Mulligan and More, Make Way for Ducklings and the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics, but we also make weekly trips to the library in search of new favorites.

Working in the kitchen.  Making ice cream.  Making popsicles.  Learning knife skills.  Washing and drying fruit.  Washing and drying dishes.  Making tortillas.  Baking bread and muffins.  Making butter.  And quite a few messes, too.

Real life activities. Both of us need to work on cleaning up our messes!  I’m trying to teach The Littlest Apple that when he makes a mess in the kitchen (like the one pictured above), then he is responsible for wiping down the counters and putting the dirty dishes in the sink.  He’s also been vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, mopping, sorting and putting away laundry, making beds.

Quality time with grandparents. We see both sets of grandparents at least once a week.  The Littlest Apple really looks forward to their time together.

And last but not least, CUDDLE TIME!  My favorite part of the day.  We spend at least 30 minutes a day just laying in bed cuddling and talking, tickling and kissing and hugging.  It can’t get any better than that!

I’m sharing this post with Tot School at 1+1+1=1

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  1. Cara, you are such an amazing mom! I am in awe.

  2. Great post! I love the pictures.

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  1. Life With A Spirited Child: Parenting Tactics for the Trait of INTENSITY | The Picky Apple

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