Friday, December 2, 2011

The Holiday Rush

So the holiday rush has begun in what my husband likes to call the "monkey cave." We have had a week of unexpected company due to another illness and death in the family, so we have been busy. We managed to squeeze in some activities though. We started by putting up and decorating our Christmas tree! Big Monkey actually helped me decorate this year. What fun. Look at the joy on both boys' faces when I turned on the Christmas train at the base of the tree - they have been waiting for this train all year. Yes, I have a hard mounted gate blocking off my tree. I just decided I didn't want to deal with the extra work it would take to keep the now walking Baby Monkey who loves to climb off the tree.

We started the Letter of the Week Curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler  as well as a farm theme since we visited an animal farm at the end of the week. We had great fun with A is for apple this week! We matched up some little and big letter As:

Put together an apple puzzle:

Drew spots on a cow:

Matched heads and tails of various animals. This was a hit and he wanted to leave them up in our table top pocket chart all week.

Sorted tractors by size:

Worked on some pre-writing skills. Big Monkey made me trace the lines with my color (black) while he traced with his. Whatever he wants. It was kind of fun.

Cutting practice on lines. Then we tried cutting out apples. Most of the apples got cut in half, but that's ok. He started cutting off the leaves in the end. Then we glued them to a tree.

We did do a dot pages twice, but had some problems. I LOVE the do-a-dot markers as Big Monkey can even open them himself and he loves them. I bought mine from Oriental Trading Company instead of Amazon, and I noticed this week that our orange and yellow are sort of moldy looking on the paint pad? Not sure what happened there.

Our second problem with the do-a-dots this week? Don't squeeze them too hard! I tried to get a little more paint on the pad by giving it a little squeeze. Well, it ended up all over our table and on my exersaucer! Good thing it was my garage sale find and not the one my friend is letting us borrow as the seat is now stained. Also a good thing it didn't end up on the carpet anywhere. Whew...

We did some apple patterns:

A farm maze, which Big Monkey was really good at!

And a new one for us - a lacing card. Big Monkey didn't quite understand going from hole to hole around the apple. He tried going straight across and gave up shortly after the lace got all knotted and tangled. We'll work on this concept.

He starting to get the hang of the "what's different" worksheets too, and actually got most of them correct.

The biggest hit of the week? The letter A poke page. I wasn't sure about this as it involved giving my almost 3 year old a giant push pin, but I went for it for the fine motor control. I explained the dangers of poking himself. I think Big Monkey tried out poking his hand once and gave up on that activity. He spent a good 15-20 minutes poking the pin into the letters. He poked all the way around each letter, signing the entire time. I think we'll do this one again!

There are a few more letter A activities that we ran out of time for this week, so we will try to squeeze them in next week if we have time!