Saturday, January 28, 2012

Curious George

So this past week we did some Curious George stuff! We've really backed off on a lot of the "structured" curriculum as Big Monkey is just not in to a lot of it right now. We can try again next year. I mean, he did just turn 3. Some Montessori style learning is what is best for him at this age anyway! So we chat a lot, play, work on our fine and gross motor skills, and just explore the world. When he asks to do "school" then we pull out the themed stuff I have for the week and try a few things. He does still really love to trace on some days!

So recently, Big Monkey has started being able to put these 20 or so piece puzzles together with only minimal help. We have this Toy Story 3 one, a Cars2, and a Mickey Mouse puzzle. He does all three each time we sit down to do them.

I tried to put our chalkboard top school table in the breakfast nook/family room area so that the boys could use it for coloring, reading, activities, and other things anytime they wanted. I also thought it would be a good place for Big Monkey to do school so that Baby Monkey could have more space to play. Well, Baby Monkey still hovers and wants to be in the middle of everything we do. His idea is destruction. I'm trying to get him involved in his own activities, but it is really hard to help them both with their activity at the same time. As soon as I stop helping Baby Monkey to help Big Monkey, well, Baby Monkey takes that as his cue to move over to his brothers work and destroy it. Oye...

Anyway, the table didn't last more than 2 days. The poor little bench chairs got put back after the first hour as Baby Monkey was standing on them and falling off and using him to climb on top of the table. I turned around to get Big Monkey a pen one time and when I turned back, Baby Monkey was standing on top of the table!!! It took Baby Monkey exactly 1 day to figure out how to crawl on top of the table without the chairs. So back in my office the table went for another few months. We'll try again this summer.

This week we did some people vs. animals sorting. Big Monkey knows what a person is and what an animal is. Curious George is the only one he didn't know what to do with. He said he was not a person, but initially he didn't think Curious George was an animal either. We had to connect that Curious George is a monkey and he knew that a monkey is an animal. I don't blame him, that monkey seems way more like a human in the stories.

We also did some D is for dinosaur this week. One thing Big Monkey liked were these little puzzles that I cut up for him. Baby Monkey just wanted to steal the pieces and shove them into that crack you see in the table (it's where the butcher paper feeds through so we can cover the table for art). Big Monkey eventually thought this was more fun than putting the puzzle together too.

We tried some what is different again. He got some of them as long as it was obvious. A scarf that was exactly the same as the others but just a different color was NOT enough, but the fact that one of the George's was missing an eye was.

Some on, above, under, and next to associations. He placed the hat in where the man with the yellow hat said to.

Tracing lines and letters. He really liked these dino letters. He'd trace the letters and then color in all the white dinosaurs because "they didn't have any color." He makes everything orange and uses the orange marker almost every time. I think his favorite color is orange. Guess that means he really likes my car then (it's orange).

We pulled out some motor skills toys this week too. Baby Monkey got a Melissa and Doug lacing blocks set for Christmas, and both boys love it. We have some other lacing blocks, but this is nice as it has different shapes, patterns, and even numbers on some of them. Big Monkey would lace a few blocks on and then carry it around saying he was "fishing." For what, I'm not sure... 

Baby Monkey also got these neat door lock puzzle for Christmas (yes, Baby Monkey got a lot of school supplies for Christmas). Both boys really like it and I find Big Monkey not only practicing with the locks, but also counting the animals behind the doors and telling Baby Monkey what they are. 

You can also see our block clock and wedgets in the background. The wedgets are a lot of fun for me. We also have an animal block train that is a lot of fun, but that will have to be another week. 

The last formal activity we did was finding the letter M and marking it with a do-a-dot marker (we did lots of other stuff, but didn't take photos). Big Monkey did great finding all the letter Ms, but was very concerned about why he couldn't also put dots on the rest of the letters too. 

Next time will be E is for elephant and zoo animals!

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