Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Creative Side

So we've been exercising our creativity these past two weeks. Well, ok, week and a half. After the last post, Big Monkey started having tooth pain. After several days of pain, we found out that the tooth he had chipped a few weeks prior was dead and infected. So out the tooth came and the tooth fairy paid us a visit a few years early. So Big Monkey had a little lesson in money. He got 4 quarters for his tooth (he went through a LOT to get that tooth out, so it was probably actually worth a whole lot more). He spent the time putting them in and out of his monkey piggy bank until he broke the bank (literally). While doing this he learned to identify a quarter, a nickle, and a penny because that was what was in his bank. Not sure if he retained this information (other than knowing which one a quarter is) as we haven't revisited it. Maybe next week we will need to learn a little about money again.

Anyway, so we started the week by practicing our sharing skills. We've been reading a lot of The Berenstain bear's Learn to Share book this week along with The Berenstain bears Forget their Manners book. Two very good skills for the Big Monkey to keep on top of! So here is Big Monkey giving Baby Monkey a ride on Baby Monkey's fire truck. They came up with this all on their own one evening.

We've also had some heavy use of the playdoh this week. They played on the kitchen tile one morning for about an hour maybe (and I recommend keeping this commercial playdoh off the carpet as it does stick to the carpet when it dries). I've made my own playdoh in the past, but we have a ton that came with all the playdoh cutters and other goodies we got for Big Monkey last year before Baby Monkey was born.

Baby Monkey has quickly learned that Playdoh is not for eating. He's tried though, believe me. That and he tried to eat a plastic glitter ornament out of the sensory bin this week (yes, we're still using the Christmas sensory bin in February). That was a mess to clean up! He didn't seem to like the taste, but I caught him trying to eat another one today.

Oh and black playdoh is horrible. Any other color is so much better. Black turns the fingers and fingernails black. Blah...

Then we tested out some nuts, bolts, and washers! The boys really adored this activity. It only lasted about 20 minutes, but 20 minutes for my boys is really good! That means it captured their attention. I raided Daddy Monkey's tools and found bolts of various sizes and washers of various sizes that would fit onto the various bolts. Then I found nuts that they could screw onto the bolts. Big Monkey thought playing with Daddy's tools was great!

Baby Monkey got his own set too. No nuts as I wanted to unload the dishwasher and was afraid he would try to eat them when my back was turned. He loved taking the washers off the bolts and trying to put them back on. The hardest part for him was trying to pick up the washers off the tray when they were flat. Then when he got tired of putting them together, he started tossing them on the floor one by one to hear the noise they made against the tile.

Big Monkey has taken new interest into drawing again this week. He drew me a butterfly and told me "look mommy, there is a caterpillar, 2 wings, and butterfly legs." It really did look like a butterfly. I should have taken a photo of that, but it was right as we were getting ready to head off to bed.

We've been trying out some new afternoon snack ideas as I've noticed that Baby Monkey has more meltdowns when he doesn't have a good snack around 3pm. We eat dinner fairly early around here, but the solid snack really seems to help. This week's favorite for all of us (including mommy) - ritz crackers topped with soynut butter (we are a peanut free home, but if you are not, then peanut butter) and ants (raisins). Big Monkey put his own ants on his crackers, which I think made it all the more fun for him. I made him count his raisins too (never miss a chance to teach them something, right?). Notice the lack of a front tooth in this photo. :)

And because Baby Monkey is so cute (to me), here he is wearing his little bear hat this morning. He decided today was a good day to run around in a beanie (despite it not actually being cold at all).

Hope everyone had a happy valentine's day (we did not do anything special here except have a little chocolate) and have a safe and happy President's Day weekend! Next week, we celebrate Mama Monkey's Birthday! Big Monkey has been making me sand cakes all week long and singing happy birthday already. It's cute.

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