As a teacher I’ve organized activities for my students to explore 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows. I decided to create this same activity for my children with Play-Doh, because they love to play with Play-Doh and toothpicks. Since they are younger than my students I made cards to help them build 2D and 3D shapes.
How To make, Build A Shape Cards
Index cards or card stock
Laminating machine or clear packing tape
Decide which 2D & 3D shapes you will draw.
Title each card with the shape name and type.
Draw a picture of the shape on the card.
Draw dots and lines to represent the amount of toothpicks and Play-Doh balls needed.
Laminate the cards. If you don’t have a laminating machine use clear packing tape to cover the cards.
Today we had a shorter day in comparison to yesterday. After convincing Sofia to get out of her princess nightgown, the kids got dressed and we did a little bit of light reading before going outside.
The rest of the day was mainly free play. The kids discovered the new Netflix show Story Bots and all they wanted to do was dance around to Story Bot songs. Since this is a wonderful educational show I let them enjoy it while I cleaned up the house.
Day three of our morning routine being in their bedroom and it is so much better than before Rafael gets to watch and participate some before taking his nap and the kids are very focused on their morning activities. Today Sofia wanted to play with the Plus Plus blocks and Francisco wanted to do a little bit of sorting after playing BANG! for about 5 minutes. Our sorting activity box hasn’t been used for very long time and I forgot about it, it’s in their shelf and he rediscovered it. I’ll be pulling it out more often because it also has pattern activities.
Since my mom is back I texted her early and we decided to go to the playground with the kids and then run some errands after. When we got to the playground it turns out that it was not the playground that Francisco wanted to go to and had an all out meltdown. But after about 10 minutes of watching Rafael and Sofia run around having a good time he decided he would start playing. While we were walking to the playground he kept saying “we’re going to the green jungle gym” and I was like “sure we’re going to the green jungle gym” not realizing that the jungle gym we were going to was not the green jungle gym so when we got there he became very upset that we were not at the jungle gym he thought we were going to. (I still have no idea what park he is talking about) I tried talking to him and explain to him that we were not going to the green jungle gym and that he should go and play but it was very hard for him to wrap his head around the fact that we were not where he thought we were going. It’s times like these where I just need to let him go through his moments and not worry about trying to convince him that it will be okay because he will eventually come to terms with the situation and be able to move forward.
After spending some time at the playground we went to the supermarket, the kids love going to the supermarket. The Supermarket is a great place to learn about healthy food, counting, organization, and cooperation. I always let them pick a food that they will carry home in their own bag. This food is rarely a dessert it’s normally something they will want to eat later for lunch or dinner. On this trip Sofia picked cream corn and Francisco picked pasta and they both carried their food home. Remember, even though your children are the smallest members of your family, they are capable of doing a lot. This
includes contributing to family responsibilities like carrying food home from the supermarket. They participate in eating it so they should help carry it.
After lunch and very long naps they had 30 minutes of free time and then we picked out a couple of books to read. Sofia picked If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and Francisco picked Creepy Carrots and an Elephant & Piggie book. He started to read the Elephant & Piggie book first and after that they pulled out all the Elephant & Piggie books. 30 minutes and a whole lot of fun later we had read 8 books, Mo Willems is a genius and my kids are always going to love reading because of his fun and hilarious books. It was a fun filled day, I’m exhausted.
Today I decided to do a couple of things differently. I had the kids wash up, get dressed and go into their their room to do their name writing and morning activity. I put Rafael in the crib and he was able to watch until it was time for him to go down for his nap. I was a little worried that this would cause some anxiety for Francisco since she’s such a stickler for routine, but he was fine with it. The reason I moved activities into the bedroom is because I feel that it will be a less distracting setting and it turned out that it was. I will continue to have our morning routine in the bedroom and see how it goes.
My mother and my sister are back from Florida they’ve been on vacation for a while so the kids are very excited to see them. After morning activities they played outside for a while, we had an alfresco lunch and Sofia was having such a good time she cried when she had to go inside to take her nap. After naps the kids continue to hang out with my mom so not much else happened in the afternoon. Maybe tomorrow will take a trip out to the Flushing Meadow Park since I’ll have additional hands.
Francisco drew a ten frame with chalk, he was very proud of himself
Target $1 section addition write and wipe cards.
Ten frame cards made with sentence strips from the Dollar Tree.
All you need is a ruler, sharpie, and clear packing tape if you don’t have a laminator.
Something to use as counters, I happen to find counting bears at a flea market for a $1. You can buy counting bears on Amazon or any education store. you can also use buttons, beans, coins, or any other small objects.
After a lovely and relaxing long weekend, it is not always easy getting back into our daily routine. They were doing a lot of complaining and resisting. I wanted at the very least get them back into our morning routine because I had company coming over today and we weren’t going to do much after lunch. My plan for today was name writing activity and then they would clean up their very messy room.
This mornings activity is a game of memory. Francisco keeps saying “this game is not good for me. I’m too busy to play.” He refused to play but he was not allowed to leave table, he had to watch me and Sofia play.
During the weekend I don’t stress the kids about cleaning up their room as much as I do during the week. This means on Sunday evening or Monday morning we need to clean their room. When I say we I mean I give instructions and they clean up. It has not always been easy to get my kids to clean, and sometimes we still have a bit of a struggle but like everything else its about consistency and patience.
There are several things you need to think about when cleaning with your kids:
Their age, you can start cleaning with your kids as early at 18 months. They understand basic directions and they can pick up toys and put them in baskets or a toy box. Of course you can’t expect them to clean up large amounts of toys, its about teaching them the habit of putting away toys after using them.
You need to have their toys organized in a simple way so it is easy for them to clean up.
Be consistent, always make them clean up after playing with a toy or at a certain time of the day.
When my oldest son was 3 we went through a time when he had a full on temper tantrum every time we had to clean up. He would cry and lay on the floor and refuse to clean. I knew if I gave in and just did it myself he would always throw and tantrum when it was time to clean, so I was patient and I would calmly help him clean. He wouldn’t be allowed to do anything else until he cleaned up. (I never bribed him, you shouldn’t give them rewards for tasks that are everything responsibilities) I would sit with him and hand him toys and ask him to place them in the bins. Sometimes it would take 5 minutes to clean up 15 blocks, sometimes it would take a half hour. After about a week of never, and I mean never backing down the tantrums stopped. Again its about consistency and patience, if you fight the hard fight from the very beginning and stick with it you will see progress.
Monday Morning Clean Up:
These days when its time to clean up their room I start by sweeping all their toys that are on the floor to the center of the room. I put on some upbeat music and we dance little. Then I have a seat and I start giving them instructions. It can be overwhelming for young kids to clean up a lot of toys, and just telling them to clean up is not enough. I give them small tasks and clear instructions. This weekend they played a lot with their new table top stove, there were kitchen toys and play food everywhere. The first thing I had them do was pick up all the play food and place them in a basket, then they picked up all the kitchen toys and put them in the crate. Of course they got side track a couple of times but I reminded them of their tasks and they got it done. Yes it would have been much faster to clean up their room for them but I am not their maid and at ages 3 & 5 they need to have responsibilities around the house.
When thinking about this week ( yesterday I typed up and printed out a schedule) I didn’t think that my biggest challenge today would be motivating myself to stay on track with our schedule. I am about to over share and go on a rant, so if you would like to just skip this part continue after the pictures. Today is the first day of my period, but it didn’t effect me until around 11:00. Ever since I had Rafael my period has changed, now I get serious PMS and feel so physically tired that I sometimes wake up feeling hungover. While making lunch for the kids I was just so tired, and then all of a sudden my back was on fire, then my legs started to feel sore. After putting the kids down for their naps, all I wanted to do was nap. Part of me wanted to just forget about the afternoon plans, but I didn’t want to do that.
Now, this morning I realized that I needed to go to the supermarket, after breakfast, name writing and butterfly counting we went out. The supermarket is around 7 blocks away and I was pushing a stroller with Rafael (25lbs) and Sofia on a stroller board (35lbs) in 80 degrees. After the supermarket there was at least 10 more pounds hanging from the stroller. I decided to take the kids to the playground since we were out, Francisco wanted to go home but Sofia and Rafa started crying when it was time to leave. We went home a different way and one of the blocks we went down was a bit uphill. I think all of this contributed to how exhusted I was on this first day of my evil evil period. I’m done with my rant…Read on.
Sofia and Rafa slept until around 2:30 and I let the kids watch Umizumi until 3:00, its educational so is counts..lol While they were relaxing I pulled out table toys and let them know that after their show was done we would transition to the table for table toys.
I turned off the TV put on music and while Sofia was excited about table toys Francisco immediately said “I don’t want to do table toys and went to his room. After explaining to him that it was table toy time and he had no choice, he decided that he would play with his Lego’s. I set Rafa up in his highchair with some Mega Blocks and Sofia played with pattern blocks and the hexagons. The rest of the afternoon went really well, after cleaning up they had free play in their room. They took out their magnet puzzles and started checking for metal objects all around the house. I love when they start exploring on their own, they were so excited every time they found something that was metal. Tomorrow I am surprising them with an ice toy excavation activity.
Me: “Why does the magnet stick to the can?” Francisco: “Because it’s metal!!”