It has been a busy week or two at our house. In amongst our other daily activities we had a little boy who turned four (!), the accompanying birthday party, an extended visit from grandma, and several big baby preparation projects completed. I've been taking pictures all along, but somehow at the end of the day, I've barely been able to download them from my camera, let alone do anything else with them. So, today is a catch up day. Here's what we've been up to for the past two weeks or so...
A birthday breakfast table...
Four seems so old doesn't it? It seems far closer to little kid than to baby, which is what I think has taken me most aback about this most recent birthday. I remember imagining what his voice might sound like before he could talk and now I find myself in deep discussion with this little person, about the most fascinating of things.
We've kept birthday celebrations pretty low-key in the past, but with the birth of a sibling just a short month away, we decided to do a bit of a bigger party, complete with friends, crafts, games, and a well-stocked snack table.
We invited two of Silas' friends to join us for a bit of a gnome-themed afternoon. The boys painted gnome houses,
Went on a scavenger hunt to find little peg gnomes,
And played "pin the hat on the gnome" (don't let Silas fool you with that perfect hat placement; we used an "eyes-closed" method rather than a blindfold and I suspect he may have peeked).
I was lucky to get one photo with the mama-made gnome hat on; he was far too excited to have it on (or be still!) for much more.
This month brought us our second time of celebrating Brigid's Day, which for us means rolling candles, spending all day making French Onion Soup, and celebrating the returning light in anticipation of spring.
We tried our hand at a Papier-mâché, making a globe. Silas was pretty adept at it, considering it was his first attempt. He totally "got" the process of dipping the strip of newspaper, rubbing his fingers along it to remove the excess, and then placing it on the balloon.
After a couple days of drying time, he painted the oceans.
After some more drying time, he painted the continents. I had hoped to use this in a Montessori-inspired Celebration of Life ceremony for his birthday. The timing worked out perfectly, as something similar was on our list of things to do that week for our Biome curriculum. We had limited success with the ceremony, although he did say that this was now his "celebration globe" and is excited to use it again next year.
The easel lives in our living room and is always stocked with paper, crayons, and pencils, but we rarely bring out the paint to use with it. This was our art exploration for the week. Standing up and painting is such a different experience than sitting up to the table; you can use your whole body and really make big movements. He enjoyed the experience and had a good time with the prompts that I offered him while he was painting.
"Can you make a mark that goes all the way from one side of the paper to the other side? How about all the way from the top to the bottom?"
"How far away can you stand from the easel and still make a mark?"
In this week's watercolor painting, we left more water on the surface of the paper to see how that affected the paint.
We've been braving the cold and spending at least a little bit of time outside on most days. Our first sledding of the season was a highlight.
"Air" was the theme in our biome curriculum and we made a collage of our planet with an atmosphere of fluffy, cotton ball air all around it.
I introduced our first grid game invitation: a piece of cardstock stamped with ten trees, a bowl of little cherries, and a die. Just like all of our other math games, it's entirely up to Silas to make up the rules of how to play. He initially rolled the die several times and each time placed that number of cherries on the first tree of the grid. The thing that I didn't anticipate, though, was that he didn't see each cherry marker (each is a pair of cherries) as "one," but rather as "two," counting each individual cherry. He lucked out for the first few rolls and got only even numbers, but as soon as he rolled a "one" he was frustrated that he couldn't break the cherry pairs apart to make "one." His solution was to abandon that game and to engage in some dramatic play. He gave all the trees cherry "roots" and arranged the cherries into the figure of a person. After a couple more rolls (to determine where his last two cherry pairs would go), he decided the game was over.
And here we are! What have you been up to these past weeks?