Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Almost Eight Months...

I will be 32 weeks pregnant on Friday! I went to the doctor today and all is well. What a relief after last week's scare with me almost passing out. I still have to drink lots and lots of fluids as well as eat every couple of hours (preferably protein rich foods), but I am not longer on the partial bedrest that I was on for the last week (which is the reason for only one post last week).

My blood pressure was back to normal today. The baby's heartbeat was nice and strong - 155bpm. The baby is breech right now, but my midwife said she should turn in the next couple of weeks. She said "All smart babies are breech at 32 weeks" haha. I know that's not the truth, she was just trying to make me feel better. I am measuring right on time and everything looks great. I go back again in two weeks for my next check up.

Pancake Numbers Game

We are starting to focus a little more on number recognition. So I made this pancake numbers game (the original poster made the game using sight words, but I thought it'd be great for numbers too!). It was suggested to me by another blogging mom that I work only with numbers 1-5 first and then add a couple at a time. This makes sense so I don't overwhelm Arin. So that's what we did with this game.

I cut circles out of tan cardstock. On one side, I wrote the numbers 1-5 and left the other side blank. I placed all of the "pancakes" face-down on the floor. Then, Arin took her spatula and flipped the pancakes. If she correctly identified the number, she was allowed to keep that pancake. If not, she would have to turn it back over and try again. She actually did really well with this game. She kept calling the 2 a 5, but other than that, she got them all right. She had so much fun with this game. She played it over and over while we were waiting on lunch to finish cooking.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beach Crafts & Games

We spent the weekend at the beach because one of Andy's brothers had his wedding there. It was fun, despite the on and off rain! On Sunday, we were actually able to take Arin to play on the beach. While Arin played in the sand with daddy, I collected shells for her. Then, Andy collected a bag of sand for us.
Today, we put our "treasures" to use. First, Arin and I washed, rinsed and dried the shells. We used several of the shells to make a matching game. I found that idea here. I had problems getting the stickers to adhere to the shells, so I had to glue them on.

This morning, I had dyed a lot of the sand, so our next project was to make colored, layered sand in a jar. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of this type of craft, but I thought it would be a good scooping and pouring activity for Arin and it did turn out prettier than I had expected. Arin had fun scooping the sand for a little while and then she got bored with that, so we poured the sand into cups and she poured those into the jar. This went quicker and she seemed happier with the results.

Next, we took some cardstock and made a random glue pattern on it. Then, I had Arin use her spoon to sprinkle colored sand on top of the glue. She once again got bored quickly with the spooning of the sand, so she just dumped it all on the paper. I really like this picture, so when it dries, I will frame it and add it to our gallery wall. On our art gallery wall, I have Arin's first crayon drawing, her first painting, her first dot marker picture and soon to be her first sand art picture.
When we were at the beach, Papa was talking to Arin about her numbers. She has been able to count to 20 for a while now, but I realized this weekend that she isn't so good at sight recognition of numbers. Papa was showing her playing cards and asked her what number was on them. At best, she only got them right about 50% of the time. So our focus for the next few weeks (or until she gets it) will be sight recognition of numbers. So for our final beach "game" today, I wrote numbers on the top corner of index cards. Then, I had Arin tell me what number was written on there - most of the time I had to help her. Then, she'd take the appropriate number of shells out of the bowl and place them on the index card. We had exactly enough shells to play 1-9 all at once. By the time we got to this activity, she had almost no attention span left, so I helped her quite a bit with this. It is fun to play together, but I want to see if this is something she can do on her own, so we'll play it again later or maybe tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thank You Cards

I have waited to make this post until I knew that everyone had received their thank you cards from Arin. I really like to have her involved in her thank you cards. Typically, she just colors on the inside of a card, but this time I thought we'd try something different. This is what we came up with.
The outside of the cards: I bought the picture holder cards from Target. I couldn't decide which picture of Arin I liked better, so I sent half of the cards with one picture and the other half with the other picture. Seeing the pictures side-by-side makes me realize that they really aren't too different from each other.

The inside of the card: Arin loves to make painted handprints and of course I love them too. So I painted her hands and she gave the card "high five". On the first hand print, I wrote "Thank You!" and on the second hand print, I wrote "I love my new (whatever the gift was)".

Unplug Your Kids: Cylinder

This week's Unplugged theme is cylinder. The only project that I came up with that we didn't do this week was to make a drum out of a cylinder shaped oatmeal container. We may still do that in the future, but not as part of this project.

The first project I had Arin do was to paint a cylinder shaped toilet paper roll. She loves to paint, so this was great for her. She's so particular about everything. It was really entertaining to watch her.

While we were waiting for the toilet paper roll to dry, we moved on to the next project. I had Arin "sew" a pasta necklace. We were in luck because we already had cylinder shaped pasta (rigatoni). I was planning on dying the pasta first, but we slept in this morning, so we just went with undyed, unpainted pasta. She still had a blast with this. She was disappointed that she wasn't able to eat the pasta like she could eat the Fruit Loops when we made the cereal necklace, but she wore the necklace until it was naptime.

Arin loves to color and we always have her crayons out so that she can color any time that she wants to, which is quite often. However, I am tired of her not picking up her crayons when she is finished with them. I am tired of finding them all over the place and stepping on them. Last week, I had bought some frozen juice concentrate. Some of the juices come in a plastic cylinder shaped container now, so I had the idea of making a crayon holder out of the container. This is something that I remember doing in kindergarten or first grade. I love that the containers are plastic now. Last week Arin had made three very nice paintings. I love all of her artwork, but it just isn't practical for me to keep everything. Instead of just tossing the paintings into the trash, I decided it would be nice to use them on this project. I cut one of the paintings into a strip that would fit the juice container. Then I cut circles out of the other two paintings. Then, Arin used her glue stick and put glue on the backs of the circles and stuck the circles where she wanted them on the long strip of paper.

When she was done gluing on the circles, I put glue on the back of the strip and started rolling the paper around the juice container. I let Arin finish this once it was started. After it had dried for a little bit, I covered the paper with clear contact paper, to help deter Arin from pulling the circles back off of the paper. So far, Arin has been carrying this cylinder shaped crayon container with her from room to room since it has been finished.

Once the toilet paper cylinder dried, we used it to play hide-and-seek. I would hide the cylinder and Arin would find it. I remember playing this game with my mom when I was about 5. She would hide a button or a penny and tell me if I was hot or cold when I was trying to find it. This was the first time that I had played the game with Arin. She would leave the room while I would hide the cylinder and then she would come back in, all excited, and find it. She loved this game!