Thursday, September 24, 2009

1st Day of Music Class

I first want to apologize that this post has no pictures.....I know, how could a retired(hehe) portrait photographer not have taken any pix of the 1st day of Music????? Well the camera just didn't want to cooperate and when the house is full of little ones I just don't have the time to mess with technology. I could have grabbed my film camera (gasp) but then I would be posting this in a few weeks instead of tonight:) I do love my digital camera and when you have kids it's just something you need to have but there is still something about film that is more permanent and simple and trustworthy. But enough about that ........ you will just have to use your imaginations:)
Bella arrived all smiles and very excited. Ian and her play well together and started off the morning with puzzles and then moved onto blocks. Circle time had some great fingerplays about Autumn and the falling leaves. Harrison now smiles during the "hello" song when is name is sung....sweet. The kids waited patiently for the arrival of Ms. Amy and it was worth the wait. Amy and her son Eli brought with them a great collection of songs and for the 1st class I have to say it went well. Ian is an old pro at Music class since we went to Ms. Amy's class for a year, Everett just sat still and watched, Bella was a little hesitant to join in but as soon as the bucket of instruments was dumped out and we did our "free play" she quickly grabbed the triangle and enjoyed herself, Harrison became a little over stimualted during some of the clapping songs but again the instruments helped out and he enjoyed experimenting with the different instruments and sounds. I especially liked watching the kid's faces...I think they all enjoyed themselves. Music is so wonderful for children and I'm so happy that Ms. Amy will be visiting us every Thursday:) We said our goodbyes to Ms. Amy had our snack and headed out for a good romp through the forest. Today's adventure was to see who could find the bigggest stick, both Bella & Ian found sticks that were easily 4 times their size.....we ended that quest after I experienced a few near misses to my head with said sticks. We decided to be still and silent instead to hear what the woods was saying today...Bella heard the wind, Ian heard a chainsaw????
At Lunch we almost had a mutany because there were peas in the mac-n-cheese. My friend Nicole who creates the menus for me would of had a good chuckle watching little fingers digging peas out of their lunches. I made it up to them with pudding for dessert:) After naps and Nick's arrival off the bus we spent the rest of the day outside. We have to savor these beautiful Autumn days and the memories that we make during them.


Yellow the bracken,
Golden the sheaves,
Rosy the apples,
Crimson the leaves;
Mist on the hillside,
Clouds grey and white.
Autumn, good morning!
Summer, good night!

~ Florence Hoatson

Leaf Rubbing

On Wednesday's after putting Eeva-liisa on the bus it's just me and the boys; Ian, Everett and baby Harrison. I enjoy our time together very much. Ian is really getting into the fingerplays, stories and artisitic activities that make up the program. Sometimes I underestimate his ability to remember and recite the verses, he has surprised me many times over the past couple weeks when I over hear him teaching a verse or fingerplay to his sister. I'm a firm believer that the age of 3 is more difficult then the all so famous "terrible twos" but I'm also seeing that it is a year of big acheivements and wonderful little surprises. At least thats what I tell myself when Ian is having a meltdown:)......So while the younger two were napping Ian and I did some leaf rubbings and talked about the leaves and which tree we thought they came from. He thought it was "weird"(his word) that leaves have veins just like people do. Towards the end of our artisitic session Ian decided it would be cooler to build a house out of the beeswax crayons instead. He's such a boy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Handmade Treasures

In my kitchen there are 5 new hooks on a closet door and on those hooks there hangs 5 beautiful, colorful handmade aprons; a color for each day at The Nest.You see, young children have difficulty remembering Monday is baking day and Tuesday is painting day, etc. but they do understand that if I'm wearing the red apron when they arrive we are going to be painting today or if they help set the table with the green placemats we will be making a craft later in the afternoon.This is all part of the rhythm I strive to offer the children. The rhythm gives the children peace in knowing what to expect during the day, they feel more secure and are able to relax and play.
 Earlier this year I met the crafty lady who is credited for these wonderful handmade treasures that make The Nest feel more home-like. Her name is Maryann and she celebrated a birthday this week. I hope she had a wonderful day and I want her to know how much I appreciate her kindness and how I wish I had her talent for sewing.

Happy Belated Birthday Maryann!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Florio Family's 1st Day

Menu :
Breakfast ~ scrambled eggs
AM snack ~ fruit & graham crackers
Lunch ~ Annie's Mac-n-cheese w/ carrot sticks
PM snack ~ Veggies & yogurt dip

A cool morning with the feeling of Fall in the air. Eeva was off to school and the boys and I waited for our new friends to arrive. Bella arrived with sparkles & a smile. She made her self at home with some puzzles and we watched for the "baby". Bella was very excited when Harrison arrived:) With our morning friends present we began our day with Circle. Our theme this week is "Family". We learned a few fingerplays and I told the children the story of Naughty Little Gold Finger. Bella was a little hesitant to join in but after a few songs she made her way closer to the other children sitting in circle, and by snack time she seemed very comfortable. Ian & Bella colored pictures of their families and we talked about their siblings and what they liked to do as a family. After snack Ian & Bella were great helpers; Ian washed and Bella dried the dishes. The kitchen was clean so we headed outside for our morning nature walk. Uncle Pete has just made us a new path that I'm able to push the stroller down so now the young boys can enjoy the ride while the older ones take a romp in the forest. We head to elephant foot (a birch tree growing on top of a rock) where Ian has a favorite stick. We "look", "listen", "smell" & "feel". The wind was making the leaves and branches dance above us. We made our way to the front of the house to wait for the school bus. The bus was late again but thankfully Bella loves to push stollers...she rocked Harrison to sleep for me:) Matthew & Eeva-Liisa arrived and proclaimed their hunger so we headed inside for lunch and conversation. Matthew couldn't decide what to play with first, he settled down near the tree house and was later joined by everyone. Lunch was served and everyone ate well. Harrison enjoyed the conversation from his spot in the jumper. I looked for some help with the clean-up but my helpers couldn't resist the calling of toys & friends, maybe next week:) We assigned nap sack colors and settled in for some stories. Eeva pick Little Red Riding Hood, Matthew picked Three Pebbles and a Song and Ian picked Machines at Work. Bella was content with letting the others pick. It took everyone a little while to relax but they all did nap, which gave me a chance to make snack & pick up the kitchen. Harrison was the first to wake from nap time and he enjoyed his carrots & bottle while the rest of the crew slept.
After Harrison finished his carrots I let him play with his spoon, his hand coordination is really improving. He loves to gaze up at the windchime hanging above the highchair. My Memere past away this past June and the windchime was hers....I let the children ring it once and a while and we say that the beautiful sounds coming from the chimes is Memere blowing us kisses from heaven. Eeva, Ian, Everett & Harrison were 4 of her 7 great-grandchildren and she adored them. I never want them to forget who she was and how much she cared for them:)
Nick arrived off the bus at 3:30 and we had the chance to meet for the first time. He was very excited to see the toys that his brother & sister had told him so much about. The kids enjoyed showing him the way to the downstairs playroom where we hung out for a while and then it was time to head back outside. We took another Nature Walk and then played in the sandbox and on the playscape. It was a good day and my first time caring for 7 children at once.....I think I past the test :) There are a few things I would like to work on; transition times (moving from one activity to another), Ian's ability to share with others & including the babies in more of the hands-on activities. I hope the Florio's enjoyed their first day at The was a pleasure to have them join us:)
Take Care ~ Angela

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Providence Children's Museum

On Labor Day we took the kids to Providence Children's Museum. Both the kids & the adults had a great time. Outside in the "garden" area is this music making station made out of left over construction material, it is really cool. I told Derek & Pete that I wanted one in our yard.
Inside there is two floors of interesting exhibits; a construction area, a ship, a grocery store, a life size light-bright and of course everyone's favorite ....the water tables.We arrived just as they were opening the doors so we had the whole place to ourselves for a good portion of the morning and it was well worth all the running around & nagging that it took for us to arrive in Providence for 9am:)
Upstairs is an area just for children 4 and under with a cave, treehouse & slide, wooden bridge, make believe stream, puppets & books. Oh and a bouncer at the door! He asked how old Ian was and when I said 3 I received the look of doubt...the "there's no way that kid is any younger than 5 look" that we receive often(especially when a sign reads "3 and under are free") So the boys entered the secluded spot and had some fun while Eeva-Liisa had a "life's not fair moment" and pouted in the corner just outside the forbidden gates. Life is so hard at 5! A trip to the gift shop with Nanook and everything was right in the world again for little Ms. Eeva-Liisa.
Another exhibit that I really enjoyed was the "Play Power". It is a series of clear tubes that small balls and scarfs get sucked through and shot out at random places. It was created to celebrate the power of children's play and to show the museum's conviction that children's self-directed, free play is essential to their healthy development. I'm a huge believer in creative free play! It is truely the foundation for academic success. I picked up a few brochures and some handouts about the topic before we left the museum and I would just like to share some tibits from them.........
 What can you do to help your child play?
~Reduce screen time,
~lessen time spent in adult-organized activities,
~choose simple toys: a good toy is 10% toy and 90% child,
~encourage outdoor adventure: sticks, mud, water, rocks are all raw materials of play, and last but not least....
~bring back the art of real work: cooking, raking, cleaning, washing-all inspire children to play and imitate.
Here's a few websites that looked interesting too:
But my favorite quote was....
"What's the smartest thing a young child can do with a computer or TV?"
Play with the box it came in!
Take Care ~ Angela

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun with Walnuts & New Monkey Bars

How many things can you do with walnuts? Well today we put that question to the test....1st we tossed walnuts into a bowl(Ian has pretty good aim), then I hid the walnuts in the living room and we had a walnut hunt, we counted all the walnuts in the basket and then we spelt Ian's name out with walnuts (sorry Everett & Harrison...too many letters in your names and not enough nuts:)!)Uncle Pete came this afternoon and put up the new monkey bars(new to us anyway) Thanks Pepere for the find and Uncle Pete for the assembly. Eeva-Liisa has already mastered the bars..she was very proud of herself!We have about 20 blueberry bushes that we have planted over the last 3 years and today during our nature walk we discovered the last blueberry of the summer. After a careful process of elimination Ian decided he would be the one to eat it. He listed many reasons.....others didn't have teeth, spit blueberries on the floor from their high chairs, were not present due to conflicting schedules(aka school). He feels he made the right decision:)

 Another summer has past...I hope you have happy sunshine filled memories to carry you through the cold winter, I know I do! Take Care and Have a wonderful holiday weekend ~ Angela
P.S Thanks for your patience while reading my posts....I'm very new at this and can't seem to figure out how to line my text up with the picture it is about. I hoping to improve:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Harrison returns to The Nest

A gorgeous September day! During today's Circle we talked about squirrels; what they eat, where they live and what they look like. We read the book Nuts to You by Lois Elhert, learned a fingerplay about a squirrel who lives in a hollow tree and then we pretended we were squirrels. Ian hopped, climbed, ran,wiggled & munched all over the living room. Everett tried to mimic him as little brothers love to do & Harrison just laughed at the two of them. Ian enjoyed creating some tree bark rubbings but had the most fun looking for squirrels in the backyard and gathering acorns.
The younger boys spent most of the nature walk squeaking and squealing at one another. If it is true that they can understand each other.... it seemed to be a very exciting conversation:)
Happy the hair-do!

Hopefully Everett's other front tooth grows in soon...he's looking like a jack'o lantern with the one tooth on top, two on the bottom.

Ian's treasures for the Nature Table!

Harrison meets The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he especially liked chewing on the plum.

This afternoon we had a wonderful visit with a family who enrolled their 3 children. So next week we will be welcoming Nick, Matt & Bella to The Nest. I'm excited to share the program with more children.

Why is it that babies look so darn cute with food all over their faces???