We started out reading our BFIAR book, Caps for Sale. The kids really enjoyed it, so we read it twice. We went outside in the backyard and walked around balancing plates on our head, pretending they were caps. We did Kumon Cut #4 - we worked on opening and closing scissors without taking our fingers out of the proper position. Eva was great, and Leighton is getting better every time we practice. He insists on holding them upside down, which makes it harder. Eva, after doing her "assignment" of cutting on the gray lines, cuts her scraps into miniscule squares, like confetti. We sang 5 Little Monkeys swinging in a tree. We did Kumon Uppercase Letters #7-8 and traced our alphabet tracing cards with dry erase makers. (Leighton now thinks everything he colors can be wiped off. A few days later, after coloring with a pen on paper, he yelled, "Wipe it, Mommy!" and couldn't understand why I couldn't wipe it off. :) ) Leighton drew straight lines all the way down his card for the first time, and Eva kept writing Ms and turning them into pants (flipping it upside down and drawing a line on the top). That morning we also took Andrew's parents to the Thunderbird museum on-base. The most educational thing that happened there (for the kids, anyway) was learning that Mom can ask them to stop jumping off benches and tell them to be quiet an infinite number of times. How's that for a math lesson?
We read Monkey and Me (Emily Gravett) and then Caps for Sale again - my other monkey library books were late coming in. We made a monkey mask - the kids colored it and then I put some string around their heads and cut eye holes. (Not in that order, though!) They thought they were pretty fancy wearing masks. They traced letter M on the cards again. (Well, Eva did. Leighton loves the letter H and insists on using that card.) Mammy and Pappy were with us that day, so we cut preschool a little short to spend time with them.
Marshmallow day! We read Marshmallow (Claire Turley Newberry) and The Marshmallow Incident (Judi Barrett), both of which were way too wordy and over the kids' heads. Marshmallow Kisses (Linda Crotta Brennan) was much better for them. We went outside and carried marshmallows on spoons in our mouths (like an egg race) and then came in to sort piles of big and little marshmallows. We glued mini-marshmallows on the letter M (Leighton picked them off and ate them, dried glue and all!) We did Kumon Sticker & Paste workbook - they are loving just putting stickers wherever they want - and then Eva did the M pages in one of her Costco workbooks. They ate WAY too many marshmallows that day, but it was all in the name of education. :) That afternoon we went to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay, which, coincidentally, also starts with letter M. Didn't plan it that way, but it worked out. Andrew refused my requests to buy a book on manatees from the gift shop. (Maybe I'm taking this letter of the week a little far...)
This was another great preschool day - actually, this whole week was terrific. Several months ago I bought a treasury of Laura Numeroff books that came with a CD. Though we have read the book a hundred times, we had never used the CD. I saw it when I opened the book and decided to give it a try. The kids LOVED it. I had the CD read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Take a Mouse to School to them, and we danced to the songs that went with the books. It was adorable, and now I'm going to find more books on CD for them, just to change it up a bit. We also read Mouse Paint (Ellen Stoll Walsh) and One Monkey too Many (Jackie French Koller) (one day too late!), which were both awesome books that I want to buy and add to our library. After reading, we did the M is for Mouse craft, which involved me gluing down capital Ms and the kids coloring all over them. I was too lazy to dig out the pipe cleaners and googly eyes, so we'll chalk it up to more art practice. Eva just ended up writing "mouse" a dozen or more times, and all of our names. We did M&M color sorting, which I thought was our best math manipulative ever. Counting AND eating chocolate. Can it get any better? I submit that it cannot! I was even surprised at how little M&Ms were consumed in the process...by the kids, that is. That night, we used those M&Ms to make cookies. I let them stand on chairs next to me by the mixer (which normally drives me crazy, so this was a big step for me) and dump things in. Despite the constant pleas to lick the spatula (which Eva calls "the dough") and the mess, it was fun.
We used the CD from the Mouse Cookie book once again to listen to a reading of If You Give a Moose a Muffin. We danced to the songs and acted out making muffins. We also read Moosetache (Margie Palatini). We did some alphabet workbook, too.
This was probably the best week yet - I feel like it keeps getting better. Maybe we're getting into a groove, or maybe my planning got better over time, but this is awesome. I don't know what we did all day before we did preschool. It has saved my sanity! And it's not a bad gig for the kids, either.
Coming up next: Letter C!