Pokemon Week Day 1

Well, it more like Day 1 and Day 2.  This Momma lost a little of her motivation this week.  I have a feeling that we may try to make up for that…

During Superhero Week we were supposed to pain superhero banks.  We didn’t get to that activity and so I thought it would be a good idea to start off our week with Pokemon banks.  We had acrylic paints and Mason jars and once we settled on our Pokemon, we got to work.

Larger Blonde chose Talonflame (I think that’s who he settled on) and he is red and grey.  So, one half of his bank will be red and the other grey.  His red was coating pretty well although he was not terribly confident in his painting ability and so ask me to do touch ups when he was finished. We did get to his grey, and it will need another coat before we can begin painting the face.  I’m hoping they will be happy with the results.

Smallest decided on the only Pokemon he really knows – Pikachu.  To give his a little flair, I went with the gold.  This is where I learned a bit about paint glass.  You really should have glass paint.  Surely they make such a thing….  The gold went on but stayed fairly see through until I got about 5 coats on it.  Yep, I kept painting after Smallest went down for a nap.  I think his is finally ready for a face though.

We all took a trip to the library in the afternoon to get some books.  I was completely surprised to find that all but 2 of the Pokemon books had been checked out including the one movie they had.  Is someone else stealing my ideas?? Maybe we need to keep our trips to Saturdays….  Either way, it was pretty ironic that most were gone.  We did take the two that were there and enjoyed our walk in the sunshine.

Larger Blonde also started a Pokemon Drawing challenge that I found and I’m glad to see him expand on his drawing.  Usually he does the bare minimum when it comes to art so I’m glad to see him trying.

Day 2 for Pokemon week was a bit of a free day.  We are still waiting for our banks to be touched up and dry so hopefully on Day 5 we can finish them.  The boys played their leap pads and jumped in the trampoline.  It was a bit more tv than normal, but every now and again that is okay.  I’m going to try to modify some of our earlier games to fit with our Pokemon theme and I think we will be using the catapults and ping-pong balls.  Sounds like it could be fun right?

You can see what kind of Pokemon activities I had planned for here.  I’m hoping that I find my motivation soon…my not having any directly coincides with more disagreements from the boys and I would much rather encourage them to do activities together so they can learn how to play nicely with each other.

Lastly, since we did not earn our Self-Control badges last week, we are working on them again this week.  Things are going better so I am anticipating that we will be able to add those to our superhero capes at the end of the week.

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Ending Circus Week

I got a little busy with out activities and didn’t get things posted like I had planned to, so here is the ending of our circus week.

On Day 4, we were back to work and so had to do some quieter activities.  I noticed that in Larger Blonde’s classroom his teacher had a big stack of red solo cups and the kids always ran to play with them.  They built with them…all kinds of things. So, I thought it wold be fun to do at home and picked up some smaller cups and colored craft sticks to see what they could to with those.

They had some fun building, although the Small Blonde had more fun knocking things over.  We got our workbook pages done and did some coloring and then it was time to head home.  Once nap time was over, we finally had a chance to play a game that I had planned for earlier in the week.  We built catapults out of craft sticks and used paper plates as targets.  Our missiles were pompoms.

(please excuse the paper shreds on the floor…they were so excited to play I couldn’t get the vacuum out first so I had to wait until they were done).  I would have to say that this was the most fun activity we did this week.  At least in their eyes.  They could compete with each other and had an equal chance on who would score the most points.  Of course there were prizes.

On Day 5 we had more games to play.  Two of them did not work out so well.  The first one was the ring toss.  I had them color the rings on paper plates so that we knew whose rings belonged to who.  However, because the paper plates are thin, they did not sail like a frisbee.  I probably could go back and staple a couple of layers together and it might work better….we might have to try that another time.

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The Small Blonde had quite a bit of trouble with this game even without the plates sailing. The next game we did, I didn’t even take pictures of.  We tried to do a squirt gun race.  We went outside for this one.  I took two plastic cups and put holes in the bottom by the edge so yarn could run from the mouth of the cup through the hole at the bottom.   Then with each cup being on a different piece of yarn, I tied them to some things in the yard so they were about chest high to Larger Blonde.  You are supposed to squirt the water into the cup, hitting the bottom of the cup and causing it to travel down the length of the yarn. First one to the finish wins.

I’m not sure if I needed bigger cups, or if the yarn caused the hang up, or if the hold really needed to be in the corner of the bottom of the cup.  Either way, the boys couldn’t make them go.  I still think this has potential to be a fun game, but to modify things we are going to run nylon cord through a straw and tape the cup to the straw.  I’m hoping that will work out better.  I think we can try this again during space week and we can dress our cups like rocket ships.  Either way, it didn’t go well and we headed back inside to do something else.

I may have mentioned that our local library has cake pans available for check out.  If not, they do.  We checked out a clown face and we baked a cake.

We took turns stirring and getting it ready for the oven.  While we waited for it to bake and then cool, we tried another game.

You may know this as the fishbowl game.  You take wide mouth cups and put water in them and then toss ping-pong balls into the cups.  Since it was supposed to get super hot outside, this needed to be modified for an indoor game.  So, we simply took out the water.  We had smooth ping pong balls and golf ball type ping pong balls.  Each boy got one type and tried to toss theirs into the cups.

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The Small Blonde ended up being pretty good at it much to the chagrin of his older brother.  That being said, Older Blonde did not do a very good job of losing to his brother.  So, we had more talk about self-control and not letting our Hulks out.    In fact, this was a pretty bad week for not keeping our inner Hulk under control and so neither one earned their Self-Control Badge.  We are going to try again this week and see if we can’t tame that inner Hulk a little bit.

Once nap time was over, it was time to decorate our clown.  They had fun decorating, but I think they enjoyed eating it more.

I know it may not look all that tasty, but they each had a hand in mixing, backing, and decorating it.  We read a recipe and followed directions and planned out some colors.  Now it is time to return the pan to the library.

What do we have planned for this week?  Well, I got a little behind in my planning as we had some company this weekend so we are going with Pokemon Week!

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Day 2 and 3 of Circus Week!

This day went a little better than I had thought it would.  I thought the Older Blonde would be bored with these activities.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Of course they both had to wear their superhero capes.

First we started with making trains out of shapes so I could get a little bit of work done.  Here are all of our shapes.

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I made one as a sample to show them how things could work together.  I thought this might lead them to making other things out of their shapes, but Smallest quickly got bored with it so we moved on to the next activity fairly quickly.

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It was time for buttons!  I drew lines on the papers for them to follow with buttons (it was really more for Smallest so he could work on his small motor skills).

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Surprisingly, Older Blonde was having more fun with it.  The plus side is that it gave me more time to get some things done.

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After that we did some color pages and some workbook pages and headed home for nap time.  Before the night was over we did some target practice in preparation for a circus game the next day.

However, I did not anticipate that things would go sideways.  How?  Well, the Older one had chores that he should be doing.  In exchange for these chores he could earn money based on how much he did during the week.  This has not been going so well.  While the list is posted at his eye level and he sees it every day, Older Blonde has not been so motivated to take advantage of this opportunity.  This am he was up at 6.  He spent his time watching cartoons he didn’t like (his words) while he waited for me to get up.

I think we have talked it to death – the whole doing chores for money.  We even gave him a mulligan – that if he forfeited the paltry sum he had accumulated over 2 weeks AND worked hard at getting chores done this week he could have 2 new Skylanders (mainly because it was buy one get one for $1).  Today is Wednesday and he has done 1 of his chores.  Just one.  In spite of being reminded of the deal and the chores.  Part of me wonders if he’s not ready for this (he’s 7).  Part of me wonders if we didn’t handle things right (because we are far from perfect parents) with this chore/allowance thing.  Part of me wonders if he’s lazy or normal.  Honestly, we haven’t found a way to really motivate him.  I’m hoping we find something soon.  It’s starting to drive me a little nuts.  Not that he won’t do what we ask him to….I think we get the normal amount of eye rolling and heavy sighing for that.  It’s the initiative that seems to be non-existent.  Like completely non-existent.  This goes for practice and schoolwork as well.  I’m starting to think it’s becoming a never-ending battle.

Anyway, sideways.  We spent a lot of time talking about chores and responsibility and by the time that was over, well, I was feeling a bit discouraged and irritated.  So, it was a free play day today and that’s okay.  Tomorrow is another day.

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Day 1 of Circus Week

I know, two posts in one day!

Today is our first day of Circus Week!  I’m sure you are probably wondering how we decided on this theme and the only answer I have is something popped up in my Pinterest feed that looked fun and when I looked more, I found a whole bunch of fun things that we could do and so here we are!

We of course started our day with some workbook pages (and let Mom get caught up on the blog) and then we moved on to our first project – making tie-dyed shirts!

It was a little harder that I had thought it would be.  Mainly because our driveway is gravel and it was windy so the ground cover kept blowing up and rocks kept getting everywhere.  We decided to try to do a little Mickey Mouse on our shirts and a couple turned out.  Right now they are all in the wash for the final step.

So, here we are making our shirts!

Smallest was getting the shirt wet for me.   I did offer to put gloves on him so he could dye his own shirt, but he didn’t want to wear gloves.  No gloves, no dyeing.  That’s okay though.  He picked out colors while I did the coloring.  I didn’t do my homework ahead of time so I didn’t have any soda ash to soak them in first…in fact…I didn’t even wash them ahead of time <gasp!>.  Instead we just jumped right in.  Hopefully everything will turn out okay.  If not, we had fun doing it and we could always do it again.

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Here is  Older Blonde adding dye to one of our shirts.  I suppose I should stop calling him Small Blonde…it gets kind of confusing with Small and Smaller Blonde… Anyway, Older Blonde took time to make sure that each dye was lined up in a particular order.  He had fun choosing color order.

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Here the boys are doing their work today.

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Here is part of our finished work.

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Here are all of our shirts ready for sitting for the next 6 – 8 hours before rinsing.

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Honestly, this took a little longer than I had thought it would.  They seemed to have fun.  Once we were done, they wanted to enjoy the day outside some more and played on their swing set until it was time for lunch.  After lunch it was nap time and after nap it was more outside play time.  Hey, if nothing else it pays to be flexible.  Although I really should have gotten out the stuff for the squirt gun races….Ah well…there’s always tomorrow.

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Sorry for the delay – our last day of Superhero Week!

Friday was our last day for Superhero Week and I learned a lot!  Mostly that I over plan. That’s okay though – some of the things I didn’t get to can be used in other weeks with just a little re-imagining.  For example, we were supposed to make superhero mason jar banks.  We ended up not getting to them and so I think we will use them in our Pokemon week or maybe even space week instead.  All we need to do is paint them according to our theme.

On our last day of Superhero Week we finally got our logos designed and applied as well as our helpful badge for being helpful for the week.

This is CatFalcon.

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This is SuperP.

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We did our workbook pages and had some free play and jumping practice on the trampoline.  Then it was time for superhero bingo. This was a huge hit!  It was really good for the Smallest as he was learning how to match pictures and he caught on really quick.  We picked up some prizes at the dollar store (like coloring books, pinwheels, those little wash cloths that expand in water, and bubbles).  We even did a cover all at the end when Smallest started getting bored.  After Superhero Nap time, they wanted to play again even though there were no prizes involved.

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Small Blonde and his dad played a coding game as well and that went over really well and he has been asking to play over and over again.

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Our evening ended with a Boy Scouting Night at our local baseball park complete with fireworks.

On Saturday, our library had its kickoff for the summer reading program.  Since it was a beautiful day, we walked.  The boys wanted to wear their capes.

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There were hot dogs, and a bounce house, and some outside games.

Here is Giant Jenga.

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And a bean bag toss.

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No prizes, but it was still fun and of course we headed in to the library to check out some books.  It’s no fun if you don’t get any books.  We also have a great children’s room and they had a couple of games set up in there and the boys took advantage of those as well.

Overall, I think it was a good week.  The boys had a good time and are looking forward to our next week where we will be working on Self-Control and the theme will be Circus!  I learned that I am not cut out to be a teacher and that I do over plan things.  However, that is not all bad because then I have back up activities in case something doesn’t work out or they breeze through it and are looking for more.

The big thing was that there wasn’t as much fighting.  There was still some because they are brothers and are still learning lots of things about getting along, however they weren’t as frequent.  When it came to bingo they helped each other and had fun.

I am going to call this a successful week and I look forward to Circus week!

If you want a look at the things we did, here is a link to my Pinterest Board for Superhero Week.  There are some super talented and creative folks out there who share their ideas and I am very grateful that they do so otherwise it would be more difficult for me to pull together this kind of stuff.  I thank them all.

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And now for Superhero Wednesday!

Well, today went a little better than yesterday.  We had a bit of a sleep in which I think we all needed and after getting our workbook pages done, it was finally time to check on our snow globes.  If we were to do this project again, I would need to remember that we have to keep the lid in mind.  We could have filled the jar with more baby oil and left a smaller bubble at the top.

Here they are!  Captain America and Falcon in their snow globes.  See how we really could have filled them more?  I was worried more about how much displacement would occur with the superheroes going in but forgot to think bout how much would go into the lid.

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Of course they were still fun to shake!  And using oil instead of water means the glitter settles slower.  You can’t even see our heroes for all the glitter!

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We played with those for a while and then they had some superhero jumping practice  while I got things ready for the obstacle course.  I just grabbed some yarn from my stash and some packing tape and went to work.  If I were to do it again, I would take a little more time and space things out a little more.  Overall, it didn’t turn out too bad and I didn’t want it to be too easy.

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Next time I would also be sure to tape some down to the floor as the first thing they did was to crawl under the whole thing.

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I laughed and encouraged them to not just crawl under it, but to try to figure a way through it.  The Small Blonde took to the task immediately while the Smallest Blonde decided that he was perfectly content crawling underneath.

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It kept them busy until it was almost time for lunch.  Then we got our exercises in and again it was time for a Superhero nap.  Small Blonde had free time to use for reading today, although he really needed to spend some more time cleaning his room.  You see, he is missing the squares he needs to put his Perler beads on.  Even though he looked high and low yesterday (he says) he still wasn’t able to locate them.  I took a look myself and couldn’t seem to locate them either.  They have to be in there somewhere….I guess we will have to see what tomorrow brings.

They are still loving their superhero capes but we did have one little snafu with those.  Somehow we managed to misplace the one for Smallest Blonde so tonight we will be making him a replacement.  I thought we had looked everywhere, but I guess not since we haven’t found it.  Tonight I will make him a new one and we can get on with the business of making our logos and finish up earning our helpful badges.   Maybe even finally get our masks made.

One thing is for certain.  I have learned a lot this week and I consider it my practice run. I think both boys have had fun so far, but I had higher hopes for myself in terms of what we could accomplish.  That’s okay though.  It’s accomplishing what it needs to.  The boys are not squabbling as much and that makes the days easier for everyone.  On the plus side, they are working together on some things and that is fun to watch.  I think my ultimate goal of us getting to be closer as a family is something that is attainable.

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Superhero Day 2!

Today was a bit of a blah day.  I had bigger plans than what I had time for.  I think this week will mostly be an experiment that I can tweak for the rest of the weeks of summer.  At least I’m hoping.

Two days a week I do go to work and I take the boys with me (before you think that it would be impossible to keep and eye on them and actually do work, I have a partnership in a long arm quilting business so if it’s quiet it’s just me in the shop).  As long as things aren’t busy, it’s not so hard to keep them occupied.  When it is busy, it’s a little more difficult.  Today was not a busy day so we were able to do some things together.  For these days, I plan more paper/drawing/coloring activities that they can do on their own.  Today I had some word searches, plus their workbooks, and some coloring pages.  We did a bit of exercise to get our day started and then got into the workbooks.

I took some time to make superhero logo puzzles out of colored craft sticks.  I lined the sticks up and then put painters tape on the back so I could do my drawing and then removed the tape.  Here’s the back.

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Here are the fronts.  Please don’t laugh, I’m not the best artist….

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In case you were wondering, the orange is Captain America, the red is Superman, the purple is Hawkeye, the green is Green Lantern, the yellow is The Flash, and the blue is supposed to be Batman.  As I said, I am not the best artist….

I pulled them out first thing when we got to work thinking that the boys could work together.  Smallest could sort the colors while Small could put the pieces in order.  Things did not work out that way.  Smallest preferred to drive airplanes over them messing up the pieces and that drove Small crazy because he wanted them all laid out perfectly.  He did say they were hard and I was glad, because I was afraid that they would be too easy and that they would get bored with them.

They each got their workbook pages done and Smallest reached a hard page and partway through decided he had enough and closed the book and walked away.  That’s okay.  We all have good and bad days.

I had plans for them to make superhero masks and pick their superhero name and we could work on a logo for their capes, but Smallest could not find his cape this morning and was a bit distressed so I put those activities off until tomorrow.  Instead they colored and Small Blonde decided that he wanted to be CatBat with a Cb on his cape so we will get that done tomorrow.  I’m not sure what to name the Smallest Blonde.  But I will have to come up with something tomorrow.

Today wasn’t a total bust, but I think the older boy was expecting more fun and less work.  He ended up with a bit of a double whammy because I set aside quiet time for him to work with his Perler beads on some superhero patterns we printed out together.  However, he couldn’t find the squares on which do his partners.  I was a little surprised, because I thought he knew where they were although his room is a mess and so I wasn’t completely surprised.  Instead of work on his fun craft he spent his quiet time cleaning his room looking for his square peg boards.  Some days truly go better than others.

We ended the day on a high note with pizza and a Spiderman movie so that wasn’t too bad.    It feels like we got a little off track today, although I think I just over planned the day.  Tomorrow we should have time to do more fun things and then I’ll feel like we are back on track even though we haven’t really gotten off of it.

We are still working on being helpful and I hope to work on a helping hands project with the boys tomorrow.  Our snowglobes should be ready tomorrow morning as well.  I think the boys will be excited to see their results and that should launch us into a good start to tomorrow.

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