Gracie girl amazes me with her love and knowledge of geography. She can locate nearly all fifty states on a map of the United States and she knows many of the state capitals as well. Grace loves to look at maps and she has recently been enjoying studying our large Atlas of the World book.
In the picture above Grace enjoyed looking at a map of Europe and locating European countries.
Sweet Jack-a-roo loves, loves, loves, loves to be outside. It doesn't matter if it is warm and sunny or raining "cats and dogs!" It has been raining here for the past two days and Jack was so happy just to be outside playing in the rain and splashing in the puddles. Jack is always extra happy to have a stick in hand too!
Gracie girl LOVED making this planet Earth banner. Grace first added a little water to blue and green food coloring. She used droppers to add the colors to coffee filters. Once the filters dried I cut them out into the shape of a circle and taped them onto a piece of brown yarn to make a banner. Grace has always loved experimenting with water, colors and droppers so this was the perfect project for her. Grace ended up coloring so many filters that the Earth Day banner stretches from one end of our living room to the other. It is so long that I couldn't capture all of it in a picture! Grace was so excited when she woke up on Earth Day morning to see her banner! Jack loves the Earth Day banner too. He was dancing all around our living room floor while saying, "er-kuls!" (circles) when he first saw it. This project opened the discussion to talk about how fragile our Earth is and how we can help preserve it. Thank you, Grace for all of your hard work and for making these beautiful banner for all of us to enjoy!!!
I love how Grace and Jack's Earth paintings turned out. We talked about how the Earth is made up of land and water. Grace showed Jack how green represents land on a map and globe and how blue represents water. Grace and Jack then painted the Earth onto paper plates. They first painted water using blue paint and then sprinkled on blue glitter (Grace's favorite part!). Once the blue paint dried they painted on green land around the water.
Earth Day - it was such a special day for us. We did lots of talking about what we can do to help make our world a greener place. Grace and Jack also created two very special Earth Day projects earlier this week. I'll share pictures of those projects tomorrow but for today here are a few pictures of how we spent most of our Earth Day ~ outside enjoying and really appreciating how very beautiful our world is.
Grace made seed sprout necklaces in honor of Earth Day today. Grace gently wrapped three bean seeds in damp paper towels. She placed the wrapped seeds inside small plastic bags, punched a small hole with a hole puncher and added yarn. Grace made these necklaces last year and they sprouted inside of the bags within a few days. Grace and Jack both loved wearing their seed sprout necklaces today. Here is Jack outside today wearing his seed necklace that Grace made for him. Jack loves being outside and he always finds great joy in searching for rocks, finding long sticks to use to draw in the dirt, locating new buds on tree branches, listening to the birds, and picking flowers.
Every year Bob attends an annual board retreat with his credit union. This year the retreat is in Orlando, Florida. Grace will be coming with us this year and she couldn't be any more excited! Grace is counting down the days until her very first time flying in an airplane and her very first trip down south! Grace made a paper chain today to serve as a visual representation so she can see just how many days are left until the big trip. Each link of the chain represents one day for a total of twenty-four links (we leave for Florida on May 15). Every morning when Grace wakes up she will take one link off of the chain. Over the next few weeks the chain will get shorter and shorter until there is only one link left the day before we leave! Grace cut out all of the paper links herself and taped them together in a purple/yellow color pattern. Grace chose to hang her paper countdown chain from her bedroom ceiling.
We were all so happy to have Memere visit us over the weekend! Grace and Jack loved their time with Memere. They shared so many fun times together ~ walks outside, dancing, singing, playing, reading, going to Pineland Farms to introduce Memere to the cows and horses, and shopping trips to Portland. Before Memere left for Massachusetts on Monday she attended Grace's tap and ballet class for the first time. Grace was very excited to show Memere her upcoming recital dance. Jack also enjoyed dancing for Memere and he put on his own dance show for her! Thank you, Memere, for such a wonderful visit. We loved our time with you!
It is my dear and sweet Mom's birthday today. I feel so much pride and happiness to have her as my Mom and to have her as Grace and Jack's Maddy! We all love you so very much and wish you the happiest of birthdays. We wish we were there to celebrate this most special day with you. Thank you for all that you do for our family. You are the best!
Lots & lots & lots more love to you ~ Rebecca, Bob, Grace & Jack
Grace loves to read and she is such a great reader. She is now reading hundreds of words. I thought it would be fun for Grace to make "word eggs" for her using our leftover plastic Easter eggs. To make these eggs I wrote a word family ending on one half of the egg (-ingin the picture above) and consonants, blends, and diagraphs on the other half of the egg. Grace puts the two halves of the eggs together, reads the word and then turns the egg to create a whole new word! Grace has many of these eggs and she loves to read them.
I'll be sharing another handmade reading activity in an upcoming post using paint chip samples. Oh, how I LOVE paint samples! :)
What can you do with all of those leftover plastic Easter eggs? Turn them into a fun letter learning game, of course!!!
I wrote individual letters of Jack's name on the eggs - the uppercase letter on one half of the egg and the corresponding lowercase letter on the other half. Jack loves his bowl of eggs. He has learned to identify the letters in his name this way and he loves to match the upper- and lowercase letters too. Yeah, Jack!
The Maine Wildlife Animal Park reopened today. Hooray! We have been talking every day for the past week about all of the animals there that we have loved so much over the past three years to prepare for opening day today. We headed to the Animal Park right after music group this morning. We have not driven past or anywhere near the Animal Park since it closed in the fall. Approximately two miles before we got there Grace said, "Mommy, we are almost there. Don't forget to turn by the blue house." What an amazing memory Grace has! I remember Grace saying the very same thing last year when she was only two years old. Grace was also able to name every single animal that was at the park (thank goodness because I had forgotten about a few of them!). Jack was so very excited to see all of the animals that we have been talking so much about come to life before his eyes! All week Jack has been saying, "bobcat" and "ahcoon" for raccoon. The Wildlife Animal Park is one of our absolute favorite places. What a tremendous learning experience it is for Jack and Grace to see and learn up close about wild animals like bears, fisher cats, bobcats, moose, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, foxes, ravens, owls, bald eagles, hawks, turtles, salmon, bass, turkeys, deer, porcupines, lynx, Canadian geese, ducks, skunks, groundhogs, and mountain lions.
We had the best time getting ready for Bob/Daddy's birthday today. Everything from making handmade signs, wrapping paper, cards, envelopes, and pictures to decorating our home with streamers, hiding birthday balloons for Daddy to find, shopping for flowers, birthday hats, gifts, & treats; meeting Daddy for lunch and singing Happy Birthday at least fifty times today (!) made this day extra special for us. Happy, happy, happy birthday to the world's best Daddy and husband. We love you, Bob/Daddy.