Thursday, February 19, 2015


This week it snowed...... and snowed some more...... and the twins were super excited. I am not sure if Roman was more excited by the snow or by the fact that he informed me that if it snowed Santa was coming. This little sweetie steals my heart every day!
The one day of snow has turned into a week of staying at home and just keeping warm inside. Our activities for the week have centered around the book "A Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. We have read this book before many times but they love it and I just thought it was really appropriate for this weather.

I read the book to them and we talked about the snow and what the little boy, Peter, did when he went out to play in the snow. I asked them what they would do when they went out to play in the snow. We had a really good conversation centering on comprehension of the book and applying it to our life. Next, we played a game using white panty house that I stuffed with cotton balls and tied to make "snowballs." We spent a lot of time having a snowball fight. They really enjoyed this activity and we have actually done this several more times this week.

On day two, we read the book again. After reading the book we painted a picture of snow using white paint on a blue background. I cut out a figure out of red paper to resemble the boy in the book and we glued our boy in the snow picture. We again talked about all the things Peter saw.

The third day we read the story. The activity for this day included snow. I filled two pans with snow and placed a few random small toys in the snow and covered them. I gave each of the twins one of the pans along with spoons, fork, and a sand shovel. They enjoyed finding the objects. We also took a handful of snow and packed it into a snowball. In the story, Peter witnesses a snowball fight but thinks he is to small to join. We had a very short discussion on why they thought Peter was to young to join. Renley said it was because he was a boy. Finally, we came to the conclusion, with much direction, that snowballs are hard and would hurt if you were hit by one.

In the book, Peter puts a handful of packed snow in his pocket and it was gone when he was finished with his bath. We also packed some snow and put it in a bowl during bath time. It was mostly melted when they hoped out of the tub. We talked about why it melted and how that was similar to the snow in Peter's pocket.

The last activity we did for this week utilized shaving cream. I thought shaving cream resembles snow in that it is white and you can play with it. After reading the book twice, because they didn't think once was enough, the twins had free time to play with shaving cream and toys. I gave them each a cookie sheet with a huge pile of shaving cream and let them have at it. They loved it!

Some of the other activities we did this week included:
1. Using our crayon canisters to sort objects by color. I had them take the lid off and put it on each time they added an object to help with motor skills.
2. Drawing lines with a marker. I had them draw a line from "Peter" to the house on a "worksheet" I created.
3. Cutting paper. They aren't at the stage to be able to cut along a line but they love cutting pieces of paper. We use toddler scissors.
4. We played stop and go in the house.
5. Danced and danced to the "Frozen" songs. Snow theme...I think so!
6. Lots and lots of free play!

I have to say that I really enjoy doing these activities with my twins and being their teacher. Thanks for letting me share my lessons with you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine Fun

Last week we centered all our activities around Valentine's Day.

I ordered a couple of books about Valentine's Day but only one arrived so story time for the week consisted of "Llama Llama I Love You" and several random books. I try to read at least ten books a day to the kids. We break this up into reading two or three books three or four times a day. One of those time is always before bed and nap. Other than that I try to read during our structured activity time. They will usually bring me books to read randomly which makes it easy to get ten books.

Monday, we made hear necklaces by stringing cut out heat shape and one and a half inch drinking straw pieces onto yarn creating a pattern. This activity was really good for their fine motor skills. Renley loved it. Roman tolerated it but did complete the task.

Tuesday we painted heart pictures using a toilet paper tube that we shaped to look somewhat like a heart. We also made Valentines cards for all their siblings by tracing their hand and utilizing dot paint and stickers. I used one traced handprint from each twin and cut it out, glued it onto a card created by folding a piece of construction paper in half and wrote on the card, "Hands Down Your One of The Best Sisters Around!" We used the dot paint and stickers to decorate.

Wednesday, since we had gymnastics during the day, our constructive play was after nap so I decided to do a game. I cut out five inch hearts from different colors of construction paper and taped them throughout the house. We played a version of musical chairs. Basically, I played the frozen soundtrack and would stop the music and call out a color. The twins then had to find a heart of that color. They really loved this game. When we were done I collected the hears and placed them on our patio door. They love to walk up to the hearts and say the colors. They really enjoyed this activity.

Thursday, we used conversation heart candies to sort and graph. I printed off worksheets I found on Pinterest and gave the twins each a handful of conversation hearts. They sorted the hearts by color and then we counted how many hearts they had of each color and placed them on a graph worksheet.

Friday I worked in Springfield so we only read books. Saturday the house was full with my children and I loved watching the twins interact with their older siblings. We made heart shaped pizzas and enjoyed playing.

The twins are really starting play together well. They love to play make believe. Their favorite games to play include princesses and pirates. Listening to them throughout the day makes me so happy. They are best of friends.

This week we will be reading "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats and dong activities that center around the snow theme! I love snow!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Toddlers are unique little individuals. I love these toddler days. They are both exciting and frustrating and at the same time they push me to be better every day.

Being a Mom of toddlers is different at this later stage in my life. Twenty years ago I didn't appreciate this stage enough. I can say with certainty that I am more focused and know what I want my toddlers to get out of these years. I also have a better sense of my purpose in a toddlers life. However, I am most certainly humbled by the experience.

While pondering these thoughts I came up with a list of things that I think every toddler deserves. This is not a judgment, just an observation using my own life experiences as a mom and teacher.
Ten Things Every Toddler Needs

1. Love. Kindness, respect, and acceptance. The security to know that no matter what the do they will be loved and valued. They need to know they are important and unique and that God created them with purpose. This doesn't mean indulgence in all that they desire.

2. Attention. Every toddler needs to know they will have a few moment of Mom's undivided attention. One-on-one time for Mom to get into their world and understand what is important to them.

3. Safety. They need to be kept alive on a daily basis. Protection from sharp objects, electrical outlets, fires and things that could cause harm. This doesn't mean helicopter parenting. Toddlers need to be able to explore, play and have a parent who encourages them to try new things. A few scrapes and bruises are okay. It is how they learn.

4. Shelter. A home that is safe and clean. A bed to sleep on. This doesn't mean they have to have their own room or one full of Pottery Barn bedding.

5. Food. Food to eat every day. A well balanced diet that helps them to understand good food choices. They don't need the latest cool "snack" or sugar laden treats, or all organic foods.

6. Sleep. Ten to twelve hours a day. A bedtime ritual. To be able to soothe self to sleep and stay in own bed. They don't need someone in bed with them.

7. To Be Silly. Freedom to be able to enjoy the playful days of childhood. To be able to giggle, play dress-up, and make-believe. For you to be silly with them. They don't need someone to entertain them or play with them 24/7.

8. Limits. They need to hear both Yes and No. They need to learn to accept the word "No" with a content heart. (We are still working on this.) They don't need to always hear "No" or "Yes."

9. Entertainment. They need some scheduled age appropriate activities everyday. Reading, drawing, time to practice fine-motor skills. They don't need to be over scheduled or entertained constantly. They don't need fancy toys: iPods, iPads, or other devices. I am not saying they are wrong just not necessary.

10. Instruction. To be taught age-appropriate skills, lessons, and good manners. Teach Bible stories and basic Biblical truths. They don't need anything requiring more than few minutes of focused attention. They don't need lectures.

Friday, February 6, 2015

P is for Penguin

The snow and cold temperature this week inspired activities involving penguins. The twins loves animals so I thought penguin activities would be perfect. First, I contacted my favorite resource}e for books, Bonnie Coose. Seriously, if you need a reference for a book relating to any subject she's your gal! She recommended Penguins in Peril" by Helen Hancocks. Then, I checked Pinterest for some activities that looked fun and age appropriate. Of course I found tons.

We started our lesson by reading the book. It is a super cute story about a three cats who kidnap a penguin. The cats want the penguin to catch fish for them to eat. Thus, the penguin is in peril. We discussed the word peril but not sure they understood its meaning. We will try to use this word often in the next weeks so that they will grasp its meaning and be able to add it to their working vocabulary. We spent a lot of time looking at the pages of the book and predicting what they think will happen next. We also talked about camouflage since the penguin hid in many spots in the book to escape the cats. They really loved this book. Finally, we learned a song while marching like a penguin.

The song is sung to the tune of "I Am A Little Teapot."
Penguin Song:
I'm a little penguin
Black and white
Short and wobbly
An adorable sight I can't fly at all
but I love to swim
so I'll waddle to the water
and dive right in.

Once we completed reading the book we did an activity I found on Facebook as well as Pinterest. We created penguins using shapes. Look at those penguins! Aren't they adorable? I introduced the shapes to the twins. We played "I Spy" with the shapes. Basically I place all the shapes on the table and say "I spy a square" and then the twins find the shape. Finally, we put the shapes together and created penguins. They did really good creating the first penguin on their own but I really had to help and encourage them to finish the second.

On day two we read the book for the second time and again discussed all the things in the book. Next, we played a sorting and counting game I found on Pinterest. Again, the print out was free. I would suggest laminating the pages. If you don't have access to a laminator, clear contact paper will do. I [;aced the game board in gallon size Ziploc bags since I didn't have clear contact paper on hand. Players take turns choosing a card. Each card has one or two colored fish. The player locates the fish in his ocean found on the game board and places the correct number in the fishing bucket of the same color. At the end of the game I had the twins count the number of fish in each bucket. The twins loved this game! We also reviewed our shapes using the penguin activity we did yesterday. They played with these shape people for awhile. Again,to finish the lesson for the day we wobbled around like penguins singing our song to finish off our penguin activities.

On the third day, we read the book, again. I showed them pictures of real penguins that I printed. We talked about how they were alike and different. Next, we played a stop and go game of penguin walk. Basically, we took turns saying "stop" and "go." When it was time to go we had to wobble like penguins. Next, we talked about the letter P and what sound it makes. We discussed the fact that the word penguin begins with the letter P. We used play dough that was rolled into "ropes" and placed the ropes along lines of a letter stencil. Later in the day we created penguin hand art. (I forgot to take pictures on this day.)

During our fourth and final lesson for the week, we listened to "Tacky the Penguin" by Helen Lester being read by Pam on a Youtube video. This is just a unique and different way for the kids to read a book and they seem to enjoy it. We culminated our penguin fun by creating a penguin treat. I am a big proponent of the Montessori educational method and thought having the twins help create their treats would be a good activity to promote the self help and daily living skills this method incorporates. Check out the picture below for our treat!

We had a fun week with our penguin theme. I am not really concerned with teaching them letter and letter sounds at this age. I am just introducing them to the fact that letters represent sounds and sounds make up words we read.
The twins know their colors very well and the basic three shapes: triangle, square and circle. I hope to help them recognize rectangle and oval soon. They can count items to seven very accurately. We will continue working on counting.

Part of the lesson is learning how to sit still and complete a task. This is can be difficult for a three year old. I am proud of how much progress they are making with this.

I have linked the printouts below.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Quotable Kids!!

I love listening to the twins talk to each other. The things they say make me smile often. I record these things in a notebook in hopes that I will remember them forever.

Here are just a few of the recent things they have written in the book.

*I walked into the room wearing a dress and Renley looked and me and said, "Mommy, you are a beautiful princess just like me!"

*Tonight as it was sleeting and snowing, Renley looked out on the porch and exclaimed, "Look, Mommy, its just like on the boat, its all sparkly!" (This needs some clarification, when we go out on the lake she loves when the sun glistens on the water and "sparkles.")

*When we correct onE of the twins the other one always speaks up and defends their sibling saying something like, "Don't be mean to my sissy!" (We are working on understanding the difference "between mean" and Mommy and Daddy teaching behavior."

*Renely says to Roman, "Hey Buddy, be careful or your going to fall."

*We walk into Casey's a few weeks ago to get donuts. I open the door and Roman throws his arms wide open and exclaims loudly with much enthusiasm "I LOVE DONUTS!"

*Renley says to Roman: "Hey Mr. Coose, what are you doing?"

*Roman says to Renley in the car: Roman: "that's a goooood song, Sissy!"
Renley: "Yes, Roman, that's a really good song!"

*Roman says to Renley: "Sissy, I miss you when I am sleeping!"

*Roman says to me when I go to get him up from his nap: "Mommy you are beautiful!"

*Renley says to Roman when he was upsest today: "Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills, what"s wrong?"

*We always have to sing the "I See the Moon" any time we see the moon in the sky.

These are just a handful of the things that fill my days and make me smile. I am so happy to have these two in my daily adventures!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Three Already!!

After a very long hiatus from this blog I am BACK. Back because I realize how much I need this blog to help me remember and cherish every moment with these two little ones!! They turned three this past November. I honestly have to say that the threes have been, up to this point, harder in some ways than the twos. Why?
Have you ever tried reasoning with a three year old? Now envision reasoning with two three year olds. It makes for some very interesting conversations.
I believe the day toddlers turn three the drama triples!! Have you witnessed the explosion that happens if you take a bite of a three year olds sandwich or attempt to dress them in something they do not want to wear? For example, trying to convince a three year old that ballet slippers are not appropriate shoes to wear to the grocery store when there is snow on the ground!
And the phrases that come out of their mouths! The other day I was trying to get Renley to permit me to French braid her hair. She looks at me and exclaims through screams and tears, "Well, this is REDICULES!"
Where does she get this stuff? I must have missed those episodes of Bubble Guppies or Little Bear.
It’s phrases like these that leave parents scratching our heads and wondering what is going on in their little minds, then the next moment, tiptoeing around them and dodging their fits.
Three year old twins are even more interesting. They are quick to make sure I know when the other twins is doing something that is a "no-no." Of course, they fail to tell you that they were the instigator or possibly they also did the same thing not two minutes ealier. To top it off... if you don't stop what you are doing and take care of the situation immediately you will hear the same "tattle" repeated with ever increasing whininess!
My three year old daughter is happy to croon the lyrics to “Let It Go” right along with me. However, her brother pipes up from the back seat yelling, “Mommy, DON’T SING!” And if you thought hearing that song the first 2,560,000 times was annoying, wait until you have to sit through it in silence.
My three year olds will also eat ten million go-gurts that I have frozen, so being the wise and good Mommy that I am I purchased five boxes just to be certain I wouldn't run out of their favorite food, only for them to declare they don't want them anymore.
Have you ever tried taking two three year olds out in public? They definitely know how to divide and conquer or at the very least to distract and destroy. I often get to the checkout at the grocery store with items I am sure were placed in the cart by conspiring twins! I can just envision the scene. You distract mom while I throw the full of sugar and preservatives treat in the cart. She will never know!
Having said all this, I have to admit there are some pretty enduring parts to having two three year olds in the house. They are best of friends and will watch out for each other. They cheer each other on with phrases such as: "YAY!! Roman went peepee in the potty Mommy!" or "Mommy, Renley looks like a princess!" They play together and I love listening to them pretend to be Andy from Toy Story or Elsa! There is never a dull moment in our house! And just as every other stage this too shall pass and I will long for the days when they were three!