Myrtle

We spent the end of August in Myrtle Beach, SC.


I'm not sure when the last time was that Rob and I took a legit vacation.  A trip to visit family doesn't count.  Nor does driving cross-country (regardless of how many sunny and hot places you travel through).


The goal was to get away from Pittsburgh and spend time together to unwind and chill and just be.  Without a toddler wailing for attention.

Don't get me wrong - my son is great and he's my buddy, but sometimes you realize that it's been a while since you've had a well thought-out conversation with your husband because by the time your son goes to bed (regardless of how early that is), your mind checks out as soon you walk out of that nursery.


Also, it had been a while since I touched the ocean.

We stayed at a resort right on the beach.  Seriously.  There was no need to pack up and prep your mind for a long walk to the beach.  Because it was right there.  So, sometimes in the evening right before the sun would go down, we would walk down from our room right onto the beach and catch some of those precious golden hour rays.


Meals were random.  I've never eaten out so much in my life.  At first I loved it because I didn't have to cook (we had a tiny kitchen in our room, but any food sold nearby was overpriced), but by the end of our stay I was ready for real food that was at least half-way healthy.


Most of our entertainment was within walking distance.  If we ever needed a car, we would call up UBER.  I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly an Uber driver was available


Overall, the trip was great.  I would go back.  My favorite part was experiencing the sunrise and sunset multiple times.  Where we live in Pittsburgh, you don't get the chance too often to watch the sun set over the wide horizon  -  it's usually over a bunch of houses, which is much less dreamy.

(Pre) Pre-School: Bugs


We are nearing the end of our fifth (Pre) Pre-School unit!  Over the last two months we have studied Construction, the Farm, Transportation, the Body and are currently on BUGS!

The two books I have been using for our BUGS unit are both by Eric Carle:  The Very Busy Spider & The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We've done art projects that recreate the illustrations in the book, we've learned about different spiders, we've done sensory bins with miniature spider toys, and aside from the theme of bugs we've learned our colors and completed sticker, coloring, and cut and paste pages.

These are the two books I bought for coloring and sticker/paste:  My Book of Coloring & Let's Sticker & Paste

Those two work books are geared towards Silas' age group and have simple/short activities.  The coloring book in particular focuses on the child filling in a white circle to complete the picture.  It's perfect.
The sticker book has been great for fine motor skills and learning how to complete a picture.

I had someone ask me on my Instagram account what I think Silas gets from our activities.  To be honest, I didn't start this "program" in order to teach him profound things.  The idea to do this came to me when I saw other people sharing their little activities they were doing with their toddlers.  However, that being said, through our activities he is learning colors, fine/gross motor skills, memory/matching skills and other things that most kids learn in pre-school.  He is also learning things specific to the unit we are on.

The type of reactions I receive from people about (Pre) Pre-School vary.  Some are supportive and enthusiastic, some are curious & want to hear more, others are exhausted just from my explanation of it all, and then a few want to know if this means I want to home school.   (i have no idea)

All I know is that if you're going to be with your kid all day, why not make the activities worth it?

MASH-UP VIDEO OF SILAS

A couple of weekends ago we went out on a venture to take pictures and record some footage of Silas.  This was something I did a couple of months ago when Rob was out of town.  


The first video turned out great, so Rob wanted to help with making a second one.  This might turn into a long term memory keeping method for me.  Pictures are great, but videos are fun to watch because you can see the actual mannerisms of a person and how they change over time.

Enjoy


A New Season






Summer's (almost) over and that means Fall is nearly here.  I went to the Dollar Tree yesterday to find something for a Baby Shower and ended up spending way too many dollars on fall decor.  Who knew the DOLLAR TREE would be such a huge home decor hit?

With Fall comes the falling of leaves - primarily the huge tree in our front yard is giving our lawn a good covering (as well as our neighbor's lawn - they love it).

And along with the changing seasons, comes a change in schedules and new things.  For me this means starting back up at the mom's group at church, as well as a new personal bible study (I just finished the book of John and am fresh into the book of Acts - both of which are John MacArthur studies).

On the horizon are trips and bits of work and learning and baking and catching up on scrapbooking and pulling out warmer clothes and friends and football and fires.

And maybe a s'more or two.




SPRINKLER


Silas loves to play in water - it's one of his favorite things to do.  If we go outside and aren't immediately going on a walk or leaving in the car, then I usually make sure that Silas has his swim trunks on, because otherwise he has no problem getting soaked in his regular clothes.

 

With this in mind, I thought a sprinkler would be the ideal summer toy/activity for him!  Much to my surprise, sprinklers are not that expensive.  I found one at Home Depot for less than $7.00.  


Unfortunately, Silas wasn't that big of a fan of the sprinkler.  What I'm learning is that while he enjoys being wet, he does not like being splashed or sprayed in the face.  He can be ferociously splashing the water around and as soon as a a drop touches his face, everything stops so he can wipe the water away.


We resorted to connecting the hose to our garden sprayer for him to hold and control.  So, our grass still got watered. :)




5 MINUTE TOY: BUTTER CONTAINER


I decided to take advantage of our empty butter container and transform it into something fun for Silas.  A shape sorter!


With the exception of buying the random trinkets to put in the sorter (all of which I found at our local Dollar Tree store), this project took me less than 5 minutes to make.


After cleaning out the container, I took a kitchen knife and carved out different shapes that the trinkets could fit through.  Silas' favorite thing to put in the container is the checker pieces.


He sat in our entry way and played with this by himself for a good 20 minutes.  It's still a favorite toy of his to play with - he especially likes to try to take the top off himself.


Our first week of (Pre) Preschool


A couple of weeks ago I decided to start a loose PRE preschool curriculum with Silas.  Before this decision, I'd been trying to stay creative in the ways Silas finds entertainment.  I started researching Montessori themed activities and while a lot of them were great and I used several of the ideas, it felt like we were just aimlessly staying busy, with no real goal or lesson in mind.  One evening I was perusing Instagram and looking up activity ideas through different hashtags.  Instagram and Pinterest are my go-to channels for when I'm dry on new ideas for things to do.  It was through Instagram that I was introduced to the world of "tot school".  Apparently many young moms create a loosely structured curriculum for their preschool aged children and follow it on their own timeline.  That's exactly the type of thing I wanted to do with Silas.


Unfortunately many of the curricula that these moms are making and sharing are geared towards age 3.  Tracing, coloring in the lines, etc.  Things that Silas can work on, but would find frustrating if the entire activity centered on a certain skill that he is no-where near mastering right now.  So I made it up in my mind to create my own curriculum for Silas with a theme based on one of his favorite books right now: Roadwork by Sally Sutton.


On average we did two 10-15 minute activities per day with a construction theme.  We did all sorts of things: reading, painting, water play, scooping and transferring, sensory, play dough, hammering, stickers, field trips.  Many of the activities focused on fine motor skills.


By the end of our week of learning about Construction, Silas was catching on and would go grab his construction book and bring it over to where our activity would take place.




 

I'm getting most of my supplies at the Dollar store and they're slowly taking over our kitchen cabinet.  I'm thanking my past self for getting a library card when I first moved to Pittsburgh and never throwing it out any time I cleaned out my wallet.  This is the first time I've used it in two years, but I foresee using it more because I plan on making our curriculum literary based.

I've been posting updates on Instagram and unexpectedly my local friends have made random comments on what I'm doing and several have asked what the next theme will be.  Although I knew I was sharing my experience, for some reason I thought it would go unnoticed.


How long will I do this?  I'm not sure.  My initial commitment was for the remainder of Summer.  However, my mind is constantly thinking of new themes and lessons that I want to teach Silas.  Everything is new for him right now and for as long as I can think of activities, I'm not sure why I would stop doing (PRE) preschool.

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