Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Walk at the Park

The rain finally stopped and we saw the sunshine again today! I thought it was a perfect opportunity for us to go for a walk at Pataspco State Park. And I was right - it was wonderful! We spent hours at the park, and walked somewhere between four and five miles!!

After all this rain, the park is starting to look very green and spring-like!

We saw some remnants of the CSX train wreck from last week. The trail we were on was completely re-opened, though there was definitely still some cleanup and repair going on up on the tracks.

I love this park - so much to explore!

Finally we reached the waterfall.

I insisted that Jillian ride in her stroller until we got to the waterfall and told her she could walk on the way back. And then she was off!

She stopped to smell/pick the flowers.

And to play on a fallen tree. All in her nightie.

Finally, we spent time checking out some bugs. First, we saw a wolf spider. Then we saw an ant. But last, we saw this sucker. I have NO IDEA what it is, but it was about three inches long. And totally creepy. So of course, I took a picture!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tot School

This week learned about the letter "Q". Well, that was my intention, anyway.

Some weeks just feel more productive than others.

Jillian picked a favorite book this week that we've read several times, "Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt" by Barbara Smucker. This book is about a Menonite family living in Pennsylvania who leave their family farm and move to Canada during the Civil War. I was quite surprised that she liked this one, but she does! We did our stArt (story + art) project around it. I had lofty expectations of letting Jillian pick some fabric out of my fabric box and having her "help" me make a quilt, but somehow that never happened. What I did do, was print out some bear paw quilt blocks for her to color.

We spent a little time playing with water and learning about things that float or sink.

We tried: a binky, a spoon, a measuring spoon, a seashell, a rock, a small metal rod, a sponge, a cork, a synthetic cork, a key, a keyring, a small binder clip, and a piece of foam.

Our results (along with my awesome illustrations...LOL):

This was definitely a fun activity - playing in water always is!

We did some Easter arts and crafts too. I cut out egg shapes from some foam sheets and spread glue over them. I gave Jillian some sequins to decorate the eggs (I found a big bag of these at Target for $2!).
It got a little dicey toward the end, since the glue got on her fingers and then the sequins wouldn't come off and stick to the eggs.
The blurry picture of the finished product. When the glue dried, it became transparent, so they turned out pretty nice. I think we'll do this one again next year for Easter.

We also played with our name letters that I made for matching a few weeks ago. I used a different color foam for each letter of her name, so she can match by colors as well as letter shapes. (If you didn't notice, I used these foam sheets in three projects this week - I had NO idea just how versatile they'd be when I picked them up last year for a Thanksgiving craft.) She really likes these letters, but will rarely actually match up them up as pairs....

Finally, we dyed Easter eggs!! We totally skipped this last year, but I figured this year she was old enough to have some fun with it. Well, I learned that we probably should have waited another year.

To find some great Tot School posts, head over to 1+1+1=1!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

So Quickly

I was watching (and then video-ing, of course) Jillian run around on our Twister mat while watching some basketball today. She must have been inspired.

But then I got to watching some of our older videos and realized just how quickly these little ones go from this:

December 9, 2008

To this:

March 27, 2010

And this:

Also March 27, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tot School

The weather was SO nice here this week, we didn't get much Tot School-ing in, but here's what we did get into.

We went to the library on Wednesday to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some finger painting.

That afternoon, Jillian worked on kicking her ball around outside (pay no attention to her eclectic outfit...).

For Jillian's stArt (story + art) project this week, we did some purple crayon coloring, just like we saw Harold do in "Harold and the Purple Crayon".

We got some culture in this weekend and visited the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History (well, I don't know just how much culture Jillian actually got between running around like a crazy child and melting down because it was nap time).

And today, Jillian learned how to blow bubbles!

I'm hoping we get more activities in this week; looks likely since the weather won't be quite as nice!

Check out some great Tot School ideas over at 1+1+1=1!

Bubble Collage

I got out the bubbles for our outdoor time this afternoon, and showed Jillian how to do it herself (I still held the bottle, though...). She had a blast! I think she could have been entertained by bubble blowing for hours. What a way to enjoy the beginning of spring!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Springtime in the Nation's Capital

With a sunny Saturday and temperatures in the 70's today, we decided to venture into DC to check out the National Museum of Natural History.

On the way, we walked through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

This looked like it would have been fun for Jillian to climb. Unfortunately, climbing on the sculptures was not permitted.

John liked this one best. One day, I think he aspires to have the time to make one himself. Though we may need a bigger yard...

We didn't get to see as much of the museum as I would have liked, with "meltdown Minnie" in tow, but I really enjoyed the "Written in Bone" exhibit. I had no idea it was even there, but would love to go back and check it out again more thoroughly.

Jillian did pretty good considering it was way past both nap time and lunchtime, but she just couldn't take it anymore. She settled down after helping me eat a footlong hotdog for lunch, but you can still tell she was sleepy. She slept the whole way home!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

stART - Harold and the Purple Crayon

I think we took the easy way out for our stArt project this week, but Jillian wanted to paint one morning, and I really hadn't prepared anything. So I took a quick mental inventory of our library books and realized we had just read "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson.

And there it was, our stArt project. I got Jillian some new easel paper and a bunch of purple crayons and let her go to town.

Check out some much more creative story + art projects over at A Mommy's Adventures!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Fun

I'm not Irish, not one bit, but typically I enjoy a good beer or two on St. Patrick's Day. Not green beer mind you, because I usually don't enjoy beers that are light enough in color to actually be dyed green. But Irish beer. In honor of St. Patrick's Day.

This year, however, the beer is out, since I have a small one growing in my uterus.

I saw that one of our county libraries was hosting a St. Patrick's Day finger painting event for kiddos aged 2-5 (free of course!). Without getting too off track, I'll mention here that I love, love, love our public libraries! They always have great events and programs for the kids. Anyhow, since Jillian loves to paint, and we had no plans for the holiday, I signed her up.

It was a blast, too! Here are some pictures of her enjoying her St. Patty's Day painting activities (taken with my phone, so possibly not the best quality ever...).

I've linked this post up to Jan Mary's awesome St. Patrick's Day Blogging Carnival; visit over there to see what other folks have been up to on this holiday!!