The nice weather has given us many options for outdoor play. Sometimes, we bring some toys from the apartment out back. We nearly take up the entire elevator, which may or may not irk other tenants. The kids know how to quickly win them over though, with a cute "Hi!", or "We going play outside!" (sic). The twins need to have sunglasses on, at least for the initial transition to the outdoors on a sunny day, since their eyes are a little sensitive to the changes in light. (You can see their irritation in the photo above).
The kids have been off-roading with the little red car. I had imagined they would ride it back and forth down the walkway, since it would ride easier that way. Silly me. I forget that they have an amazingly high level of energy and would rather struggle through the grass. Then, at some point, B. discovered the joy of riding it down the hill, his feet raised (lest they slow him down). The others all had a turn with this new found activity. But on B.'s next turn, he raised the bar even higher and created a new extreme sport: riding the red car down the hill backwards. Unfortunately for him, he only got to try it once before he was redirected!
We have little bottles of bubbles that are the perfect size for little hands to hold. Maya and Noah are particularly interested in blowing bubbles themselves. They have had a few successes and are continuing to practise. Everybody enjoys catching and popping the bubbles after I blow them.
We like to make roads or train tracks with chalk. The kids each bring out a little car or train to drive down the road. They also like when I write the entire alphabet on the sidewalk, and help me with which letter to put next, as we slowly sing the ABC song.
Dirt remains the biggest attraction outside (for most of the kids). When we return to the apartment, we immediately head to the bathroom, where each of them steps onto the step stool and washes their hands. Being kids, they seem to have a natural resistance to cleanliness, though. There will always be some dirt that remains under their finger nails. And I know that there is still more, unseen dirt that is probably hiding in their hair, up their nose, in their ears, in their shorts, etc. Oh - and let's not forget the ingested dirt. All this is just evidence of the fun they have had playing and exploring nature.
We glued foam farm animals to construction paper last week. Lucas chose not to participate in this activity. I was surprised that Noah lasted the longest. I don't think of him as being that interested in doing visual art, since he usually tires of painting quickly. Perhaps it is just that painting is not his preferred medium. In any case, their glued pictures look beautiful posted next to the paintings. They are so colourful.
Noah has been attempting potty training when he feels like it. (We aren't ready to push it yet, but we are encouraging it.) The other kids have seen him sporting his Thomas and Diego underwear. One day I heard Maya's little voice saying "Help! Help, Miss Charla! I want it off." Little did I know that she was on the cutting edge of fashion design. She had taken Noah's underwear out of his dresser drawer (yes, they were clean) and was sporting a....a....well, I'll title it "Racer-back halter vest". I would say it's too high fashion to wear down the street. Still, it's a far cry from Haute Couture! What a sweetheart. I'm actually pretty impressed at her ability to put that on all by herself.
We looked at sea shells after naps one day. The kids helped me to line them up from biggest to smallest. We also like to try to hear the ocean by putting the big shells to our ears. After we inspect the shells, the kids always love to load some of them into cups, cars, trucks, or other containers. I put the big ones away immediately though, as I have fears that they will club each other over the head with them!
Another day, we played dress-up. We had a pretend birthday party, and used one of the tables to 'serve cake' on. They like to use the pretend ice cream, and we usually just break out all the pretend food at the same time.
We hadn't done shape-matching for quite some time. I dug the shapes poster out of the closet and had them match puzzle shapes to it. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Lucas correctly identify a shape as an octagon! What a clever boy!
One day, when we went outside, the skies were threatening, so we stayed close to the building (and the back door). It ended up not raining at all (at least while we were out). The kids had fun pretending that this area was a house. As with our other 'house', we use a large rock as a table and designate different areas as different rooms of the house. The kids pretend to turn the T.V. or CD player on and off, wash their hands under a tap, and go to sleep in the bedroom.
Speaking of sleep, this is what the kids opted to do after snack one day. That's right. It's the art of lazing about. It's actually good for them to learn when they need a little rest. I'm hoping that they will be able to relax like this the next time they are sick, instead of running around! This scene lasted all of 2 minutes, though, so I won't hold my breath!
And these pictures I am including 'just because'. We are sad that Lucas and Maya will only be at the daycare until the end of the summer. It is hard to believe nearly a year has passed since they joined. The group has become quite attached to one another, and they are old enough now to really remember and miss each other. At least we have the summer to enjoy with them before they depart, and lots of fond memories (stamped in time by this blog) to keep with us for the future!