Sunday, April 28, 2013

Little Stars

This is our rowdy music circle! It is very rare that I get all the children sitting in the circle. It is actually the older boys who always want to step it up a notch. Here we are singing "Twinkle Twinkle". Noah and B. had to get to the highest point in the room, so their stars could reach as high into the 'sky' as possible. Thomas is right in there with the gang!

 Leila also really loves music circle, and always tries to reach into my bag of props. Her favourite is "Itsy Bitsy Spider".

Look who's graduated from the high chair! One day Thomas climbed right up into one of the booster seats. I figured this was a pretty clear sign he was ready to move up. The other kids all moved onto the booster seats at 20 months as well. Geesh...time flies!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rock Star Kids

This is Thomas's all-time favourite toy at the daycare: the guitar that's far too big for him. Actually, it's too big for most of the kids. It's often inadvertently used as a weapon when a child is carrying it from place to place; even more so during a 'turn around'. I've thought of just putting it away for a while, but I can't bear to break Thomas's heart like this. Also, I don't think he would easily forget the guitar, and I would have to deal with a toddler's post-traumatic stress, probably for weeks. And since kids obviously have 100 times the stamina we do, I'd end up giving in, in the end.

Lately he likes to sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Yellow Submarine". Because of his obsession with the guitar, I'm convinced he's going to be a rock star one day. And he's a total charmer, so he could work the crowd no problem!

Oscar requested to paint one day, and this is the beautiful artwork he and Thomas produced. Actually, this was Thomas's first ever time painting, on paper (he did colour an Easter egg) at the daycare. It looks like a rainbow to me!

When Noah goes to speech therapy two afternoons a week, I work on literacy with B. Usually we read books, but recently he had the fun task of matching all the lower case alphabet cards with the uppercase cards. He liked this activity a lot since he's someone who likes to keep moving!

Another day, the three wee ones and I used other alphabet cards in the hallway. Once they had helped me put them all up, we sang the alphabet song - the best part!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Springtime and the Livin is Mucky

We are FINALLY enjoying more springlike weather this week! I love these pictures of Thomas and Leila on the swings. It reminds me of Noah and Aidas on the same swings back in the day, when I had just started the daycare. And Thomas is SO busted here, eating one of the cookies that a close fiend made for us. Life is sweet!

This is a mud puddle in the yard at Noah's school. We had seen it the day before, so the next day, we all wore our rain boots and embraced it! It was unbelievably fun. Especially on a mild day like this, with no wind, I feel compelled to encourage this type of play. It is so easy for me (okay, easy isn't the word, but doable, in comparison to a kindergarten teacher with 20 or more students) to let them do as they please, and then just change them when we get back home.

Pure joy. But mud is not only fun, it's healthy. I wrote a blog on it a while ago at, but even if you Google "mud is good", or something to that effect, you will come across all the research that says how healthy it is for kids to get dirty.

Still, the physical benefit isn't the reason I feel compelled to let the children enjoy this mess. It's because, when I recall my own childhood, some of the happiest memories I have are when I was feeling close to nature. If you were permitted, as a child, to do things like bury yourself in leaves in the fall, run around in a warm summer rain shower, climb trees, keep caterpillars as pets and yes, make mud pies, then you know how psychologically beneficial this kind of activity is. You don't even need the research. (Thanks mom!)

We're not allowed to stay in the schoolyard past noon. Guess who kicked and screamed when I tried to tear him away from this glorious puddle? Yes, Oscar ran and hid in this corner, hoping I would relent. Unfortunately, it wasn't up to me. I could not blame him one bit for fussing though. I wish I could have kept them there longer.

We are sad to say good-bye to this little guy, who is leaving the daycare as of next week. We will miss him dearly. He began when he was a mere 8 months old! BUT, Oscar is going to come back to visit the gang periodically. Thomas, especially, will be so happy to see him, when he does come to visit! These two have become pretty close. I am just happy to have met and cared for Oscar. Every child teaches me something, and Oscar has taught me so much. I know he will be loved wherever he goes!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Volcano

Noah came out of kindergarten one day with instructions on how to make a volcano at home. His teacher had done it with the class. We figured we'd give it a go!

Well, we did it three times and still didn't quite perfect it (I think we needed a bigger container), but it was still fun! (Good thing we had enough vinegar and baking soda!) Noah requested his dinosaurs because that's what his teacher had placed around the volcano at school.

I naively hoped I could tend to one of the babies who had just awoken, without things getting out of hand. I figured they'd just play with the dinosaurs. I was wrong. When I returned, Noah was applying the vinegar/soap/baking soda mixture to his hair. Kids are so creative at entertaining themselves! (Oh and VERY opportunistic!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

More Truck Sightings!

Toronto Hydro has been doing a lot of work across from Keele Street Public School. The boys have basically had front row seats to a show of men working on trucks; cranes mostly. One day, Thomas did not leave the fence - I don't even think he moved a muscle. He just watched in awe as men worked on the wires of the hydro poles.

And here they are watching the men work, on a different day. On this day, Thomas had been watching so intently that one of the workers came to chat with him. Bonus! I told the man how the children saw them as heroes. One day, in the previous week, as we were walking home, we passed by one of their trucks. I told the man that one of the workers had jumped off the truck, and this had been THE hot topic at the daycare for a week straight. For the past week I had heard (from Oscar and Thomas) "Man jump", "Man jump truck", "Man jump down". They were and are STILL fascinated by it. I love how some of the men take the time to wave at the boys from their buckets in the cranes. It's such a small gesture that makes the kids feel so be acknowledged by the cool "truck men".

On our way back to the apartment one day, a garbage truck was dumping the huge garbage bins from our apartment building, turning them upside down, using its "claws". In the picture, you can see Noah and B. having an even closer look. For boys who love trucks, this much excitement in one day rivals Christmas!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Eggs

Not only were the kids busy with Easter crafts for the past few weeks, they've also been dyeing and decorating Easter eggs.

Even Thomas got into painting an egg. It was his first time painting anything at the daycare. He was very gentle and careful with the hollow egg, and it turned out great!

The bigger boys liked the activity too. We also got these special egg paint sticks. They look like Q-tips, but have coloured dye inside that makes it easy to paint the egg with. I've gotta say that Dollarama was a really great place to get arts and craft materials, as well as games and treats, this Easter season.

I believe that is where I got these fun fishing sets (either there or Walmart). There is a magnet attached to the end of each fishing line, and three fish with magnets at their mouths. Oscar and Thomas both loved going fishing in their little ponds.

Then we got out some other sea creatures we have tucked away and it became more like an ocean. Noah and B. enjoyed the same activity in the afternoon when the little guys were sleeping. Maybe they can go fishing in the wading pool this summer!

I set up an Easter egg hunt (just plastic eggs, no chocolate) for when we came back from school with the big boys. They all picked up their baskets at the front door. Noah and B. knew they were only allowed to collect 10 eggs. After that they had to start helping Oscar and Thomas, or find some eggs to give to Leila.

It turns out Oscar was very skilled at finding the eggs, and gave the bigger boys some tough competition!

Thomas was not too interested in the egg hunt. Leila thoroughly enjoyed taking each and every egg out of her basket and throwing it on the floor.

Her game looks fun too, no?

The older boys and I made chocolate egg-shaped cupcakes to serve at Leila's little daycare birthday party the following day.

During this activity, I remembered, as a kid,  my mother giving me the egg-beaters with icing on them, after she had baked a cake. I couldn't then, in good conscience, restrict them from the same delight. They enjoyed licking their spoons. Ha! Okay, well, in B.'s case, a ladle!

I think the little princess appreciated all their hard work. By the end of it, Noah and I couldn't stop laughing at what she had done to her sweet little face! It doesn't look too messy here, but she really did end up painting one whole side of her face, and good chunk of her hair, with chocolate!

Happy birthday again, pigtail Jane!