Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The game closet and productive parenting

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today to talk about playing with our kids! warning-this post is littered with parenthesis!

After listening to a local toy store owner in November, I've made play time a structured focus in our house again.  When the girls were little and couldn't play independently, I found things to fill our days.  As they got older, and I realized I could go run a load of laundry without someone pulling on my leg, I let play time go a little.  The owner of the toy store is a former preschool teacher and he explained how important play is for brain development and building relationships.  So, I started investing in more games and puzzles to start playing with the girls (great marketing on his part, by the way...) and we play a game almost every day-yesterday we played Super Why Alphabet Game.  This is our game closet-can you tell I am playing and not cleaning!?

Games teach Harper that sometimes you lose (she says this, by the way), where she once used to throw tantrums when she lost.  

Kate and Harper are also learning to take turns (something Harper's teacher said she needed to work on), and encourage others.  Plus, we are having fun and learning colors, letters, spelling, and math.  

I am NOT perfect, by any means, and when I need 20 minutes to cook dinner, this happens a lot.

But I'm definitely trying!  

Another thing that has been AWESOME is Productive Parenting (productiveparenting.com).  I signed up for this when Harper was a newborn and I didn't know what to do with her all day-ha!  It sends you daily emails of age-appropriate activities like art and science projects and simple household things to do with your child.  I LOVE it!  I've found great activities from this site and it reminds me that our kids are constantly growing and needing new challenges for growth.  I highly recommend it!  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Eggs

The girls had fun dying Easter eggs yesterday.  We spent the afternoon just being lazy and making eggs.  This is the first time Kate has done this and she was just tickled with the whole process.  
We would drop the egg in the cup and she'd say, "Where did it go!?"  Harper concentrated on drawing with the clear crayon and decorating with stickers.

We plan on spending Easter with the McFeely's next Sunday.  Brian wants to smoke a ham and the weather forecast looks nice so we'll be joining a few egg hunts too!  

Here is a short video of the family making eggs.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family hike

This weekend we had beautiful weather so we spent it outside!  We went to the Patuxent Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday for the first time and had the best time.  We hiked around the lakes, collected walking sticks and pinecones, balanced on logs, found fish, and sat around a lake and listened to the bullfrogs.  The visitor center had a "meet the animals" hour and the girls met a horned owl (spectacular, by the way!) and a snake.  

 (yes, I was there too...)

I couldn't believe how pretty it was even in early March.  We definitely look forward to going back when it gets green.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Angry face

The girls are so silly.  We were making angry faces during dessert and they were cracking us up!  Harper does the eyebrow and Kate just growls.