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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Preschool Everywhere

This month we have had a chance to get out and about with our learning. 
With two year olds it can not just be all work and no play. A lot of the time, learning comes from play. 
We took a trip to the Children's Museum and Veronika and Gavyn had so much time playing and learning about water and how it works by moving the little white plastic plates that acted as a dams. 

Next we went to check out the dig pit. It was wonderful because instead of sand that fills your shoes, it was made out of recycled tires. They got to practice digging, scooping, and filling their buckets using different tools. 

We also got enough sun that we could go hang out at a local park. Gavyn and Veronika worked their muscles by hanging on the bars.  

 And walking up and down ramps
 And walking on a balance beam
We still found some time to work on some fine motor skills with coloring.
 Some cognitive skills with working on letters. I would show Veronika two letters and ask for  her to hand me the letter I asked for, or to point to the letter I wanted. This also worked on her listening skills. She did great! 

 Gavyn loves to look at books and took full advantage of some extra time before bed to look at some.
 Veronika enjoyed looking at this book and signing some of the words/pictures she saw. 

They are both working so hard, but we always make sure there is time for play and fun and just being little kids. They love to do flash cards and look at books so they make teaching them so easy. 
So proud of them!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Short One

Our house has been a bit crazy lately planning for our upcoming adoption of two 12 year old girls who have Down syndrome so we have not been able to post as often as I would like. So here are just a couple of things we have been doing lately.
Number Puzzles

 And color sorting! She has gotten so good with her colors that she will usually sign the color before she puts it down. I tried to make it a bit more challenging by putting the red, orange, yellow, and white close to each other but it didn't phase her a bit! She was able to sort the colors all on her own!.

 Matching blocks to the picture
 Mommy asked if she could copy a tower mommy made and she did!
Gavyn did great matching the blocks to the pictures!
 Gavyn worked with both hands to put the beads into the muffin tin cups

We read books ALL the time and one of their favorite books is "We're going on a Bear Hunt". Normally they act out almost the whole entire story while we are reading in the rocking chair, but today since they were sitting so close to each other they were a bit distracted. It was so cute thou, I just had to post it...

 Working on putting puzzles together. The goal was not match the letter to the picture in this case but to build the coordination of putting two pieces together. Up until now, all the pieces just fit inside a puzzle cut out, so actually having to put something together that can not just slide together meant they would have to work to figure out how to insert on piece into the other.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snowed In

It has been a bit crazy lately, we have been snowed in for the last several days and while that would normally give us more time to work, it has meant everyone has been home, making it harder for Veronika and Gavyn to have the quiet they need to keep all the distractions out so they could focus on their work. 
 One thing we never have to try, is to get them to read books, they LOVE books!! And this is how we will find them several times throughout the day.
 Veronika trying to do the letters in sign language
 Matching colors

 Working on pointing and then giving me the card I have asked for. 
 Gavyn working on color sorting
 Matching letters
 Matching words
 Reading words and then doing the action- Gavyn's turn
now Veronika's turn

 Of course, what would be the point of being snowed in if you could not go out and play in it? Gavyn did not care for the snow at all.
Veronika on the other hand loved it!!

The rest of the time they have just spent playing just like any other little kids. 
They really enjoyed wearing their hats and playing with their baby dolls while having a pretzel picnic.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome to the New Year ~ 2014

In the winter, sometimes you just have to bring the outside in. 

Working on fine motor work. Scooping and pouring is used as a means to develop fine motor skills associated with practical life skills, not to mention the value of sensory experiences in young childhood education.

 Gavyn looking at his touch and feel flash cards. 

Veronika matched the words

Shadow matching. Different colors are telling clues when trying to distinguish between similar objects. Shadow matching challenges a child's visual discrimination skills by asking him to match a full-color picture to its all-black shadow.

 Lacing beads: Manipulating the string in and out of the holes takes a lot of effort for little fingers. It strengthens dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and the pincer grasp.

Using clothes pins to work on fine motor skills which are essential for everyday life skills such as writing, eating, manipulating buttons and zippers, and scissor work. 

 Bingo dobbers work fine motor skills. The idea is that you do not paint/color with them, you have to lift them up and down. We did hand over hand to dot the letter "a" and as we dotted it we would say, A says a a a a, until we finished. Then I let them dot all over the paper on their own.

 We also practice our letter sounds the fun way! Allie alligator says a a a, Ellie elephant says e e e. 

 We also work on self help skills. After meals Veronika and Gavyn put away their dishes. They also bring their laundry to the laundry room after they have taken a bath.

Veronika and Gavyn are doing really well in alot of ways. But one area they still struggle in is speech. They can sign over 200 signs, but we still do not have regular words, not even mama. Sometimes a word will just pop out, but then we won't hear it again. Once per month Veronika and Gavyn have speech (we are trying to get this moved up to move than once per month).  We just changed our insurance coverage in hopes that we can get better services than we were getting with our old insurance.