The children are so excited to share their love on Valentine's Day that loving behaviors seem to be spilling over into our regular routines. During our calendar routine we've been talking about ways to show our family love- picking up after ourselves, giving hugs and kisses, waiting patiently for our turn to talk in a conversation- every day seems to bring new ways to show love to our little circle. The older children have taken extra special care of the littles and have been giving them lots of sibling-like support. For example, one of the littles wanted to reach a small bowl that was up on the top shelf in the play kitchen and with no prompting from me, the older child got the bowl for the little one and gave a hug along with the bowl.
We looked for birds during our weather routine, so we decided to postpone our Great Backyard Bird Count tally until later in the day. It's not very fun to record a row of zeros! We wondered where the birds could be.
We worked more on our circle time song "Love Grows One By One." The children love to use the movements that go along with the words, but we have to do them slowly with no rushing or else the chilren get confused.
After our morning routine, we put more effort into our Valentine's Day surprises. Today's tasks used fine motor skills again.
There was peeling, gluing, and stamping involved, but beyond that I don't want to spoil the surprise! We can't wait to share our homemade gifts with our familes!
Later we decided to get out the blocks and combine them with a variety of dolls and animals.
We dreamed up all sorts of Valentine's Day scenarios- people getting married, mothers and fathers giving Valentine's Day presents to their children, children exchanging Valentines, and the like.
After that, we experimented with how tall we could build towers and what we could make out of blocks. We made a tower sixteen blocks high before one of the littles knocked it over. We used the unit blocks to make a pile of wood for a pretend bonfire, then one of the children separated out matching blocks and put them side by side to make "xylophones." She tapped on the blocks with some of our music rhythm sticks to play songs. Other chidren were more interested in making houses for people.
The littles enjoyed some one-on-one Valentine's love as we worked on saying "please" and "thank you." We practiced holding out our hands and saying "please" and then saying "thank you" after an item was placed in our hands. We also fit in some touch-and-feel books at this time.
Suddenly we heard birds and when we looked out the window, there were several birds eating from the feeder and off the ground including a male cardinal! We watched for ten minutes and tried our best to take an accurate count of how many birds there were in total. We saw four Dark-Eyed Juncos, eight Chipping Sparrows, and one Cardinal. We counted how many birds we saw in all using our tally marks.
After naps, we worked on our number recognition skills as we played a rousing game of Slap Jack with playing cards. The children did an impressive job of listening carefully to and following directions, taking turns, and recognizing numbers as they called out what card they put down.
We finished the day by working on one last simple and sensory-rich art project. All I can say is that it involved something soft and fuzzy. The littles in particular enjoyed feeling the soft fuzzy items... which you'll get to see on February 12 when we have our Valentine's Day celebration.
See you tomorrow!