Sunday, April 29, 2012

Little Environmentalist

In celebration of Earth Day, we went to a nearby nature center for their Earth Day Celebration. It was a fun trip and included a stop at the Amish bakery for an added treat. Sora loved all of the "projects" the best. She painted on birch bark, tie dyed a bandana, decorated a pot and planted some grass.

We also put on some boots and explored the pond. We are doing a pond "unit" in our "tot school" this month, so it was perfect timing. We found some tadpoles and a lot of insects and nymphs. I was more memorized than Sora, but she was mildly interested as well.

At night, when we were talking about our day, Sora said, "But we didn't do anything good for the Earth." Good point - while it was a fun day, not much of our actions were actually positively impacting the earth. We decided that we should go for a family bike ride to the park to pick up garbage.

On the way, we stopped at a part of the park we haven't played at before. Sora LOVED it. I think she would have stayed all day.
Here she is "playing a game with the mud".

And then, of course, she fell in and decided to let her pants and shoes dry off while playing naked. It was a little cold for this, but in true Sora fashion, she didn't care in the least.
We did actually pick up trash at the playground of the park. On the way home, we saw a lot of trash on the side of the road and Sora decided we should come back and pick it up. I told her we would go for a walk with the wagon tomorrow to pick it all up and sort it into recycling and trash. A daughter after my own heart :).

Oh, and on a side note: after we got home from the nature center yesterday, Sora decided to play the guitar and sing to her plants like her favorite Frog and Toad story. She made up some pretty great songs. We went out to tell them stories today, but the pot was knocked over and the seeds were gone. It looks like we'll need to try again with another plant to help my budding singer/songwriter practice.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Go Fly a Kite

Sora and I have been doing a weather unit for our "tot school" for the past few weeks and have talked a lot about windy weather. Unfortunately, until this past weekend, we didn't own a kite so we couldn't practice any fun windy weather experiences (although we did get to do sunny, snowy, and rainy in the past 3 weeks which was great). As a kid, we lived on Whidbey Island for 5 years, where it is very often windy, so my mom would take us kite flying a lot. It is something that I love and was excited to get to finally do with Sora.




Sora was fascinated and the kite we bought happens to fit into a very small pouch and have no sticks or set up of any kind, so we can whip it out at a moments notice. We will be doing this again soon (and this will be great for our summer camping trip - the entire state of South Dakota seemed like a giant wind farm potential to me, so it will be perfect for flying a kite)!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Walk in the Woods





Whenever I get down about being so far from home, it's nice to remember that at least we live in a beautiful, magical place. What a fun playground just steps outside our front door!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gymnast

So, after Sora turned 3 in February, we decided to start doing some organized classes. We did a parent/child swim class first. We took turns taking her in the water, and she did okay once she warmed up to the instructor (two to three weeks) and got over the fact that we couldn't just play with toys the entire time (also two to three weeks). Sora's funny and quirky, like most 3 year olds, and it takes a while for her to decide if she likes you or not. Until then, she is very standoffish and a little rude, but if she likes you she is very sweet and affectionate (as Kyle's staff can attest to - some are "in" and others are "out"). Anyway, after our first class ended in early March, we chose to do a parent/child swim/gymnastics combo (say that three times fast!). Again, Sora followed the same pattern with not wanting to participate in gymnastics much at first, but by the end she was trying everything!

She really liked the trampoline. Jumping was probably her favorite activity.

 Crayon rolling. I think she prefers traditional summersaults.

 Springboard. Not a huge fan, but willing to do it anyway.

Swinging on the bar.
Not pictured: balance beam (one of her favorites) and walking her feet up the wall. She loves when we get to play with the parachute (as all 3 year olds do), and will finally do most of the songs and chants (after 7 weeks).

Swim class is going a little better. She still wants to do free play, but now knows how the structure of class works. She is finally letting me put the cube on her (a flotation device that is required at some points in the next parent-free classes). The past two weeks, she swam quite a bit on her own with the cube! This is pretty common for the other 3 year olds in the class, but it's a big step for Sora! We're going to the pool this weekend so that we can have some fun and Sora can show Kyle her mad skillz.

Starting next week, we'll be doing a parent/child t-ball/swim combo. Hopefully she won't have to warm up too much before participating in the t-ball experience! We're also trying to convince her that next fall she will be old enough to take classes without us. So far, we're not very convincing. Hopefully going to a dance recital of a 4 year old friend this weekend will help show her that dance class is fun even though mommy can't do it with her. (Incidentally, this dance class is the only preschool class within 30 min. of us. We drive 60 min. to go to our swim class, which is silly even though we get half off since it's through the Y. Luckily, there are other errands we can do, like grocery shop, which makes the trip more worth while.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Kyle is out of town for the weekend to go back to Washington for his Grandma Mary's funeral. While Sora and I wish that we could join him, I'm sure that he got some great quality adult grieving time in that isn't quite possible with a three year old. In the meantime, Sora and I stayed at camp and tried to entertain ourselves.

On Saturday, I blew out 6 eggs rather than boil them - what a waste of time! Sora loved dying the eggs, but it went very quickly. We didn't do this last year, so this was her first egg dying experience.


 Of course, when we were done, we had to dye some coffee filters too!


 Afterwards, we mixed the colors of water and saw what happened. A very scientific experience! Of course, this all made a huge mess on the counter that I am still dealing with.

Today, we took turns playing Easter Bunny and egg finder. Luckily we have a beautiful outdoor area to play in. Unfortunately it was also very windy!




Sora preferred finding but was also a great bunny. Happy Easter to all!