Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Circus Week

Last week (and this week) we are doing a circus theme here at the McPherson preschool. This has involved my friend Fred Rogers showing Sora what a circus is, in addition to several books and some projects. Here are the cutest ones.

Sora playing with her circus sensory bin. Here, the animals have lined up and are about to jump through the flaming ring of fire. You can als see her 4-car circus train and the pink tight rope set up over the bin of colored rice and letters.

The highlight for me was when we played circus this afternoon. Sora played all the parts: ringmaster, clown, lion and acrobat. The clown was of course the best part of all!

 Sora's still working on her clown routine. We have a ways to go before she'll be going pro.

And to top it off, here are the top drawings of the week:
 Left: clown; Right: ringmaster (covered with circus animals for some unknown reason)
The circus big top.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween: Take 1

One of the negative things about living in the middle of no where is that trick or treating here is very difficult. Another problem we have is that the nearest town where trick or treating is feasible has decided that Halloween falls on Saturday, rather than the traditional October 31st. Since we will be in Michigan next Saturday (where they observe Halloween on the the "real" day) and the next closest town is 30 minutes away AND Kyle has to work on Halloween evening at camp. I am trying to get a plethora of Halloween dressing-up experiences in before Halloween so that Sora will be Halloweened out (is that even possible) and not realize that we aren't trick or treating.

The first of these pre-Halloween experiences was the family event at a nearby arboretum. We were a few minutes early, so we got to explore the prairie trail. It was great, and a perfect track for Sora and some friends to run on!

The actual event had a variety of activities: painting or carving pumpkins (with paint getting all over the newly sewed princess dress).
 Story time and tiara making at the Fairy Castle (complete with elaborate decorations)

A corn maze and spooky chipmunk tunnel. Here is also a gratuitous costume shot - I spent a lot of time sewing this dress and Sora spent a lot of energy decorating her felt crown!
There was also a scavenger hunt and of course a lot of playing with her friends. The highlight for Sora was the pretzels, candy, and hot chocolate.

This was the first year of the event, and I'm hoping it can become a family tradition - it had all of my favorite things going for it: very little sweets, lots of nature/education sprinkled in, and it was free!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Devouring Forest Animals

It was forest animal week at our house and Sora convinced me to create these delicious forest animal cookies that we saw in a magazine together.

Sora's favorite was the porcupine, but the raccoon was a close second. We donated most of the cookies, along with the rest of the pack (we used the chocolate covered Oreos for the base of each animal). But the few that Sora consumed were deemed delicious!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dance Mom

Sora's dance class had their "parent presentation" this week for their last class. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of dance and signed her up for a 7 week course instead of a longer class with a recital because I didn't want her in it for that long. Having said that, this was one of the cutest things I have seen in a long time! It was fun to see Sora following the teachers directions and she actually knew more dance stuff than I expected a 3 year old to learn in 6 - 25 min. sessions.

 (hopping on one foot)
Sora's class "performed" one tap dance and two ballet dances. They were all super adorable! This was also parent week for swim class, but Sora has a nasty cough so we decided to skip it this time. Her new classes start up next week, so look for another proud parent moment at the end of the next class.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Annual Pumpkin Patch

Today was our annual pumpkin patch trip. For the past three Octobers, we have been to the same Pumpkin Patch with our Playgroup. Here's a few links if you like to relive the past, like I do, to all of our Pumpkin adventures:  October 2011, October 2010, and October 2009 (in Washington) (and October 2008 - even living it up as a fetus).

As is tradition, Sora loved the train ride and wagon ride, tolerated a few photo ops, picked out some pumpkins, thought about petting animals (but decided against it), and suffered through the haunted grainery (actually a little too scary for a 3 year old - who would have guessed). She is starting to understand the scary/pretend concept (although still very afraid of the concept that we might be lying to her... for example, she is terrified of Santa and keeps saying he's real and scary even though we have told her that it's just a pretend game). Luckily, she liked most of the "scary" things about the hay ride (people in freaky masks pop out and wave). On a side note, she is terrified of "scary" animals like dinosaurs and bears. She gets "real" and "extinct" mixed up, which I'm sure is pretty common. I was so excited to read Laura Engles Wilder to her, and about half way through the first chapter I had to stop, since it went on and on about wolves (and the stories are set in "a little house in the big woods of Wisconsin" which I always play up, so it made the scary wolves even scarier to Sora).

We picked out 4 pumpkins to puree and 1 big pumpkin for a jack o lantern. Hopefully the wolves squirrels at our house won't destroy it too quickly off the porch, like last year!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leaf Walk

This week, Sora and I have been having a "leaf theme". This of course coincides nicely with the beautiful leaves that are now littering the ground and are beginning to fall off of the trees like rain. We took a leaf walk this morning to capture the colors on camera before the leaves all come off of the trees which will be very soon (too soon)! Sora hammed it up for the camera - maybe that's the benefit of not taking pictures all the time? Anyway, enjoy the beautiful colors at camp in the photos below - I know we are!

Father Daughter Weekend

Kyle took Sora on her first official Father/Daughter weekend at camp and she loved it!
 Here they are, getting ready to go. The turtle pillow pet and binoculars were both musts - just in case she saw any animals!
 Kyle let her sleep on the top bunk and she loved it so much she decided to spend two nights in the cabin instead of just one. The first night, she woke up at 5 a.m. to tell Kyle there were dragons in the cabin (all of the other dads snoring). We've been doing a castle theme this month, so her love/fear of dragons has come out a lot (especially in the dark).
She loved hanging out at the campfire by the cabin, as well as the camp-wide campfire with skits and songs. She didn't perform, but loves watching - she tries to go to as many as we will let her (and with kids here most of the year, there are a lot of campfires). I also heard of many campfire treats which of course she loved.
 They visited the arts & crafts area three times, and brought home one necklace and two butterflies. Here she is creating a butterfly with markers, a clothes pin, and a coffee filter.

They also went fishing, which was the first time Sora really went fishing, despite her many requests (at inopportune times, of course). She (Kyle?) caught a 6" fish.
And here is a picture of the view from the fire tower earlier this month. I'm hoping to go again this weekend for another photo op.

Kyle's dad and wife came to visit in September, so we were busy playing and being tour guides and didn't take many pictures (or take the time to blog). If we're lucky, we'll get some pictures from the trip up.