Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where Have We Been? and Snow Books

It seems like it has been WAY too long since I posted here, and really, it's been more than three months.  On my blog reader, I usually unsubscribe from blogs that don't post more often, and I'm sorry for that.  Life has gotten in the way...I've had happy kids, sick kids, kids learning, kids exploring, and just a lot of fun in the past few months.  This includes a trip to visit my mom, sister and brother-in-law (with just me and the girls flying on planes!) and loads of weather-related days inside.  Our house is a mess these days - but a good mess.  A mess of toys and fun.  But I digress...
Frances and Gloria are doing a lot these days, but it seems like life is getting more and more structured.  Frances just started a gymnastics class last week.  I've told some of my friends that I am glad to see that she doesn't listen to the teacher, just like she doesn't listen to me.  But it's a lot of learning new skills and new vocabulary, and for that I think it's definitely worth our time and effort.  Plus I get a little one-on-one time with Gloria during the class, which is always nice.  It seems like I get a lot of one-on-one time with Frances, who has a much shorter tolerance for napping, but with Gloria there's much less time when she isn't with her big sister.
Christmas and traveling have definitely disrupted our routine this year, and I made a mental note to account for that this coming year.  Right now we are weeks behind in the Picture Book Preschool curriculum that we use - we got stuck in the first couple of weeks with the heavy equipment books and we also have been reading lots and lots of books about snow.  Here's an annotated list of books we like about snow, and I feel like we're experts now!!

The Mitten by Jan Brett.  Nicky wanted white mittens, and when one falls off, he can't find it right away...but many, many animals can!  Brett's illustrations allow peeks into the mitten - lots of fun!
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.  This is an oldie-but-goodie about what happens when SOOOO much snow falls on Geoppolis that only Katy (a large tractor with a snow plow) can plow the city and help get everything back to normal.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  Another old title, but so satisfying.  Peter is a preschooler who wakes up to a snowy day.  While there are definitely things that bigger kids can do, Peter finds his own fun with simple ideas like dragging a stick through the snow.
I Like Winter by Lois Lenski.  We own a reprint edition of the 1950's title.  It has rhyming short text and talks about winter activities.  It also focuses on Christmas, so is more appropriate for December, but it's still fun now (I think my girls would talk about Christmas all year long).
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London.  If you haven't read this yet, go get it now!  Froggy always hibernates in the winter, but this year he wakes up to go play in the snow.  This is a funny story with lots of sound effects as Froggy struggles to put on his winter clothing.  Very fun.
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel.  This is a rebus story, so preschoolers can "read" it with you - talking about all the clothing you must wear when you go outside, and how all that clothing can backfire on you!
Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals.  Very simple text, so it's easy to read to very young children -all about going outside and celebrating the snow.
Snow Play by Kate Spohn.  This is a glittery, textured book with simple rhyming couplets.  Again - I've chosen lots of books about what you do outside in the snow.  Since we moved here from Phoenix, my girls weren't exactly sure how to play in snow!

Right now we are working on some basic life skills with Frances, including putting on her own clothes and picking up toys and dishes after she's done.  We just today took a trip to the dentist with both girls.  Frances did a great job, Gloria didn't like it even when her beloved Smurps (Smurfs) were on the TV on the ceiling.  Oh well.  Hope your winter is going great, and that there are not too many snowflakes around!

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