Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tot School Autumn Leaves

Tot School
Xander is 21 months old.

This week started off with a visit from Ryan's folks and a trip to the zoo. We really had a fun time at the zoo, this time we didn't bring the stroller and Xander did really well walking everywhere. Took a few spills towards the end when he was getting tired. All that walking wore him out, he was sound asleep before we left the parking lot to drive home!

We were focusing on leaves this week. I had placed some books on hold from the library about leaves and then Ryan surprised us with some chicken books (he's the manager of a library).

Of the books about leaves my favorite was Leaves by David Ezra Stein. The illustrations in Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson are lovely but the story was too long to hold Xander's interest, maybe next year. I also really enjoyed Leaf Man by Lois Elhert but Xander did not get the leaf pictures at all. His favorite book about leaves was Fall Leaves by Don L. Curry, he really liked the actions and I'm thinking about using our leftover tissue paper leaves (from last weeks art project) to recreate some of the actions, the huge mess I can foresee is making me pause though. Actual leaf play in our yard is NOT going to happen, we have dogs and free range chickens and ewww, I'll stick with tissue paper leaves. I'm sure our small flock helped to make the Big Chickens books by Leslie Helakoski such a huge hit with Xander but I think even non-chicken owning kids would love these, they were great fun to read.

Speaking of our chickens, helping to carry their food is one of Xander's chores. It is very hard for him to carry the big container of chicken feed but he is so proud doing it. He also likes to toss them their cracked corn in the yard or dry cereal out our slider door. Next year I am hoping to fence the chickens away from the house, especially the patio and glass door but for now they love to come visit us (if only they were potty trained!). Xander and the chickens sat down for a snack one day, both eating cheerios-- just on opposite sides of the glass door.

Our order from Time for Tots came at the end of last week (very fast!) and one night I pulled out some of the activities to play with Xander. I ordered the Thanksgiving Kit and quite a few of the activities fit our leaf week just perfect.
Xander still can't work tongs but that doesn't stop him from trying.

He was not happy when Mommy suggested he use his fingers to transfer the leaves.

Playing with the leaf letters that spell his name.

They made Xander very excited!

Matching the small objects to the big pictures.

The apple made Xander very happy.

And then very confused, can I eat it?

Little apple!

Goes on BIG apple!

Corn, I picked ears of corn at Grandma and Grandpa's!

Absolutely no number understanding at this point but he thinks the glass beads are neat!

Very unhappy when Mommy said it was quitting time!
While doing the sorting with the big laminated apple Xander started saying apple, well, all he says is aaaa but he's been consistent about aaaa for apple all week now.

We also baked leaf cookies this week. I cheated and bought the refrigerated sugar cookie dough and totally spaced buying colored sugar to sprinkle on top. Xander didn't quite grasp the concept of cutting out the cookies-- he'd just smack the cookie cutter down in the same area over and over so I had to be quick to grab out the cookies once he'd cut them. The cookies turned out yummy even without frosting or sprinkles and I'd include a photo of us eating them but they were gone before I thought of that. (what, don't you bake in just your undies?)

21 months has been a time of talking and eating, he's really improved in both. He's tried to say quite a few new words and his willingness to eat seems to be improving every day! Unfortunately it is also been a time of conquering baby gates--- nothing can hold the Xander Bear back.

That was our fun week, unfortunately it is ending with a sick weekend as we're all coming down with a cold (aaachooo!). To see what other tots are doing visit Tot School.
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