Music, Math, Butter, and More!

I am so excited to report that music Together classes have begun again! We have gone to two classes, and Lucien is already singing and doing the motions to the song right along with me and our teacher. It makes my day so much brighter to hear him sing. We have also been playing the CD of songs at home, and Lucien will sometimes stop what he is doing to “bounce along” with the song “See How I’m Jumping,” or do the motions to “Open and Shut Them.”

photo 4 (3)Another (extra-special exciting) outing from this week was to the  Spalding House museum of art. It was Lucien’s first time visiting. The first Wednesday of every month they offer a family day, with free admission and a story time for the kids, so we decided to take advantage and meet up with some friends at the museum. Lucien’s favorite spot was the family lounge, complete with photo 3 (4)books and toys and art projects. We played with the food and cars and blocks and did some drawing. Then we listened to a few books at story time, had some beef and cauliflower for lunch, and set out to explore the lovely garden surrounding the museum.

photo 5 (3)While out on our walk, Lucien came across a sculpture that looked vaguely like a windmill and spun around in the wind just like a real windmill. Ever the pragmatist, he asked me, “What does that do?”

“It is a sculpture that turns in the wind, much like a windmill.”

“Yeah, but what is it for?”

“You mean, what is its purpose? It is a piece of art, a decoration, designed to be beautiful, or capture your attention in some way. And it did, didn’t it? Here we are discussing it.”

“Yeah, but what does it DO?”

“Nothing really, if you mean, does it have a purpose like a real windmill that grinds grain, or produces electricity.”

I could tell he was dissatisfied with the windmill and my explanation of it. He prefers useful windmills. I was so happy that I found a book at the library about wind turbines producing electricity. (That was another outing this week – we stopped at the library for story time and a fresh bag of books.) The book I found is called “My Light” by Molly Bang. I found it very enjoyable and informative. The sun is the story’s narrator; he explains how his light creates energy via solar panels, coal, wind turbines, and water turbines, so that even when we turn on light bulbs at night, it is really his energy that allows us to see. It was a very cool primer on green energy, the water cycle, and weather, explained on a level that Lucien could grasp.

photo (2)We had a few more outings this week. We shopped for groceries at Costco. Lucien and I made it fun. Lucien and the baby dolls enjoyed lots of cheese samples. We were especially thrilled to find that Costco restocked the Kerry Gold butter. Win! We now have nine packs in the freezer. We eat a lot of butter. (Lucien has started this thing where he makes a sour fish face whenever he sees that I am trying to take his picture. Here he is trying to do the sour fish, but it is really hard because he wants to smile. Because, butter.)

photo 2 (4)We have also been back to visit the animals at the zoo and take advantage of the playground. We are definitely getting our money’s worth from that zoo membership – it was a great Christmas present for Lucien. (Note the sour fish face.)

And speaking of Christmas presents, Lucien has a couple other favorites. He will play for hours – literally hours – with his kinetic sand. I am also fascinated by it, how it squishes in my hands and then moved and expands. That stuff is really cool!

photo 2 (5)The other Christmas present that Lucien has been getting a lot of use out of is his scissors skills workbook. He continues to pick it up on a daily basis and do at least a page or two. He has completed several pages that require math skills as well, counting out pennies and determining which items on the page he could afford to purchase.

We have been doing some math through the books we found at the library. Lucien’s favorites math books this past week have been “Tally O’Malley” (all about making and counting tally marks), “Monster Math” (subtraction), and “How Many, How Much” (which covers a whole bunch of early math skills). We have also been getting some manipulatives out and practicing addition, subtraction, and greater/less than. Lucien loves working with his teddy bear counters.

photo 1 (5)A fun new (and super simple!) activity we discovered is stringing beads onto leftover Christmas ribbon to make necklaces. We incorporated art, fine motor practice, and even some more math – patterns! – into one very enjoyable, engrossing activity. Lucien sat down and worked on those necklaces for over a half hour without pause.

This might be the last blog post for a while. On Tuesday Lucien and I are heading to Wisconsin! We will be busy visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. And house hunting! Yippee! I am so excited to be moving back.

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