We are slowly settling in and getting back to our Hawaiian quotidian life. We had a wonderful family Valentine’s Day. In the morning Lucien got to visit and play with Grandpa Nic; they had lots of fun riding bikes together. Lucien was excited to give Daddy the Valentine’s Day card that he had finger-painted, and a couple presents. He was thrilled with the heart-themed lunch I prepared for him. (He really missed those buttery purple sweet potatoes while we were in Wisconsin!)
He was very enthusiastic about his Valentine’s Day basket. See that big bag of coconut flour? We used it to prepare this recipe from The Paleo Mom. I love pretty much all of her recipes. We mixed, rolled, and cut together.
Lucien was very proud of the finished product. So proud, in fact, that nobody was allowed to eat any cookies for quite some time! Instead, Lucien went about setting up an extremely elaborate bake shop in the living room, using the cookies, all of his toy food, and K cups “muffins” carefully placed in muffin liners and then in muffin pans. He was a very serious bakery owner, and I had to pay top dollar for those cookies!
We are again enjoying story time at the Aina Haina public library. Doesn’t he look so relaxed! Lucien likes Miss Alice, the librarian, so much, that he pretends to be Miss Alice at home. He sings the story time songs, “reads” stories to me and the baby dolls (they are still omnipresent in our lives), and even reenacts special events that he remembers from story time, like a Halloween trick-or-treat parade.
We have been doing copious amounts of reading at home. It is so hard for me to keep track of detailed book lists – we just read too much! – I have taken to logging the time per day we spend reading. Our average is two hours per day! I love it so much. I can tell that Lucien listens to a lot of literature, because when he talks it very often comes out sounding like a story. “‘Alright,’ he said with a sigh” and other such utterances are typical.
The past few days I have had a bit of a sore throat – and all that reading aloud certainly doesn’t help – so I have been doing a bit of storytime outsourcing. I found a wonderful resource called “Sparkle Stories.” They have a free podcast, so Lucien and I have listened together to two different stories in their “Martin and Sylvia” collection. Martin and Sylvia are homeschooled siblings, and the stories are sweet and positive and cozy, and they encourage creative thinking and independent play. A win all around!
Our monthly installment of our Clifford science kit arrived in the mail this week, and Lucien was over-the-moon excited to get a package just for him. He was so enthusiastic to “do another experiment” that we worked our way through the whole kit in just two days! We used static electricity to make pepper “jump”; we linked two bottles together and spun them to make a water tornado, and then when Lucien asked why there were bubbles floating up through the water we talked about how there was air inside the bottle, just like all around us, and how the lighter things – like air – float to the top; we further explored the concepts of buoyancy and density by making an egg float in salt water; we made our own paper from recycled materials, we explored how mirrors can create multiple reflections of an object and then made our own kaleidoscope,
Dad came up with another fun experiment of his own – a homemade siphon! We tried our best to explain Bernoulli’s principle and the law of conservation of energy. Those can be tricky concepts for adults, much less a three-year-old, but we did our best. “If a ball is at the top of hill, it has a lot of potential energy …. it would could start rolling down and by the time it reached the bottom of the hill it would be moving very quickly ….” Lucien just loves playing with water. He spent a great deal of time siphoning things into and out of various containers. I am not sure how much of the science he understood, but that is just fine. I figure he is at least filing the ideas away somewhere in his brain, and we can go back and retrieve them sometime in the future!
Speaking of science, Lucien still adores Miss Frizzle. He asked to check out a Magic School Bus chapter book from the library. And then he asked me to read the whole thing aloud! We finished Penguin Puzzle in only two sittings, and he loved it. He is asking for more! This is actually the second chapter book he has requested I read. While we were in Wisconsin we read the first book of the Magic Tree House series together. I have #2 checked out of the library and waiting in case he shows more interest. He liked Jack and Annie, and thought the idea of a tree house that could travel through time was really cool. We might have a great, fun way to introduce history!