Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recent Activities

Between summer craziness and adjusting to life with a toddler and a baby things around here have been very disorderly. I think in the next week or so we'll be more or less forced back into a routine as the things going on around us return to "normal". In the midst of the craziness though we did do a few new activities.
The Little Guy has made the after supper, before bedtime hour into his daily activity time.
Here is a matching game that I created for a Signing Time class using flash cards from the Classroom Edition.
A potential travel toy, this bear puzzle come from One great feature is that the faces show various emotions/expressions. The Little Guy had fun making bears for each member of our family. It was interestings to see which face each person got!
Taking the 100 yen shop flashcards to a new level - divide by category and then find objects to match as many of the pictures as you can!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brain Quest

Do you know about the Brain Quest series of materials?

The Little Guy is hooked on the 2 sets that we have. The first one is "My First Brain Quest" for 2-3 year olds and recently we started working with "for threes" which is for 3-4 yr olds.
I love the sets of cards for traveling. They are great for taking on trains since the cards are hooked together and have enough variety to help the time pass quickly. You can find some of the Brain Quest products on by clicking here.

I've been really surprised by how much the Little Guy already knows. Most of the 3-4 yr. old set is easy for him to understand. I love though that it helps me to identify areas where he has yet to learn vocabulary or concepts. For example, today one of the questions was looking for "lawn mower" as the answer. He thought and thought about what he saw in the picture and came up with "grass cutter". I guess we have a city boy! We don't have grass and I can only think of once or twice where we have seen someone mowing a lawn and even then it was in a park, from a distance.

I just noticed on the homepage that there are now write and erase sets. Maybe we'll get some of those next?
Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: Shapes & Colors

Children in Church

A friend of mine recently posted about having children in church on Sundays. She has 4 young kids. We have both seem the benefits of teaching your children about worship and fully including them in church life from the start.
Here is her post.... Children in Church

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in Language

Language Aquisition 言語獲得
These words have been on my mind a lot lately.

The Little Guy has been growing by leaps and bounds in so many different ways but one of the most noticeable is his "new" words and the way he uses "old" ones.

Here are a few (very random) examples:

He has figured out that したい (shitai) can be added to words to say you want to do something. The pronunciation though comes out as "shi-tai" instead of "shtai".
たべ したい (食べたい) A litteral translation to English would be "I want to do eating/food"

When a word is unknown in Japanese but the Little Guy thinks he knows it in another language (not always English here...) he tries to say it with katakana pronunciation. Funny thing is that about half the time saying it that way works for him! I still can't do that...

The end of the Alphabet song has changed from "next time won't you sing with me" to
"next time I will sing with you" The meaning is basically the same...

Counting in Spanish always misses 6 or 7. Counting in English goes in order till 5 and then jumps to 11, 12 and then turns into randon 'teens.

Malaho, Aloha and piko (thanks, hi/bye and belly button) are more fun to say in Hawaiian.

"That is mine's" (should be "that is mine") This grates on my nerves because I had a preschooler that took the whole year to break the habit of adding 's in strange places.

Recent lables for languages -

Mommy's words -> English
Daddy's word's -> Japanese
German -> German
Like Manny -> Spanish
Baby Signing Time or Signing Time -> ASL, American Sign Language
Like this (and then signs) -> JSL, Japanese Sign Language
Like Hawaiians, I want to go there with ____ (as in Spa Resort Hawaiians) - Hawaiian

I'm sure I'll think of more things and when I do I'll try to remember to post them.

Cedarmont Kids

The Little Guy is in a stage right now where he soaks up songs like a sponge. It seems like he only has to hear a new song once before he starts to sing along.
A year ago I picked up the Cedarmont Kids Action Bible Sings, Bible Sings and Sunday School Songs. We also have the Christmas Carols DVD. While I was a bit disappointed that these aren't sing along/ dance along style DVDs (the kids are just singing and moving, not much to follow) my son really doesn't seem to care. He loves the music and will get out instruments to play along.

Here's a clip of Zacchaeus from Youtube:

The kids clothes and film style may seem a bit dated but again, the Little Guy doesn't seem to notice!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exercise Time

The Little Guy loves to exercise. He often asks to get out weights or watch a workout video. He also takes out my yoga cards and trys to do the poses that are pictured. I love that he is so interested in movement.
Today he decided it was high time for the Little Lady to have her first lesson in proper exercise. Watching him try and teach her was so entertaining!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 Weeks Old

The Little Lady has reached the two week mark. Here is what we know about her so far:

- She loves to sleep
- She loves to eat and then go back to sleep
- She spends 1-2 hours a day really awake and looking around
- She is a tummy sleeper. I know that isn't the safest so she can only sleep on her tummy when supervised but she seems so comfortable on her tummy / side.
- She loves heat and humidity. Perhaps a reminder of her previous lodgings?

This week we started doing Tummy Time. As far as I can tell she's excited about it. The Little Guy is also excited to have his sister to "play" with even if all she does is watch him run he trains on the track.
The Little Guy set up this space for tummy time. He felt she needed a pillow, gauze and a train within reach.
The view from the train tracks...

We were impressed by the Little Lady's head control. She can pick up and turn her head from side to side. She's also managed to scoot on her belly for a few inches. Beware, newborns aren't as immobile as we all assume! I think this one could scoot right off the couch if she had a mind to.

Please keep in mind that tummy time always needs to be carefully supervised! Especially with siblings around...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Becoming Big Brother

The Little Guy became a big brother last week. This week he is beginning to learn what that really means.
Yesterday we took our first family walk to the baby store with the baby in the stroller. Apparently pushing the stroller is a "big brother" job!
Thankfully our stoller has many ways to adjust including a feature that can lower or raise the handle.
What a cool Little Guy!