What We Did, April 11-15

Spring is finally starting to consider sticking around, although we are still having frosty mornings. We had a great time playing outside on Monday, practicing some simple Spanish, honing observation skills by describing and identifying flowers, and then just mucking about in mud puddles. Then D1 fell and scraped her head and knees pretty badly.

We used the phrase, “Puedes encontrar algo . . . ?” (Can you find something . . . ?) with the colors. They know most of the basic colors, and it goes nicely with our Spanish song this month. This week I’ll try it with some other adjectives we have studied.¬† (grande/mediano/pequeno/caliente/frio/dura/blanda) I suspect I’ll get some of the grammar wrong, but I’m learning a lot. They’re finally starting to really respond–one day I called down, “Vamos a comer!” and they perked up, “Hey, that means eat!” and came running for lunch.

We went to the store and they spent their Christmas money from Grammy and Gramps on Lego and Hot Wheels, and then came home and put everything together. D1 and D2 have really progressed in being able to follow the instructions–and then, of course, use the pieces however they want. There was a little math in there, too, naturally.

We did some drawing of flowers this week, too. We watched a dog chase a stick at the beach. Maybe that doesn’t sound too exciting, but they were fascinated, and the twins handled the presence of a big dog without fear for the first time ever.

On Thursday we went to the zoo with Aunt Becky. For the first time, the room with the tidal pool animals you can touch was open and not over-crowded, so they went in and got to touch starfish and sea urchins and saw barnacles and hermit crabs in action. I was excited about that because it will help us with visits to the beach. We also watched the tigers and the gibbons and the walruses quite a bit. And we got caught in an ice-cold downpour and took refuge with the carousel, which was a fabulous experience all by itself.

They’ve listened to Half Magic and Homer Price at bedtime. D2 has really taken off in narration ability.

The twins have wanted to read De Colores, Block City, Machines at Work, and Umbrella over and over. The big kids continue to enjoy Heidi, The Swiss Twins, Among the Meadow People, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. We read another “Tale from Long Ago” about a Swiss hero, and D2 was moved but pleased. (He’s been rather sensitive about scary stories ever since the Song of Roland.)

I reserved some books about Japan, but D1 continues to insist she will die if she listens to stories about anywhere but Europe. Ah well, we’ve still got a ways to go in Heidi.

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