Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Scissor Skills for Preschoolers

Andrew recently finished a week of Nature Camp at the Irvine Nature Centre. This is where he attends preschool throughout the school year and I love that he is able to go and meet up with his friends and teachers and stay familiar with his school routine for a week or two throughout the summer. When I was picking Andrew up from his first day of camp I noticed all of the other little campers proudly showing their parents a snake craft that they had made from a paper plate. Andrew's wasn't in his cubby and when I asked about it he pulled it out of his back pack, only partially complete. I could tell by the look on his face that he was not happy about the project. Once we were home, I asked about the snake and he told me he didn't finish it because he "is no good at cutting". To make matters worse he said that the other kids brought their snakes out on the hike that morning but he left his in his backpack because "it kept reminding him that he can't cut". My heart was broken, and to add to the mommy guilt was the fact that his teachers even told me that some extra practice with scissors would be a good idea for Andrew over the summer. I think we had only sat down to work on cutting once, maybe twice.

Here is the photo I sent to Rob to tell him the story.

Looking at his cutting you can see that he is meticulous about staying on the line his teacher drew. I have taught many children with this approach to perfection, and it completely paralyzes their ability to complete a learning task. They're the ones that rub a hole clear through the page in an attempt to print their name the "right way". I really don't want Andrew to feel this kind of pressure when he enters school.

Anyway, once the Mommy guilt subsided I decided to take a more productive approach to the situation and prepare a few activities that would help Andrew with his scissor skills without the pressure of "staying on the line".... especially not a spiralled one! I read some great articles, pinned some fun activities and we have been spending lots of time cutting paper, and grass and leaves and just about anything we can find in the backyard. Andrew loves my collection of scrap booking scissors and really enjoys punching holes in leaves while we read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  I'm happy that he is working on his hand strength and I've kept the snake to try again before the summer is out.

Here is a collection of my favourite activity ideas. The links to each website is listed underneath, they are all chalked full of amazing learning ideas!

scissor skills for preschoolers

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Weekend in NYC!!!

This weekend found the Leepers on an impromptu trip to New York City! We realized midweek that Rob had an entire weekend off and we had no prior commitments... a rare thing around here! Our amazing friends have just moved to NYC and we had been hoping to find some time this summer to visit, so away we went!

The boys were amazed with our hotel. Andrew couldn't believe the "beautiful stuff" outside (NY construction) and was amazed at how high up we were (6th floor)... doesn't take much to impress this guy!

We spent all day Saturday travelling around Manhattan, and were impressed with how much we were able to fit in! Brunch with Friends in Tribeca, the World Trade Centre Memorial, a trip around Staten Island, a tour of Central Park, the beautiful view from "Top of the Rock" and a quick trip to the Lego Store. I have so much respect for moms who schlep their kids around this city everyday!

On Sunday we took things much slower and spent the day exploring Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Drummer's Grove was incredible, the kids had so much fun showing off their moves. The parks new splash pad and roller skating rink is also pretty impressive!

It was an incredible weekend. I was thrilled to spend time with a great friend that I have been missing here in Baltimore and loved watching how excited our kids were to be reunited. Getting to spend some "pager free" time with this guy was pretty awesome too!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

a great summer treat {prego cocktail}...

Summer in Baltimore is thick... hot and super humid. This fun summer drink is very refreshing and doesn't leave me drooling over Rob's nice cold beer! The ingredients are simple. I found mine at Trader Joe's, but I am sure most grocery stores carry them.


Since this is a carbonated beverage, you'll want to just mix it up in the glass. I added one part 100% Cherry Juice and 2 parts Sparkling Lemonade to a glass with a few fun ice cubes (frozen with fresh mint and lemon). 

I also added a couple of pitted cherries to some cute straws that I had leftover from a recent birthday party... completely unnecessary for a Wednesday afternoon in the backyard with a 4 year old.

Andrew was excited that I let him try a "fancy drink" but after a few sips he decided that this drink was "more for mommies"... a little tart and super fizzy!

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