Monday, February 26, 2007

this week's snow theme, our daily rhythms, and books

This will be our last week on our "snow" theme, which has sort of lasted the entire month. Next week we'll be focusing on Maple Sugaring, which is a pretty big part of the New England tapestry this time of year, and a great introduction to early spring.

Thanks to the strong sun and warm temperature (well, if you consider 35 warm, we certainly do after the past month of frigid temps!), our snow pack turned just sticky enough yesterday to allow the kids (and The Map Man) to build our first snowman of the year. He looks pretty good all dressed up like that -- trust me, now that he's naked (the dogs pulled all the clothing off fairly soon after this photos was taken), he looks more like a snow blob. A pointy-headed snow blob. But the kids were pretty proud of him, and we'll head on out this afternoon to see if we can't make him some buddies with the fresh 4 inches that fell overnight.

Other than snow play, which no doubt will be on-going all week, this week I'll be focusing on getting back with our daily rythms. I revamped them slightly to allow more "wiggle room" for taking care of new critters -- the pup has added the need for even more flexibility than our schedule already calls for, and the new pony is coming tomorrow afternoon. They aren't all that different than the last time I posted our daily rhythms, but I'll include them here anyway just to keep things current:

8am -- rise and shine, make beds and open curtains (@ 10 min)
sensory brushing, dressing (@ 15 min)
play with puppy while I feed the ponies and get the adult dogs outside (@ 30 min)
9am -- breakfast (@ 30 min)
toothbrushing (@ 10 min)
calendar and weather activity (@ 20 min)
outdoor play (@ 1 hr)
11am -- snack (@ 15 min)
adventure (classes, grocery shopping, library, etc) (@ 90 min)
1pm -- lunch (@ 30 min)
rest time (30 - 60 min)
therapy (OT/SIT/OM) activities (30 - 60 min)
3pm -- snack (@ 15 min)
barn chores/outdoor play (30-60 min)
pony care (brushing, riding, etc) (30-60 min)
RDI focus activity (may incorporate pony time or barn chores) (30-45 min)
5pm -- supper (@ 1hr, including prep time which may also be RDI focus time)
free/creative play (@ 60 min)
7pm -- baths and bed prep (@ 60 min)
8pm -- Family Story Time (30 - 60 min)
9pm -- lights out, sleep, Parent Time

Here's the books we're reading this week: (the first two are purposely quite simple because the third is much longer/more complex than we've used in the past)

Flannel Kisses, by Linda Crotta Brenna, illustrated by Mari Takabayashi. A really cute, extremely simple-texted book with only a few words per page. A simple tale of a family's day of fun in the snow. Jacob really likes this book. Zoo boy really dislikes it. So mixed reviews in our house!

Cat and Mouse in the Snow, by Tomek Bogacki. I'm not thrilled with this book, but the kids are over the moon about it. Young cats and mice play in a snow-covered meadown. Not much to it. But the text (and artwork) is simple and bouncy and the tale is uncomplicated but fun, and there's snow aplenty in the illustrations. They love pretending they are the cats and mice climbing and sliding up and down the hillside.

Winter White, by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Carol Lacey. This is the REAL book of this week's story time. A wonderfully woven fable about the change of the arctic seasons. I had originally taken this book out of the library back when we were reading about the arctic a month or two ago, but my kids weren't ready to sit still for this long of a story back then. Not only are they able to listen to this now, but they became absolutely absorbed in it, and acted it out immediately after we finished reading it for the first time, and have been incorporating the characters (especially the bear, Winter) into their play ever since. The beautifully detailed illustrations (acrylic paintings) help bring this magical tale to life. A definite must-read!

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