Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Alphabet: P

"Welcome to our ship. You can spend the night here because this is your new home."
-Spencer Mahlke

Maybe because the arctic temps have taken over our lives; maybe because I'm going a little crazy being locked indoors; maybe because I'm a little kid trapped in a big person's body; maybe because my boys showed even a morsel of interest in something; maybe because I like any excuse to throw a party. Whatever the reason, I kind of went a bit overboard for the letter P last week.

It all started when Spencer discovered we were learning about pirates. Immediately he inquired about a pirate ship. I only intended on making one on paper to hang on the wall. But he insisted, and he's too darn cute when he's enthusiastic about something. So one text message to my husband while he was at work lead to the biggest, most hugest box you can ever imagine. And from there sprang a little idea to have a Pirate Day. I wanted to wait to do it on a day with absolutely nothing planned, which so happened to be Thursday. My poor boys had to wait and wait and wait all week long for the much anticipated pirate party. I got asked at least 387 trillion times a day if it was Thursday yet.

"No, honey, it's only Tuesday."

"When will it be Tursday?"

So prior to the big superbowl of P activities, we did a handful of other things as well.

Like a penguin P for their bedroom door alphabets. An interesting tidbit of information I discovered while reading through the library books is that the Daddy Penguins nestle the eggs on the top of their feet to keep them off the ice and warm while the Mommy Penguins fish. I mean, now you loooove penguins, right?

Since we couldn't go outside to paint snow like years past, what with the freezing temps and all, I brought the snow inside. Of course that's never enough. Tractors had to be incorporated as well.

I made a popsicle puzzle. I had to help Spencer quite a bit since I didn't think the picture-selection through well enough. I'd suggest using a picture of one large object instead. Ashton didn't even attempt the puzzle.

We also had a puppet show. I busted out a puppet Spencer received years ago from his grandma after a trip to Poland. I had stuffed it in his closet for later and literally forgot all about it. And somehow that very day Spencer brought home a paper tiger puppet from preschool. Perfect timing for our P week. The boys put on a puppet show, which consisted solely of them singing, "I am a puppet, I am a puppet, I am a puppet" over and over again. When it was my turn to give them a show, I turned it into a Simon Says type activity. High five the puppet. Jump on one foot. Wiggle your butt. You get the picture. This was a crowd pleaser and has since been the puppet show theme.

And, finally, Wednesday turned to Thursday and our Pirate Day commenced. We began the day lazily in my bed setting the mood with an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Then we wandered down to the basement where in the middle of the playroom sat the biggest box-converted-pirate ship you ever did see. Dave and I spent hours the night before perfecting the masterpiece. And much to my husband's credit, he only grumbled 37 times when I came up with brilliant idea after brilliant idea that he had to somehow bring to fruition.

Once the boys acquainted themselves with their new pirate headquarters, we went on a quest for hidden treasures. The map lead us to one destination after the other, unearthing treasures along the way, until finally we found the loot.

Equipped with the proper attire (recycled Halloween costumes), tools, and gold doubloons, we played the morning away.

We broke only for a quick project, which was fittingly a pirate ship--the original idea that ignited the whole cardboard box ship idea.

And for a quick picnic lunch...aboard our pirate ship, of course.

Then the pirate play swiftly resumed after naps. The day was filled with many ahoys, arrrrrrghs, scallywags, shiver me timbers, yo ho hos and various other pirate terms. Sadly, Ashton's foam sword did not make the day. It fell victim to the vicious crocodiles swarming the ship (or, more accurately, he chewed it to death). Since our Pirate Day, the ship has been used in various fashions. Camper, fort, house, picnic destinations, drawing board, etc. It still sits in the middle of the playroom, invading the play space, until we can figure out what to do with it. Yo ho mateys away!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Alphabet: O

Last week was all about the letter O.

Owls for the bedroom door alphabets.

Paper bag octopuses. Paint lunch bags, stuff with paper, secure with rubber band, cut slits for tentacles and play.

An ocean mural made with shapes. We did something similar to this during the F week, and the boys loved it. Daddy was home to help assemble the sea creatures.