nana's world

{July 1, 2011}   another awesome week!

Here we finish out yet another awesome week.  The highlights include Miss Sunshine rolling over for the first time and we started reading Harry Potter!  We still read all kinds of sweet baby books,  but I have started reading aloud to them out of this book as well.  They enjoy it, and I get to practice all sorts of voices ;).  When my own daughter was 3 i read her The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  She enjoyed the quiet time of being read to.  The girls are doing so great.  They spend more and more time on their tummies, and reach and hold toys for longer periods of time.  They react so much more lately to smiles, laughter, and being talked to.  This is a very sweet time of watching them develop!

The babies are finally starting to stay awake more.  Not to say they aren’t on their second nap already, and it’s not even 1pm yet, because they are.  The fun part is that they are staying awake for longer periods of time, which means we get to do more activities.  This week, our featured story is Miss Spider’s ABC by David Kirk.  For the longest time, until this very moment actually, I have called it Miss Spider’s Birthday, because all of the bugs are getting ready for her birthday.  I had no idea that was not actually the title…oops.  I’m not usually one to have too  many books based on tv shows, but I love this one for babies.  The words can be read in a sing-song rhythm that babies love and the pictures are large, bright, and colorful.  This week we are also working on mimicking vowel sounds, reaching out for and holding a toy, and I am going to expose them to some different textures.  I will take some toys and blankets and gently stroke their arm with them and let their hands feel them.  I always encourage them to reach out and touch the piece or toy or whatever is in front of them.  Also this week we have been sitting up in a double boppi (two stacked on top of each other) and in the crook of my leg.  The girls love it!  They reach down for the toys in front of them and practice picking them up and bringing them to what else…their mouths.   For Social/Emotional development, I have been placing the girls next to each other and letting them look at each other, and reach out for each other.  Very cute.  We are also going to implement a storytime upstairs in their room as part of our nap time routine.

{September 15, 2010}   September 13-17,2010; 8 mos. old

exciting things happening this week:  baby A is pulling herself up on her knees on large toys!  we have increased her tummy time so she is gaining upper body strength and she keeps her head and shoulders up for longer periods of time.  she is also rolling aroung more and more, whereas before she was mostly happy sitting.  yay!  baby B is pulling herself up also…on the furniture!  i got the cutest pic of her today pulling herself up to her knees on the ottoman, then falling back on her bottom and clapping.  so cute.  trips last week included the library for storytime and the zoo with a nanny friend of mine and her charges.  this week we have visited the children’s museum and had a great time with a playgroup made up of area kiddos.  ok for this week we have:

THEME:  Nursery Rhymes

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:  we have the book Baby Mother Goose, by Gyo Fujikawa.  its an oldie but goodie!  i have used this book with all ages in the classrooms ive taught in and as a nanny.  it has a host of rhymes and little sing-songs that are interesting for baby to listen to.  the girls love it.  the rhymes and rhythms give babies interesting ways to grasp language and want to repeat it, even if they dont yet.

MAKING DISCOVERIES:  our discovery activity this week is water play, specifically pouring water from a cup.  this can be done during bath time or in a pool.  we will most likely pick the pool.  we will have cups of different sizes and colors, and as i fill and pour, i will encourage them to do the same. 

MOTOR SKILLS:  we are still incorporating tummy time into all of our activities, but for a specific skill we are rolling a ball back and forth.  they already try to “roll” it, however, it doesnt usually arrive to its destination!  they get really excited to try, and they do get better with each throw!

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:  happy time with bubbles.  we are going to use bubbles to create a happy, warm, fun atmosphere.  because we will all be together, it will also be a social activity. 

HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION:  i am introducing simple signs.  the first one we are working on is the sign for “more”.

{September 7, 2010}   sept 7-10, 2010; 8 mos. old

THEME:   Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:   we will read the story each day, usually at least twice per day.  we will read it in a rythmic format, patting knees or clapping softly to enhance language development through rythm and music.  i will also change voices with each animal as it presents itself in the story to create interest and also introduce animal sounds.  I will make sure the girls can see the pictures for an introduction to color recognition and stimulation, but i do not expect them to follow along with pictures at this stage.  my voice will have to be be the primary interest keeper at this point!

MAKING DISCOVERIES:  our discoveries related to the them will include feeling a teddy bear.  i will offer several different types of teddies to feel.  we will clear the area of toys and distractions, and for the moment only have the bears out.  i will talk about teddy bear, saying the word “teddy bear” over and over, both plainly and in sing-song manner to reinforce the word and to help form a connection between the word and the bear.  we will also have some play time with them, allowing the girls to explore them at will.

MOTOR SKILLS:  Baby A will be working on strengthening her back and neck by having tons of tummy time!  one of her favorite activities is looking into a mirror (she giggles at herself, it is the cutest thing!) so i will have mirror toys out for her.  we will also use whatever stimulating toys and sounds to help her tolerate tummy time as long as possible.  Baby B will be working on reaching for a toy while on her tummy.  currently she is pretty accomplished at scooting…backwards.  so we are going to work on scooting forwards, to reach a toy or someting else she really wants.  in my experience some of the best tempters for this exercise are a television remote control or my cell phone!

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:  our goal for this one this week is soft touches with others.  i will place baby’s hands on my hands, my face and have the girls do the same on each others’ hands and face and say soft touches.  this encourages..well..soft touches.

HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION:  i guess a more accurate description for this category would be parent-caregiver connection, but this is what our lesson plan sheet says so im going with it.  this weeks’ task will be strengthening the skill of using sippy cups. 

other activities that we do this week will be blogged seperately.

{July 22, 2010}   “Need Help”

one of my favorite things to teach young toddlers to say is “i need help”.  which usually shortens to “need help”.  i love it because it cuts out a lot of the usual frustration they experience when they can’t do something their little minds tell them they can.  it helps in so many situations, including doing something with a toy, trying to get up on the couch, and picking something up that is way too heavy and usually not something they should have anyway.  but once the phrase is mastered, its wonderful how much less screaming occurs as a result of pure frustration.  they way i teach this is repetition, pure and simple.  i start at about 8 or 9 months, and say “need help” every time i help them do or reach something they can’t do on their own, and clearly want to.  that way the words are already in their mind as they are learning to say things.  i also spend time saying it over and over as we play with a toy or game that is difficult to master, and requires some assistance.  it may be awhile before you hear them say it to you, but any parent or caregiver who has been frozen in their tracks by the ear-splitting shriek of a toddler knows its worth the 50 million times you say it.  trust me.  🙂

{July 9, 2010}   rainy day fun

today was a good day.  the babies started off a little cranky, which is not all that unusual since when i get there at my usual time of 8:30, they have already been awake for sometimes 3 hours.  they have finished bottles and are ready to eat, and ready for their day to start.  so as i’m feeding them cereal and fruit, i keep looking out the window hoping it will change from the steady downpour we have been getting for days to something less formidable…no such luck.  no pool this morning, and no walk around the block in our cute triplet style wagon, with its 3 colorful seats.  racking my brain, dad comes up with a great idea.  we take the gates we have, the ones that connect into one huge circle, and put it outside on the patio.  lucky for us the patio has a HUGE cover and complete with ceiling fans, we could almost pretend it was breezy out instead of humid and hot.  so we stay out for a while, playing with toys, reading books, and observing the rain and overflowing pool until it’s time to come in.  after that we played in the kids’ bedroom, instead of the play room, for added stimulation on this day where we will be held captive inside for most of it.  we get out some toys we haven’t played with in a while, opened the closet door, tumped over some storage bins housing bibs and blankets, and had a blast.  all while being serenaded by the Wiggles.  once in the play room, we “camped out” in the tent, practiced rhythms along with jack on Jack’s Big Music Show, and tossed a ball around.  literally, as they are learning how to throw a ball back and forth, so cute!!  we blew bubbles, built towers, looked out windows, and sang, sang, sang.  big milestones today, baby R pointed to his nose for the first time, and of course i went crazy so he did it 4 more times!  and baby B pulled up on his own for the first time.  his brothers have been doing this for a while, so it was very exciting to see them all standing at the gate as mom and dad came into the playroom.  all in all it was a great day for all of us.

{June 24, 2010}   sick days

yesterday and today, the triplets have had a slight summer cold.  not bad enough to keep them in bed, but the low grade fevers definately kept us inside and out of the pool.  on top of this, they got shots today, which only added to the crankiness and discomfort they were feeling.  so super-nana had to be even more creative!  now as they are only one yr old, i felt somewhat limited on what we could do.  for intstance, we are starting to explore with things like crayons, and soon i will be introducing some simple glue projects.  but when babies are cranky, the last thing they want to do is hear NO when they want to lick that tasty green crayon.  we have taken advantage of all the rooms in the house.  traveling room to room, toys in tow, we have explored every inch of the livingroom, the hallway, their bedroom, and our playroom.  some of the bigger toys, like our basketball goal (about 2 feet tall), and a big dinosaur ball thing, have gotten new homes as we placed them in different areas of the playroom, to give things a fresh feel.  Jack’s Big Music Show helped, as we all sang along and clapped hands and patted a beat out on our legs.  we also had our snack in a different room today.  i thought this would be a fantastic idea, but it turned out that high chairs make the best place to eat slightly liquidy yogurt.  bubbles, songs, and rhymes were interspersed liberally between activities, and all in all, if we had to be sick, it was not really such a bad day!

{June 19, 2010}   Bubbles of Fun!!

One of my favorite activities for kids of all ages is simply blowing bubbles.  i use it currently for my one yr olds, triplets, at various times.  it works really well for transitional times, such as the 15 minutes after we have cleaned the playroom but still waiting for lunchtime.  for some children i think it works nicely for a wind down time, watching the bubbles float slowly downward as classical music is played in the background, but not for the triplets however.  blowing bubbles is a time of thrilling excitement!  they are completely amped up after a session of bubbles, so for them, i would never do it before nap or bedtime.  another fun thing i have done with bubbles goes with another post i wrote about seeing things from your child’s perspective.  the boys, age one, were lying on the floor looking up at the bubbles floating down to them.  i kept wondering why they didnt want to sit up or crawl around and try to catch them.  so i decided to investigate.  i lay down on the floor beside them.  the smiles i got for this was more of a reward than seeing the actual thing i was trying to see!  head to head, my vision was exactly lined up with them.  i blew the bubbles straight up into the air and then…just watched.  how magical.  a torrent of spherical light reflecting orbs dancing and teasing, sometimes coming right to me, and other times floating just out of reach…do this with your children.  even for something as simple as a bubble, see it from your child’s perspective.   for these guys, and other ages, bubbles can also enhance all other activities.  use in the playroom, outside, on a stroller ride or walk, in the park, in the pool, even in a parking lot before getting out of the car and heading into a store.  who cares, its your time right?  enhance every activity for learning and mind expansion for the kiddos.  and bottom line is…its fun!

et cetera