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Our fall season so far

November 1, 2011

I’m going to catch up on all things fall!  I have been very good about uploading pictures to facebook lately. I used to upload to photobucket and then shoot them out to all the family but I honestly do not have time to upload to a million different places so facebook will have to do.  As I was looking over my album I thought… wow we had a really great fall!  We didn’t do all the things I’d hope we would (apple picking, Shepherd’s cross sheep sheering, I would have liked to do more nature walks if we can find some good trails) but we got a lot done!

One of our art activities we did was with orange finger paint.  I am still working on how to balance activities with two children 2 and under so that each is busy and neither is driving me insane.   Looking back, I did touch on the red and yellow making orange but I should have included Evie and I should have made this a bigger deal. Evie was screaming in the highchair wanting ‘PAINT PAINT PAINT’ after about 20 seconds and my preggo hormones were on overload so just trying to get the activity started. I need better planning so that things go smoother.  I gave Rett the option of paint brush or fingers.

Here’s little miss.  I read all these other home school blogs and they seem a lot more sane then me.  My daughter has not finger painted but a handful of times.  She IMMEDIATELY wanted to eat this stuff.  She is also wearing baby gap.  I was trying to not freak out about her baby gap dress that she is wearing for the first time ever on the day I decide to finger paint orange pumpkins.   So trying to keep Rett from wiping paint on his shirt/the table every time he gets it on his fingers although he can use the brush he doesn’t want to while also keeping my daughter from consuming non toxic paint.  Fun right?  This activity ended up with mommy smearing most of it around and calling us good 🙂  They both need more practice with using finger paints. For Rett, its a sensory experience he needs to have and for Evie, its just about being a kid and getting to finger paint.   Figuring out how to manage two low level painters is another problem.   After the pumpkins dried, I cut them out and also cut some faces from foam.  Rett helped me glue them on.

This is how they turned out. We also did hand print bats.  Have not worked on hand tracing much so planning LOTS of turkey activities for Thanksgiving.  Lucky for me that this is coming up next!  I always did these hand print bats with the kids at school so it was fun to do them with my own kids.  Rett loved the googley eyes. Another activity I did while I was dealing with sis is I drew an outline of a head on white paper and cut it out. I added a nose and a mouth and let Rett sit google eyes where the eyes go. He had a good time putting big and small eyes down. Good for matching, talking about same/different and small/big.  Random activity that kept him busy and worked on some skills in a small level.

This year was supposed to be THE Halloween year for Rett. At least in my mind that was what was coming up when I thought about Halloween.  THE year to pick out the costume, THE year to bug us about when was it time to go trick or treating THE year to want to eat all the candy as he got it.  THE year.   But it turned out that this is THE year to find out he’s autistic and Lord knows when these light bulbs will go off and things will be put together for him to be able to enjoy the holiday like a kid.   Here are the things that I did to work on the concept of Halloween: we used our Halloween stamps that I picked up at Wal Mart for $3.  We used the sensory tub with all the little scary Halloween things from wal mart.  We talked about the Halloween vocabulary (spiders, bats, ghosts, skeletons, scared, scary, trick or treat, house). We did play dough with Halloween cookie cutters that I found at hobby lobby.  While we did these activities, I pretended to be scared. Begged him not to touch the spiders/bats/skeletons and overall had a good time.  I also bought a dvd from nick jr with a collection of Halloween cartoons on them.   We trick or treated twice.  Both times, Rett sung songs that he heard on the cartoon so to me he was at least making some connections.  He isn’t a ‘scared’ type of kid but he has used this word a LOT more since we started our Halloween concept overkill lesson.  I don’t honestly think he knows what ‘scared’ is because not many things frighten him. But he got that it was something that could hurt you because he was ‘scared’ of the crab in his picture book and ‘scared’ of the fire from the candle.  He just doesn’t think bats and spiders and skeletons can hurt you so he doesn’t really put them with being scared.   Rett loved trick or treating. He actually said trick or treat one time when we went to church.   He got good about holding his bag out to get his candy and picking only one piece.  Not a lot of thank yous.  Or he’d say it when we were already too far away to hear.    On Monday we went to speech and they had told us he could wear his costume. So I asked if he wanted to.  Honestly, I was mostly over the costume thing.  He sort of took off from me so I thought yay! But then later he came back and said ‘costume. I want costume’ I think choosing something that he has more of an idea of what it is (he was a zoo keeper so WAY over his head) would have helped also.  So this wasn’t the Halloween that we thought it would be but I still think we had a great time.

Sort of jumping all over the place trying to catch up here. We went to Livesay Orchards again this year for pumpkin patch.  Got there WAY later then I wanted to so no good light for pictures. Oh well.  Rett and Evie both loved the hay ride on the ‘tractor’ which is one of his current interests.   He didn’t get the whole picking out the pumpkin thing and neither of us could think of a good way to get that through to him so we just got one that we liked 🙂  I’m sure Evie will be bossing us around next year so no worry there.  We also did some kid games and ran through the hay maze. Sissy ‘milked’ the fake cow and wanted to splash around in the water that came out.

I’ve been trying to spend a lot of time outside lately.  It always seems to be a bad time when the kids want to go out but I know our days of being able to be outside while the weather is still warm are short so I need to take advantage of them.  Rett came over to me and said ‘come on, mama!’ and drug me over to the swing set.  Both kids love to swing. Pretty typical, right?  Rett still freaks me out about hanging on but he hasn’t fallen off yet so apparently unnecessary worry.  We have been finding lots of fun friends out back lately!

There have been plenty of grass hoppers and katydids for us to visit with.  I have always tried to raise my kids to be nice to all animals and to not be afraid of some of the less then friendly looking ones.  I’m not squeamish about frogs and bugs and all that so I don’t want them to be either.  So far, they are both gentle and very curious to explore little critters.  Rett loved for the katydid to walk on him but then wanted to give him back and then wanted him to walk on him again.  He kept saying ‘come on, little bug!’ ‘come here, little bug!’  I didn’t take pictures of the big toad we found but that was really fun. I put him in an empty plant container and we also held him.  Eventually we let him go under the porch where I suspect he was trying to get to for hibernation anyway.  Yesterday when we went out Rett brought the empty plant container over to me and said ‘frog?’  He doesn’t understand that I can’t just make the frog reappear.  I went in and got one of our fake plastic frogs to try to recreate the experience with him in pretend.  This did not make him happy. He kept going to the door and saying ‘be right back!’ meaning he wanted to go in and get something. I suspect the frog.

We also did the traditional pumpkin carving.   Rett was very concerned about the pumpkin once we lit him up. ‘Pumpkin, you on fire? You ok?’  He is very intrigued with fire and candles at the moment.

I bought Sissy some fat crayons.  She hasn’t gotten past the whole ‘eating’ crayon phase but these larger crayons that I purchased definitely held her attention longer and she got a lot more coloring done. I got them at the dollar store.

I have been reasearching a lot of activities and goodies to do for our home pre school program in November/December and am really excited to get started.  I don’t want to dig out all my teaching supplies because of the move coming up and I don’t want to repack everything.   A lot of activities I can modify so that he is working on things that I’m concerned about.  We had a great Halloween season and looking forward to Thanksgiving now!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ann Hatton permalink
    November 2, 2011 1:51 pm

    Wow! Sounds like you all have had plenty of things to keep you busy! Don’t feel bad that this wasn’t THE year for Rett and Halloween. This year is the first year my kids TRULY picked their costumes and begged me to go trick or treating and they are 5 & 6. Give it time, he will learn!

    I forget about that Livesay Orchards for the pumpkins and such. The kids would have loved that.

    That’s good that you teach the kids about bugs and “critters”. All too many times kids think you have to “kill” creepy crawlys. We have a rule at our house: “if it’s in OUR home and we can’t take it outside to release it, it’s ok to kill it. If we are in THEIR HOME i.e. OUTSIDE we do not harm them in any way because we are visiting them”.

    You’re a great mother and it shows through everything you do! Keep up the great work, you are blessed!

    Love you bunches!

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