Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Squeaky Clean Jelly Bean

We are only 4 days into summer break and I am already exhausted from my girl asking me when we are going here or there. I racked my brain to come up with something that would help her not make me crazy everyday and I finally thought maybe if she had her own calendar she would stop asking me 20 times a day when we were going to camp. We ran to target hoping to find a poster board calendar like you might find at a school supply store, but of course that wasn't available and I knew we would have to make what we wanted. I wanted to let Mckinley pick everything out to make it more fun and to make her think this was all her idea because that is sometimes the only way to get them to do what you want. Once we found the poster board section I could see the gleam in her eye when she spotted the shiny silver hologram poster and I just knew that monstrosity would be hanging in my kitchen. Next we had to figure out a way to put all of our info. on our calendar but it had to be easy to move around and change since our plans always seem to change as soon as we make them. Thankfully we found a small pack of colorful sticky notes which would be perfect for color coding activities for the girl and easy to remove when our plans change. Last, but not least we had to figure out how we would section everything out and that was when I spied the washi tape section and prayed the girl didn't choose the hot pink leopard tape. Thankfully she chose the perfect accompaniment for her super shiny poster board and highlighter colored sticky notes, the polka dotted washi tape (My girl fears no pattern). Now that we had all of our supplies and I found a new bathing suit cover for our beach trip we were ready to head home and get to work.

Someone was really hungry when we finally got home so after our inaugural summer break lunch picnic we were ready to go.  

cantaloupe, grapes, pepperoni, a chocolate peanut butter sandwich (Justin's hazelnut butter), Cheetos puffs, and taco soup

 Now that the girl was fed we could get to work on our new calendar. I started off by deciding how it would be layed out. I knew I wanted an area to write the month, a row for the days of the week, and enough rows, to make an entire month. I also wanted it to do a little double duty and created a place to add some chores in for the girl. The green sticky notes are days not filled with activities just yet, orange sticky notes are the days we have summer camp, pink sticky notes are days we are hanging out with friends or going special places like the zoo, and blue sticky notes are swim days. So far the color coded system has really helped Mckinley be able to decipher what we are doing each day and not ask me over and over again We have already added and changed a few activities and the sticky notes have made it very easy to change things up without having to redo the entire board.

As I mentioned earlier we have started incorporating a few ways for Mckinley to help us around the house and these things have just happened naturally because she, as most little kids do, love to help. Their idea of help may not be exactly what the parents had in mind and may seem more like a nuisance when you want to get tasks done quickly, but the more you let hem help the more they will want to do and it won't be a struggle when you ask hen to help later on. We started with simple tasks that she requested to help with like stirring batters, washing bowls (I pre washed them just to make sure they were really clean), making the beds, and her favorite task sorting the utensils which does double duty because she is helping with the household cleanup, learning of help, and learning how to sort objects with differences in size and use. I am still helping her with many of these tasks, but as she gets more efficient I will let her do more and more by herself. 

 It's funny how so many things I use at school carry over into my home life. I was trying to figure out how we could mark when McKinley does each of her chores and my awesome sister suggested using clothes pins like I use at school so McKinley could be on charge of marking each one which is another twofold skill. She is using her fine motor skills to squeeze each clip and she is learning to be independent by making sure we are completing each task. To me is doesn't matter  if she does everything perfectly it just matters that she is learning to help and having fun.

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