Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 15: It's the Simple Things

These are a few of our favorite things that help to pass the time here in Cali, Colombia as we wait for Sentencia:

A plastic bucket, a scoop, and a boat have been used in the pool  and in the bathtub.   The bucket doubles as a soup pot and a dumping apparatus!

This art kit is a "paint by number" using stickers instead of paint and water.  It has provided hours of quiet engaged activity.  We work on color recognition, animal names, and animal habitats.  We have made connections to things we have seen at the zoo.  These will also make great gifts for the children to give as going away presents.

A package of punch balls (balloons) have provided hours of entertainment as well as a way to burn off extra energy and frustration while in the apartment.  They have also served as a great way to improve eye hand coordination and concentration!

Ah!  Treasure!  This simple collection of coins has given us many opportunities to have fun and learn at the same time.  Their primary function was to be used in lieu of fancy dive sticks.  I quickly realized that they can be used for practicing counting in English, as well as sorting like and unlike, as well as identifying monetary denominations, as well as adding and subtracting.  Thunder knew he started with 11 coins.  Then he found 4.  How many more did he have to find?  And so on...  We have done this for hours at a time at the pool!

Plastic jumping frogs sold in the party favor aisle at WALMART for next to nothing have become a favorite toy around here. Lightning plays "rescue the frogs" in the kiddie pool while Thunder dives for treasure coins in the big pool.  The multiple colors of the frogs make for a great sorting activity, and today we played hide and seek with the frogs.  We hid all of the green ones for Lightning and all of the red ones for Thunder.  They searched again and again, getting more excited with each turn to search and find the colorful frogs.  We play this at the pool and in the apartment and at the park!  We also count the frogs and practice color recognition.

A clearance set of IMAGINEX blocks has entertained the boys day after day.

And this simple pool toy is a favorite with everyone.  Sometimes we use it as a hoop and through balls through it or into it.  Sometimes we put it in the pool as a floating target and try to jump into it.  Sometimes it is a flotation device.  But mostly it is our "cabello"...our horse.  Someone gets in the tube.  Someone else gets on their back and holds on to the tube as the water horse takes them for a wild bucking bronco ride!  Fun!

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