Entries Tagged as 'kid school'

first day of daycare


First Day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

So it was a big day for us here at the oh, bother house: Holdy’s first day of daycare. She’ll be going three days a week while my parents continue to watch Gatsby full-time.

I think it’s going to be great to provide her some real structure and to be around other kids. We’re all really hoping it’ll help with some of the tantrums and discipline issues (fingers crossed!).

So, true to form, I tried to make a cute chalkboard sign for a First Day photo prop. True to form, my sign is pretty much a poor man’s Pinterest reject. 

And, true to form, Holden refused to pose for an Instagram-worthy photo:

First day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

Just to be clear, the tears were for the photo and not for going to daycare itself. She’s been asking excitedly about school for like two weeks.

She was super psyched to wear her (completely empty) backpack:

First day of Daycare @ohbotherblog

On the way into the center, I asked if she wanted me to take her picture. She actually looked at me, rolled her eyes and said, “mooooom.” I remind you: she’s two.

No, there were no tears for Holdy during drop-off. In fact, the teachers told me they think she’s the only kid to never cry on their first day.


She ran into the room, said hi to the kids, gave and accepted several hugs, and then joined the crowd and literally never looked back. Not even when I said goodbye. I was prepared to feel elated to have a day free from being screamed at by a toddler. I wasn’t prepared to feel a little sad at how big my little girl was. I mean, I guess independence is a good thing, right?

I didn’t get a call all day telling me to come back and get her out of there so I figured we were good to go.

When I picked her up, she was playing dolls happily with another little girl. Her teacher said that Holden had been good all day–no screaming, no tantrums. She did apparently cry for her mommy a couple of times (is it bad that hearing that made me feel a little good?). She even napped. And went on the potty. So overall, a great day.

I decided our new tradition is going to be ice cream on the first day of school, so I went ahead and got that started today.

First Day of School Tradition @ohbotherblog

And, bonus: she seems completely exhausted.

Daycare = a success so far.

color me stumped: teaching colors


I’ve kind of been freaking out lately trying to teach Holden her colors. She’s only 16 months old. I know I’m a weirdo.

She has these School Zone and PlaySkool flash cards that she loves to play with. She sniffs the flower when she sees it, touches her head when she sees a hat, wrinkles her nose when she sees the pig. So I thought… why not use cards to identify her colors? I made super awesome index card color flash cards with my trusty Mr. Sketch markers.

color flash cards @ohbotherblog

They aren’t exactly… catching on. And I was kind of weirding out, wondering what was up with my otherwise bright child. And then I Googled and it turns out… Kids can’t really identify colors until they’re like 4 or 5 years old.

Though it might seem easy to grasp, learning colors can be a challenging task for children.  Children often learn names of nouns before they learn descriptive words about those nouns (like colors) and can be easily confused when an array of colors are present in a large group. The typical developmental timeline is that children name some colors correctly by the end of their fourth year. At age five, children should correctly name at least four colors. 

Makes sense, I guess. I was having a really hard time describing what color is. Try it; not easy.
Anyway, I’m going to ease up on the Ivy League preparations and just have fun with watching her learn and grow every day. But I will keep telling her that flower is purple, the hat is brown and the pig is pink. Do you have tips for teaching colors?

pinterest win: big ol’ magnet board


Kids' magnet board from oil drip pan @ohbotherblog

So it definitely feels like cheating a little to call this a “Pinterest win” when literally all I did was buy this auto oil drip pan from Walmart (for $11.97)…

auto drip pan from Walmart $11.97 @ohbotherblog

… and Command strip it to the wall, but whatever. I mean, I actually had to go into Walmart, which is pretty much the worst. But I did find the super-cute letter magnets there (for 97 cents) so that was a bonus.

Most of the boards I’ve seen on Pinterest were hung vertically, but with Holdy being so little (and having a tendency to pull on stuff), we decided to mount it horizontally. We put it in front of the fireplace because, well, it was the only adequate amount of “wall space” we had, and we never use the fireplace anyway because the glass gets too hot for baby hands.

Holden’s clearly not spelling yet, but she does have fun moving the magnets around (and, let’s be honest, throwing them, putting them in her mouth, etc.)

magnet board from oil drip pan from Walmart $11.97 @ohbotherblog

explorey stories: story time app


Explorey Stories - educational app that makes reading come to life @ohbotherblog

While we’re talking about education, I wanted to share something that a friend sent me the other day.

A friend of hers has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get his educational children’s project off the ground. It’s called Explorey Stories, and it’s an app that combines story time with experiential activities for your kids. It will help you turn classic stories (Fairy Tales, Greek Mythology, Bible Stories, Shakespeare, etc.) into fun “adventures.”

Every Explorey Story begins with the Adventure Pack, which is a list of items you will use to tell the story: sheets, pillows, towels, sugar, etc. You will find all of the Adventure pack items in your home, which is one of the coolest parts of the project, IMO. So you go on an expedition to complete the Adventure Pack, and then the story begins.

Then, each Explorey Story consists of spontaneous activities to encourage play (called Sidetracks) and educational experiments (called Road Trips). The Road Trips are performed after the story and reinforce many math, science, fine arts and language arts principles.

So it’s almost like a lesson plan in a fun story time app. I love the concept. They’re halfway to their goal, with 16 days to go. The project will only be funded if they reach their $15,000 goal by August 8.

Here’s the video from their Kickstarter. Check out their campaign, and feel free to donate if you’re so inclined.

 I’ll let you know if they make it!

beginning to learn (holy crap!)


Holden has gotten really into reading lately. And by “reading,” I mean bringing me a book, sitting on my lap and humoring me for two pages as I read and ask her to point things out to me. “Holden, where’s the dog?” “Holden, where’s red?” 60% of the time she gets it right every time.

As she’s beginning to recognize things like body parts (though she usually just points to her ear) and some animals, I’m realizing that this kid is actually learning stuff. And, holy crap, I should probably start… teaching her things.

A friend of mine homeschools her young children and I asked her for some resources for preschool curricula. One she sent me is a free resource called Tot School.

Tot School - Early Learning Through Play @ohbotherblog

It’s described as “focused time with your tot, exposing early learning skills through fun play.” There’s an E-book and tons of blog posts, free printables and even a weekly gathering place where moms come together to share ideas and updates on how certain lessons worked, etc.

I have to admit, it seemed totally overwhelming when I first checked it out, but Carisa, the mom behind Tot School, posted this Minute-by-Minute walk through of what Tot School actually looks like in her house (including toddler meltdowns and TV breaks), which made me feel much better. Carisa also reminds you that this is supposed to be fun.

So… I think I might give it a try. The challenge, of course, is finding the time as a working mom whose partner is out of town during the week. I’m sure if I gave my parents some “lessons” to do with her during the day, they would.

What kind of things did you do to encourage early learning with your little one? Am I being a weirdo and trying this too soon?

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