Monday, June 22, 2009

I Love Mondays!

I understand why most folks in the workaday world hate Mondays. I used to have the boring 9 to 5 job that I dreaded returning to on Mondays.

Nowadays, I love Mondays! Our weekends are always full and fun, and usually exhausting. Monday is our slow down day in a way. It's our get-back-into-the-routine day. It's usually my catch-up-on-chores day. I always have a lot of energy on Monday mornings. I always seem to get a ton of stuff done. And I love that feeling of accomplishment when I get a lot of stuff done.

Last night I prepared a few activities for Thing Two (who happens to be two years old). He has seemed content enough to be included in a few of our school activities (if we do a crafty simple workbox I prepare enough supplies for two, and I've been planning at least cooperative play activity per day that all three of us can do together). He likes to play by himself downstairs most of the time. But I felt a bit neglectful and I want to offer him more structured activities. He may refuse them but I feel like I at least need to have some prepared in case he wants to do something. So I made him a mailbox out of empty oatmeal canisters and a shoebox, and a packet of empty junk mail envelopes, play "stamps" (stickers), old postcards, and a small shoebox that he can make into a "package" to send or receive. This turned into our daily cooperative game before 7:30am! Both boys loved it. I remember Thing One loving it at this age.

I also prepared some cut up straw segments and a couple of pipe cleaners to thread them on. He mostly filled up his dumptruck with them and said they were pipes. I bought a bag of multicolored popsicle sticks and he liked building roads for his trains and cars with those. We also laid them out in shapes for a few minutes. I made some animal matching cards, and a new shape puzzle. He wasn't too interested in those today.

Thing One's first workbox is the weekly treasure hunt box. We've been doing a treasure hunt each week. Upon completion of a "puzzle" (usually a worksheet or physical puzzle), he gets one word in a five-word sentence clue. For example, last week's clues were "The opposite of wetter is" and he had to figure out "dryer." His wooden treasure chest was hidden in the clothes dryer with a whole dollar bill inside!

Today he had to complete a new puzzle of a world map. He's been bugging me for one for months and I found one in the Target dollar bin.

Our theme for the week is Penguins. He chooses each week's theme. We did a couple of small lapbook activities from I've printed out a couple of games from for later in the week. We usually do one or two lapbook activities Monday thru Thursday, then put it all together on Friday.

We also did a file folder game of the sign language alphabet. Thing One has become very interested in learning sign language. I think because some of our friends at church know it and use it as a family. He also likes to make up his own secret signs, and often chooses to communicate with me in strange gestures that he assumes I can understand. He likes making up all sorts of things like this. Stories, yoga poses. He's always inventing.

We played a rousing game of Scrabble Junior, on the difficult side of the board today. Thing One was learning how to play his new words onto the existing words.

Then we played the generic version of Jenga (Jumbling Blocks $4.99 at Target). I picked this up because Thing One has been playing a Wii game called Boomblox, and it has a Jenga-inspired section. He didn't really understand the mechanics and physics of it. So I thought playing the real game would be fun and would help him understand. It certainly did, and he loved building towers and playing the game. Thing Two loved lining up and stacking up the blocks as well.

At lunch break while the boys played, I finished up the laundry for the day, and then started baking. I set out two loaves of bread to rise. DH is playing around with a recipe from mother earth news that says you can have freshly baked bread in five minutes per day. You mix up a big batch on the weekend and leave the dough to sit in the fridge for up to two weeks. You take a chunk, let it come to room temp then bake it. It turned out pretty well. I forgot to slash the top so it busted open and isn't pretty to look at but it tastes yummy. It develops a sourdough flavor the longer it's been in the fridge. This one is about 8 days old.

While two the loaf pans were rising I made blueberry cornmeal muffins from a recipe I got from Family Fun magazine. My kids love blueberries, and love corn muffins so I thought I'd give this a try. I've been looking for good easy breakfasts. We each had one at lunch. I love them. Thing One picked out the blueberries. He says he doesn't like them cooked. Thing Two didn't really eat any of his. On to the next muffin recipe, I guess!

While Thing Two napped, we watched March of the Penguins, read Tacky the Penguin, Gor Vol. 2, and played a simple animal classification file folder game. I made it from a worksheet I got from

Then we played outside, blew bubbles, dug in the dirt, ate dinner, took daddy to class, had a bath and story time, and I put the boys to bed. Whew! It's been a great Monday.


  1. please do this at least once a week... especially the links to where you got the activities. awesome.

  2. Loving these posts! You've really inspired me to do more structure, pre-planned activities with Ander (or at least take something he loves, like Play-doh, and do it one the counter).

    If you ever want to do a collaberative activity (maybe your kids writes a story and Ander cuts out pics to illustrate it and send it back or we send a Louisiana workbox about hurricanes to you and you send a Maryland workbox (3 1/2 year old appropriate) to us, let me know!