Tuesday, January 5, 2010

doing nothing

As anyone who reads here knows, we're on our 'winter holiday' right now, which roughly means we're doing, well, nothing. But there's nothing, and then there's nothing....

Being January in New England, it of course is bitter cold (haven't seen a day above freezing -- or really anywhere near it --since...um...well...) and very snowy (they said we were getting 2 inches: 4 days later, when it finally stopped, we had over a foot....). Which suits the kids just fine, as you can't very well go sledding unless there is plenty of snow!

The variety of sleds that we own (3 or 4 different types)apparently not being enough for J, he decided to try sledding on a kickboard (you know, the kind we use at the lake....). And now he's asking (repeatedly) about when he can learn how to snowboard. Methinks we're in trouble....

Meanwhile, while Zoo Boy looks adorable at our fence line in between snow storms, I'm still wrestling with bronchitis (although I think it's just about licked now...maybe...) and that pinched nerve that also seems to be almost a non-factor again. But it's been a jolly good excuse to maintain my perch by the fireside under a quilt, reading about the boy wizard.... (did anyone else weep at the end of book 6?? I swear, I'm pitiful....)

So while I've maintained my fireside vigil, the boys have gathered 'round the hearth to entertain themselves. A popular choice has been the many and varied new games that came into the household via thoughtful gift-givers. This one is some sort of complicated Bakugan brawling game that is a weird combination of chess and card game, involving strategy and math skills. It's keeping them entertained for hours. As is a wonderful game called "Scavenger Hunt" that not only encourages the kids to dash about the house looking for trivial household items, thus burning off pent-up energy, but also has a "Captain Clean-up" round where they earn points by rapidly cleaning up the house. (Some very clever Mom obviously came up with that game!)

Here's another brilliant invention -- a magnetic mosaic set with 1/2" square foam blocks. The pattern sheets show, in number code, where to place the blocks to form mosaic pictures. The blocks are the PERFECT size to work on pincer-grip for my pencil-grip-challenged little dude. Not only that, but the number coding requires lots of scanning and looking back and forth between the code key and the guide, hence working on eye tracking skills as well. I'm telling you, this thing is an Occupational Therapy FIND! And because each picture is a lengthy project, he keeps coming back to it throughout the day, getting in multiple therapy sessions. But, SHHHH, don't tell HIM that, he just thinks it's great fun!

Another project that has been going on for days around here, the construction of some sort of massive ball tower from the K'nex set the boys received for Christmas. The very best part about this set for me is that, being a combined bin of several used K'nex sets, there are of course some pieces missing. So when going through the instructions for building these things, they keep running into road blocks because a vital piece is missing here and there. But have they gotten frustrated? No! (Shockingly!) Instead, they've gotten creative, found pieces that can work in substitute (and some that haven't, causing them to go back to the drawing board), or have modified the design to do without that piece, or have ransacked an older set of K'nex to find pieces that are close enough to work. It's been AMAZING for me to observe this work in progress (from the comfort of my very own armchair, of course....).

And speaking of creativity, they've also found ways to get in some exercise despite the fact that Mom's been less than able to keep them physically entertained. Here's Zoo Boy, using a strap from the above-mentioned K'nex set as a jump rope (very effectively too, I might add).

We're actually planning on getting dressed tomorrow (gasp!) and leaving the house (egads!) to meet some friends at a children's museum for the first time in 2 weeks.

But don't worry, there's still plenty of doing nothing left in me, I've not had enough of nothing quite yet.


Bea said...

Love it, :nothing time!!!

Stacey said...

Looks like lots of fun at your house! We're winter breaking too and I'm planning our next semester. My little one has recently begun to boycott circle, and I'm thinking an adventure circle will draw her in better. I want to see your winter circle from last year, or maybe the year before last. I was getting ready to ask for help in searching, but I just opened your blog in another window and figured out how to search your archives by month. So, nevermind my question. Thanks!

michelle grimes kindig said...

So nice. I love your blog! I will have to check out these games. Annie's birthday is coming up....Happy snowy days!!