The New Way to Teach Virtues! Awesome!

I don’t know about your kids…but some days I think to myself “my boys need to be sent to BOOTCAMP!”
Other days I sit in bliss and smile as little pumpkin share with monkey, and I feel super blessed. But more often than not it feels like all the teaching and training up our children goes in one ear and out the other, especially when they are little.
I’ve used many different resources to help teach the boys good manners, and the fruits of the spirit. But it’s always nice to have some more tools in your toolbox, right?! Besides that glass of wine that you are reaching for….yes, I see it!! ūüėČ

I’ve been eyeing the We Choose Virtues program for a while now. My next in line for our schoolroom¬†is Monkey, who is in preschool and four years old presently. He’s the one I’ve been thinking about using it for, especially since we’re starting kindergarten next year. But like all things I’ve been wanting to touch and feel it. I usually do that at our local convention in the spring. So I literally jumped at the chance to review one of their products when they offered it up on their Facebook page!

We Choose Virtues sells tools for families to teach their children good characters. We were given the Virtue Flashcard Game to try out with the family. You can check them out further here:

http://wechoosevirtues.com/collections/all/products/virtue-flash-cards-for-families.

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Upon opening the package that was sent to me, I noticed:

  • 13 Double-sided cardstock flash cards
  • High quality printing and graphics
  • Colorful and engaging and humorous¬†for children
  • One virtue on the front with a character to go with it and help the child remember the virtue
  • Handy catchphrases on the back to help children remember the virtue, with a description of what the virtue means
  • Great size for carrying with you

I put the cards to use right away! We personally found that they were best used as little tools during the day. It is hard for us at present to use them as game cards since we only have the one child of age to play the games – and he is still a little bit young to understand how the games might work. Playing charades, etc…with the cards might be better for a child who is a bit older, possibly ages 5+.
But our four year old was quite able to see the cute little character on the front of the card – for example, Patience, and listen to me identify what character I was helping to engage him in.

I used the cards for both positive and negative behavior. I left them on the kitchen counter where they were easily accessible, and when Monkey was showing patience, for example, I brought the card out and rewarded him with praise based upon the insight the card gave. It was handy to have, because sometimes I can’t pull insightful thoughts right off the top of my head (especially after a long night with the new little peanut!). It also engages your child’s sight – they are looking at the cute picture on the card and are drawn to listen to you more directly. I kept it short and simple.

I also used the card for reinforcing good behavior when they showed negative behavior. I have always done this in the past, but the flash cards were a nice way after time outs to sit down quickly with the card and discuss more pointedly what Virtue we needed to work on, and what Monkey could have done differently next time.

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They give you lots of other suggestions on their website and in the handy download that comes with it Рthis is just how we found that the cards worked best within our family. Have any of you used the whole We Choose Virtues system in your family? How did you incorporate the game? I found it was a handy little tool, and I was pleased with all the ideas and support they give with it!

We Choose Virtues was nice enough to give a promo if anyone is interested in trying out their products!

VIRTUE15 for 15% off anything in their store
AND a special Black Friday through Cyber Monday too! The promo code is HOLIDAY30 for 30% off anything in their store. Only one promo code per offer.

Disclaimer: We Choose Virtues gave me this set to review, but all the opinions related to it are my own, and are honest and true.

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Firehall Fun!

I feel like this is not my first “kick at the can” with the Firehall tour. It seems that it will not be the last, either.

Fire hall tours are always so much fun for pre-schooler’s! So we did it, again.

This time was pretty darn good, I might add. They even suited up for the kiddo’s…they didn’t do that last time. And daddy got to join us, because it just so happens that he was working on computers at Fire Hall¬†No.1 that day. And of course that was really exciting. And even more exciting was when they got called out for a call two minutes into the presentation. We got a tour of the retro fire trucks instead while we waited for the crew to come back.

Here’s some highlights from the event:
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daddy

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Amazing, Awesome, Apples!

We’re informally starting the Letter of the Week pre-school curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler. I love it and Monkey seems to love it too! No pressure, just if he feels like doing it, and it gives him something to do and feel “BIG” about while his bigger brother is working on school. We just call it fun ūüėČ
It’s quite a bit, so I just printed out some of the stuff and put it together so we could start A this week. She very nicely offers the printables for it for free, or you can purchase it as a package and get a handy little schedule to follow. If it goes over well I might get that, I love her additions and books that she suggests, and the activities look super fun as well.

We started by watching a phonics song for the letter A on YouTube. Then we watched a Sesame Street video of the letter “A”. You can find it here. I honestly prefer to read some books, but we are short on those, so they are on my list of¬†things to order or get from the library, but we’ll make do with this for now.

Then Monkey practiced forming the letter A with his fingers in a plastic bag filled with shaving cream. Sorry I forgot to take a photo. Next time! He really LOVED that and did great!

Then he picked some “A” activities from my pile.

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Gotta wear a tiger suit! Too bad we didn’t have an alligator one…;)

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The magnetic “apples” activity was a favorite. We counted the apples, and identified the “Big A” and the “little a”. I need to make some more “apples”…I ran out of magnets ūüėČ He didn’t really notice though.

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We matched the “Big A” and the “little a” apples to the apple tree, ¬†and counted all the apples (of course, right?!)

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And who could guess…we finished up by eating an “amazing, awesome, artistically colored apple”. His expression says it all ūüôā

There you have it folks, pre-school fun! With barely any effort at all!

 

Some before Spring “escapades” from the Winter household!

It’s been kinda quiet around here, hasn’t it? I’ll admit…I often fail at blogging. I get busy, and then I just flop at night. I’m ok with that!

What have we been up to though? Oh…right. Quite a bit, actually!

Here’s some snippets from January up to present:

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A trip to make a sweet hot rod at Home Depot!

Classic Monkey look. He works hard to be this cute.

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Deep in thought….

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Daddy in his element.

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Yup, this is serious business!
I LOVE taking the boys to the Home Depot workshops! They’re so much fun and even better, they’re FREE!!! :O

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We threw in a nice home dinner date, Trim Healthy Momma style! (Ok, maybe not¬†Mr.Winter’s plate, but mine was, and it was delicious!)

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Some photography skills from Monkey…I love finding these photos on my camera ūüėČ

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Some arctic animal habitat fun with Monkey. He’s trying out his cool handmade snow playdough..it has sparkles in it! Who doesn’t LOVE sparkles I ask you!? No one, that’s right! Unless you have to clean them up….hehe

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I love this little man so much. He has the sweetest most joyful personality.

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We were very inquisitive this Winter…and we forgot everything but our diapers sometimes!

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We ate popcorn and called it “school” during our study of Native Peoples of Canada!

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And we relaxed. Muffin style.

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We built some K’nex with mom. This one took HOURS. Really! But it was a lot of fun!

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And we learned how to make a snowman out of snow! And spell snow. We had a lot of fun this Winter, but we’re sure glad for spring in this house!

Welcome, Spring! We’re glad to see you!!

Mellow Yellow!

It’s Yellow Day at our house today!!!

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Yellow is the color of custard
And also the color of mustard.
The yellow canary sings sweetly away,
Yellow bananas eaten everyday.

Yellow is the color of the sand
And a brass trumpet in a band.
Yellow is the color of a bumble bee
And yellow Autumn leaves from a tree.

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We ate yellow ice cream…

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…delicious!

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We thought of lots of yellow things and made them with our brightly colored yellow play dough! A smiling yellow sun!

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A fruity yellow banana!

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Big smiles!

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Our collection of yellow toys that we found!

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Micah was so proud to display them all!

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Silly little man…:)
Yellow is such a cheerful color! I think that learning about it made this dreary winter day so much brighter!

A Day at the Lil’ Monkey’s Treehouse Play and Discovery Center!

We finally did it!

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A little while ago, ¬†I finally broke down and ¬†took my boys up to Lil’ Monkey’s Treehouse Play and Discovery Center. It has been up and running for a while now, and the boys have had their eye on it ever since we drove past on one of our rare times up that way.

It was a pretty rainy day, and I was feeling a bit housebound. I’ve kind of avoided going, mostly because for myself, it’s a bit expensive for just playing indoors. We tend to avoid expenses like that. But I happened to have a coupon I’d clipped from something, I forget where, and so I figured it would be a good time to put it to use. I know a lot of people have been wondering how it was – so here’s what we thought!

Right away when I got inside, I realized that I forgotten to make sure my boys were wearing socks.  The boys were wearing sandals at the time, and while they provide cleanly washed socks, I have a weird factor about that sort of thing. Socks for yourself too, no shoes for anyone allowed, which makes sense!

I really found the whole place to be nice and bright and clean. Everything looked tidy and smelled fresh. That’s a big deal for me – because as everyone knows, what kid doesn’t enjoy playing on the McDonald’s play area – and what parent can’t stand all the grease and grime?! It’s nasty, and not in an ocd way, just nasty, all around. I’ve seen kids pee right on the equipment, and no one cleans it up. Yuck! Right away I was struck by how this was a great compromise – since I don’t take the boys to McDonalds for playing there anymore, this might be the rare treat for them.

There are lots of places for caregivers to sit, which is nice. You can even have a tea or coffee while you watch the kids! They have sandwiches and small snacks too.  I ended up buying a pack of three cookies for a super reasonable price as a snack halfway through. I think it was around $1 ish for all three.

One thing that I loved was that there was a fun spot for everyone! All three of the boys enjoyed it, from 9 year old Mr.M, 3 year old Monkey, and 10 month old Muffin, and wore off a ton of energy in the process.

Monkey spent most of his time playing on the game floor, which is SO cool, basically a glowy projection onto the floor that plays games. It was no surprise that his favorite was the air hockey game. He basically boogied like crazy the whole time, it was so cute to watch.

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Muffin enjoyed being in the jumper and practiced standing using the big blocks. I enjoyed that for once, he was contained!

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And Mr.M raced around like a crazy person, made a whole bunch of friends for the day, and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

All in all I think we spent a couple hours there, and could have easily spent more if I hadn’t been so tired. It was a lot of fun! I think the only drawbacks for me are the price, and that it can get a bit wild in there – so you need to watch your little monkeys that are 4 and under to make sure they don’t get bowled over by the bigger children. It was a great rainy day excursion!