100th Day of Homeschool!

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And just like that we have had 100 days of Mommyschool! We have read and played, learned and explored and have thoroughly enjoyed our adventure thus far!

I have been blown away (with both exhaustion and love) by this experience, but I will save my own reflection for another day.

Here’s how we celebrated 100 days of learning:

We counted to 100 using our hundreds chart and discussed how 100 was 10 groups of 10. then using 10 different water colours and Qtips we drew/dotted 100 gumballs on our gumball machine template.

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We talked about how big the number 100 is. And for little ones just beginning to grasp the idea of number sense it truly is a HUGE number! I drew 2 pictures of a cup and showed them the actual cup and droppers we would use and then had the kids predict what 100 drops of water would look like.

Following their predictions we got some water (which I coloured blue to make it easier to see) and measured out 100 drops into our cups and recorded our findings. Both of them were pretty surprised at how little water we actually got from those 100 drops!

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It has been frigid in our parts lately…actually all Winter, so for our daily physical activity we were indoors. We completed a 100 fitness movements challenge, which the kids LOVED and we have been doing daily ever since!

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We made a list of 100 words we know (even after they insisted NOBODY knows THAT many words!). And yes, ‘poop’ and ‘pee’ made the list, but so did ‘mosaic’, ‘kindness’ and ‘vehicle’, so I let it go,,,you’ve got to pick your battles, right?!

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We counted out 100 Duplo blocks and experimented with what we could build with them.

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We bingo-daubed 10 ten-frame caterpillars to help reinforce the concept of 100 being 10 groups of 10.

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And while the littles napped, Little Momma and I had a roll the dice race to 100 – which she won, but was kind enough to help me finish, too!

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We had a really fun day celebrating 100 days of homeschool, anyone else do anything to commemorate the achievement?

A Snowy Playdate

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Stuck inside on a cold day or just wishing Winter away with some hibernation…here are a few fun ideas to help make it a bit more bearable!

 We had a great little snow-themed play date with some little friends this week. It was nice to enjoy the idea of snow, seeing as ridiculously cold temperatures have been keeping us mostly indoors.

 We began with reading this adorable snowy story about what snowmen get up to while we’re sleeping – the kids thought it was great!

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The littlest and bigger kids alike loved this fine motor activity that consisted of transferring little ‘snowballs’ (cotton balls) into different containers using tongs, tweezers and scoops.

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We even brought some snow inside and enjoyed painting it using squirt bottles, spray bottles, droppers and paint brushes with water and food colouring. It was lots of fun – the kids came up with many different designs and especially loved covering every square inch with vibrant colour!

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Last the kids enjoyed a cute ‘build a snowman’ craft using some small parts (beads, buttons and orange triangle pieces), felt shapes (hats and scarves), googly eyes and round cotton pads. Everyone had access to all of the materials, along with some white glue and a sheet of paper…and no two snowmen were alike!

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Have you done any fun winter crafts or activities lately? Please share – I’d love to see them! 🙂

Water Dragon Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


This week we took a little trip as a fam to Water Dragon Park in Barrhaven.

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Location: Located in the heart of Barrhaven at 424 Chapman Mills Drive. This park is also known as Chapman Mills Main Street Park, not to be confused with Chapman Mills Park (which is not on Chapman Mills ;P). There is plenty of parking right beside the park, as well as a shaded gazebo with a picnic table and benches too!

Featuring: A wonderful and diverse play area, that was great for kids of all ages! A giant, climbable dragon, as well as two play structures, with a variety of slides, climbers and swinging bars.

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There were also interactive play ares and bouncy animals for the younger crowd; a cool rock climbing wall and swings, too!

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The splash pad also carries on the dragon theme, with a huge, green dragon that pours water from its snout and tail! There are also a number of ground fountains and four big, red buckets dumping water on the heads of those brave enough to stand under! The run-off water does create a slippery mud pit just beyond the dragon’s tail so beware!

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How to turn the water on: By stepping on the copper-coloured metal circle sensor, located along the edge of the splash pad near the dragon’s head. We haven’t seen this type of sensor before, but the kids thought it was great (and so did I!).

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Most Favourite: Mr Man enjoyed filling buckets with water from the dragon tail, which sprays out in a few spots with lower pressure. He then liked to use said buckets to splash Daddy – better him then me!

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Little Momma was much more into climbing than splashing today. She has become very dedicated and focused on mastering every climber we come across this summer!!

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Least Favourite: While still not brave enough ourselves, we have graduated to watching the dumping buckets soak others, and this time Mr Man tried hard to have Daddy go under 😉

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Verdict: { 4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

 

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Richcraft Park

Walden Park

Walden Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


We have now also visited the splash pad at Walden Park in Kanata Lakes.

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Photo Cred: Wayne Hylarides

 Location: Close to the Kanata Centrum at 243 Walden Drive in Kanata. There’s a parking lot adjacent to the park, a walking trail and lots of shade and sitting areas.

Featuring: The park had lots to offer, there are two great play structures that appeal to kids of all ages.

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A great big sandy area which encloses the smaller of the play structures, two bouncy ride-ons and lots of space for sand-play and castle building.

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The splash pad is very simple and ideal for the younger, more hesitant crowd! It has two circular misters, a few fountains, sprayers and instead of dumping buckets the tall post has three dripping shower heads.

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How to turn the water on: By pressing the black sensor on the blue post – it beeps for some added entertainment too 😉

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Most Favourite: Both kids love running through the ‘tunnel’ fountains and would hover and wait excitedly for them to come back on during each cycle.

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Least Favourite: Both kids faced some frustrations this week as they attempted to overcome their hesitancy, Mr Man with the pouring shower posts and Little Momma with the climbing web! Although the result was a dose of whining and pouting, it always makes me proud to see them pushing their limits on their own time 🙂

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Verdict: { 4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Richcraft Park

Making Friends: Teaching Social Skills

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 Little Momma starts Kindergarten this year and I KNOW she is ready curriculum-wise and she has had lots of exposure to other children, but I imagine every parent worries to some degree about their child making friends.

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Her whole life I have been setting the stage for friend-making opportunities, through playdates and activities. But putting yourself out there on your own is a whole new experience and takes a lot more guts than merely playing with the kids your mum has invited over! And so I went into this summer with a plan to explicitly teach friend-making skills for my Little Momma to take with her on the first day of school!

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Sometimes we expect that kids will come by social skills by pure osmosis or coincidence, and though they can learn much from the examples they are shown, it is only through their own action that they will find their real groove and comfort zone.

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Explicitly teaching kids how to make new friends may feel awkward, but can help them gain confidence and ease in seemingly tense or novel situations. This can be especially important for shy children, who may otherwise avoid people or circumstances that are new to minimize uneasiness.

 Here are the skills we have been working on:

1) Approaching someone new {with intention}. Kids often approach one another…and then they just stand and stare….so we have been working on going up to new kids with the intention to say hello.

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2) Introducing yourself. This one may seem basic, but it’s surprising how many kids shut down when approaching or approached by a peer.

“Hi, I’m _________. What’s your name?”

“My name is {crazy dinosaur in high heels}. Do you want to play?”

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My only caution with this one is to review information that is okay to share with new friends and that which is best kept for those we know well (i.e. address and phone number). We have had many an occasion where Little Momma gets so excited in her introduction that she begins spewing where we live, along with an immediate invite. :p

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3) Simple playground games. Knowing how to play a few games not only allows your child to join in with others, but also provides them with some ideas or suggestions upon asking a new friend to play. Various sports, tag, Duck Duck Goose, hopscotch, ring around the rosie, follow the leader and I Spy are a few examples of the many games you can introduce to your children.

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4) Seeking out friends with similar interests. This one took a few tries for Little Momma (partially because I think she was working out what she was interested in), but she is starting to really get it. When looking for a new friend to approach, look for kids who are doing activities you like to do or playing games that you want to play. A little common ground is always nice when talking to someone new.

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5) Starting a conversation. Often the conversation will surround whatever the kids start playing. Little Momma will also usually introduce her younger brother and sister since they are normally in tow, which can lead to some discussion and comparison. To add to this repertoire, given Little Momma’s love for humour, I have worked on teaching her a few jokes that she can share with her little friends. This small and seemingly cheesy idea has done so much for her confidence in conversing with new friends.

“What do you get when you cross a fish and an elephant?” – “Swimming trunks!”

“Knock Knock. Who’s there. Lettuce. Lettuce who? Lettuce in it’s freezing!”

“Where do snowmen keep their money?” – “In a snow-bank”

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Making friends can be scary….especially when you’re little and the world seems so very big. Why not give your child the tools she needs to help her feel more comfortable, prepared and ready to surround herself with playmates! The joy she will exude is totally worth it – and then some!

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Richcraft Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


We spent a fun morning with some friends exploring a new splash pad, at RICHCRAFT PARK in Kanata North.

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Location: Just off of Terry Fox Drive in Kanata at 4101 Innovation Drive. The park and splash pad are located at the back of the recreation complex, on the left side (opposite the skate park). There is lots of parking available out front, as well as washrooms, change rooms, water fountains and vending machines located inside. Be prepared: between city camps, location and novelty, it was VERY busy.

Featuring: There is a small gazebo, picnic tables, benches and bike racks between the park and the rec complex. There are also two play structures and a swing set (not pictured). The larger structure had lots of climbers, swinging bars, a bridge and a few slides, as well as a big spider web climber.

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The smaller structure was shaded and had 2 slides, a mini-rock wall, a ladder, stepping logs and stairs, allowing lots of options for little explorers!

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Over by the smaller structure there was also a little cafe/restaurant window with benches (for customers, of course!) and 3 bouncy ride-ons.  The play surface is wood chips, which made for interesting mud-pies 😉

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Over at the splash pad there were lots of options, spread out nicely across the pavement, including, a number of fountains, a circular mister, dumping buckets, spraying/dripping flowers, and water squirters.  I thought it was the perfect mix for older and younger kids, alike!

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How to turn the water on: There’s a button on the green stem on the side of the big flower sprayer.

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Most Favourite: There was a definite tie between the little toadstool/mushroom fountain (which was great for filling buckets) and the ground fountains (which every kid took turns trying to sit on! 😀 )

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Least Favourite: Once again the dumping buckets, although Mr Man is beginning to get closer!

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Verdict: {5 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗∗

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See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Brookshire Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


We spent another HOT morning visiting a great little gem of splash pad, BROOKSHIRE PARK in Kanata.

Location: Just off of March Road at 1035 Klondike Road in Kanata North. There is a fair sized parking lot and it’s tucked in nicely away from the road.

Featuring: A basketball court, soccer field, gazebo, benches.

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Swings and a central sand box (seeing as the park area is woodchips ;p).

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A great playground with lots of spinners and two play structures.

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The smaller structure is great for younger kids, with slides and small scale climbers.

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The larger one had lots of variety for climbing, swinging, playing and sliding.

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Over at the splash pad there were fountains and misting circles,

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and smaller spraying fountains in the ground. As well as a shower and water pump (pictured below!).

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How to turn the water on: By pushing the button on the red post.

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Most Favourite: Little Momma ran through the misting circles, which was a pretty huge step for her!

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Mr Man loved watching the older boys who were having a water fight with Super Soakers, longing to join in.

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And Baby Girl absolutely loved this red, see-through post. We haven’t seen one before in our splash pad travels; it fills with water and then empties like a vortex as it pumps through, also spraying out near the bottom

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 Least Favourite: Much like the dumping buckets, this big 4-spouted, high-pressure shower was too much for my kiddos!

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Verdict: {4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

and we even saw a rainbow!! <3

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See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Riverside Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


We spent a beautiful, hot morning visiting an awesome park we love muchly, RIVERSIDE PARK in Carleton Place, a town 20 minutes West of Ottawa.

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Location: Adjacent to the Carleton Place Canoe Club at 179 John Street in Carleton Place.

Featuring: A big parking lot, lots of green space for running and playing and mature trees which provide many shady areas. There are also onsite lifeguards at the first aid station.

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There are 2 awesome play structures down on the beach between the water and the splash pad.

The first is geared towards older children (4+) and features a number of climbers, monkey bars, a tunnel and 2 slides.

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The second is perfect for the younger crew (5 and under) with slides, mini-climbers and tunnels.

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There are also 2 baby swings and 2 ‘big kid’ swings, with a perfect view of the river!

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The splash pad area is split into 2 sections, the first is for the bigger/braver kids, with water sprayers and dumping buckets.

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The second side is for the more hesitant/younger crowd (aka my kids 😉 ), with rows of fountains and misters to run through!

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How to turn the water on: There is a big blue box with 4 buttons, each button activates a different area of the splash pad.

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Most Favourite: Little Momma *finally* scaled a big climber solo. This was a BIG step for my ‘Queen of Caution’!

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And once she had it mastered, she taught her brother how it’s done on the smaller one (oh how quickly they become masters!).

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 Least Favourite: The kids, but Mr Man especially, were disappointed that the beach was closed to swimmers. Not a deal-breaker for me, as we would likely not have gone in anyways! You can always check the beach testing results here, if you’re hoping to swim.

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All in all we had an awesome time. There really is something for everyone here, so pack a lunch and be prepared to spend a couple of hours!

Verdict: {5 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗∗ <I’d even venture to give it 6!>

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

 

 

 

 

Summer Book Club: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book. This summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 3: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 

by Judith Viorst

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Bad days, we all have them…even kids. This story tells the tale of a young boy, Alexander’s, horrible day, from start to finish and teaches that no one is exempt from having a terrible day every now and then.

Story extension activities:

Balloon Emotions

We used our playdough-filled Emotion Balloons to talk about the various feelings we have. Then we did a picture walk through the story and described how we thought Alexander may be feeling at different times.

To make your own Emotion Balloons you will need balloons, playdough and a Sharpie marker. Fill each balloon to the desired size with playdough (approximately half of a regular-sized Play Doh container worked for us), tie each balloon and draw on some expressions (we have happysadsurprisedmadscared, and silly.

These also make wonderful stress balls for those fidgety kids who may need an incentive to sit still or to help children build fine motor strength!

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Silver Linings

We then played a little game of Hot Potato with our balloons. Whoever ended with the balloon had to identify the feeling and tell about a time or situation when they felt that way.

For the ‘negative’ ones (sad, mad, scared) we discussed how the issue was resolved or how it could have been avoided. It was a great conversation and lesson in empathy!

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Food Collages

In the story, Alexander is not happy about some of his meals. I put out some grocery flyers and magazine picture of food, along with scissors, glue and construction paper and asked the kids to make collages of foods they like. And even though Little Momma was certain she wouldn’t find any because she’s a “picky eater” she managed to fill 2 whole pages (and shockingly it wasn’t all junk either!).

This activity gave the kids a chance to practice their cutting and try to hone that ever-tricky scissor grasp!

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Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll

Amazing Grace