The "five minute warning" really has not been helpful at our house for managing transitions. Maybe for Amanda but Ana and Tali are just too little to grasp time. Ana begins whining and crying about ending the activity when I give the five minute warning and Tali has forgotten about the warning by the time I finally end the activity and she melts down.
However, I have discovered that counting down from five seems to provide enough time and distraction to move from one activity to the next. I might say something like, "I'm going to ask you to help clean up the toys in 5----4------3-------2------1!" Then we race around clean up as fast as we can.
Or "I'm going to tell you to go up and get ready for bed in 5----4------3-------2------1!" And we race up the stairs to the bathroom.
Or "I'm going to tell you to line up to go in the house in 5----4------3-------2------1!" As a side note, we've started using a lot of class room procedures like lining up near the teacher and moving from one place to another all together. If I send them up to the bathroom, into the house, or over to the door to get ready by themselves there is always trouble. If I lead them, life is much better. Amanda thinks it's pretty fun when I'm being the "teacher."
We also use the count down for fun things, too, like starting out on a bike ride or all brushing our teeth together. Yes, tooth brushing is fun. I don't usually let the toddlers have their own tooth brush but I've discovered that if we all do it together as an event, they will copy me and brush instead of just biting on the bristles. Plus I can get my teeth brushed without them wandering off and getting into trouble because I can't direct them.
I am also going to start working on making visual schedules and using other techniques I found on the TACSEI website. Hopefully this will make life a little less chaotic around here.
Look what Daddy brought home from the pre-inventory auction! We can easily add more swings by replacing the top rail with a longer one and Mike plans to add some monkey bars off the front. Monkey bars are Amanda's favorite these days.
Wahoo! We are all so excited! Even though we live very close to a park, there was a need to have something in the yard for those times when I want to work in the garden or we just need to stick close to home.
When we first got it, Tali couldn't climb up the climbing wall so she just climbed up the slide. I've often heard parents and even Mike say, "Slides are just for going down." Why? I think it's great fun and takes great skill to climb up that way. The only problem comes when one kid is climbing up when another wants to slide down. All part of learning to take turns.
Last week was gorgeous and we knew it wouldn't last. In fact there was snow in the forecast. We set up the bounce house for one more round of fun before it was too cold. This bounce house belongs to my sister-in-law. When she invited us to Cousin Reilly's birthday, she told us there would be a bounce house. I thought they had rented a bounce house for her 5 th birthday and was really feeling like we were totally lame parents. Ha! Turns out it was this mini bounce house that Reilly's grandma had bought a few years ago. It's the perfect size for these little girls and they said we could take it home until it got too cold to use it.
Julia likes the new playground too.
She's a pretty serious thumb sucker. She's not going to enjoy being bundled up for the cold.
And that was probably the last day of short sleeves and bare feet.
We are a Christian couple joyfully answering God's call on our life to welcome children into our home. We have two boys, Tyler and Tony, and adopted our first daughter, Amanda, in August of 2007 and a second daughter, Christiana, in July of 2009. Talitha joined our family in February 2010 after a surprise pregnancy. Julia was an even bigger surprise in January 2012.