We started with our little preschool group and my daughter's exclamations of, "My preschool friends are coming!" were so sweet. I love our little preschool group we have going - we only meet a couple times a month, but it provides an hour or so that is dedicated to our littlest learners, something most of us homeschooling moms struggle with a bit, as so many of our activities and responsibilities revolve around our older kids. We painted paper plate wreaths, played with peppermint scented playdough (I felt so crafty making my own playdough!), listened to stories and played "freeze dance" to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." So fun.
Our friends said goodbye, and we had some lunch, followed by a chance for the kids to finish the movie they'd started watching last night. Disney movies on Netflix for the win! When that was done, we snuggled in together on the couch for a reading of the original story of Cinderella. We talked about how it was different from the movie (although that wasn't what they'd just watched, we did watch the Disney Cinderella not too long ago), and we were all interested to know her name in the Grimm's version is Isabella. I'd always thought it was just "Ella" and they tacked on the "cinder" to make Cinderella. My kids pointed out the lack of talking mice, and how the prince himself comes to try on her slipper, and recognizes her before he even puts the slipper on her foot. They loved how it ended, with Cinderella telling her jealous stepsisters that they are welcome to come visit her in the palace anytime, that there will always be a bed ready - the hearthstone next to the cinders.
We've been working on a fairy tale "book" that includes an art project for each story we read. I had the rather brilliant idea, if I do say so myself, to have the boys make pumpkin carriages out of some of our Halloween pumpkins (considering we had about 6 of them). Of course, I had that thought back in October and somehow it is now mid-December... Hmmmm, not sure how that happened. Luckily, we still had a couple pumpkins that were still intact.
The boys made these crazy, wonderful "mixed-media" pumpkins. I set out a random assortment of supplies and told them to make carriages, however they wanted. I just love what they came up with - they worked on them for nearly an hour, intently problem solving to find the best way to make wheels and windows, and my oldest even added horses and reigns, as well as a little drawing of Cinderella inside the carriage through one of the windows. My younger son's randomness shined through, with two "windows" including lots of foam stickers and a "cover" for the stem that didn't seem to have a real purpose, but it was the first thing he made. They were both very happy with their creations.
We finished up our day with playtime, dinner and a LOT of reading aloud. I'm literally a bit hoarse from reading so many books, but it was precious time and I'm more than happy to sacrifice my voice for it.
A good day, worth remembering.