Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall, Setting the Table, and a Happy Heart!

First, what is it about 4-year-olds that makes them experiment HEAVILY with being kind to each other?  Are they bored?  Are they teaching themselves how to manipulate a situation with words and body language?  All of the above and more?  It is SO frustrating!  Just be NICE to each other!  I don't know how many times in a week I say "we are all friends, even if we don't want to play together"!  Holy Moly. 

I have tried a warm fuzzy jar, the jewel jar, 3 strikes and your out, and endless comments to the ones making the right choices.  This year is our jewel jar year - putting small jewels that have magnets on the back, onto a paper jar on our white board.  When the jar is full we have a fun day.  This is a good motivator for the whole group and works well.  Right now we have 4 left to earn until a hopeful pajama day - I'm hoping we get that done in order to have a PJ day the day after Halloween.  Because we will all most likely be in a candy coma.  Anywho...I still struggle with just a few friends that don't keep their hands to themselves or are SO mean to each other!  Then there are the sweet ones who almost never get in trouble.  So, we now have a Happy Heart.  I cut out a large heart from poster board.  We sat in a circle and I did the typical "this is what happens to my heart when you act like this" activity where I scrunch up a paper heart to show how words and actions can be damaging.  I then introduced the Happy Heart.  If friends catch each other following directions, being nice, being helpful, or overall just being good, they can use a dot marker to put a dot on the heart - which is on the front of my desk.  It went well the first day!  Then it became overwhelming.  SO, I have decided that I will now have a Dot Giver daily job.  Then one person is responsible for putting on the dots.  However, the Dot Giver can take recommendations from others :-).

Man I hope this works. 

Now just some random pictures of fun things we have been playing with in October! 

drink Coozies aren't just for cans!

make-up sponges painted like candy corn!  FYI - no matter how much your kids wash their hands, the white part tends to get dingy by the end of the season...

pumpkin scented cloud dough

fun Halloween stamps from Michael's

This is my lunch helper basket.  For years I have simply had them put out napkins and utensils.  We are slowly heading towards family-style lunch and this is a natural step.  The black and white stuff is shelf liner that I have cut into child-sized place mats!  We have Styrofoam trays we eat off of and these were measured to be just the right size.  I also have the basket of napkins, the basket for forks/spoons, and 2 centerpieces.  Yes, centerpieces.  We had a big discussion before I started using these about ones they may have on their own tables and how they aren't for touching or moving.  They are there to make the table pretty.  I'm planning to change them seasonally.  The lunch helper puts all of these items on our table(s) each day. 

Long post!  But I have the time as I am in a hotel room with my Husband in Asheville, NC while he watches his Precious Detroit Tigers play game one of the Superbowl.  I mean World Series :-). 

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