Since our move to Houston, one thing I have come to love about living here is all the cool things to do. There are amazing parks for the kids, a great zoo, a children’s museum, and tons of events throughout every week and weekend, just to name a few.
One of the cool things we are getting to experience for the first time is the Houston Rodeo. How fun! Chad and I had the opportunity to attend the rodeo cookout last weekend, and it was great. With all of the music, food, lights, and drinks, I told Chad I kind of felt like I was walking down Bourbon Street, of course with less promiscuity and more flannel, hats and boots.
Since the time we told my family we were moving out here, last March (wow, that was a year ago??), my five year old nephew has been telling us he was going to the rodeo. Every time he has seen us since we moved he brings up the rodeo. He’s been walking around in his cowboy hat and just got some new boots, so you know as soon as those tickets went on sale, we grabbed a few!
Cleaning with Toddlers
With all that being said, my whole family is coming out here for the long awaited rodeo, and we are SO EXCITED. Whether they’re family or not, we all know that when people are coming to your house you like to clean up a little and at least make it semi presentable, but with toddlers, that’s nearly impossible.
What takes me all day to clean, they can destroy within minutes, so I must wait until the very last minute to thoroughly clean the house. Does anyone else feel like this? Yesterday, they pulled out all of the cookie sheets and muffin pans. As one of my friends told me one time, sometimes, it’s just worth the mess. That was one of those times. I was trying to get something else finished, so I figured I’d just let them go to town.
Later, I went to clean up the cookie sheets. Imagine how long that took, ok? Seriously, under a minute. Would you like to know where I found them when I finished? Pulling out every drawer of our desk and every item in the each drawer. Jesus and wine y’all. I can’t get ahead of them. I clean up one mess, they make a bigger mess. How on Earth am I supposed to get an entire house cleaned with a one year old and a two year old hurricane coming behind me? I figure it’s probably just easier to apologize for the mess, so I’m sorry family, welcome to the circus!
In the midst of the “cleaning”, we paused to work on some shapes this morning. If we are working on something, that means they aren’t destroying something else. I wanted to do a new shapes activity with my two year old that would keep him engaged and from running all around the house for at least a few minutes. To see my previous blog about other shape activities we have completed, click here.
I think boys are seriously born with internal motors. When I was teaching, there were always the boys that couldn’t simply walk to get in line, but pretended they were cars, trucks, etc. My two year old doesn’t ever walk, he runs. Needless to say, they love anything with wheels and anything that goes.
Shapes that Go
I started thinking back to when I was student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom. I had such a great supervising teacher to work with, and I still think she was probably the most patient teacher I have ever seen. She never showed frustration, never raised her voice, and always had the calmest demeanor. Anyone that has ever taught in a classroom knows that even if you love your job and have a great class, remaining patient 100% of the time is a tough thing to do. Not only do parents think about #jesusandwine moments, but I’m sure there are some teachers out there thinking of their own #jesusandwine moments, especially as we approach Spring Break.
While I was working in her classroom, the students were working on a transportation unit. In one of the centers, the students got to make a mode of transportation out of pre-cut construction paper pieces. They turned out so cute, and I started thinking that I could piggy back off that idea a little bit. So, this morning I started cutting out shapes to make these modes of transportation. James loves anything that goes, and it would be an activity to help him learn his shapes – win, win!
This is a very easy activity, and it didn’t take long to complete. The longest part of the activity is the prep work you need to do, which simply involved cutting out the shapes for each mode of transportation that you choose to create. We created a fire truck, a car, a sailboat, and a train.
Materials you will need:
- Firetruck – To create the fire truck, I used one red rectangular piece for the long part of the truck, a smaller, white rectangular piece for the ladder, a red square piece for the front of the truck, a black square piece for the window, and five black circle pieces for the tires. I drew black lines with a Sharpie on the ladder to add a little bit of detail. You can see the picture below to see how I put the fire truck together.
- Sailboat – To create the sailboat, I used one brown rectangular piece for the bottom of the boat (you could do a half circle of half oval if your child is able to understand that), a skinny white rectangular piece for the pole, and a green triangular piece for the sail. We simply glued it on blue paper to make it look like it was in water, but you could have your older children draw waves, a sun, birds in the air, etc. You can see the picture below to see how I put the sailboat together.
- Car – This one was a little more difficult, as the shape of the car isn’t really a normal shape, however, you could change that up if you wanted to. I used a long, black rectangular piece to create a street at the bottom of the paper, small, yellow rectangular pieces for the lines in the middle of the street, a red piece for the car, a white piece for the window, and two black circles for the tires. You can see the picture below to see how I put the car together.
- Train – To create the train, I cut a black piece out to make the engine. This isn’t a normal shape, and honestly, mine looks more like a shoe than a train engine, but I’m sure you’re more artistic that I am! I cut out five different colored rectangles for the train cars, five small, black rectangles for the pieces that connect the train cars together, and twelve black circles for the train wheels. I made a train with five train cars because “James” has five letters. I wrote one letter of his name on each train car in black Sharpie so that we could practice the letters in his name. This was just an added learning activity that I chose to do along with the shapes, you certainly don’t have to do that. You can see the picture below to see how I put the train together.
James loved this activity, and he kept asking to do more and to see his car. He also continuously told me that he wanted to drive his car, which I informed him he could not do. That kid. He has a daily breakdown when I put him in his car seat because I won’t let him drive – #jesusandwine.