Most days, Annabelle looks outside our window, perhaps trying to decide what we should do for the day, and no matter whether it is pouring cats and dogs or sunny as sunny can be, she’ll say to me, “Mommy, it’s beautiful out.” On rainy days, she excitedly grabs our umbrella from its stand and pulls on her boots; she insists on holding the umbrella (which often means that I wind up having to hoist her up onto my hip so that I get coverage too). And on sunny, cloudy, or windy days, she’ll announce what the weather is doing and then decide where we ought to play (right now, she most often will decide that we need to leave the park because “it’s kinda buggy”).
So, when I put together our 30 days of you and me, I thought crafting a weather chart would be a great way for us to explore her observations (plus, it’s great practice for young gardeners too). Coinciding with making a chart for the weather was another activity I’d included for making a chart about the care of our pets. Sadly, since Oscar, Silvia, and Barry are no longer with us (yes, we are bad, bad fish keepers), it made sense to craft a chart for our cat Toby.
We made our charts simple; just plain old tables with columns and rows. I explain to Annabelle why we need to mark our suns, clouds, raindrops and wind under specific columns (days) and that we use the top row for the morning weather and the bottom row for the afternoon weather. Again, she doesn’t quite understand, but she’s paying attention to the weather and making symbols to represent it nonetheless.
Regarding our chart on the care of our cat Toby, we created columns and rows to chart that we’ve fed Toby and that he’s gotten some exercise (if you’ve never seen photos of Toby before, well, you’ll notice he’s a bit on the large size and our vet keeps reminding me to make sure we encourage Toby to play and be active–much of his prior movement has been running away from Annabelle, :-) though she really, really does love our furry friend). So . . .
Once I graphed our chart, Annabelle helped draw a few symbols; here she is making a fish to represent the “food” row.
After drawing a fish and a pair of dumb bells (yes of course I helped, :-) ), she began to place stickers on the chart for the days we’d already fed and exercised Toby (we made our chart on a Tuesday but started our week with Sunday).
On the weather charts, she drew circles to symbolize the sun and I added small triangles around them. Then she colored them in.
But the real fun was getting Toby to move his body:
There he is. Not much of a mover . . . I think he was sort of wondering what Annabelle and I were up to . . .
but once Annabelle started jingling his favorite toy, he ran over and started moving.
I have to say that Toby knows how to conserve energy; each time the toy bounced above his head, he’d swiftly move his eyes and every now and again turn his head . . .
and then, fast, he’d swipe the toy with his paws and grab on . . . got it!
for the most part, he never tires of capturing his prey . . .
even when that means really having to move . . . ’cause there goes Annabelle taking Toby for a bit of a run . . .
though I have to say that I think she tired the poor fella out; after just a few minutes of working out with Annabelle, Toby lay flat on his back, looking up, wondering what the heck had just happened.
But guess what, the next day, Toby wanted to play some more. I’m thinking this Annabelle as personal trainer is a golden idea: one that just may trim down our pudgy kitty and keep Annabelle entertained in the weeks to come.
What’s your pet’s favorite workout? Or perhaps a better question, how do you distract your kids at the end of the day?