So, in an effort to keep Sydney busy (and out of trouble) we've been doing learning time this summer. She loves it. She picks a topic and we go to the library check out books on that subject. It has been a great way for us to check out non-fiction books, which we haven't ever done before. We read, write, do a few crafts, some cooking - really whatever fun things we can think of to do. My goal is to make it as fun as possible, spend some one-on-one time with her (since it is usually while Elle is napping) and make sure a little learning is taking place. Plus, she is learning to do some basic cooking and even a little sewing. Her sock elephant we made during elephant week has become something she takes everywhere. That week she was obsessed not just with elephants, but with Asian elephants.
Here is a picture from the week we studied dogs (complete with puppy chow as a snack.) Elle was awake for this activity. Sydney even made her a set of ears, but it took the bribe of a sucker to get her to let me paint her nose. However, Elle wasn't very fond of the ears, which is why the ear is torn. About two seconds after the picture, the whole thing was off of her head, too.
Sydney is reading really well, and I'm so proud of her. I was surprised how quickly she went from a few sight words to full-on reading. An added bonus is that she can read to Elle in the car - the board books are all easy enough and it keeps Elle entertained in the backseat while I'm driving which I'm loving!