Sunday, December 9, 2012

Edible Necklace

A fun and engaging activity we did today was make an edible necklace out of Cheerios! My 2 and 5 year old loved it, and they must have spent over 30 minutes fully concentrating!

You simply get a string, and some Cheerios (or anything edible with a hole in the middle, fruit loops would have been nice too!) you make a knot at the end, and let them enjoy the rest!

To make this more engaging and to practice counting you can have your preschooler count as they add each Cheerios on. Or every ten Cheerios you could put one fruit loop or even a piece of straw to separate them and practice skip counting. The possibilities are endless! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pom Pom Transfer Activity

Here's another great activity to practice those fine motor skills. They simply transfer one Pom Pom at a time to each compartment in the ice cube tray, then they put the Pom poms back one by one into the small basket. The different tools the children can use are; their hands, tongs, spoons, olive grabbers, and anything you can imagine! Also using different size pom poms allows them to practice picking up different size items. Don't forget to review color as well! Ask them to pass you different colors, even sizes. Example "can you pass me the large pink Pom Pom..."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Toddler preschool paper cutting

There is nothing more fun (or more scary!) then teaching and watching a toddler learn how to cut with scissors. And once you get them started, there is no turning back! Usually before scissor handling is taught the child is taught to rip pieces of paper, simply by taking a long thin peice of paper, cutting slits about 1 inch apart, and showing the child to rip apart at the slits. The next step is teaching them how to hold the scissor with their two hands (their usually not ready to use one hand right away) and teaching them "open" and "close" while the adult holds the paper for them. If they start going crazy then you tell the child "gentle, we hold the scissors like this...", if they listen, GREAT! If not, then for safety reasons take the scissor privelages away for a few days and try again another time. They will learn that proper scissor handling = scissor privelages! Click here for the link to this apple paper cutting activity sheet! (it is uploaded to google docs)
21 months old, practicing his cutting techniques

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Geoboard Fun

Geoboards are something that is great for all ages. As a pre-k (3+ years) child it's a great way to practice those fine motor skills, concentration, shapes, vocabulary and even creativity.

Below is a picture of one of the children creating different shapes and even a picture of herself!

We got ours for only $3.50 on amazon (prime shipping!)
11x11 geoboard on Amazon

Some helpful websites
Pre-kinders: math and geometry
Creek side learning: printable cards for learning shapes

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bean Transfer Activity

Here is a great activity for building concentration and those helpful fine motor skills. You simply get two attractive cups or small bowls (porcelain or metals are best because children are attracted to the sounds it makes when the beans fall into them). Then you place whatever you like in one, it can be dried beans, rice, beads, get creative. Obviously these are "choking hazards" so you always want to be around when you are showing the child how to use them, also some kids are fascinated with sticking things up their nose and in their ears, so teaching them the proper use is very important! If you find that they are throwing the materials constantly...and after many times of saying "these are for transferring...we keep them on the tray....." then you might want to take the tray away for a few weeks and present again later. 

The idea of this activity to have to have the child transfer the materials from one cup to another by hand. They feel the texture, they hear the sounds as it drops in. Any items that spill they leave for last and pick up one at a time with their pincer grasp (finger and thumb). 

I got this cute set from the second hand store, for very cheap so if you don't have one keep your eyes open or maybe go to grandmas house and ask if she has something. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making Butter

I don't know one child that doesn't like cream or butter! Walking through Costco I saw a container of heavy cream and had a flash back of being in elementary school, passing around a container and shaking my heart out to see the cool reaction that was about to take I wanted to share this experience with the kids and they loved it! At first they shook their jars for not even a minute so I had to get it started a little. I kept opening up the lid to see if any reaction occurred, and finally there was cream! They looked so excited and when they tried it they wanted more...I told them "if you shake it really well then I'll open it for you!" so they did and finally it almost magically appeared to be butter! They loved it and put it on their broccoli for lunch and ate it all up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shaving cream fun!

Kids of all ages love to play with shaving cream! It is even more fun to add colors and see what happens when you mix two or more! With toddlers you have to watch them more closely because they tend to get silly!

If the older ones start to look bored (which takes a while) then you can have them draw shapes, letters, numbers, stories, ect.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mortar and pestle Toddler Activity

Great toddler activity. Elijah loves to play with water and loves to eat ice. So instead of us making small chucks for him, he can do it himself! We got this mortar and pestle from ikea.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Counting with Clothes Pins

Great way to work on fine motor skills, strengthen those little finger and practice counting! I plan on putting numbers on them or maybe dots as well. If you plan on making this, choose a sturdy box to put clothes pins on because this one kept tipping. However that can be a good way to introduce balancing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

What is Attachment Parenting...

I keep hearing these two words...Attachment Parenting...and I have no idea what it is! I can take a wild guess that it has something to do with a child being attached to their parent...but nowdays who knows what it could mean, soo...I decided to go on handy dandy Google! Finally, after many articles that didn't get to the point, I came across this website with many helpful links, that explained pretty much what it is and gave many examples.
Funny but very SAD picture of our culture today...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Starting the quest for Cloth Diapers

I am recently on a quest for finding the best type of cloth diaper for my 20 month son. Some people may view this as a late transition, but "better late then never!" Right?  :)

My main reasons for switching to cloth is; save money in the long run, less stinky garbage in home, less garbage in landfills, and we love trying new things! Well its not really "new" being that people have done this for thousands of years, but newer to our culture!

So I have been up since 3:30 am, I can't fall back asleep because my poor little Bull Frog (20 month old son) has a really bad diaper rash, to the point he was screaming bloody murder when wiping and washing his bum, and I can't get it off of my mind (also the 6 month old baby is non-stop kicking my bladder and my stomach is growling!)

 Today was the first day we tried resuable diapers (Charlie Banana) and I wondered was this the reason he has a diaper rash??? I thought re-usable diapers prevented them?? As I read more and more I am learning that a lot of children are sensitive to polyester/ micro fleece linings, so I am thinking that maybe this is the reason?? Not 100% sure so please don't knock off these types of materials. I am however learning that Cotton and hemp materials are the way to go. Some helpful websites for me are below...

Natural V.S Synthetic

Diaper Pin Forum and website

Guide to Eco Friendly Cloth Diapers

So, as I get more info I will add it here and hope this helps any other newbies to reusable diapers, please leave any comments or advice below! Thank you!

UPDATE: Okay so its been about a week, and I figured the diaper rash was probably from his very liquidy bowel movement that day (or possibly liner which I haven't used again yet). I read that Coconut oil helps and is safe for cloth so I ran to my local healthy market; Matter of Health and bought some Nutiva Organic Coconut oil. So far so good! And it smells great! Oh and I purchased ECOS laundry detergent to wash the diapers in, its the only one I could find locally on a list of approved detergents for cloth diapers AND for a front loading HE washing machine.

Since last week I have ordered pre folded cloths 6x8x4 from amazon (which i still need to get a cover for because they are a bit too big for the Charlie Banana pocket diapers we have.)

We also did a home made diaper sprayer that we got the idea from another user on Diaper pin forum, and we found a video on you tube on how to make one. This ended costing about $25 instead of $45 on Amazon.

I am not crazy about spraying the poop on the toilet, it takes a little practice to get the whole routine down and keep everything sanitary. Doing home child care makes one very super sanitary! But I did find another video on cleaning poop on you tube! Love you tube! If you skip to the last section of the video she shows how to clean a messier poop (with out the liner). My little Bull Frog is mostly a messy pooper so its not as easy with him! But this video does help!

Okay, so until next time!


Helpful Websites
Forum (talk to other parents) Product reviews, Diaper Swapping, How to’s, blog
Forum, Diaper Swapping, great place to talk to other parents on many topics
Resuable Diaper Guide: Lots of helpful information (created by soft bums brand so a bit biased) 
Sewing Patterns Great place to see different types of folds for flats and pre folds as well as reviews for all types of diapers. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Practical life activities

The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to “Teach teaching, not correcting” (Montessori) in order to allow the child to be a fully functionional member in his own society. Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking.

Practical life activities also aim on helping the children develop the fine motor skills that are needed in every day things such as feeding oneself, using a pencil correctly, putting on his or her own shoes, toileting, and any other thing you can think of.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Language for Infants and Toddlers

Children are always absorbing the language around us whether we know it or not. Thats why it is so important to always read to children and have realistic books and pictures all around. Please please please don't baby talk to young children, it truly undermines their intelligence! Below are some examples of books to have around for infants and toddlers. Remember, the more realistic the pictures are, the better! Also you can purchase or print out language card pictures and hang them around your house to spark conversation with your little ones. Even if they can't talk yet, they love to hear you! So explain what's happening in the picture. Don't forget to laminate them because they might end up as baby food :)

Our Spring Pictures

Our new activity on our arts and crafts shelf. The girls must have spent almost an hour here making their spring pictures! I also asked them to tell me a story using their pictures which we wrote down for them for safe keeping.
You can find these foam stickers in AC Moore, don't forget to use the 40% off coupons!!

This activity can also be turned into a color sorting activity, and don't forget the fine motor skills used to peel the backs of the stickers off. Language is another important factor when learning the names of the different insects that are part of the activity...AND last but not least, stick their cute pictures in an envelope, give it to the mail man/lady and send to loved ones! Great way to incorporate some culture and explain how our postal system works.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plant Unit

So as we grow our plants we are also studying parts of a plant and going over plant vocabulary. I came across a really cute set in AC MOORE ($8, but you can easily get 50% off with online coupons) and I printed out a book from (one weeks free membership). I used the back of the packaging from the plant parts to make the insert for the tray (which I also bought at AC Moore for $1).
Montessori Monday

Friday, April 6, 2012

Great Christian booklets and activities

There are some really beautifully and simply made FREE printable books for children about the bible, you can also print them in black and white so your children can have coloring them in.




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Free awesome Montessori stuff

Free language materials

Great math materials


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Started our Seedlings!

So excited we started out seedlings and tried different items to plant them in. So far what worked best is the egg shells. The cardboard just soaks all of the water up. Let's see what happens!