Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some awards to share!

I have received two awards in the last couple of weeks and I'd love to share them with you! I am so happy to receive them.  I am such an itty-bitty blogger, and it is so nice to be recognized and realize that, yes, people are reading what I put out here. 

Our Country Road was so kind to give me the Sunshine Award.   The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogworld!  If you haven't had a chance to check out Our Country Road, you need to!

Char from Fun Frugal Mommy passed on the Happy 101 award.  She always has such fun ideas on her blog!!  To accept this award, I get to write 10 things that make me happy!

  1. My little munchkin's grin
  2. Spending time with my husband
  3. Finishing a craft project
  4. Seeing the sun on the mountains
  5. A good cup of coffee
  6. My new pink bible, and time to read it every morning
  7. Spending time with friends and family
  8. Hiking
  9. Spring weather and flowers
  10. Reading a good book

Now I get to pass these awards on to some of my favorite bloggers! 

Receiving the Sunshine Award:

Montessori Beginnings
Counting Coconuts
Little Hands, Big Work
Raising Itty Bitty Bookworms
One Hook Wonder

Receiving the Happy 101 Award:

Our Cup of Tea
Pink and Green Mama
Home with the Boys
Montessori Spanish
Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Butterflies for Spring

Well, technically, it is finally spring.  You wouldn't know it by the forcast, we're supposed to get about a foot or so of snow this evening.  E wanted to do a "craft project," and I've been wanting to give these a go with her.  I'm sure you've seen them all over blogland.

 Basically, you take a coffee filter and color it with a marker.  I had some pastel markers lying around so we used those.  Then you spritz it with water and let the colors run together.  We finished them by pinching their middles and securing them with a clothespin. 

Then, I clipped them to our Lenten centerpiece (sticks with purple tulle wrapped around them).  A bit of spring color for our kitchen!

This centerpiece will turn into an Easter tree for Easter Sunday morning, complete with sparkly eggs and E's Easter basket. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

I-Spy Jar

Whew!  What a busy week we have had!  I totally meant to get this posted earlier, but we had 3 1/2 days of SUPER nice weather before another snowstorm hit today.  So we had to capitalize on that.  But as promised, here is our I-Spy Jar!  OK, well here it is in a bowl - but more on that later.

I love those little I-Spy bags you can find on etsy and such.  I am a middling seamstress, I could probably pull off figuring one of those out, if it weren't for my horrible fear of sewing vinyl.  Then I saw an I-Spy bag in a JAR on Mama Jenn.  Cool!  I could do that!  But I put it off as a project for another day . . . I think E was about a year old when I first saw the idea. 

It resurfaced a day or two before our trip to Kansas for Thanksgiving this year.  I was desperate for something to bring in the car to entertain E for the long car ride.  So I put one together for the trip, using things I had around my house. 

Our I-Spy Jar is a Ball canning jar - kinda on the heavy side, but we aren't usually running around with it, so that seems to be ok.  I filled it about 2/3 of the way full with plain white rice (these were our pre-rainbow rice days), and tossed in all sorts of random treasures.  Some of the items to "spy" are:
  • a paper clip
  • an old key
  • a small hair bow
  • several different colored/shaped/sized buttons
  • colorful floral stones/marbles
  • animal beads - we have a giraffe, lion, boat, and elephant
  • smiley face pencil topper
  • a tiny ball of yarn
  • a google eye
  • a penguin that fell off of one of my old earrings
  • a screw
  • a foam leaf
  • a small piece of ribbon with a cow and pig on it
I did not seal our jar.  E does not like to open jars, so it's not an issue for us.  She does like me to pour it all into a bowl sometimes for her to sift through, so I'm glad I left it open.

To play, you shake up the jar and find something to spy.  Then you say "I spy something that starts with /__/"  For example, "I spy something that starts with /s/."  The child looks through the items in the jar and tries to find something that begins with that sound.  "/s/ smiley face!"  or "/s/ stone!" or "/s/ screw!"

To make a more individual game, you can print up a card with all the items on it and have the child find them on their own.  I have seen cards with  items grouped in numbers, such as find one coin, two beads, three paper clips, etc.  I have also seen cards with items grouped in colors.  The child can be challenged to find all the items in a category.  If you have two I-Spy bags or jars, you can see who can find the most in a set time, or who can find everything in one category first.

I do plan on getting over my fear of vinyl at some point and sewing an I-Spy bag or two in the future.  I'd really love to do a whole set for each letter of the alphabet.  They have those at the Children's Museum here, and they are AWESOME.  I could sit looking at them for hours, and E likes them too. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tot School

Tot School
E is 26 months

This was a great week for tot school.  The stars must have been aligned correctly, or something, because E has been so cooperatvie and hard working recently!  One day she worked for a full hour and a half!  That may not sound like much to some of you, but our prior record time was about 48 minutes.  I rearranged the shelves again this week and added some brand new activities.  Maybe that's what did it.  I know I've been holding off on buying new things/making new things, because we're planning on purchasing all our Montessori materials and I don't want to spend a lot of money or time on things that we won't end up using a whole lot.

Practical Life:

Tonging pom poms was a favorite this week

Stringing pony beads on pipe cleaners


I kept out our sorting buttons activity from last week, but put it in a new container, and added 2 more colors.  This week we worked on blue and green, yellow and white.  She's so FAST at color sorting, but doesn't really understand sorting by shape or type of object yet.  I think next week's sort will be a shape one.

Matching I-Spy cards, I changed up the cards this week for her to find horses, telephones, and helicopters.

E also had fun this week hiding tigers (only tigers, I don't know why) in her sensory box.  Oh, yes, and Little Lamb had to play, too.


We've been playing a lot of I-Spy recently, so I pulled out our I-Spy jar that I made for a long car trip to Kansas.  It was fun to shake up and spy new things.  To play I-Spy, all you need to do is tell your child "I spy something that starts with /__/."  Use the sound of the letter, not the name of the letter.  I like to give clues too, since E is just starting to work with this game.  I'll say, "E, I spy something yellow that starts with /d/."  She will look at the objects, find the correct one and tell me (very triumphantly, by the way) "/d/, /d/, DUCK!"

I am currently in the process of putting together an alphabet drawer with miniature objects for each letter.  I spend waaay too much time at Hobby Lobby in the dollhouse section!


We hosted our crafts and stories playdate this week, and made these cute little ducks to go with the story Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo.  Check out THIS post for the play-by-play.

To see what other tots have been working on, visit Carissa's blog, 1+1+1=1.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

stART: Dawdle Duckling

This morning, for playdate, we read one of E's favorite stories: Dawdle Duckling by Toni Buzzeo.  When the story was finished, we made these cute ducks out of paper plates.  I saw this craft on someone's blog, but I can't find it anymore!  If it was yours, thanks for the idea!!

First we painted the paper plates yellow.

Then we glued on a feather for the wing.

Next came the head, eyes, and beak.
Finally we glued on two little feet.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Giveaway at Counting Coconuts

Hop on over to Counting Coconuts for a FABULOUS giveaway!  Seriously!  These things are beautiful!! 

Nope, not gonna tell you what they are . . . you have to go over there and find out for yourself!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fashion Friday

I haven't been participating in a whole lot of blog memes recently, but I couldn't pass this one up this week.  It's Fashion Friday!!  And here is what our little model is sporting this week:


A blue hat pulled from the "to go to charity" pile, Mommy's armwarmers, a too-small dress over khakis and a tshirt, Mommy's black dress shoes, and a seed-bead necklace that is probably as tall as she is.  (And a pout, but I'm sure you got that one.  Something about not being able to watch Elmo . . . )  Anyhow, all this on, and she says "E is dressed up like Mommy!"  Ha!  I certainly hope I can put myself together a little better than this . . . .

Check out more Tot Fashion at Mozi Esme

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Montessori Touch Boards

I have been a little remiss in my posting.  E and I are doing our work each morning, but I don't feel like I have anything new or exciting to share with you.  Until today!  I finally got started on some of the sensorial materials that I want to make rather than purchase, and this morning I made two touch boards while E was doing her rug work.  I have found that it is easier for her to stick with her work if mommy is also working on something.  She is less likely to ask me for help until she's really tried it, and more likely to work for a longer period of time.  So today, E worked on button sorting and stacking cups while I sanded plywood boards and cut papers to make my touch boards.  Then I used some spray adhesive to stick it all down.  E was very excited about the result, and I only let her use the two-texture board.  I didn't finish the four-texture board until it was time for us to go to a playdate.

Pretty good work for a morning!

The first board is superfine sandpaper on one side, and the shiny side of freezer paper on the other side.

The second board is four different textures: superfine sandpaper, textured scrapbooking paper (kind of like parchment paper, but a bit more textured), plain white paper, and shiny freezer paper.

I have another three boards that are waiting for me to get out my circular saw.  I am going to cut these ones up and make four pairs of textures to match.  The idea is that you use a blindfold with them and just match them by touch.  We'll see if I can get E to wear a blindfold . . . .

March Sensory Bin

It's funny how I am seeing this one everywhere!  I guess great minds think alike.  This month's sensory bin is green and yellow split peas.  I found some green and gold plastic coins to put in, as well as some plastic shamrocks.