Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Trip to the Farm

Last week we got to make our first (of several, hopefully) trip of the season to a farm.  The farm we visited was definitely geared toward children - there were lots of kids activities, not a lot of pumpkin picking or produce.  We went with my mom's group; and since the farm is in Grandma's town, Grandma got to come too!

There were goats, sheep, and a llama or two to feed

Giant legos to build with

A huge chicken coop - turned corn crib to play in

Swings of all kinds and a kid-friendly zip line

A hay-bale maze to play in, with bridges to cross

Hammocks to laze in

And LOTS of other animals: turkeys, chickens, pigs, donkeys, horses, and cows!

E had such fun playing at the farm with her friends!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Play: Little People

I recently re-organized our toys and ended up bringing some of E's Little People up to our living room.  This has ended up making them her most-played-with toys.  And the best part about it is that she is starting to play with them independantly.  I still get constantly baraged with "Mommy, play with you [me]" requests, but now when I tell her to go play on her own for a little while, she will usually pull out some Little People.  Or sit and pout on the couch.  It's not all roses around here!  :)

She likes to line them up and create scenes with the Little People.  I thought that was only something little boys did with their trucks.  Nope, little girls get in on the action with doll figures!  It's that "sensitive period for order" I keep reading about in my Montessori books.

The other day she got out Noah's Ark and had a grand time pretending that Noah and Mrs. Noah were the Mommy and Daddy and they went on vacation in their boat with all their animal children.  The great part about this was that it was all initiated by E.  I loved how she got out a playsilk and used that for the water! 

Happy Playing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some Finished and Almost-Finished Projects

Now that summer is pretty much over, I finally finished the Shades of Summer Dress for E.  It took a lot of time to make that twirly skirt!!  But she loves it.  It is made from cotton yarn and is SUPER soft!  As with most of the things I make for E, it is too big right now.  I'm going to put a ribbon in it to cinch up the waist.  If I'm going to spend so much time knitting clothing for E, I want her to be able to wear it for more than a month!  Hopefully, she will still be able to wear it next spring.  Maybe it will be her Easter dress.  I think it will also look cute with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath it on cold, dreary winter days.

My almost-finished project is my FIRST pair of socks!  They are made with some neat Ty Dye yarn from Knit One.  They are a little too small for me, as I intend them to be a gift, but I did try them on.  Oh My Goodness!!  I can see why people can get obsessed with hand-knitted socks.  They are like little massagers for your feet!!  :)

What have you finished recently?  Any works-in-progress to share?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Week in School

Tot School

We are finally settling down into a routine!  Hopefully that means I will find a bit more time to blog about what we've been up to.  Right now, we are doing school time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.  I am trying to make at least two of those days work time in the school room, Fridays are sometimes work time in the school room, and sometimes other projects to go with our theme. 

I have dubbed this week "the week of towers."  E chose to work with all the sensorial materials that she has been avoiding.  She built stairs and towers with the pink tower, brown stair, and yellow and green knobbless cylinders.  First, she built each material as a staircase, and then she stacked them up to make a tower.

Other sensorial work she chose this week included the geometric solids - doing a card sort of sphere and cylinder, shape tiles, and the sound jars.

E is still into all the language works I have put out.  This week, I changed up her begining sound sort.  Now she's working on /t/ and /f/.  She gets it in three ways: our alphabet box (if she asks to do the alphabet box, those are the drawers I pull for her), the sound sort cards, and our alphabet BOB books (I leave STU and EF out for her on top of the box).  I also changed out the Laurie CVC puzzles, now she's working on car and pig.

E also learned to put together the whole continent puzzle on her own this week!  That's quite an accomplishment for her - puzzles on the whole are not her strong suit.

As far as practical life activities go, E has been helping me in the kitchen quite a bit.  This week she helped me make Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins.  No pictures of that, cooking with a 2 1/2 year old is enough - I don't need the camera, too!

On the shelf, she worked with the clothespin color wheel, as well as tonging apple buttons into an ice cube tray (she ended up using her fingers instead), and our spooning material.

This week was one without art projects!  I know, I know, how could I let the week go by!!  We've been playing a lot of games instead.  E's favorites right now are from our Leap Frog game box: Alphabet Go Fish and Dominoes.  She's getting pretty good!

Outdoors time this week was a visit to a farm.  This was such a fun trip!  I'll have to do a separate post on that, because I used the film camera and the pictures are all still being developed.

Linking up to Tot School and Toddler Tuesday.

Homemade Holidays

I know, Christmas is still a little less than 100 days away, but I feel like I'm WAY behind.  It's easy to get that way when you try to make most/all of your Christmas gifts by hand.  Plus, E's birthday is a week and a half after Christmas, so I have get get started on things early.  I thought I'd share a few ideas that I had for handmade gifts that I am loving right now!

The Montessorian in me LOVES this soft globe.  I had been wondering how to make a globe without spending a fortune or spending a week meticulously painting.  The continents in this globe are the regular Montessori colors.

E would adore this card table play house.  It looks like the seller even has room for a few more orders before Christmas.  I will be making E's, though.  Most likely using the tutorial from Sew Much Ado.    Now, where can I find pink felt on the bolt?

Sally the Eco-Fairy has been on my to-make list for more than a year.  She's so cute.  I actually have all the body parts finished, I just need to sew her up.  And make some clothes - I decided to go with wool felt clothes instead of knitted, should be quicker that way.

The newest edition of Living Crafts Magazine has an adorable doll house felt board that I just love.  I'm hoping that it will get a rave review from the munchkin, as well.

Speaking of Living Crafts, I just love their tablecloth and napkins set with crocheted edges.  Now, if I just knew how to crochet.  I'm strictly a knitting girl.  But they might still look really neat with just the blanket stitch edging.

12 Crafts Till Christmas has a super-cute doll bassinet and diaper bag play set that is totally calling E's name.  Last year was the "year of the felt food."  I think this year is going to be the "year of the dolly."

Enough talking, time to get started!  Do you think 100 days is enough to get all this done?? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tot School

Tot School

We had a busy week of school and other activities last week.  So busy, I couldn't get to the computer to write about it!  So busy, in fact, I forgot to take a lot of pictures.  But I guess that's how you know we've been working hard!

This week I presented part of the "metal insets" to E.  We don't actually have metal insets, we are just using our geometric cabinet.  I discovered a few weeks ago that she could trace the inside of a stencil, so I wanted to pull this out for her.  She was so excited about it!  Right now, we are only working on the first step, tracing the inside of the frame. 

E also really likes the new language works I've put out this fall.  The Laurie word puzzles are her favorites right now.

She has also done some beginning sound sorting with our alphabet box and the alphabet cards from Montessori for Everyone.

She does not choose sensorial work very often.  I certainly hope that changes as she gets a bit older!  But this week she did choose to work with the matrushka dolls.  (Ours are from the Simpsons - ha!)

Practical life work this week included things like sweeping pom poms off the floor and helping to clear the table and load the dishwasher after dinner.

We started our apple unit this week, and did a couple of art projects.  E painted green leaves onto a tree trunk, and then glued red pom poms down for apples. 

Later in the week, we did some apple printing (though the final product doesn't really look like it!) and made a letter A for Apple Prints to hang on our alphabet wall.

You may remember one of my goals for school this year is to get outside more.  We had planned to go on a short hike in the mountians this week, but then there was this fire.  So we settled for taking a walk around a pond near our house and playing at the park.  Still lots of fun, and hopefully the fires (yes, now there are more than one!) will be calmed down by the end of this week and we can go to the mountians then.

I'll be linking this post up to Toddler Tuesday and Tot School.