Friday, August 12, 2011

A Toddler Works On Numbers & Jumping

For these activities I used:
Paper with numbers written on them, large
Styrofoam cups or some other large counter
An active, willing toddler

Here's my toddler busily working again!

First I had him place the numbers in order starting against the wall.

The next step was to place them in order from left to right. 

Changing our "left to right" pattern around into a road, he jumped from number to number, attempting to land on each piece of paper rather than the carpet. While jumping he called out each number. For an extension we also worked on trying to hold up that many fingers. Challenge for my 2 year old right now! 

Then I thought "why not use our styrofoam cups as counters on the numbers?". So T busily worked on placing the correct number of cups over each number. He also enjoyed stacking them again and knocking them over.

It's amazing how much fun a 2 year old can have working with paper and styrofoam cups!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Working with String and Styrofoam Cups

T worked on left to right, ordering objects in a line, creating up and down patterns, and discovered various ways to stack objects. This was day 3 of this week's activity from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready.

First he placed the Styrofoam cups in a pattern. Working left to right he ordered them facing down, up, then down again.

The next challenge was finding ways to stack them into a tower. It didn't take too long to figure out how this worked, though it took a lot of concentration!

He lined them up on a string of yarn.

More exploration with the string and cups. Such fun to be had!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman (Caldecott Medal Winner 1989)

Many of us have wonderful memories of the times we spent with our grandparents. If we're blessed perhaps we're still able to create new memories with them (my husband is!). Some of our coziest, fondest memories probably come from times we spent with Grandma or Grandpa, just one-on-one. Perhaps it was making a special craft project or going fishing together.

For the children in Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman the special memory is of Grandpa re-creating a time before TV, when he was on the vaudeville stage. While waiting for supper Grandpa and the children climb up the staircase to the attic. Opening an old trunk they discover memorabilia from Grandpa's time on the stage. The trunk becomes their seats. An old lamp is turned on, the shade angled like a spotlight. The recreation begins. Clapping enthusiastically children delight as Grandpa puts on a special show just for them.

My son delights with them. When Grandpa dances and the children clap and cheer he claps and cheers too! The great thing about the book is not only how thoroughly it engages you and your child, but how naturally it brings you back down from your excitement as Grandpa packs up the trunk, turns off the light, and everyone goes back downstairs. Despite its excitement, thanks to this natural sequence of events, it makes a surprisingly good bedtime story. It's good any time of the day!

Wordless Wednesday: When You Miss the Bus...

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Bake

Tonight we had roast chicken, a green salad with dried cranberries, and Broccoli Cheese Casserole. I found the recipe on Simply Recipes; you can too.

Mixing the eggs and the flour.

Whisking the milk products in.

Adding the seasonings.

Put steamed broccoli in a casserole dish, and top with grated cheese.

Pour the sauce over the broccoli and cheese.

Put in the oven and bake, topped with still more cheese.

Serve, and enjoy! I sure did. I think next time I'll add some chopped oinons, minced garlic, and some cooked rice on the bottom.

Making tactile (sanpaper) letters

I made some sandpaper letters! Only, I didn't end up using sandpaper. But I got the nice bumpy texture and the shiny contrast color!
Non-scissors-dulling Tactile Letters.

I used:

wood tablets I found in the wood craft section of Hobby Lobby. One for each letter of the alphabet, or two for each if you want to do upper and lower case.
gold glitter glue (if you do it my way; if not, you'll need to buy sandpaper and cut the letters out of it to glue on the tablets)
blue tempera paint
red tempera paint
an alphabet style to copy

How I did it:

First I had to remove the sticker from the back of each wood tablet. Then I painted the consonant tablets red and the vowels blue. Right now, at this stage in my son's educational career that doesn't matter, but later on it will help things according to the Montessori ideas of teaching reading/writing. When dry I carefully traced an outline for each letter on the tablet, aiming for correct formation and similar size. Didn't turn out perfect but I got it close enough! :) Opening up the gold glitter glue I trace each letter outline. Finally I let the tablets sit on the counter overnight so the glitter glue would set.
In the morning, I found as I'd hoped: the glitter glue had set leaving a nice bumpy letter T can trace with his fingers (and later copy). He enjoys them and I'm very happy with the result. :)
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Paint Visualizer!

I went to Lowes and Home Depot the other day to get more paint. While there I picked up a ton of brown and tan, beige family color chips to see what might work for a bedroom. I narrowed it down to 5 out of, oh, I didn't even count. Way more than 20 choices though.

This is the greatest thing ever! I was able to "paint" a picture I took of a corner of my room using different kinds of paint. I think I'm narrowing it down to 3, all by Valspar this time.
^Toasting Tan

 ^Kabuki Clay
^Irish Cream

I was also looking at Mimosa by Olympic, but I think it's too peachy. I also think that Crepe by Behr is too dark. I guess I'm reaching the point to get a couple actual samples to paint on the wall and see which I want to finish the room.