Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tot School and Tiny Tot School

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Tot School
Avery is 31 months old and Parker is 8.5 months old

We didn't really have a theme for this week but we still had a lot of fun with Tot School. 

Monday we started Tot School by making some play dough.  Avery helped me do all the measuring and pouring (no pictures, it was a little too involved to have a chance to take any).  Then, while we waited for the play dough to cool, we decorated some clothespins for a project I am working on (I want to make an area for Avery's artwork to hang and/or dry).  I painted the clothespins over the weekend and then Avery glued on different things to decorate them.  I let her choose what she wanted to use (feathers, jewels, sequins, and foam shapes) and they turned out really cute! I can't wait to see how the project comes together!

Of course we had to spend a little time just playing with and checking out the clothespins

The finished product
When we were done with the clothespins, it was time to play with the play dough. I let Avery raid my Tot School supplies and choose some materials to use with the play dough.  She decided on marbles, jewels (they are the flattened marbles but Avery has always called them jewels), stones, shells, and some plastic fruit shaped ice cubes.  She had a lot of fun sticking the different objects in the play dough.  I had hoped that the objects would make cool impressions in the play dough but it was a little too gooey for that to work.  Avery even ended up renaming our play dough, instead of play dough it was gooey dough.  It stuck to everything!  Although it wasn't what I had intended, it was still a really cool sensory experience that Avery loved!

What a mess! But it gave me an idea for a work on Wednesday. She loved the table washing work we did last week so much, I figured we could do another washing work, this time a dish washing work with the objects from our gooey dough playtime instead of dishes.  

We started by adding some dish soap to the water and Avery whisked it until the bowl was full of bubbles.

Then she got to work washing

and rinsing.

After that we read a couple books and played with the Wedgits for a while.  My dad came over Friday morning so we didn't get to Tot School that day.

When Avery goes down for her nap, Parker is up for about an hour before she is ready for her afternoon nap.  So, we have started using this time for Tiny Tot School.  

We played with a balloon!

We also played with our new ball treasure basket.  Check out the post on our first 2 treasure baskets here.  When Avery was 17 months old, we did this work.  My mom made the pompom and Avery would practice throwing the balls in the basket.  Well, it has always been a favorite so we have kept it out all this time (plus I love having balls in the house that are soft enough that they won't cause any damage if they hit someone or something).  Over the last few months Parker has really gotten into it.  Then for Easter she got some really cool sensory balls that we just threw into the basket with the pompom balls.  Over the weekend I decided to go around the house and find all the balls that I could and add them to the basket, thus creating our ball treasure basket.  Since I took this picture we've added a couple more balls too (Avery loves helping us find more).  

Like the other treasure baskets, she loves it and it keeps her attention for so long!

Sometimes the basket is just as much fun to play with as the balls  : )

She also loves to practice closing this toy.

She spent a lot of time trying to learn to crawl, which she started doing on Saturday.  And a lot of time practicing pulling up and standing on her own.

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No Time For Flashcards

We Have A Crawler!

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This past week Parker had been working really hard on learning how to crawl.  She had the arms and the legs figured out on their own but couldn't quite put them together.  It made for a long week because she would get so frustrated which made her extra fussy.  But over the weekend it finally clicked and now she is crawling everywhere.  What made it extra special was that my sister and brother-in-law were in town and got to be here to see her crawl for the first time!

She is so much happier now but boy am I going to have my hands full! : )

Friday, April 20, 2012

Toddler Table Washing

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This morning while I was nursing Parker, Avery made a bit of a mess at her art table.  She ended up taking the inside ink tube of a marker out and then getting blue ink all over herself and her table.  Without even thinking I helped her clean herself up and then I cleaned up her table.  As I was cleaning the table, it dawned on me...why not have her clean her table herself?  While I don't think she is ready for the all out out table scrubbing work, I did remember another version of table washing we did when I was an aide in a Montessori classroom.  It involved shaving cream, a sponge, a towel, and a bowl of water.  So, when Parker went down for her morning nap, I scraped my tot school plans and Avery and I got to work!

First, we covered the table with shaving cream and Avery spread it all around (and then played for a while of course).  She was a little hesitant at first, which totally surprised me cause she usually loves shaving cream.

But then she got into it!

Once the table was good and covered, it was time to wipe it up with the sponge.  She would wipe the length of the table with the sponge and then rinse it out in the bowl of water.  Then she would wring it out before wiping the table again.

When all (or almost all) of the shaving cream was gone, it was time to wipe the table dry with the towel.

And then we had a nice clean table!

Tot School
Avery is 31 months old

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Infant Treasure Baskets

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Avery loves her sensory tubs so much I decided we needed to do something similar for Parker.  While looking around the web I learned about infant treasure baskets.  It was exactly what I was looking for!  

Treasure baskets are usually geared toward 6 to 18 month old babies.  The objects should be small enough for them to pick up but large enough to not be a choking hazard (however, I still make sure that we only play with ours when an adult is watching and keeping an eye on her).  Objects in the basket can be random or based on a theme or category.  Treasure baskets are great for promoting independence and curiosity while also developing focus and concentration.  They also allow the infant to use there senses to learn about new objects.

So far we have done 2 different treasure baskets for Parker.  The first one we did was things that were shiny!  She loved it!  The first time I put her down with it she played with it for 40 minutes straight and then she only stopped because it was time to eat and I put it away!  We kept it out for about 3 weeks and it always did a great job at keeping her interest!

It contains:  measuring spoons, shiny tissue paper, scoop, CD, mirror, napkin rings, bead necklace, toy metal pot, metal desk organizer cup, and tea infuser

Our newest one contains things that are made from wood.

It contains: a wooden bowl, a couple massagers, a wooden bracelet with ribbons attached, a giant clothes pin, a picture frame, a block, a puzzle piece, and a bracelet of wooden beads

If you are looking for more great ideas for infant treasure baskets, take a look at these posts:

From Sew Liberated

From Chasing Cheerios

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