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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Post Valentines activities

After being surrounded by hearts the last two weeks, I decided it was time our trays and shelves got an update. Here is what we are playing with now..

Grating chalk

I saw this great idea thanks to Pinterest. Mya loved grating different colored chalk in the flour, it looked really awesome. She then of course enjoyed touching the powdered chalk and flour, mixing the colors and making dust clouds 🙂

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Cutting with scissors

Mya loves to cut paper, she will sit and cut for up to an hour. I cut strips of construction paper and made dotted lines for her to cut. I also have some blank pieces for her to cut freely.

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Role play

Mya loves to dress up and imagine she is a doctor, a puppy, a princess, and lately she pretends she is fixing our house with tools and painting the walls different colors. Its too cute and to help this sort of play I out together a tray with her own paintbrushes and color samples from the hardware store.

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Quiet time activity

Normally reading is our go-to quiet activity. Then we decided to have reading time with a twist…I mean, whats more fun than reading in a fort?? Mya and I built this together and then added pillows and blankets and our favorite books. She spent lots of time in here and we had to leave it up for close to week.

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Why I love Montessori,

Of course there are many many reason why I believe the Montessori Method is one of the best ways for a child to learn, but lately, Mya has been showing us how well it really works. The other day, after playing with her play-dough, my 2.5 year old not only put away all her mess without prompting, she then proceeded to get a cloth, wet it, and thoroughly wipe her table clean completely independently. She did an awesome job and was so proud of herself. The Montessori Method allows a child to learn this sort of behavior without constantly nagging or drilling her to clean up and without threats or rewards. She does it by herself and for herself. To me it’s truly amazing to witness her growth and only solidifies my belief that I have chosen the best way for my girls to learn.

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Ok enough of the mom brag. Have a good week everyone 🙂

Emry’s Post

Emry is soon to be 8 months old. She is changing fast and her curiosity and capacity to learn new things is never-ending. She isn’t a “high maintenance” baby by any means, but she does know what she likes and has no problem letting us now (usually she lets out a high pitched scream then stares you down which gets her point across nicely). I cycle her toys daily to keep her interested and she does best when there is only a few things to play with rather than a large selection. She is working hard on mastering the pick up of small items and is starting to study things more closely now compared to previous months when things just automatically headed for her mouth (although this is still most objects final destination).

Emry has a baby corner dedicated just to her things. I have a small mat laid out for her to sit on, although if Mya sees it she promptly rolls it up and puts it away somewhere – got to love Montessori kids! Permanent objects in Emry’s corner are a basket of books, a discovery basket or “treasure box” with items that are changed up frequently. Then I switch up between stacking blocks and cups, assorted balls, a small box filled with different fabrics, teething objects and noise making toys.

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I occasionally move her mat to her room and allow her to play in there as well. Her room is set up for when she is mobile, anything in her reach will be safe items for her to discover.

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One of her favorite things to play with are these small balls that make a rattle sound. I placed them in a wood bowl which allows them to roll and spin when she touches them. She likes to grab them and shake them like crazy.

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Discovery baskets, or treasure boxes, usually have normal household objects in them for the baby to investigate…things like measuring spoons, hair brushes, and other baby safe items. I switch Emry’s items up often and currently I have many of her teething toys in there right now as she its working on her bottom teeth and loves to chew.

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Emry does play well on her own for a small amount of time, maybe up to 20 minutes, but she enjoys the company of her sister and for the most wants to be wherever Mya is. I love watching the girls relationship develop and grow. Its truly magical the way Emry’s eyes light up when she sees her sister.

Playing happily by herself..

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Playing alongside her big sister..

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Welcome February!

I remember setting up Mya’s Valentines Day stuff up last year like it was yesterday. Its too weird how fast time flies. To see what we did last year click here.

This year, we are in a different house and with Mya being a whole year older we are able to expand on our activities, especially in the craft department!

I updated our sensory bin with pink and purple rice (directions) and added everything pink, red, or heart shaped (erasers, cardboard cut-outs, felt shapes, pompom balls etc.). Also, to aid in open-ended play there is buckets, spoons and other tools to help explore the bin. The sensory bin is always a hit with Mya.

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We decorated the play-area with our cards and crafts from last year, and added the felt garland on the mantle.

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The top shelf trays were all dedicated to creating Valentines. This set up allows Mya to independently create her own Valentines complete with glue, glitter, stamps, tape and stickers. She loved this and spent most of today making her own Valentines to give to her family.

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The bottom shelf had a variety of Valentines Day themed activities…

Cardboard heart to weave

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Matching light and dark

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Color Sorting

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Styrofoam heart “poking”

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In our lightbox I added gel hearts that look really neat in the bright light. They make some fun sticky play Mya really enjoyed playing with.

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I had a bunch of pretend rose petals from last year I wanted to do something with so last minute I created this counting activity the surprisingly Mya really enjoyed and played with for quite sometime today.

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Another fave is our contact paper activity. It’s a work in progress but looks really cute on the window next to our dyed coffee filter hearts.

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Our Valentines books

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Linking to Living Montessori Now
Montessori Monday

Happy February everyone 🙂