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Catching Up

Instead of listing the zillion reasons/excuses why I have been post-less for so long, I will just jump right into a catch up post, yay!

Emry, is on the verge of being a one year old. And it truly is shocking to me. I don’t understand how they can grow SO. FAST. Soon, I won’t have babies, just kids. Honestly, 98.3% of the time I think of myself as a kid so I’m not really sure how all of this is possible.

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She is the polar opposite of her big sister, and they clash about 102% of the time. Literally, more than always. But the super rare, once in a blue moon moment, that they are kind towards each other (or can even exist in the same room without screaming), melts my heart.

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All jokes aside, these two are getting better at living, learning, sharing and playing with each other all the time.

Mya, is almost three. And she amazes me always. I love talking with her, hearing the interesting, intelligent and often odd imaginative things she thinks up. What a wonderful age it is, when you can look past all the typical “terrible twos” things. As Tom Petty would put it ..”Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks” And here, they aren’t rocks, they are freaking mountains. Super big, volcano-style mountains. With mean bears living on them.

But the diamond days are worth living for, and they are beautiful.

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Here is a few of the activities we have been enjoying lately.

Journal work:

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On sunny days, we take our journals outside. Sometimes we make nature bracelets with contact paper, allowing her to collect things from outside and then putting them into her journal to talk and draw about.

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Activity Trays:

Working with numbers

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Fishing for letters

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Intro to sight words and matching

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Puzzle/Shapes Work

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Mya enjoys new activity trays I set up for her, but her most favorite way to spend time (aside from being a goofball with her dad), is reading. Our local library has preschool and toddler bins set up with different themes. You can borrow a bin for 2 weeks, and they are a wonderful resource for us. The latest bin we took out was a Children of the World bin, and it was so great.

Here are a few of Mya’s favorite books from the bin…

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At nearly three, Mya has started to notice that people are different. Different than her, or me, or anyone she knows. She has no filter when pointing out these differences whether it is a interesting hair-do, or the color of skin. We have started to try to explain these differences, and ensure her that everyone is different from each other, and that it’s great. The best thing I have found, to help her understand her new discovery, is a book. A bright, fun, colorful book. I recommend it to anyone with a preschooler.

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I, as a child, had a wild imagination, and I see the same in Mya. I encourage this all I can. I firmly believe imaginative play is the most important thing for a young child. We have a dress-up area for Mya, her favorite thing is to pretend to be a doctor, or a princess having a tea party.

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She also often ask to play store, so we set up a market for her to run. Mya and I set this up together, and we took turns sorting our food types into different categories.

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I have also recently set up a Heuristic Play area in our home. If you are unfamiliar with this read here.

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Emry is so curious, and although she really doesn’t stay in one place very long, there are many intriguing activities you can set up for the very young ones.

Water and Toy Sensory bag

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Straws/Blocks on Contact Paper

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By the way, this one is almost walking, which is new for us since big sister didn’t walk until close to 15 months.

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Uh oh…really close.

Ok thats enough for one post. Hopefully I will post again before September!

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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 🙂

Socktopusses, light tables, and playdough oh my!

First I would like to start off by apologizing for the very lame title of this post. I swear thats the hardest part of making posts is finding interesting, unique and non-boring titles. Anyways!…

Oh we have been very busy lately. I struggle to find time to blog more than once a week and by then, the amount of pictures and activities I have to post about are so enormous that I don’t know where to start and end up putting it off. I suppose I must get this more organized if I want to continue blogging, which I do! So that being said, here is a few of the things we have been into lately….

Mya loves to count. As she is almost 2.5, she is continually intrigued by letters and numbers. She can occasionally recognize numbers by sight, usually one and two, and so to encourage this I made a little marble rolling game that is a fun way for us to practice her numbers together! We pick a number, find it together, and she rolls the marble to the appropriate slot by tilting the cardboard tray. Easy to make and fun to play with.

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My love for Pinterest is forever growing. I love the ideas, activites and crafts you find on there. I have discovered many great blogs to follow using Pinterest also. Here are a few Pinterest things we have done recently.

We made this Socktopus out of a lone sock from stray sock pile. He is cute and Mya seriously chooses this guy over her not-so-cheap baby doll she got for Christmas last year. A good reminder that less is more with children’s toys most of the time.

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Next up, is Oatmeal Playdough. I was due to make some new playdough for Mya and that is when I saw fellow blogger Jen, at Peaceful Parenting, make some great playdough with Oatmeal. Mya and I loved playing with it! It felt neat and is a completely different texture than normal playdough.

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For a loooooong time I have been meaning to make Mya a light table, and finally found good instructions and the time to do it. Super easy and a total hit with kids of many ages. The possibilities for learning and play with a light table are endless! Here is how I made our light table.

For now, I just have coarse salt and assorted items for Mya to play with on her light table but I have lots of options for switching up items for the light table which you will see on future posts.

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That’s it for now, I have plenty more to come including a baby only post with lots of fun activities for under 12 months 🙂

Happy New Year!

It has been a long time. Everyday I intend to start blogging again but there is a million things that seem to come in my way……or maybe it is just one thing that feels like a million? Either way, I am not going to mention any names…..

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That being said, here I am, I did it!

I was fortunate enough to be given an IPad for Christmas and so I made the decision to switch from my original Blogger website to a WordPress one, as there is an app allowing me to create posts right from my iPad.Yay! I’m hoping this convenience will make it easier for me to blog more often…(if not I will try to picture my daughters disappointed face for incentive)

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So for now I will sign off and try to get back on track with my posts this week. Go me.

Happy New Year everyone!

Playing this week

We are getting back on track and have been doing lots of fun things lately so I decided now would be a good time to share! Mya is at an awesome age where she loves to learn and is so eager to try anything I have to offer. Here is a look around our home this past week…

I set up a clothes line for Mya in her kitchen. It took us a little bit of practice before she was able to use the clothes pegs and hang things by herself.

I found some awesome printables thanks to the magic of Pinterest. These matching cards are from the blog 1+1+1=1 and can be found here.

We have had these puzzles for a long time but recently she has pulled them out and played with them a couple times a day.

Mya received many new books for her birthday which we have enjoyed on a regular basis. On our shelf currently is ..

The Giving Tree by Shel SilverStein

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Harold and the Purple Crayon – the Giant Garden

ABC’s by Dr. Seuss

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Our Geoboard is another activity Mya has been asking for lately. I made it for her around a year ago but just recently has she been able to place the elastics on herself and has now quickly become a favorite.

Another activity found through Pinterest. Simple to make and a fun activity to play with that is good for eye-hand coordination.

Mya always loves to play in her kitchen. Here she is stacking her wooden cookies.

Cutting cookies

I printed playdough mats for Mya, but we also like to use dry erase crayons on them too.

Another favorite, our homemade felt board. Mostly we do stories together on the board but occasionaly Mya will play independently with it too.

Linking to Childhood 101 – Tot School

Tot School

Raising Memories – Sharing Time

Playing this week

Mya and I have been very busy this week taking advantage of Emrys now more consistant naptime routine. I made a Weather Board out of cardboard, felt and laminated pictures. Every morning we look outside and discuss what the weather is like. Its been pretty basic lately, sunny, windy, sometimes cloudy. We talk about the different seasons and sing songs like Mr. Sun which is one of her favourites.

We also made Clay-Dough and had fun making shapes and letters then baking them in the oven and of course painting them!

Clay-Dough recipe

2 cups white flour
2 cups salt
1 cup water
Food Coloring (optional)

Combing flour and salt and blend into smooth. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix. Gradually add the remaining water and continue mixing the dough. Form into a ball working in any dry flour and salt left in the bowl. Knead for approx. 5 mins.

To dry dough place on tinfoil covered baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for about an hour or until hard.

Painting addict

Lately Mya has been wanting to paint ALL.THE.TIME. I love it, its fun to watch her make works of art to display around the house. To keep her enthusiastic about her new found love I introduced some new ways for her to “paint”.

Toilet Paper Tube Stamps…

Car painting…