Saturday, 30 January 2010

Dad's Night Out

While I have been basically useless these past couple of weeks(other than telling people what to do ;) my husband and mom have had to look after L. Thankfully our new community has this great programme called Dad's Night Out! Every Tuesday night they have a free activity for dads and little ones to attend.
The first one L and Daddy went to was at the library where the librarian read them some books on monsters and then they made their own masks. When they got home L ran into the house and scared me with her mask.

This last Tuesday they made these neat tennis rackets and ball which was very timely since we've been watching the Australian Open religiously. Such a simple idea of putting knee high tights over a bent coat hanger and then taping the end. The dads put the balloon inside a stocking and then blew it up. They then set up a net between two chairs and the kids had a fantastic time running around trying to play tennis. They ended the night with yummy fruit smoothies.

Next week is free skating at the local skating rink. It's a win win situation as L and Daddy get to spend time together doing things they'd never usually do and I get a break! We are truly lucky to have moved to a community with so many wonderful free services for parents and children.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Animal Sounds and a few other bits

I haven't been able to do much lately but was able to set this activity up mostly from the couch. It's my own version of animal sounds. So simple to make and free! I found this Youtube video of animal sounds, found pictures of all of the animals and printed them out on a piece of paper. L covers the animal who makes the sound with a penny. It was a great hit and we did it about six times today.

L started wanting to pull the golf tees out of her ladybug activity so I changed it for this one where she presses the colored toothpick into the dots of the correct colored shape.

I saw this super cute counting activity on The Adventures of Bear and just had to make one up for L. Not surprisingly she was more interested in having the polar bear eat the fish than the counting.

And lastly L got this totally cool map for Christmas with animals, people and place names to Velcro on to it. So much fun and will be a challenge for many years to come!

Sunday, 24 January 2010


The last couple of weeks we've been doing some activities as an introduction to magnets. These were all inspired by Amy's posts from The Wonder Years.
The first thing we did is dig through a bowl of lentils with the magnet to search for different items. When L found one she would place it in the correct outline. This way she would know when she'd found them all.

We then put the magnet on a ribbon and picked up objects one by one.

Next time I added some non-magnetic items and she categorised them. This was easy for her but she only wanted to do it a couple of times. I thought she would then want to go around the house trying things out but she wasn't that interested. She seemed to be like so it's magnetic no biggie!

I'll re-introduce these activities again in a month or so and see what she thinks then.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Needle Felting

Okay for those of you who are interested this is all I know about needle felting :)

The first needle felting creations I saw were on Mari-Ann's blog and I instantly fell in love. I then Googled needle felting and decided I really wanted to try it. Here is a totally amazing site.

I went to my local wool shop and they had needle felting kits that contained wool, needles and instructions on how to make a gnome. I just followed the step by step instructions and in about an hour and a half had myself a gnome that looked very similar to the picture. It was easy! I then looked on the Internet for more inspiration and stayed up half the night to make my first lady on our nature table. I just winged it.

The next day I started on the monkey. I looked at this raccoon tutorial to help me along. I've basically just made all the others up as I went along. The final products look intimidating but it's really not that hard once you start. Just pushing the needle into the wool and sculpting your figure. It's also really forgiving. My advice would be just go to the wool store get some wool and needles or a kit and give it a go!
WARNING: Needle felting is very addictive!!

Here is another great web page with some wonderful tutorials. Even one on how to make a toadstool house!! That's going to be my next project once I get the wool.

Here is my latest project. A little fairy who decided to grace us with her presence.

So that's about it. I've only been doing it for less than a month have just learned by the Internet and trial and error. Go for it!!
Thanks also to everyone for the good wishes. Still not sure what is going on but actually managed to do first sound sorts with L today from the couch!

Check this out!

Check out this amazing giveaway over at the Magic Onions!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Out of Comission

For this past week I have been in agonising pain. I've had problems with my lower back, left hip and all down my left leg. Today the chiropractor said he thinks I'm loosing a disc. Not really sure what that means but he also mentioned a bulging disc. I was able to look that up on the Internet and find out a little more about it. It's going to be a long process and at the moment I can't really do much. Thank goodness my husband isn't working right now and we're living with my mom.
Needless to say there hasn't been much going on around here Montessori wise. I am sad to say that my daughter officially watches TV now(a lot of it). This is how my husband "looks after her". I'm really sad and frustrated about the whole thing but at the moment there's not much I can do and just have to let it go.
I've been in so much pain that I haven't even done any more needle felting!!(you know it's gotta be bad)
A few people have asked if I would do a needle felting tutorial(which I find quite funny actually because I'm really just winging it)but that is something I can post about so my next post will be how I started needle felting and some recommendations on how to start.
Okay that's about it really. Just wanted to keep you all in the loop : )

Friday, 15 January 2010

Adding color to a grey day

Braving the elements to collect our little canvases.

Washing and drying the loot!

Add the paint
A basket full of color to brighten our day!

Awards Season

I'd like to thank the Academy....

Okay just kidding but it really does seem like it's award season here in the bloggy world! Even though they are going around like wildfire at the moment it doesn't mean it's any less great to be chosen. It makes you feel good to know that people appreciate the time you put into your blog!

So seriously I would like to the Leptir for passing the Creativeonline award on to me. Anyone who hasn't checked out her blog should really take the time to do so. She has so many wonderful ideas and beautiful materials and pictures. She also leaves so many wonderful and supportive comments on my blog. Thank you.

Creativeonline wants to award all of their blog friends who during 2009 have been dedicated to sharing their creativity and love of their work. This prize should be exposed on your blog and
be delivered to 5 of your bloggy friends.
So here are my 5 Creative bloggy friends
I would also like to thank Karen from Mi Escuelita Montessori for passing this along to me. Karen is an absolute SUPERSTAR!! Her blog is always so bright and cheerful(also with great activities) and she leaves the most enthusiastic, warm comments.

For this award you have to list ten things that make you happy and pass it along to ten other people. Okay here are ten things that make me happy....

  1. Getting comments on my blog : )
  2. L
  3. Being with my family
  4. Playing music (especially with L)
  5. Sunny days
  6. Walking on the beach
  7. Walking in the woods
  8. Needle felting
  9. Reading other people's blogs
  10. Finally being back in Canada

To try and avoid too many repeats I'm just going to pass this along to three bloggers

Montessori Moments, Activity Mom and Adventures in Montessori

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The upside of having to get a new appliance....

Okay this was one of those things that started off innocently and just got totally out of hand! My mom got a new (huge) microwave yesterday and while my husband was installing it I decided to make a simple house out of the box to keep L out of the way.
Today I thought we could decorate it a bit as something to do on a rainy day. Well I should have realised when Daddy got involved that this wasn't going to stay a simple cardboard box house!

L was quickly delegated to decorate the inside (only) of her house!

Yes that is a chimney and latch on the door!

Hopefully she'll get lots of playing enjoyment out of it before it disintegrates!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Nature table and my new love(obsession!)

One of the things I was looking forward to when we moved to Canada was starting a nature table. I've seen so many beautiful ones on people's blogs and I was excited to make one of our own. This is the perfect place because we are surrounded by nature here.
These are all things we've collected on our walks in the woods and along the beach.

You may have noticed the little figures hanging out there as well. Thanks to Mari-Ann I have a new love, OK obsession! That's right it's needle felting. I'm in love!(swoon)
I took my inspiration for the mother from here and the little girl and baby in the cot from The Magic Onions Etsy shop.
I used pipe cleaners for their arms so they can hold the baby.

I made these ones for L and she loves them, although I have to admit that after I made them I didn't really want to give them to her! They've held up quite well though and it teaches her to be gentle.

I also couldn't resist making this little monkey who can now be found climbing all over the house!

Since I've fallen in love with everything I've made so far I'm afraid that my future creations will probably be showing up here on my blog from time to time. If you don't have any interest in needle felting please bear with me as I'm sure the obsession will subside eventually!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Me and My Amazing Body

We've been learning all about our bodies the last few weeks. L is fascinated. We started with this great book called Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney. It talks about the different parts of the body and how they work in a way that L can follow.

We also got this body parts game from the library. You roll the die and whatever part your counter lands on you have to point to. We kind of made up the rules as we went along, sometimes putting the counter on the girls body part instead. This would be a really simple game to make.

I printed off this skeleton puzzle from here. I'll laminate it once my laminator arrives as it's a favorite. We are keeping it simple at the moment by just learning the skull, rib cage, spine and pelvis. I'll have to look up the names of the other bones before I can teach them to L ; )

I saw this body puzzle on Chasing Cheerios quite a while ago and couldn't wait to get it. Unfortunately the only store that has them around here was sold out of girls so I got a boy. I thought I would have some explaining to do but L just dove into the puzzle and was much more interested in the muscles, and skeleton and "skin bits".

I would never have thought to introduce the workings of the body to L in such detail at such a young age but after seeing other blogs I realised it would be MY reservations holding her back and I was right. She is SO into it! She gets the book out at least three times a day and loves to talk about all the parts of her body inside and out.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sreken Bozik!

Happy Macedonian Christmas! L's Daddy is Macedonian so last night we celebrated Macedonian Christmas eve.

This is a picture of Matka, a beautiful place very close to Skopje, Macedonia

To celebrate here in Canada we played our instruments along with some Macedonian music and then picked up the pace with some Macedonian dancing.

My husband made some special dishes.

Here is our table. On the left is tafche grafche which literally means beans in a dish and on the right is sarma which is rice, walnuts and a few other things wrapped in vine leaves. Yum!
It is also tradition to make a special bread with a coin in it. The bread is divided into pieces for every family member and one for God and the house. The person who has the coin is supposed to have good luck for the year to come.

This year my mom got it and she was really excited!!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Thank You!

Thank you so much to Mari-Ann over at Counting Coconuts for giving me this award. It always makes you feel good to be recognised and know that people are appreciating what you do!

I always find the hard bit is passing on the award and this is because first of all there are so many amazing blogs and secondly we all tend to read the same blogs. I know some people will receive this award over and over. For that reason I'm going to pass it on to just five blogs who really put a smile on my face. The Sunshine award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogworld.

itty bitty love

Mi Escuelita Montessori

What Did we do all day?

The Adventures of Bear

Counting Coconuts

Okay case in point. As I went to link to these blogs everyone has received this award at least once already. If anyone hasn't received this award yet please consider yourself on my list!

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Activities from Santa

That sneaky old Santa managed to stuff a lot of new activities into L's stocking this year.

Walking the line

No not L but these adorable little lady bugs. I'd gotten these ages ago for L's stocking and then was lucky enough to find this great activity over at Making of a Montessori Mum!

I think for the moment these have taken over from our beloved frogs. In this one L balances them on golf tees or "trees" and then flies them back to their dish.

I've been wanting to start L on using tongs for ages but haven't been able to find ones small enough. Finally while looking on the Ikea web page I saw a tiny baking set with these small tongs. They are perfect for her hands and she has a great time transferring these bugs into their pool for a dip.

This next activity definitely wins the prize for the best find. It is a foam Continents puzzle from the dollar store. That's right folks it only cost a dollar!! L and I can't get enough of it and I actually went out after Christmas and bought another one just in case this one gets worn out.

My mom and I were talking about how L knows some of the continents but really has no context to learn them in. To her at the moment they are just colored blobs so I decided to have her place one animal on each continent. Now I can ask "where does the Koala bear live?" and she will point to and say Australia. This is such a fun way of learning the continents. (I'm hoping to get better animals for South America and Antarctica soon)
I also thought I'd outdone myself with brilliance by taping colored circles on the bottom of the animals so she could self check. Ha ha I should have quit while I was ahead as first of all some continents are the same color and all she wanted to do is pick them off!

Happy New Year/Christmas thankyou cards

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas and New Year. We really enjoyed our first holiday season in Canada. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with my family. Today January 1st we took down the advent calendar and put up in it's place the "calendar". L got this as a gift for her birthday but I was waiting until we moved to use it and thought the first day of the year was a perfect time. We have done some work on numbers, days of the week and seasons before but she obviously doesn't get the whole idea at the moment. I'm sure as we go she will understand more and more. She loves looking outside to figure out the weather bit and of course all of the Velcroing!

L also made up a bunch of thank you cards for her relatives. I took down all of our Christmas cards and cut them up, folded over some colored paper and L glued on all of the bits. I think they turned out really well and I was amazed at how L placed all of the pieces in themes. A cheap and environmentally friendly way to make thank you cards.

We finally seem to be settled here and I have a lot of activities planned for the new year. Thank you everyone for all of your bloggy inspiration and I'm looking forward to seeing what you're all up to in the new year!

Related Posts with Thumbnails