Saturday, 27 February 2010

Help! Need advice please!

We are at a loss and don't know where to turn so I thought I'd ask all of you for your advice. We moved to Canada in November and are living with my mom who has a dog. You may have seen her in some of the pictures.
Before we moved we were worried that L would be scared of Petra(the dog)because she'd always been scared of dogs in England. Well we have totally the opposite problem. L is absolutely besotted with Petra and mauls her every chance she can get. She likes to hug her, poke her face, lie on her, let her lick her face, get in her basket and sleep with her and basically harass her. The dog doesn't like any of this and is not used to children.
We've tried every approach we can think of from having many conversations with L about how we need to be gentle and not bother the dog to being fairly stern, telling her she's hurting Petra to being very stern and physically removing her from the dog. Nothing works at all! We try to distract L with something else. She just goes right back to the dog as soon as she can. This is especially a problem when L is tired and she tries to use Petra to cuddle.
We really don't know what else to do. We don't believe in "time outs" and haven't had any other reason to use drastic punishments.
We don't know what else to do and don't want the poor dog to suffer or one day loose her patience. Please any advice would be really appreciated.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Blog Inspiration

All of these activities have either been inspired or have been taken directly from one of the wonderful blogs that I follow. Thank you to all of those out there who take the time to post so many wonderful activities and crafts. I always get excited when I see something that I know would be so cool to try out with L.

A while back I made up little shopping lists for L by drawing a little picture and writing the word beside it. We then put all of her food out on the table and she takes her shopping bag and looks for the things on her list. She also likes to add some things of her own to her bag but she has a lot of fun doing it. Thanks to Making of a Montessori Mum for giving me the idea.

I saw this one on Chasing Cheerios ages ago and just kept it in the back of my mind until L was old enough to do it. Please try and disregard my poor drawing skills! I made a list of some things around our house and then L went around and counted them. I then wrote down the number for her. After she'd finished we sat and I asked her again how many we had so she could practice her number recognition. She LOVED this activity and I think I'll make one up for outside soon as well.

A little while back Amy from The Wonder Years did some posts about painting with water colors. They were truly beautiful and inspiring and as soon as our market(with the goats) opened up I purchased some. The whole family sat down and painted and then we made these beautiful birds from Amy's post. I love them and can't stop looking at them. Amy was also featured as a guest blogger over at The Magic Onions. Two fantastic blogs. Please check them out.

Our spring star. This was a mommy activity that was so much fun to make and not as hard as it first appeared. I first saw these on the most beautiful blog called Childhood Magic and found the tutorial here. It says to use kite paper but I couldn't find any so I just used tissue paper which seemed to work fine.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Counting activities

This last week we've been heavily into counting activities. In this first one I replaced the fish with circles with the numbers 1 to 5 on them. When L catches a number she gets to count out that number of fish.

We also made our own materials. Here L is painting her egg carton caterpillar to use for..

this penny balancing activity. I wrote the numbers 1 to 5 on the caterpillar. L counts out the correct number of pennies and tries to balance them on each number.

While L was painting her caterpillar I was using the other half of the egg carton to make these little ladybug flowers. It's basically the same concept. L flies the correct number of ladybugs back to their flower homes.

It's interesting that when we first started these activities L could easily do 1 and 2 but then either lost interest or didn't get the concept of 3 and above. After doing these type of activities for a few days she is handing me three of something with no problem.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Our week in pictures

This week the weather has been fabulous here so we've taken advantage.

Starfish spotting. We found the mother of all starfish. Look at all of those legs!!!

Feeding the goats at our local market. Usually they live up on the roof of the market. They're just waiting for the grass to be perfect before they move up to their summer home.

Seeing the Olympic flame!!

Exploring Spider Lake. Hey there's no spiders here!


Monday, 15 February 2010

Montessori Monday

This is what we've been up to this last week. Not sure that everything is "Montessori" per say but I'll link up to Montessori Monday over at One Hook Wonder anyway. If you'd like to see what others are doing just press the button on the sidebar.

Matching mothers and babies. I found all of the images on the Internet, printed and laminated them. I used some that are a bit tricky like caterpillar and butterfly and I found a picture of the smallest panda cub!! This activity was easy for L but we'll keep doing it together so she can learn the different names of the babies.

More first sound sorts. I found these next two printables over at PreKinders. For this one I put all of the letters in a bowl. L picked one out and looked for the correct picture. There were too many here I think for her and she lost interest after about six. I've since cut the paper in half which works much better.

L knows almost all of her lower case sounds so I'm starting to introduce the upper case. We used these cards first of all to find little "h" and big "H". They are written on the cards so it is easy for L to recognise them. She then put a penny on the picture with the correct beginning sound. L enjoyed this activity and I'm going to add some more cards this week.

I saw this super cool felt flower activity on Making of a Montessori Mum but it was originally on Montessori Mama.

You just cut out different sized pieces of felt and cut a small hole in the middle. Wrap a pipecleaner around a pompom and let your child thread the felt on. I just used up a bunch of felt scraps so the flowers are an interesting combination of colors.

L got this pair of beginner chopsticks from her friend Aa girl and really enjoyed sorting this tri-colored pasta.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Thank you to Making of a Montessori Mum for inspiring me to make Valentines Day a special day for our family (the beautiful sunshine helped to!)

We made sweetheart necklaces for everyone out of salty dough.

We also hung some from the light with our Valentine star.

I totally ripped this idea off from Making of a Montessori Mum and L loved it. After finding all of the hearts once she asked daddy to hide them for her again and again.

Then we all went up to the mountain to play in the snow(well I lounged in the snow). This is the closest we'll come to having a chalet on the mountain ; )

The view from the balcony where we had our snack. What a life!!
Now we're off to catch up on what we've missed in the Olympics.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Montessori Monday

This post should probably be called Tonging Tuesday since L's been doing tons of tonging and it's already Monday night but oh well.
In honor of Valentines Day I thought we'd better do our bit so we made up these red and white ice cubes. Before she went to bed L poured some diluted cranberry juice into a heart ice cube tray. I didn't take a picture because I was too busy doing damage control. She's just getting the hang of stopping when she pours ; ) She also poured regular water into a circle ice cube tray.

The next day we put them all together into a bowl and she sorted them with her tongs. My mom named this activity "sort and suck"
I bought some colored wooden beads and added them to the felt beads I made. L really enjoyed making necklaces with them. We used a tapestry needle and some leather cord. The tapestry needles are great because they aren't sharp. Can anyone tell me though how to put the holes in the felted beads? My husband and I had a heck of a time trying to push a needle through.

More tonging.

Using the ever popular heart ice cube tray to put in little glass hearts. This is actually harder than it looks as the hearts have to be put in just right to fit properly.

L was chomping at the bit while I was preparing this activity. When I'd finally put it all together she sorted all of the objects in about two seconds. Once of those activities that took me way longer to prepare than for her to do! She's really got the hang of first letter sounds this past little while and can tell me things that start with a specific sound. We're going to have to move on to last letter sounds I suppose.

You might notice the table cloth in the background of these pictures. Due to my back we've had to move to the kitchen table to do most of the activities. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon. : )

Friday, 5 February 2010

February nature table

Our February nature table. My mom was desperate for us to do a spring one but it is only February so we compromised on this beach scene. I needle felted the seagulls and star fish and the other things were collected from our local beach.

L is obsessed with collecting rocks every time we leave the house so I'm sure it will be full by the end of the month!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The water cycle

When I decided to make a terrarium with L I also used the opportunity to introduce her to the basics of the water cycle. Before we made the terrarium I made up this little activity out of felt. In this picture I've put everything on at once.
We started by putting on the rain cloud and made it rain making a puddle(and sang It's raining it's pouring). Then the sun came out and little droplets started to evaporate up into the sky forming a cloud. When they had all evaporated the cloud turned dark again and the rain fell. I also added a flower where each time the cycle happened we would add a part to it and make it grow. As long as your terrarium gets some sunlight the same thing should happen inside. Once we put the plants in and sealed it the sides gradually became foggy as water droplets formed on the inside of the glass. Eventually when enough water accumulated and they were heavy enough the droplets fell making rain. We didn't see this part but in the morning the sides of the container were clear again. Our mini eco-system in a jar.
I also want to say that L is only 2 and is mainly interested in the doing bits and not as much in the appreciation bits ! This is a project and a concept that we will visit again many times over I'm sure. I for one love peeking at the little fairy sleeping peacefully between the ferns.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Making a native plant terrarium

We got to take advantage of Granny's expertise as she took L out into the woods to collect some native plants for our terrarium.

They then brought everything home and we started with putting a layer of pebbles on the bottom of the jar. We then added a thin layer of activated charcoal we got from the pet store.

Then some Sphagnum or Spanish moss and a nice thick layer of soil from the garden.

We dug small holes in the dirt and added our plants. L also put in a shell, some stones and a little sleeping fairy I made from Fimo.


I love how this turned out and it was so easy to make. Check out my next post where I'll write about how we used this terrarium to learn about the water cycle.

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