Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More baby art and butterfly mobile

L and I made these leaf prints back in October for the space above Baby J's change table.  This picture is not the best but they are made up of a rainbow of beautiful fall colors.
I decided I wanted to make a butterfly mobile for above Baby J's bed like the one in the Micheal Olaf catalogue.  When I started doing some research on the computer I came across this SUPER COOL idea.  These butterflies are all made out of a recycled milk jug!! All you do is cut out pieces from a washed milk jug and tape them on top of the butterfly templates found on this blog.  L colored in the colors with permanent markers and then I traced the outlines with a black marker.  We cut them out and wound a thin pipe cleaner around the body using a couple beads for the abdomen and head.

 The super tricky part was trying to balance them to hang.  I ended up cutting four small pieces of invisible thread and glue gunning them to the top side of each of the wings.  I tied the four pieces together and then tied a longer line on to hang them.  Super complicated but they balance perfectly and are really stable.
The milk jug butterfly mobile was a hit with both L and Baby J!  

Monday, 12 November 2012

Montessori weaning table and chair

At five and a half months Baby J was more than ready to eat solid food.  For a few weeks before he started we had him sitting up at the table at dinner time to be part of the family.  He watched intently at all of us bringing the food to our mouths and made chewing movements with his mouth.
One thing I've been really excited about trying out with Baby J is his Montessori weaning table and chair.  My husband cut the legs down on a side table we had from Ikea and he made the chair out of some wood from an old shelf.  It always helps to have a handy husband!
We use the table usually for breakfast and lunch when it's just the two of us and he eats at the big table with the rest of the family for dinner.
Here he is having his breakfast.  We use real china for all of his dishes as well as little metal spoons.  He has his own little glass and pitcher as well.  Sometimes he likes to have his own spoon and other times he just enjoys helping me move the spoon to his mouth to get the food and then lets go so I can get another spoonful.
Looking at this picture the only plastic on this table is the cup holding my morning smoothie! Eventually Baby J will be able to get to his table himself and we will have his dishes and place mat on a nearby shelf for him to set his own place. Check out The Full Montessori to see the weaning table and chair in action.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Baby J's Activity Area

Things have been absolutely manic here lately with L's birthday, Halloween and Baby J's not sleeping.  I've been collecting pictures and have tons of posts I need do find time to do!
Here is Baby J's work area as well as L's work space in our living room.  These pictures are a bit old.  This environment was ideal for when he was 3 to 5 months.  Now he has just turned six months and is sitting up so I'm modifying things a bit. 
 It's a bit hard to see but the first mat is his movement mat.  Above it hangs the dancers mobile.  This is where he lies and watches the mobile, has tummy time and plays with his toys. 
The second mat is used under his tripod.  This holds his hanging ring on an elastic which he used for practising batting and catching as well as hand to hand transfer.  There is also an elastic holding the Takane ball which you can see sitting on top of the tripod.  He uses this for kicking and now he can bat at it while lying on his belly as well.
 As I mentioned L and Baby J share this space so it also includes her easel, table and gnome home as well as the dresser which we use for her craft drawer, games and the top as our nature table.  Obviously once Baby J is totally mobile we will be seriously modifying to suite his needs and safety.

This is the little unit I found to store Baby J's toys for the time being until I find an appropriate shelf.  On the top is his basket of known objects, Art ABC book which he looks at when on his belly.  Starting from the top left are his interlocking discs, Squish and teething beads.  On the bottom row is one of my favourite bits.  A cubicle with a door which we can later use for the idea of object permanence.  Then there is his teether and another Takane ball.  I have placed these toys in the cubicles because they are developmentally appropriate for Baby J right now.   Eventually he will be able to move over to the shelves and pick his own toys.
I love this space because of the order and simplicity.  There are not too many objects to clutter the space and there is a sense of order(usually until L has gotten in there!!).  I also love the natural light.  I as mentioned above Baby J has pretty much outgrown this set up now so I will be posting about our modified activity area in a future post.  If you would like to read more about how to set up a Montessori infant activity area check out this great post over at The Full Montessori.
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