Monday, June 20, 2011

Take and Put Work {A Guest Post}

Courtney is a friend of mine (Sarah) from my days at Texas A&M, where we were Chi Omegas together! She is also a teacher turned Stay-at-Home mom to her adorable 9-month old son, Jay! She writes a wonderful witty blog about her days with Jay, who is growing up way too fast! Her little guy is getting to such a fun age and is learning like crazy! (He is talking a TON, by the way! WOW!!) Take a look at this post she originally posted on her blog about some skill building you can do with your babes at this age!


One of my favorite years of teaching was when I worked in a Montessori School in Houston for a year. This was one of the BEST learning years EVER!

Montessori schools have an incredible method- the children learn at different paces as they are ready. It teaches incredible (but VERY soft, loving) discipline, sets high academic expectations, and allows the children to be taught at their own pace- not at the teacher's!

While I don't agree with every single Montessori practice (I don't usually agree with every single practice from ANYthing), there are a LOT of wonderful things about Montessori schools. I think so highly of them that our plan is to put Jay in one for preschool before he attends public school.

Anyway, one of the simplest "jobs" in a Montessori classroom is Take and Put. The child learns to take something from one container and put it in another. As the child becomes more advanced, so does the job. Items get harder, you use tongs or other utensils to practice more fine motor, etc...

So we set up a little Take and Put workstation for Jay at my parents' house on their kitchen floor with containers and cheerios. He seriously sat and did this for FIFTEEN minutes! My child has NEVER sat and done ANYTHING for fifteen minutes. This is an on the go kid. I was shocked at how long he was able to focus on this task. And how much he loved it!

Here is a minute long video showing how SIMPLE this is- and for you stay at home mommies that need an activity with your baby- here you go!


Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us!! I can't wait to learn more from you!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Craft!

I'm back with another hand/foot print craft for Father's Day!

If you are my husband, please stop reading. This will take out all the fun for you on Sunday!

Okay, I hope he stopped reading.

My husband and father in law are sports fanatics. The boys watch more ESPN and Sports Center than most children. So I wanted to make something for them both to have for their office to remind them of the twins.

Supplies Needed:
Brown Paint
Orange Paint
White Paint
Card Stock
Black Paint pen or Sharpie

Really Easy:

Paint a foot brown.
Add 3 white stripes
Outline with Sharpie
 Paint a hand orange.
Add basketball lines with sharpie or paint pen!
Print words on Cardstock, here Most Valuable Daddy
And Frame!
If I was smart, like you guys.... I would print the words on white cardstock first, and then add the hands and feet around it, so there is less glue and cut mess!

Happy Happy Father's Day!

We did this at a play date today! So fun!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oatmeal Play Dough {Guest Post}

I'm guest posting about Homemade Oatmeal Play Dough,

at Mama Pea Pod today!!

Stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Big Trip Prep: Things That Go Book

Lately, I've been planning for our big trip home. (From China to the US.) This is going to be our toughest trip yet. Each trip brings new challenges because, as you know, every couple of months your child has new interests, needs and physical abilities (aka: jogging). So over 24 hours in and out of airports and train stations calls for LOTS of little activities.

I try to plan things that are:
  • disposable
  • cheap or free
  • light
  • quiet
  • easy to pack
  • engaging
Travel Activity #1: Things That Go Book (and Matching Game)

My little guy is completely obsessed "things that go." Transportation, that is, and honestly, the bigger, the better.

He gets so excited when he sees a bus, concrete mixer or dump truck that he can't get his words out fast enough! To him, they are all called 'da' or 'gu.' But he will yell it over and over again, in the sweetest, most excited, high pitched voice, pointing at the bus, truck or concrete mixer until I chime in, "Oh wow, that is a bus!!" I love it. Such simple joy.

So I created a simple Transportation Nomenclature book. This isn't fancy by any means. But, it fits all of the criteria. Also, he helped me proof read it and loved it! Score!

I will print two copies:
  1. One will be bound in a folder by brads.
  2. The other will be cut outs of the pictures for a matching game. (Pictures coming later!)
Here is the preview, if it works.

To print a copy of your own, click HERE.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Teachers Pay Teachers... watch their students, while they sneak off for a Snicker's Break.

Don't worry, that is a joke!

Teachers Pay Teachers is a website. A fabulous website.

It is a place where teachers can create little, virtual, stores to sell the teaching materials they create (for like $2.00). Think: Etsy for teacher created materials!

This is a fabulous new tool for many reasons:

1. There are NEVER enough books, games, resources, ideas, tools, etc. to teach EVERYTHING you need to teach to all of the oh-so-different learners. So teachers create. It is lots of work, no lie. So now there is a place to share. Sharing is caring, right!?

2. Remember this post? It generated A BILLION hits. Not really a billion, but lots for us. Most teachers agreed to constantly having to "tweak" teaching materials. Sharing materials is a great time saver!

3. Teacher-tested and Kid-approved printable materials are available for everyone to enjoy and learn with! Awww, thank you internet.

Now, most of these materials are not quite appropriate for our toddlers, just yet. There are a few though. But if you have older kiddos (Pre-K and up) there are TONS for you!

A Fun Summer Science Project @ Home:
Here is a FREE, printable, book about the Venus Fly Trap, from the store Primary Graffiti. A sure kiddy fascination! A plant that eats bugs? Talk about exciting!

This would be such a fun little book to read while actually growing a Venus Fly Trap that you can purchase HERE.

Thanks Primary Graffiti for sharing!

These are the activities I can't wait to do!! In the mean time, we are enjoying the pictures in the book!

Oh...I guess I should add that you do NOT have to be a teacher to enjoy the site!!

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