Saturday, July 31, 2010

Look Who's Three!

Yesterday was M's third birthday. It's hard to believe our baby girl is three-years-old already. She had a great day, capped off by a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and a tinkerbell-themed family party at home.

But first she had a new outfit . . .

a dolphin balloon . . .

a few surprises . . .

and made everyone wear party hats.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Walking the (Number) Line

We've done the Montessori walking the line activity before. We've also done the number line many times before. M decided to combine the two using her princess number puzzle (each princess is numbered 1 to 9). She laid the squares of the foam puzzle out in order, then proceeded to walk the line with them over and over, saying the numbers some of the times, and the princess names the other. Who says math can't be fun?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two Months Old

It's hard to believe, but Baby B is two months old today! The time has really flown by. J and M are such great older siblings, and Baby B is very much loved by all (and rarely ever put down).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A local theater company is doing a musical version of Pinkalicious. Not only is this M's favorite color, it is also one of her favorite books, so I knew she'd love to go. This was her very first experience at a live play, and she did very well. (It helped that J came along to model proper etiquette.) Of course, she had to dress for the performance.

I love going to the theater; and since she did so well, we will definitely plan to attend future productions.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Every once in a while, I pick up craft kits on sale to save for rainy days. This Build-A-Castle kit was one of those. J had to cement each of the blocks together and build his castle layer by layer. He deviated from the original design, and I thought it looked very authentic.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Slice of Melon

A paper plate cut in half, some red and green tissue paper and some glue are all that are required to make some watermelon slices. I wanted the kids to put seeds on them with their fingerprints dipped in black paint, but neither J nor M was interested in doing that so I let it go.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beach Sensory Box

We've had the Fourth of July sensory box out for a month, and I thought it was time to retire it. M has been asking to go the the beach for weeks now, and we don't have one within 500 miles of us, so I thought that would be the perfect theme for her new box. Since she has a sandbox outside, and I didn't want to deal with sand inside, I deconstructed several shell necklaces to fill the pail for scooping and pouring. I added in a variety of larger shells and some driftwood as well. Later I plan to add a shovel, but all of ours were too large.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Alphabet Pebbles

I was going through my new Montessori N' Such catalog this weekend, and saw these alphabet pebbles for sale.

I loved the idea, but I figured I could make them cheaper myself. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where smooth, flat stones are plentiful, then this can even be done for free. We don't, so I purchased a set of clear, flat floral rocks on clearance at Michael's for $2.99.

The original pebbles are engraved to give them a tactile element, so I used puffy paint on my to make the letters raised. You could just write the letters on with permanent markers if you wished. I used the same red/blue letter differentiation from the Montessori moveable alphabet for consistency sake. I had enough rocks to make two sets of the alphabet, so that we can use them for spelling basic words as well.

The whole project took me about 10 minutes to do, and I think we are going to have a lot of fun with them. M was already asking to play with them when they were on the counter drying, so I know they have captured her interest as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tot School: Western Week

Tot School
(M is 35 months old)

This week in Tot School we finished up our western theme. We spent the last three weeks working on cowgirls, horses and cows since M was enjoying it so much. You can see my previous post here for other activities we did.

M used a wrapping paper tube, a horse head cut out of paper and some brown yarn to make a stick horse. She rode it around the house, and we had "barrel races" around the furniture as well. (It has been pouring rain the last two weeks so we had lots of indoor play.)

We colored a cowgirl hat, attached it to a paper headband, and M was a cowgirl. Of course, she dictated it be purple and pink.

M and J spent one afternoon "roping cows" by tossing a hula hoop over a chair. They loved doing this.

M made a paper plate horse. She painted two plates brown. I cut one plate to make the head and the legs, the other was folded in half for the body. She added yarn for the tail and a googly eye. She keeps asking me to make another one.

We did a little math. I took a cow print out and copied it 20 times. I cut them apart and put a different number of spots (1-20) on each cow. Then I labeled 20 popsicle sticks with the numerals 1-20. M had to count the cow's spots and then match it with the proper numeral "fence post."
We had horse stickers to play with and horse and cow shaped cookie cutters for our playdough. We also ate trail mix for a snack one day. Since M is allergic to peanuts, our trail mix was goldfish, pretzels, marshmallows and chocolate chips.

We also took a family field trip to the Dallas World Aquarium since Daddy had Monday off of work. The aquarium is set up like a rainforest, and so has birds, monkeys, jaguars and other rainforest animals as well as the fish, manatees, alligators and otters.

Baby B spent some time this week doing tummy time, working on making his hands move the way he wants them to, and discovering the baby in the mirror. I love those chubby little hands and arms!

And here is my favorite picture of M from this week.

That was our last two weeks in Tot School.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Blue Pig

J wanted to learn how to sew this summer, and he decided he wanted his first project to be a stuffed animal for his baby brother. First, he drew the design he wanted (a pig) onto graph paper to create a pattern. Next, he cut it out, and with my mom's help sewed it on the machine. He stuffed it, and Grandma helped hand-sew it shut and create the yarn tail. I think it looks so cute!!
J is very proud of his work, Baby B loves his new toy, and M has already requested that J make her a pink pig next.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Birthday Countdown

M's birthday is at the end of this month, an event she is eagerly anticipating. Every day she asks me if it is her birthday yet, so Daddy suggested we make her a countdown calendar. I took a crown-shaped piece of foam board and wrote Happy Birthday on it, and then attached a crepe-paper chain to it. There are exactly as many links as there are days until M's birthday. Each morning, she removes a link from the chain and we count how many links are left.

It's a very simple idea, but I think this visual reminder is helping her see that the days are passing until her birthday, and it's great counting practice as well.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Five Weeks

It is so hard to believe that Baby B is already five weeks old! That time has really flown by. I am making an effort to really appreciate every moment I have with him, even those sleepless nights. Partly it's because I know that these newborn moments go by so fast and he is literally growing before our eyes. The rest is that I know that this will be the last time I have a newborn, and I want to savor every precious moment. We are making a point to take at least one picture of him every day, and it's amazing to see how much he has changed in just the first month.

Baby B is a very sweet-tempered baby. I love his fuzzy blonde hair, his big blue eyes, his cute double-chin and his round, chubby cheeks.

I love watching him discover his hands and look at everything around him with such amazement.

We love having him in our family; he makes us complete.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fourth of July Crafts

We've had some rainy days this week so we've spent some time inside working on Fourth of July crafts.

The kids used pipettes to drop colored water (food coloring) onto coffee filters. When they dried they cut the edges into fringes, and attached them to pipe cleaners. M thought they made great firework "wands", but J thought they made better flowers. Right now they are in a vase on our dining table.

Next, M spent time transferring plastic star-shaped ice cubes using chopsticks. We practiced making different patterns, and she's enjoyed this tray several times.

I helped M lay beads out in an ABC pattern, and then she strung them to make a bracelet.

J used foam pieces to make a flag-shaped magnet.

Finally, we had a giant craft FAIL. I had taped doilies down onto blue construction paper and given the kids metallic paint and sponge brushes. My plan was for them to push the paint through the doilies, creating stencils. We'd then remove the doilies and have metallic, painted fireworks. Well, neither kid could get the paint to go through the holes in the doilies. The end result was two frustrated kids and one giant mess. I will admit I did try to do this myself later, and even I had a hard time getting it to work, so I think the doily pattern was too small to make a very good stencil.