Friday, January 28, 2011

Ice Candles

There's no shortage of snow here, so we made some indoor use of it. We put tealights upside down in a baby bowl, and topped it with snow. I put it in the freezer to get more solid for about an hour. At dusk, we took them out and lit them. What fun!!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yet Another Snow Day, Yay!

Pouring Black Beans


She made the letter i!!  Sandpaper letters and sandtray

I Spy Game

Spindle Box

This week has been busy, so we were very happy to have an extra day off.  We spent a crazy amount of time working today.  I'm not sure where they get the energy, but I'm exhausted!  As I post this I realize that I did not invite them to work today, and I did not invite them to any of these activities:  they wanted to work!!!  Hooray!  Truthfully, I was looking forward to a day of movies.  Hey, they know what is best.

A quick run-down:  
  • I saved all of my winter-themed holiday cards, laminated them and made hole punches for lacing.  
  • The sand tray is just a wooden box, that came with a cover.  I needed something with high sides for the tots, I find that if the sides are about 3" they are more apt to use just the one finger.  I glued 4 popsicle sticks to the cover to display one sandpaper letter at a time.   
  • My I spy game is from Montessori For Learning.  I added these little glass circles to mark the pictures for her, they are great because they magnify the picture.  She told me that it's her favorite thing in the house.   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Montessori and Natural Parenting

Deb, at Living Montessori Now wrote this amazing article. It links Montessori and Attachment Parenting in such a clear way.  Quotes from Dr. Montessori's writing has me back reading the classics.  Right now, I'm feeling very lucky to have my work and my parenting line up so perfectly.  Enjoy!

Thanks, Deb!

Montessori And Natural Parenting

Visit Natural Parents Network

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chinese New Year Playdough

Tonight we made the recipe from Fairydust Teaching, and it was fun! Red, with gold glitter for luck. We made enough for home and for my classroom. I think we will be finding glitter everywhere for while...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cinderella Sunday

The kids kept busy while Mom and Dad cleaned.  They helped, too :)  Mainly, they worked. 

3 part matching, colors

Little mats, big mats

Updated shelves

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tisket A Tasket

A toddler loves her basket! I just changed the containers, and the old is new again.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Paint

Today we painted with only white. I often isolate a color, offering just one to see what they come up with. The art teacher at my school did something like this with the 3rd year children and it was so festive. This is a tree in our back yard (which we so lovingly call the Charlie Brown tree) covered in new snow. The kids and I agree; this old icy snow needs to go! Looking forward to more fresh, white fluffy snow this weekend.

We spent a lot of time working today, and I took no pictures. We explored the differences and similarities in the pink tower and brown stair. Big sister used the bead stair and colored and decorated a paper to look like one for our art display.

I changed baskets for the materials (just a simple variation, to keep interest) and I'm pleased with them. The handles are so attractive to the tots, who carry them around for a while for fun before working. They are filled with lacing and beading, always a hit with the littles.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day, Work Day

Cardboard Playhouse, a Christmas Gift from Discovery Store

Finding similarities between materials

 New England got some blizzard action this week, and kept us home for a bit.  Never a dull moment though!  We have been saving our cardboard art house for a snow day, so we were VERY excited to get going on it's decoration.  They had dinner in there.  We even had a cookie/brownie swap with our neighbors.

Bean, age 4.5, is beginning to spontaneously notice the similarities in our materials.   I have been much more (umm...) lax in our ground rules. I'm noticing more creativity and concentration if I let them just go to it.  One of my professors once said that if things get crazy, get low.  Teacher/parent hovering causes heightened energy.  She how messy she is?  But look:  she just discovered that a bead stair is the same exact size as the triangle metal inset.  Here, she's making one for Pumpkin, age 2.5. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tots (with a Tool) Tuesday

In their favorite colors, a sorting activity with tweezers. This is the first time they used tweezers for a sorting activity, as the first tool is the hand. I was smiling ear to ear when I put this together, because I knew they would love it. We used to dress them in these colors to keep our twin-sleep-deprived minds straight ;) My little ones are growing up. How long can I call them tots?
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Friday, January 7, 2011

She Gave Me The World

Awww. I love Friday work time!!

We sing:

Tell me the continents, tell me the continents, tell me the continents if you can!

North America
South America

Don't forget Antarctica, don't forget Australia!

(I know 3 versions of this, but I like this best because its left to right if you look at a map.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Bonus Week Off

We took another week of vacation from the materials.  I plan on doing a bonus week after each regular school vacation so that I can get back into the swing of going to school and managing our little environment.  We have boxes of new materials to set up.  Plus, play is so vital to their development.  I need to be sure they have the opportunity to get creative with toys.

We have kept busy in many ways.  The number one thing:  POTTY TRAINING TWINS!  Sorry to e-yell, but it's a big deal here.  I must have read the No Cry Potty Training Solution 100 times, and we are ready.  So far, so good- and it's getting better.  There is no rush, we are playing it light.  This is our families 2nd training, it was easy with big sis.  She is a big help now!

Through the process of training, I came across some great sites that I'd like to share here:

hers & hers, complete with books!

Big sister is deep into art lately.  It's almost the only thing she wants to do, so we are going with it!  I set up a simple little 'art studio' in her bedroom.  She likes to have privacy in her creation.

colored pencils, crayon wallet, art journal (and her hand-painted birdhouse)

modeling clay

After trying out many spots, Bean picked a location within our house for our nature table.  She chose the dining table!  On this glass platter, I'm happy with how lovely it is.  It can stay there until we gather more, a reflection of the seasons.  I love looking at it while we eat, color, and talk.  It reminds me of our nature walk.
nature tray, our dining room centerpiece     flame-less candles for light

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Post Snow Nature Walk

Today the snow stated to melt, and Bean and I went for a nature walk in the woods just off of our property. We noticed all types of foot prints, and saw yellow snow (we giggled about that, too). She loves tracking animals, my Dad taught me that as a kid- passing it on! She chose some beautiful items to collect for our nature table. She adored her table at Montessori School, she requests one here. More on that later. Happy 2011!!!