Monday, 28 March 2011

Mother Earth and Spring Flower Fairies

"Each of the root-children chose her own colour to make a dress.
The snowdrop chose a snow-white cloth, the forget-me-knot a sky blue piece, the buttercup bright yellow, the daisy white with yellow and a bit of red, and the poppy a bright red."

"As soon as you're ready, I'll unlock and open the doors up to the ground."

"At last it was really Springtime!"

Inspired by "The Story of the Root Children" by Sibylle Von Olfers
I made some peg fairies and Mother Earth.

I left them, to dry overnight and when I came downstairs they were covered
in specks of paint from each other.
I asked if the boys had been banging them together?
"Yeah, they have been kissing!"

What can you say... they now have an antique effect.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Spring Activities

This is what we are choosing from on our new shelves:

Sorting Spring flowers.
I found images on Google of crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, snowdrops and tulips.
We are also growing these in our garden.
This can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it.

Sorting shapes.
This came from Montessori Print Shop and they are nice pictures.

This is a game called Insey Wincey Spider for learning about shapes.
From Orchard games.

I laminated this sheet of spring flowers and numbers he finds hard to write to use with a wipeable pen.

Movable alphabet.
3 letter words that rhyme with hat.

Imaginative play with pond scenes.

Magic Painting books- paint with water only.
Remember them?
Really toddler friendly.

This is left over from Valentines.
I sewed a heart from felt and sewed on large heart buttons.
He has to put the small coloured felt hearts on the buttons,
or thread them onto the ribbon.
Inspired by Counting Coconuts.

Match the clothes on the teddies.
Wooden puzzle.
(A gift)

Feed the coins in the money box.
Little Seed loves this.

Spooning tulip flowers into an ice cube tray.
He has to spoon 3 into each compartment.
Little Seed likes this too.

Nice flowers from Ebay.
They make a nice tinkling sound in the ramekin.

Pouring real beans.

Sandpaper numerals with a notebook and crayon in the basket
(which you can't see as it was being used.)

Sound shakers.

We are also doing lots of Spring art, reading Spring themed books,
and sowing lots of seeds too.


abc button

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sensorial Sound Jar Game

This is a fun activity for all ages.
It is based on something I saw in a Montessori catalogue
but we managed to make some prettier ones for free.

You need some old glass baby food jars/jam jars/yoghurt pots

Place different objects in jars in pairs.
We used rice, beans, nails, coins, and  marbles.
Tape around the lid and decorate with tissue paper and glue.
Make sure you cover the bottom too!

Then choose a jar and try to find the corresponding sound.
Makes a nice change to the visual games that dominate our area.


Monday, 14 March 2011

Presenting Choices For Play With A Toddler Around

How do I present choices in our play and learning area
when I have a toddler who likes to tip everything out and create chaos?

It has been frustrating because I want to create a lovely Steiner/Montessori 
area for them but I could not get it to work...
until NOW!

Here we have our cheap shelves which are occasionally used as a roleplay area,
but it has got a bit tired lately so I am trying something new,
and I think Little Seed is just old enough to go with it.

I put some Montessori activities in bowls on the top shelf where Captain Chaos can't reach.
I will do a post on what the activities are this week.

The middle shelf houses the imaginative play mat, influenced by Steiner.
Big Seed got it out this week so I have made a permanent fixture on the middle shelf for now.

On the bottom are Little Seed's toys, and things I don't mind him tipping.

Next to the shelf on the floor is a basket of Steiner based tree blocks and a few baby books.

The top shelf has a basket of envelopes containing Montessori card activities.

Now here is the best part for all you Montessori homeschoolers with destructive toddlers:
clear boxes with lids with activities in it such as Practical life; scooping, pouring, etc
so that Big Seed can still see what's there. The items for pouring are in jars with lids inside.
Problem sorted!

Bottom shelf has roleplay cooking toys which they both enjoy playing with.I have put the bulk of the cooking stuff away, as they just want to make cups of tea these days.

Big Seed has shown great interest in the boxes and baskets, and so far Little Seed has respected the area.

This is progress.


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Storytelling Bookshelf

Stories don't just come from books...if you want to encourage imaginative play
you can give them examples and tell stories to them orally.
Storytelling is a huge element of Steiner teaching.

Big Seed has a 3 tiered bookshelf in his bedroom.
We have put his favourite bedtime stories that I tell him on the top shelf.

I have put some spring themed cloth on the bottom.

This is "Little Rabbit Foo Foo" who bonks mice on the head. The Good Fairy warns that
she will turn him into an egg after she gives him 3 chances.
Rabbit is from Schleich through Amazon.
We use it in Peter Rabbit stories.

"Three Billy Goats Gruff"
The fox is for the German version where the goats want to pass on the lane to go to the forest.
The bridge and gnome is for the troll hiding under the bridge version which I grew up with, whereby the goats want to cross the river.
Gorgeous wooden goats are from here.

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears"
from here.

There is a crocheted bee on the table because other items appear on here sporadically.
Big Seed likes to add other animals/people when he retells these stories.

Big Seed doesn't easily engage in imaginative play unless it has a purpose
or he is re-enacting real life eg cooking on his toy stove, collecting rubbish, etc
He needs me to give him examples like these.

I love hearing him tell ME stories.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

3 Spring Flower Pictures

Our new topic is Spring,
so to kick off we used our garden as inspiration:

Hyacinths using tissue paper balls.

Snowdrops using fingerprints.

Precut felt shapes: had to be arranged and stuck to make a tulip.
Then the parts of the flower were named.

Big Seed wanted to make his own tulip.


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Our Spring Nature Table: Just Who Is It For?

I am sure some of you will be able to identify with this.
We have changed our Nature Table for Spring.

Well, I say that "we" have..."we" tried and then Big Seed took over.
Well , I say "took over" but I mean he recreated the whole thing.

I asked him if he wanted to help me make the table but he did not want to.
So I made the table in a way that I thought was charming and neat.

Big Seed came along and had a tantrum and pulled the whole thing apart and became distraught.
He calmed down and then created the table by himself in a way that made sense to him.

At first, I felt as frustrated as he did ...but then I asked myself
"Just who is this table for in the first place?"
Do we try and make a nice table for the children and visitors to admire, so it fits in with the rest of the decor or feel of the house?
Or is it a learning experience to be shared or even owned by the children themselves?

In the end I was happy that it was so important to him and that he interacts with it.
It has become a playscene and an important place.

It's ok if all the animals are living in wooden houses together, and that the duck is not in the pond but in with the orange and white cow I cannot stand, along with the wooden ladybird back massager!
The empty pond is surrounded by a growing number of dead daisies he has picked for me.

It's OK because he is showing me that he feels it's important for animals to be together,
he doesn't like animals being alone, it's cold outside so they are in "houses" and the first daisies of the year are so important to him they have a place on the Special Table.

My Spring Table is for the belongs to them.

Your thoughts are you have a table?


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Happy St.David's Day

Happy St.David's Day!

St.David is the patron saint of Wales.
Today children dress in traditional costume, have Welsh folk festival competitions in schools,
make traditional Cawl soup and eat Welsh cakes.

Daffodils, leeks and dragons are Welsh symbols.

We had a nice day out in the park with friends and ate Welsh cakes.
It has been the first dry day in ages!


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