Chasing Cheerios

Monday, October 29, 2007

Learning About Fruit

O loves fake fruit, so I was really excited when I found some good quality fake fruit for a low price. I've been doing the 3 period lessons to teach her the fruit. She knew what they all were except the lemon and lime, and she learned those quickly. She won't say the names for them (except banana), but she signs apple (and banana), and she knows them receptively. The Montessori 3 part lessons are very similar to the discrete trial training that I used to do when I was an ABA therapist, so its a fun way for me to teach O.

Questions for O

We've been asking O lots of questions lately, and she loves answering us. This is one of her favorite new activities. I started asking her "What is on the outside of trees?" after she started talking about bark all of the time. She knew exactly what I was talking about and said, "bahk." I told my dad about it, and he implied that she didn't know what she was saying and that she would say "bahk" to any question that we asked her. Of course, I had to prove him wrong, so I asked her, "What do we see in the sky at night?" She said, "moon," the 1st time I ever asked her! I was shocked. We were walking in the woods with Melanie, Marg, and my dad, and they didn't hear her the 1st time, but she's kept on answering the questions correctly. Since then I've added a few more questions. "What do we read? book," "What do we throw? ball," "What do we smell with? nose," and "What animal says meow? cat." She answered book and ball correctly the 2nd time I asked. When I ask the smell question she sniffes, but she won't say nose. She's answered the meow question once, but usually she just meows back at us. This is a fun activity, and I am going to continue adding more questions because O loves this so much.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Library Finds

These are O's library books for this week.
This is O's activity kit for the week. We are going to learn all about shapes and colors.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


A new activity that we have been doing for the past 2 days is singing and spelling O's name to the tune of "BINGO," while pointing to the wooden letters spelling out her name on her wall. O LOVES this activity, and I'm hoping that she is learning to spell her name!

Learning to Check Tire Air Pressure

O loves to do whatever her daddy is doing, so yesterday she learned how to check the air pressure on my tires. She was very excited to go around to each of the tires and check the pressure. He taught her how to check the oil today, but I didn't get any pictures of that.

There's Never Enough Time

Making tiny pumpkins with orange pladoh yesterday.
There's never enough time to do everything we want to do in a day. O and I were very busy today, but we somehow ran out of time before coloring and playing with orange playdoh. She didn't mind, but I really wanted to get those activities in today. Oh, well. She had lots of fun playing "where is it?" with the red and blue cups. She's not too interested in threading the small spools with pipe cleaners, but she loves to put the spools in a cup and then transfer them to another cup. She's also been practicing her pouring skills by pouring them from one cup to another. We had a really nice nature walk today. O rode in the wagon and was very excited to touch the bark on several trees. She holds her hand up to a tree and says "bark." (She's overgeneralizing a bit and is holding her hand up to the wall and saying "bark.") We found several pretty flowers on our walk. O was super excited. She loves to hold and smell flowers. We also found brown, red, and green leaves and a few pinecones. We saw lots of spiders, spiderwebs, squirrels, birds, trees, etc. We enjoyed putting acorns, leaves, grass, etc into the magnifying glass holder (from the activity kit). We are looking forward to another fun day tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll make it to storytime at the library.

Teaching O to do Chores

O loves to be involved in everything we do, so we have started teaching her to do chores. She enjoys helping unload the dishwasher, picking up Gracie's leftover treats, picking up her toys and books, sorting diapers (inserts go in the dryer and pockets on the line), and sweeping. Lately, she's even been helping me push the vacuum. Today when I was sweeping the den she came in from playing on the porch and brought me the dustpan. I was so surprised, and she was so proud! Helping Guh-guh put diaper inserts in the dryer.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Plans for this week- October 22

- Take the magnifiying containers from the activity kit outside and catch bugs to observe
- play "Where is it?" using red and blue cups
- thread new, small spools onto pipe cleaner
- talk about the color orange
- count small pumpkins
- practice wearing halloween costumes
- take at least one nature walk per day
- go out in the pedal boat - find the moon, watch the birds, find and label other objects- balls, boats, slides, lights, trees, docks, etc.
- do knobbed puzzles
- do sorting activity
- Read LOTS of books
- Play in the grass and collect lots of acorns and gumballs (this is O's favorite outside activity)
- Play with the hula hoop and talk about circles
- Make and play with cardboard shape puzzles
- sing, dance, and sign while listening to "Pick Me Up"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Toddler Activities

Here's a list of activities to do with your toddler. I found this list before O was born, and I haven't looked at it again until today. Its full of fun ideas. I can't wait to get started!

1. Keep a stack of old magazines and let your toddler have at them 2. Give your toddler a set of doubles when you have pictures developed 3. Stash a few dollar store toys and pull them out when you have a busy day ahead of you 4. Let your toddler dress their dolls or bears in their old infant clothing 5. Give your toddler an assortment of buttons to play with (oversized ones) 6. Put in home videos for your toddler to watch 7. Have your toddler collect pinecones for home decor 8. Give your toddler shells, beans, or beads and an egg carton to sort them 9. Show them how to twist pipe cleaners into shapes 10. Give your child a pair of safety scissors and let the child trim green beans for dinner 11. Have your toddler draw pictures for a local nursing home 12. Have your toddler thread jingle bells on a string to play with 13. Show your child how to hold her baby with a sling, feed her from the breast and change diapers 14. Open a snack while shopping at the grocery store to keep them busy 15. Buy garage sale books and let the child cut out pictures to decorate their room or papers 16. Show your toddler how to make noodle necklaces 17. Let them make art projects from dry foods like macaroni, pretzels and beans 18. have your toddler match socks for you while you fold laundry 19. Let your toddler help you cook by handing them pre measured dry goods to add, cracking eggs, etc 20. Have your toddler make faces on paper plates and glue them to popsicle sticks for plays 21. Let your toddler stamp envelopes while you pay bills (even give them 100 1 cent stamps to put on their own envelopes) 22. give your child oversized buttons to string for a toy 23. Have your toddler make home made pizza with small bowls of ingredients and ready made crust 24. Make a fort with sheets and chairs 25. Let your toddler stick bows on gifts at Xmas 26. Give your child her own spray bottle of water and a rag to help you clean 27. Have your child design gift bags with paper, crayons and paints 28. Let your child draw as you make dinner at the counter 29. Ask your toddler to tear the lettuce for salad 30. Let your child look at their own baby book 31. Have your child sort and string cheerios or other round cereals 32. Show your child how to make PB and J by themselves 33. Save scrap cardboardfor drawing supplies 34. Give your child a piece of sticky tape and let them play! 35. Involve your children in store shopping decisions, like which soup to buy 36. Have your child help put away unbreakable dishes 37. Play 'I Spy' 38. Give your child a box full of packing popcorn to play with 39. Try to spot things on car rides -- give your child a list of five pictures of common things to see outdoors, and have them point them out when they see them 40. Sing the day's activities...eating, diaper changes, clothes, etc 41. Pop in an exercise video for your child to jump along to 42. Make homemade beanbags to play with 43. Keep a clipboard, paper and crayons for car trips 44. Make snacks into faces...cheese grapes, and crackers 45. Let your toddler s with a straw 46. Have your toddler collect leaves and flowers, and iron them flat between two pieces of wax paper -- add crayong shavings for extra color! 47. Give your toddler a basket and tell them to collect rocks for apinting 48. Make dolls out of pantyhose and pillow stuffing...have your child draw faces on them 49. Race your child to see who can put away toys the fastest...make sure you lose! 50. Have your toddler close doors, close dryer doors, push empty baskets or even sweep as you do the same.

"What's Moving?"

For this activity you need a blanket, 2 or 3 objects, and some string. Tie a piece of string to each object and cover them with the blanket. Then slowly pull on a string and ask "What's moving?" O had so much fun with this activity, and she guessed the right object almost everytime. She really enjoyed pulling the strings by herself and pulling up the blanket to find the object. This activity develops: language interaction, visual discrimination, eye-hand coordination, independence, and problem solving. This activity comes from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander.

"Where is it?"

For this activity you need 3 different-sized cans and a small object. Put the object under one of the cans and ask your child to guess which can it is under. Change the position of the cans, but always keep the object under the same can. The aim of the game is to get the child to pick up the can that the object is under 3 times in a row. This activity helps your child learn to use clues (size, shape, etc) to make decisions. O LOVED this activity! We plan on doing it again, and next time I'll used different colored cups and put the object under the same color cup each time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Learning About Feelings

I thought that it would be fun to teach O about feelings using a book in which she is the star. I had a great time making a board book out of this book that I ordered from I was very happy with how it turned out, and I can't wait to make more books for her.

O's Porch Playroom

We set up a playroom for O on our screened porch a few months ago. We have lots of fun playing out there in her rice pit and at the nature table.

"Pick Me Up"

O is signing "hug" along with the song. Her form isn't perfect, but thats ok.
Signing "up" while listening to "Pick Me Up." Can you tell she loves this activity???
I recently received an excellent book and cd in the mail! "Pick Me Up" is a program for teaching ASL signs to children from 7 months to 7 years of age. The book has the lyrics and shows the signs. We have had a GREAT time with it so far. O loves to sign, and she loves to dance.

Activity Kit

O loves the magnifiying glasses and the bugs in the plastic blocks!
I am so excited that the library has Activity Kits that I can check out!!! I just happened to notice a sign for them when I was checking out my books. I asked what they were, and the librarian directed me to the children's librarian. I asked her about the kits, and she started off by telling me that I had to sign a form agreeing to pay 50 dollars if any parts were broken or lost. She seemed to be trying to scare me into not wanting one (I'm pretty sure she just didn't want to get up from her seat- she was surfing the internet and looked tired). I said ok and signed the form. There was a long list of Activity Kits to choose from, and I chose the kit about spiders. I showed it to O when I got home, and she was super excited. We are going to explore it more on Friday. After we read the book and explore the other items in the kit, we'll go outside and look at spiders. We have LOTS of them (one of the perks of living at the lake!). I am looking forward to checking out a different Activity Kit each week along with our books and cds.

A Rainbow of Healthy Food

Part of a good homeschool environment is a healthy diet, and O had a rainbow of food today. I love it when we have a "pretty plate." She had steamed carrots, peas, corn, rotisserie chicken, avocado, and grape tomatoes. She has started drinking her water at mealtimes out of miniature glasses. She does a good job holding her glass with 2 hands, and she feels so "big" when she is drinking out of a glass.

New Thursday Books and CDs

Thursday is my library day, so these are our new books for this week. We've only read them once, and she REALLY loves I Can Help. O is really into being a helper lately, so I knew this book would be perfect for her. We are going to have lots of fun reading these books this week.
Here are our new cds for the week. We've checked out Mother Earth before and loved it, so I am listening forward to listening to it again. We've haven't listened to Farkle & Friends yet, but I'm hoping we'll love it, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Sorting Activity

I set up this activity for O to sort the balls and blocks. I think she understands the activity because she'll sort them for a while before she starts mixing everything together again which is lots more fun than sorting! My little fashionista loves wearing 2 different shoes and her bear hat!

Tending the Garden

We have a container garden on our deck, and we are lucky enough that we are still getting grape tomatoes and basil. O LOVES tomatoes, and she thinks she is so grown up since she helped grow them, and she is in charge of picking them. We worked on learning the colors red and green while picking the tomatoes. She knows that we pick the red ones and leave the green ones (however, I did have to keep reminding her).

Watching the Squirrels

O and I spent a long time this morning sitting in the grass watching a squirrel family. The mama squirrel was trying to coax her 4 babies into playing in the grass. They were a little scared and kept running back up the tree. We talked about what the squirrels were doing and had a great time watching them. O was entranced!

What We're Reading This Week

I usually go to the library every Thursday after work to get books and cds for O and I. This is what we are reading this week. When I was checking out O's books, the librarian looked at me strangely and asked if I knew that several of the books were in Spanish. She seemed relieved when I assured her that I purposely got Spanish books.The books that I am reading revolve around different activities to do with young children. The 3 on the right are not library books, and I use them all of the time. I highly recommend Slow and Steady Get Me Ready for any moms with small children. I wish that I'd had it when O was born. I am also reading a Dean Koontz book that is pretty good. I can't wait until I finish it because I have 3 more library books that I'd like to finish by Thursday, but I know thats impossible.

A Few Activities

Here are a few activities that we've been doing in our homeschool this week: Magnetic letters and chalkboard- Uncle Tommy gave O a Peebles gift card for her birthday, and this is what she bought! Its a magnetic chalk board on one side and a wipe off board on the other. It came with magnetic letters and numbers. O loves the magnetic letters!
O loves putting the poker chips into the container. We've been using a cottage cheese container, but I REALLY did not like it, so I was very happy when my mom found this plain white container for this activity.
Scent bottles- O is really into smelling things lately (I wonder if she has her Aunt Melanie's super sonic sense of smell...). I put 3 different scents in these bottles- tea tree oil, peppery vinegar, and vanilla- and we smelled and labeled the scents. O LOVED this activity. I'll probably switch the scents every week or so, and I'm on the look out for more bottles. I found these 3 at the rummage sale in St. M.
Listening Activity- I shake each thing and label it - rice, bell, water- then O shakes each item and listens to them. I put 2 of them behind my back and shake one, then show them both to her and ask her which one she heard (I was asking her to close her eyes, but that wasn't working). She thinks this game is so much fun, and she usually chooses the correct item. I made this felt board and felt pizza kit to go along with an activity song about pizza. We haven't done this activity too much yet, but I think its going to be lots of fun. Although I guess O's a little clueless when it comes to pizza because she's never eaten it, and I'm not sure if she's even ever seen a pizza (other than Marg's wooden Melissa and Doug pizza).
Glitter Discovery Bottle- This bottle is filled with glitter, corn syrup, and water. Its fun to shake and watch the glitter swirl around.
Threading spools onto pipe cleaners is lots of fun!