Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another Matching Activity

Thanks Montessori Mama for this great idea! O had so much fun matching her small plastic animals to pictures in a book. Unfortunately, I only had 3 animals that matched the pictures, but it was still fun.

Making Finger Paint

I've been planning on making finger paint with O for weeks, and we finally did it today. O really enjoyed it, and she learned about colors and mixing colors. She loved to squeeze the food coloring into the mixture, but the most fun was stirring the paint. We used the easiest recipe I could find - 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of cold water and food coloring. It was a little thicker thank I would have liked, and it didn't spread very well. We put O in the bathtub with paper taped to the walls for her to paint on. She wasn't too impressed. She had more fun putting the lids on and off the containers than she did painting. She was a little distressed when she accidentally got a handful of paint, but she enjoyed painting her tummy after we talked her into it. I think we'll try watercolor paint tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Phonics Bags

These phonics bags have been in the works for a while now. I bought the bags from Michael's a few months ago, but I was in no hurry to make them since O is still so young. Since she's showing an interest in learning letters and enjoys reading to herself (scanning a book while saying "ra, ruh, ra, ra, ra, etc." --VERY cute!), I thought it would be a good time to make them an introduce them to her. I printed the letters onto iron-on transfer paper, and my mom cut them out while I put O down for a nap (thanks, mom!). Then I started ironing. It took a while, and I didn't have the directions, so the 1st 10 bags don't look so good, but I eventually got the hang of it. I'm somewhat pleased with the result. Now I just have to fill the bags! I have a mini book with pictures of things with that particular letter in each bag (a few books have more than one letter, so each bag does not have a book) that came from a set of books that my mom gave O. Other things included in the bags are small plastic animals - dog, penguin, seal, turtle, frog, dinosaur, etc; finger puppets- giraffe, pig, etc; pink pipe cleaner, wooden acorn, and blocks. I have lots of bags to fill, so if anyone has any great ideas of things to put in the bags, let me know!

Activity Kit

I started getting Activities Kits from the library again this week. Here is a picture of O doing one of the activities from the kit.


My mom and I finally gave O the playsilks we dyed for her. The original plan was to give them to her for Christmas, but she already had so much that we decided to wait. We are going to have lots of fun with these!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cooking Supper

O and my mom cooked supper tonight. They made cheese tortellini with tomato sauce and spinach. Yum!

112 Books!!!

My mom and O read 112 books today!!! I was surprised when I called to check on them and my mom said that the only thing O wanted to do was read books (she's still recovering from an illness and the long day of traveling home from our recent trip), and they had read 54 books. By the time we got home, the number had more than doubled. Wow! O loves to read, but I didn't know she loved to read that much. My mom has lots of patience, but her throat is a little sore now. O and I usually read 20 to 25 books a day, and I thought that was a lot, but I guess I was wrong! Thanks, Mom for reading endlessly to my baby today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Painting with Water

I've been feeling guilty lately that O is 18 months old and has never painted. I know painting with water isn't really painting but I thought it was better than nothing. It was also an easy activity to take with us on our snow skiing vacation. I forgot to take paintbrushes, but luckily O's grandmother had a couple of make-up brushes that she let us use. O had lots of fun, but she was concerned later when she saw blue and green paint stains on her hands.

O Loves Snow!

We just returned from a snow skiing trip. O was too little to ski, but she had a great time sledding! It was the first time she ever saw snow, and she was a little unsure at 1st, but she had a great time once she got used to all of the extra clothes!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Clothes Pin Activity

Today O learned to put clothes pins on the side of a a tin can. She liked this activity, but it wasn't easy. She had to really concentrate to get the clothes pin lined up and on the can. Her favorite part of the activity was running back to me and looking at her picture and saying "dada" because she likes to show the pictures of her activities to her daddy each day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday's Activity

This is the activity I'm leaving out for O to do in the morning. I'm working tomorrow (I work one day per week as a School Psychologist) and my mom will be keeping O. This activity is from a Melissa & Doug shape puzzle set that we gave O for Christmas. She liked it a lot, and its been at my mom's house since Christmas, so I think she's going to be excited to see it in the morning.

She Loves Shells!

O's grandparents brought her some shells from their recent trip to the Bahamas. She has had a great time exploring their shapes and textures and sorting them into this egg carton (a muffin tin would have worked better). She also had lots of fun bringing the shells into the kitchen and putting them into a water pitcher and then taking them out and putting them back in the basket. This went on for a while!

18 Months Old!

O is 18 months old! She has really grown and changed so much in just the last few weeks. She is repeating so much of what we say now, we really have to watch what we say:). Her absolute favorite activity is reading! We read at least 20 books per day, and I think she would do nothing but read all day if we let her (she's a lot like her mommy). She loves to go for walks and play outside on her slide. She loves to play with playdoh, and she gets so excited when she sees the playdoh container. She's gotten really good about telling us when she has to go to the potty, and she is wearing "panties like Marg" all day except when she is sleeping or when we go out and about. She gets to choose whether she wears panties or diapers, and she chooses panties 99% of the time (she smiles like it is so funny when she is given the choice of what to wear). When she tells me that she has to potty, I sometimes tell her to "try to hold it until we get to the potty." She crosses her arms over her tummy quickly. I guess she is trying to "hold it," and I bet she is wondering what in the world she is supposed to be holding!
On Saturday I burnt my arm when I lifted the lid of a pot of soup on the stove. O and Ell were in the kitchen, too, and I guess Ell said something about how I should have been wearing an oven mitt. Ever since then O has been bringing me the oven mitt whenever I go near the oven or stove. She says "hot, hot" as she brings it to me, and she backs way up whenever I open the stove (sometimes all the way across the room). Every time she looks at my burn she makes a little crying sound (I didn't cry btw, but Guh-guh taught her to make a crying sound over hurts), and I tell her that its a burn and mommy is ok. Whenever O sees a mark on her leg from the elastic from her socks or panties, she thinks its a hurt and makes the same crying sound. I think we've finally convinced her that it doesn't hurt that its just a mark. Its pretty funny.
O calls all letters O, all numbers 2 (do), and all colors blue (boo). When you ask her how old she is she holds up both of her pointer fingers and says "do." I say "Slow down, girl. You are 1!" When you ask her her name she says "O." She also says "Ohhhhh" often when you tell her something that she didn't know. She picked this up on Christmas Eve when Elliott said "ohh" to something and she's been saying it ever since.
O still loves her milkies, and last night she tandem nursed her baby doll and monkey. It was very sweet. She no longer gets milkies during the night, which is very upsetting to her. We put a timer on her lamp, and we tell her that she can have milkies when the lamp comes on. When the lamp comes on she sits straight up in bed, claps, grins, and signs and says "milk, milk." O thoroughly enjoys helping out in the kitchen while in her Kitchen Helper. It is great because she can stand in it and see everything that I am doing even when it is something that she can't participate in (such as chopping carrots).

I Just Can't Believe It...

The UPS man just dropped off ANOTHER Kitchen Helper!!! I called last week to let Guidecraft know that a piece was missing off the 2nd KH that they sent, and they sent another KH. All I needed was a small metal piece, and they sent the whole thing. That company really cares about customer satisfaction. I will definitely buy Guidecraft products in the future!

Washing Windows

O loves to wash the windows with the window washing set that her Grandmother gave her for Christmas. Her technique isn't perfect, and she need assistance with the spray bottle, but she sure does have a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shape Puzzle

O enjoyed her shape puzzle on Monday. She can put the circles in quickly and easily, but the other shapes take a little more concentration and effort. We had a very busy Monday. We took a brief walk (it was cold and windy, so we came home quickly), played outside on O's slide, collected acorns, rocks, and twigs for the "I Spy" bottle I'm making, played with playdoh, colored, walked the line (well... I walked the line and O just kept falling in the wa-wa! She clearly doesn't get that the purpose is to NOT fall in the water! What a silly monkey.), transferred water with the sponge, did the straw activity, O helped wash dishes and cook breakfast and supper while in the Kitchen Helper, and we read at least 30 books. Phew!!! I was tired by the time dh got home!

Matching Animal Pictures

O and I had a great time matching animal pictures today. I was surprised that she caught on so quickly to the activity, and she REALLY enjoyed it. I made these cards using small calendars that I got for 50 cents after Christmas. I'm hoping to find a few more calenders to make some more matching cards since O had such a good time with the activity.

Swiffering the Floor

O loves to swiffer the floor, but it was difficult for her since the swiffer is so long. I was excited when I realized that if I took out the middle 2 sections that its the perfect length for her. Now she can swiffer as much as she likes!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Homemade Book

This is my favorite page.
I started working on this book for O about 3 months ago, but I got sidetracked by Christmas and just finished it. Its her favorite homemade book by far. I gave it to her yesterday afternoon, and we've already read it at least 15 times! Its based on a book by the same name that we checked out from the library that O absolutely loved. That book is based on the song by the same name. This is another book that we sing rather than read!

ABC Puzzle

I spent countless hours working on this puzzle for O for Christmas, but it was lots of fun. She wasn't too impressed when I gave it to her, but we had fun with it last night. I hope she'll enjoy it more as she gets older. Right now she just really wants to pull the toothbrush off! I still have to get a picture for Y. I've been looking for a good yo-yo picture, but now I think I'm going to try to get a picture of O yawning.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


O's screened porch playroom is suitable for playing again!!! We haven't played out there in a couple of months because the rice got wet and mildewed (and we were not here much in December). I finally found time to thoroughly wash the rice pit and the floor mats, and we rearranged everything and filled the rice pit. O was SO excited! She has had a great time playing out there today.

Friday's Activity

This was a very engrossing activity. O loved putting the golf tees into the playdoh, and she kept asking for more tees. I watched her very closely because I was afraid she would put the tees in her mouth. This is definitely not an activity that I will let her do independently.

Friday, January 11, 2008

O's Favorite Books

O loves this book! (We read it over and over and over again each day). Anyone who wears or nurses their baby or toddler should buy this book! It tells the stories of families across the world who wear their babies. O loves to look at the pictures and identify the parents as mama or daddy. She especially loves the pictures of the babies in slings who are nursing. She says "milk" while signing "milk" and looks lovingly at the picture. She calls the book "mama." I realize that she's not calling me when she keeps saying "mama" while searching for the book on the shelf. Sometimes she calls it, "Mama Back." This is a book that we are going to be reading for a long time. Thanks, Grandmother for this wonderful book!
Another favorite of O's is Puff the Magic Dragon. This is another book that we read (actually we don't read this book, we sing it!) over and over again. She calls this book "Buff." The illustrations are beautiful, and it comes with a cd with 4 songs. Thanks, Aunt Bobby for this beautiful book!

The Kitchen Helper

O's Guh-guh and Grandpa gave her a Kitchen Helper for Christmas, and I think its going to be another item that we use every day for years and years. We had a great time today using it while we baked cookies. O was at the counter with us participating every step of the way!

We've had a few problems with the kitchen helper so far. When I first put it together I realized that it was missing 4 screws. I called the company, and they told it would be a few weeks before they could send me the screws because the kitchen helper was out of stock. That was last week. Yesterday UPS dropped off a brand new Kitchen Helper. I was shocked! I expected them to mail me 4 screws not a new KH! While putting this one together I realized that it was also missing a piece, so I called to company today to let them know that this KH was not complete either. Their customer service department is great, but obviously they do not check these things too well before they ship them out. Dh was able to take a part off of the 1st KH to make the 2nd one complete, so we were able to use it today. Another issue with the KH is that the openings on the side make it very tempting for a toddler to climb up the side. O put her feet in the holes and was ready to climb, but we quickly stopped her and she hasn't done it again. I hope this won't be a problem. Even with these problems, I think the KH is a great addition to our household, and I am looking forward to using it every day. It will enable us to include O safely in so many more activities. I am looking forward to having her help me bake bread and cook supper on a regular basis. She'll also be able to have lots of fun having water play in the kitchen sink, and she'll be able to easily and safely help us unload the top rack of the dishwasher (she always wants to do this, but it was a little scary to put her in a chair so she could reach). Thanks Guh-guh and Grandpa for this great present!

Bilibos are Fun!

O loves her Bilibo that her Grandaddy gave her for Christmas. It is the greatest open ended toy. So far it has been a rocking chair, baby doll cradle, slide, hat, turtle shell, spinner, and a bowl. She plays with it every day, and I'm sure that we will have fun with it for years and years (I love toys that kids don't grow out of quickly!).

Homemade Puzzles

I made these photo puzzles for O using pics that were leftover from a book that I made her and parts of cardboard boxes. I decopauged the pics to the cardboard after cutting out the shapes. She had lots of fun with these puzzles, and I was glad to finally make them since I've been planning it for months!
I used the packing styrofoam from O's kitchen helper to make these shape puzzles. They were fun to do, but pretty messy and easy to break (she accidentally broke the triangle puzzle right after I took this picture). I think we'll play with these puzzles on the screened porch since we don't mind having tiny bits of styrofoam out there. After we are done with these puzzles, I plan to break them up and put them in the bottoms of my pots for my container garden in the spring.

Walking the Line

This activity came from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander. We had lots of fun balancing on this line as we walked acros with our arms outstretched. We pretended that the line was a bridge and the rug was water. O thought it was hilarious when dh, guh-guh,and I lost our balance and fell into the water, and she was anxious for her turn. She did a good job although she had difficulty staying on the line. Her favorite part was falling in the water. She called out "wa-wa" as she fell and then she laughed and laughed. I plan on showing her how to walk backwards on the line once she is good at walking forwards on it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tree Blocks

I'm FINALLY posting about the finished tree blocks! I didn't want to post without a picture, and I didn't have the blocks since I'd left them at my mom's house after Christmas. She brought them back today (along with TONS of other stuff), and we've had lots of fun with them. I think my mom and I may like them more than O does! They were simple to make, but took more time than I expected (that seems to be the way almost all homemade things go!). It didn't take too long to cut them, but sanding was a different story. I sanded them using an electric sander, and I sanded the ends and the edges. Then I vacuumed each of them to try to get as much dust and dirt off as possible. The last step was oiling the blocks with organic flax oil. This also took a while, but my mom pitched in to help me finish in time for Christmas. I made 4 sets which was a little much to make at one time, and none of the sets are very big. I need to add some longer pieces, but I ran out of wood. I'm sending the word out to my family that next time anyone cuts any trees or limbs to save them for me!

Wednesday's Activity

Today's new activity came from the book Mommy, Teach Me by Barbara Curtis. We had 2 bowls side by side. The bowl on the left side had water in it. The activity was to soak up the water from the bowl on the left with a sponge and squeeze the sponge out over the bowl on the right until the bowl on the left is empty and the bowl on the right is full. We had lots of fun with this activity, and O needed lots of prompting to squeeze the sponge over the right bowl. She LOVED squeezing the sponge, and she made the funniest face when she was wringing out all the water.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuesday's Activity

Everytime I ask O if she wants to do a new activity, she gets VERY excited. This was our activity for today:
I'm not sure what to call it, but I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs- LaPaz Home Learning. I bought a sugar dispenser (?) from the Dollar Tree and put some cut up straws in a small cup. I showed O how to put the straws in the the glass. I thought she would be too young for this activity, but she was able to do it with no problem, and she absolutely loved it. She was very focused and stayed on task almost the whole time I was cooking dinner. She was very excited to show her daddy when he got home from work. Instead of jumping into his arms for a hug, she pointed to her table and took him to show him her activity. What a proud girl!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Learning to Cut a Banana

O had her 1st lesson in cutting a banana today. She was excited about the banana which is one of her favorite food, and she preferred to just grab chunks of it and stuff it in her mouth. However, she did a pretty good job of cutting it with her knife, and she loved putting the pieces in our cereal bowls.

Velcro Board

O loves her velcro board that I made last night. She says, "off, off, off" the whole time she is pulling things off of it. She needed a little help because she wasn't holding the board down with one hand while pulling an object with the other hand, so she just couldn't get the objects off. I think this is going to be a fun activity for a while (I hope).

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Art Activity

I'm trying to do more arts and crafts activities with O, and this was what we did on Friday. My boss gave me a glass Christmas platter with a raised scene, so we did a crayon rubbing of the scene. It would have turned out better if I had taped the paper to the platter, but we still had lots of fun, and O was very proud to show her art to her daddy when he got home from work.

She Loves to Cook and Clean!

O was so proud to help Elliott make cinnamon toast for breakfast this morning, and I was so proud of how he set things up to make it easy for her to be involved. Maybe he should be the Montessori homeschooling mommy!
O was so excited to try out her cousin, Margaret's iron and ironing board. I was shocked that she knew just what to do because we NEVER iron. My mom reminded me that O has probably seen us ironing fabric while we were making the quilt. Otherwise, she has never seen an iron in use!
We got O this kitchen set to use with her kitchen helper that her Guh-guh and Grandpa gave her for Christmas. Unfortunately, the kitchen helper is missing a few screws, and the company, Guidecraft, says it will be a few weeks before they can send them - Grrr! I'm sure that the kitchen helper is going to be wonderful once we can finally use it!

Spooning Activity

We're starting to do more Montessori type activities, and this was our first spooning exercise. I decided to use cheerios since I wouldn't have to worry about O choking on them. I was pretty sure that she would spend more time eating them than scooping them, and I was right. She was thrilled to put a big spoonful of cheerios in her mouth, but she also did a good job transferring them to the other bowl. Check out my new tray- I got it from the thrift store for a dollar, and I really like it. I think it will be perfect for our Montessori tray activities.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This poor, neglected blog

I have really neglected this blog lately, but I think I'll do better in the new year. We've only been home for just a few days at a time since December 1, so O's homeschool has been on hold. We've done lots of traveling, and O really enjoyed her 1st cruise. Since December 1 we've gone to Charleston, Columbia, St. Matthews, Orangeburg, Grand Cayman, Key West, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Florence, Lake City, Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Surfside, etc. O is one traveling baby!!! We have had a fantastic month of traveling and Christmas fun, but we are ready to get back into our routine. We have lots of new activities to add to our homeschool thanks to the generosity of our family and Santa Claus. I have lots of things that I'll be working on for O's homeschool, including: phonics pouches, 3 part cards and holders, velcro block and velcro toys, cardboard puzzles, etc. (I'm hoping that listing these things here will help me stay motivated to get them made.) Elliott bought me a laminator for Christmas which I am super excited about. You know you are a homeschooling mommy when all you want for Christmas are a few homeschooling books and a laminator!