Chasing Cheerios

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I presented O with a basket of items to open and shut. She was very interested, and she liked the ring box the best. She said "ope, shut" the whole time she was doing this work. For some strange reason, she does not like to clean up after this work (she usually puts things back with no problem and actually enjoys putting things in their places). She'd rather leave the items scattered on her rug while she goes off to play with something else. Obviously, that's not acceptable. Hopefully, she'll do better with this tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Unplug Your Kids: Birds

The unplugged project this week is birds. We do lots of bird watching around here, so this was the perfect theme for us.
O is counting with her bird wall cards.
On Friday we took the pedal boat over to check on Mother Goose and her eggs. We were hoping that she would stand up, so that we could see her eggs, but she didn't. You can see the goose in the top left hand corner of the picture. O is pointing at her.
It was a breezy, cool morning, but it was sunny and beautiful. Elliott found several bird calls (and deer calls) in the garage, so we sat on a blanket and tried to call birds to us. They didn't fall for it! We could see geese in the distance, and a mother duck and her 6 ducklings swam by, but they wouldn't come close. Although the mother duck did pause when I blew on one of the calls. I don't know which call is which, so she probably thought I was a deer :)

O crushed stale bread to spread around for the songbirds.
O kept calling "geese, geese, bread, bread," while throwing bread to them, but they weren't interested.


O and I are making a color book similar to the ones in this post, and today the color was pink. I'm going to try to take a few pictures a week, so hopefully we'll finish the book relatively soon. The cat in the photos showed up at our house almost 2 weeks ago, and she has decided that we are her family. She is the friendliest cat I have EVER seen. O had fun trying to get the cat to blow bubbles!

Our 1st Weekly Pizza Night

I really don't like to cook, and the thing I dislike most about it is figuring out what to cook (my mom always said this when I was a kid, and I thought it was just silly. Now I understand). I decided that a weekly pizza night would be a fun way to get O involved in cooking while providing me with a great idea for a healthy supper. Thanks for the idea, Mom and Kiddo from the blog, What do we do all day?
We used our bread machine to make the pizza dough yesterday. I've been feeling guilty about not using my bread machine lately, so I was thrilled to use it again. We used whole wheat flour along with all purpose flour to make the pizza a little healthier than usual. O loved pouring in the ingredients and mixing.
I struggled to roll out the dough for a LONG time. O was very patient, but she did leave for a little while to go cut her wooden food. I coaxed her back with the promise that she could paint the dough with olive oil. Obviously, I did something wrong (I really had no idea what I was doing)! The dough was crumbly and almost impossible to roll.
O stuffed more cheese into her mouth than made it onto the pizza.
She also stuffed lots of veggies in her mouth. I didn't mind :)
Here it is! We put onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, brocolli, and organic cheese on it. It looks a little crazy, but it tasted great. I think we'll make another pizza tomorrow because I have more of all of the ingredients that I need to use before they go bad.

O's 1st Painting on Canvas

O painted on a canvas for the 1st time today. Yay! I was much more excited than she was :) She started by making continuous circles while saying "o, o, o." Then she made some dots and put her hand in the paint and attempted to paint around it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Crushing Cheerios

O used the mortar and pestle to crush Cheerios. Today was the 1st time, we've used it and she did a good job. She needed some help to crush the Cheerios, but she enjoyed trying to crush them:) I then poured them into her organic applesauce (the mortar and pestle is made of stone, and its too heavy for O to lift). She enjoyed mixing the Cheerios into her applesauce. She loves to mix and says "mix" all the time :)

Matching Art Cards

I ordered Child-size Master Pieces by Aline D. Wolf for myself for my birthday, and I finally finished cutting and laminating the cards last night. O matched the Step 1 cards today. She was very excited when I was laying the cards out, and she kept saying "match, match." We then talked about the different pictures- colors, objects, etc.

Our Busy Day

This is what we did today. It was a busy day despite the fact that this mama is sick! Bleh! I hate being sick. O keeps looking at me saying "sick" then she tells me to drink "tea" because she knows that hot tea makes me feel better. She is just getting over the same illness, and she's been quite a grouch lately :( I can't wait until we are both better. We are so rarely sick that we don't quite know how to handle it!
She loves this work and is always so focused while doing it.
Stringing beads
Putting rubber bands on the doorknob. This is a favorite activity which requires lots of concentration. I LOVE to see her totally focused on the task at hand. O's hair is in her 1st ponytail! After putting the rubber bands on the door knob, she took them off and put them on her wrist. She was proud of her bracelets. It also tooks lots of time and concentration to get the rubber bands on her wrist.

Coloring with Markers

O had a great time coloring with markers in her new, thrift store coloring book (it cost me 49 cents!). I love it because the pages are wipe-off, so we can use it for years!
After coloring for a bit (mainly making dots!), she decided it would be more fun to color her toes:)

Too Easy

When cleaning out a few under the bed boxes yesterday, I came across this ring holder. I thought it would make a fun activity for O. I showed her how to put the small hairbands on the ring holder and push them down, then she had her turn. This was much too easy for her, and we won't do it again. I wish I'd thought of this a few months ago :(

Toothpick Work

This is a variation on the toothpick work we've done in the past. Before we used a parmesan cheese shaker which had much bigger holes. O enjoyed putting toothpicks in the container. This time we used an actual toothpick dispenser. The holes are much smaller, so it required more concentration and fine motor control. O did great and she really enjoyed it. She also enjoyed taking the lid off and putting all of the toothpicks in the jar that way :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bear Puzzle

O has had a good time playing with her bear puzzle lately. Its been in the toy closet for a while because she used to spend more time chewing on it rather than playing with it :) We talked about emotions and colors while doing this activity.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Brown Bear I Spy Bottle

I made an I Spy bottle for O to go along with the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? I got the idea from here. Thanks Shannon for the link to that site. Its full of great ideas! I used lentils instead of rice since O already has a rice I Spy bottle. For this activity we read the book and after we read each page we look for the animal on that page. I kept saying "Green frog, green frog. Where are you?" O wasn't too interested at first (she just wanted to shake and open the bottle), but she became more interested as a I called to the animals asking where they were.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

Since I go to the thrift store every Thursday, I've decided to do a Thrifty Thursday post each week just because writing about my thrift store finds makes me happy :) Today I bought 2 loaves of bread (whole wheat for us, white for the ducks and geese), 3 small baskets for Montessori work, and a vintage ABC board book all for $2.69. I donated 2 comforters, about 10 books, and a lamp. I'm relieved that I donated more than I bought! Hopefully, I'll have time to find another bag of things to donate for next week.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Lentil Tray

When I saw the lentil tray at Lapaz Home Learning, I knew I wanted to make one for O. I finally got everything together and introduced it to her yesterday. She had lots of fun (and didn't make too much of a mess). She called the lentils babies. She calls every small thing either baby or niney (tiny). Scoops are surprisingly hard to find, and we are thankful to Auntie EB for giving us one of her scoops from her wedding favors table. Thanks, EB!

Color Box 1

Yay! We did the color box 1 today using the color tablets downloaded from Jojo Ebi's Lulu Shop. I am VERY happy with how they turned out. This was a very easy work for O since she master matcher :) I'm looking forward to introducing the 2nd box tomorrow or Friday. I also need to do a three part lesson with yellow since she's not saying the word reliably.

Goodbye Floor Bed :(

O has slept on a floor bed since she was around 7 months old. After our trip to California, we moved her to the guest room bed since she slept so well on that trip. She has slept so much better, so we decided that its time for a real bed. My mom brought the bed tonight, and I hope we'll get it set up tomorrow. Its going to take up a lot more room than the floor bed, so I don't how we are going to arrange things. Hopefully, we'll be able to figure it out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day O and I have decided that we will start picking up litter every time we take a walk. Elliott and I used to do this all of the time, but we've gotten slack since O was born, and its time we started again. O loved being the trash spotter. She pointed and called out "tash, tash" whenever she saw trash, and I picked it up and sorted it into either a trash bag or a recyclables bag. I am always astounded by the amount of litter on our road. We live about 15 minutes from the nearest town, and I guess people think its ok to litter on a country road. It's not!!! Its disgusting and despicable. We hope that if we keep the road clean, that people will stop littering. Maybe if they don't see the litter, they won't think its an ok thing to do. Its worth a try.
We have another Earth Day project planned for this afternoon after Elliott gets home...We are going to try to catch tadpoles! I'm very excited about this. I just hope that we can find some tadpoles. The frog population in our lake has decreased drastically in the last few years, so we are hoping that if we raise the tadpoles until they are frogs and then release them that it will help the population to grow. It will also be a fun learning experience for all of us.

Unplug Your Kids: Scissors

This week's unplugged theme is scissors. At first I thought O might be a little too young for scissors (21 months), but then I decided to give it a try. Elliott bought a pair of child safe scissors last night on his way home from work (Thanks, Elliott!), and O was very excited when she saw them this morning. I rolled out a playdoh snake and showed her how to cut it. She was excited and said "O, O,O" which is what she says when she's ready for her turn. We rolled a snake for her, and I handed her the scissors. She had a great time pressing them into the playdoh and trying to maneuver them. We have a LONG way to go before she is proficient with scissors, and I'm glad that we started now. We had a great time!

Monday, April 21, 2008

We Love Gorillas

I've always been fascinated with apes, and I think O might share my fascination. She loved watching the gorillas when we went to the zoo on Sunday. I could have watched them all day, and I think O could have, too. Elliott, however, was not that interested :)

O's Mini Museum

I got the idea to have a mini museum for O's treasures from one of my library books. The book suggested collecting small milk cartons and cutting the tops off then fitting the boxes into a shoebox. As I was reading I remembered these letter press boxes that Elliott gave me years ago to put my small shells again (obviously I never got around to it). We found the boxes in the garage, and they worked perfectly for O's mini museum. This is the bigger of the 2 boxes. O loved arranging her leaves, rocks, acorns, and gumballs on the small shelves. We are going to have lots of fun finding new objects for her museum each day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

What is your favorite Montessori material?

I'm thinking of buying a few more Montessori items, and I'm wondering what other mamas consider as "must haves." We love the knobbed cylinders, but O is a little young for a lot of the other things I've bought. I want to have sandpaper letters, but I can't decide whether to buy them or make them. I think I can make them fairly easily, but I don't know where to find the board to put them on. I also want the red rods, and I know they would be easy to make but I'm not sure if it would be cost effective to make them since I can buy them for $25. Any input is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Loving the Thrift Store

I bought 8 books, 1 shirt, 1 dress type outfit (both for O), and a basket for $3.72! Yay for thrift stores! I also dropped off a bag of stuff we don't need. I'm going to try to take a bag of stuff to donate each week. That way I won't feel so bad about buying things.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Matching

Are you tired of reading matching posts yet? This is the last one for a while, I promise! I bought this set of Go Fish cards for O to match since its animal mamas and babies. O LOVES to label everything as mama and baby. She even calls our big tomato plant mama and the little one baby. She really loves these cards and was totally focused (despite the upside down sunglasses) on the activity. She looked closely at each card before matching it. After she finished she said "mama, baby, milk" and put the 2 cards together face to face so the baby could nurse. Then she swung them back and forth and said "rock, rock." She such a nurturer!

I Spy Matching Game

I bought this I Spy Preschool Game for my 3 year old niece for Christmas, and she really enjoyed it for about a week. By then she had it memorized, and it no longer offered a challenge. Since O loves to match, I thought I'd try it with her. I suspected that she was too young to do the game since its for ages 3 to 6 years, but I decided that it wouldn't hurt to try. I put out 3 cards and handed her a matching card one at a time. The first time we did it she got all of them right, and I was very surprised. Today we did the game again, and she barely looked at the cards and she didn't match any of them correctly. She obviously wasn't into it. Then she decided that Niney (Tiny) wanted to match. She held Niney's hand and had her match the cards. Niney matched them all correctly! It was so funny. O LOVES Niney, and she goes with us everywhere!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Unplug Your Kids: Food

I'm a little late posting this I think, but the unplugged theme this week is food. We weren't very creative, but we had fun! We made peanut butter cookies while we were at my mom's house this weekend. O had fun learning how to make criss crosses on the cookies with a fork, and the cookies were delicious. It was a special treat for O since her mommy and daddy typically do not let her eat sweets.

Feeding O's Matching Obsession

Since O loves to match, I'm always looking for matching cards. This weekend I found Brainy Baby Wild Animal cards at Fred's for $1.50. I bought 2 sets so she could match them, and she's really enjoyed it. The cards are super sturdy, and I hope they'll last a while. I'm also going to try to find some small animal figurines for her to match to the cards.
I also bought these puzzle cards by School Zone. There are 3 cards that the child puts together to make a picture. I put the 1st 2 together and handed O the 3rd card for her to match. (she was sitting directly across from me, but moved to the side while we were working)

Playing the Harmonica

O loves to play the harmonica!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Great Puppy Rescue and other Fun Stuff

Blogging and homeschool activities have been put on hold this week while we tried to tame and catch 8 puppies that have shown up in our yard. We think that the mama dog was abandoned by her owners before the puppies were born, and they have been living wild on our street since they were born. My siser and niece came to visit, and they were determined to see the elusive puppies, so we found them and started coaxing them over to us. They gradually lost some of their fear, and we caught 2 of them and sent them home with my sister. O and I spent hours on Friday talking softly and sweetly to them while shaking food bowls and gradually moving the food bowls closer to us. They wouldn't get closer than about 10 feet to us, but that was progress. Today Elliott managed to catch 4 more puppies, and he brought them to my sister's house (she has a fenced in yard, and we do not. She also has several friends who may be interested in adopting the puppies). O has gone from being scared to walk in the yard (she's afraid of the dogs and she's very afraid of stepping in "doggie boop") to shaking the food bowl while calling "doggie eat food!" We plan on spending most of the next 2 days hanging out in my sister's backyard trying to tame the dogs before going home on Monday or Tuesday.
While we waited on Elliott to bring the 4 dogs, we walked down to a children's festival near my sister's house. O was tempted to try out the jumping thing, but she decided not to at the last minute. There were too many wild children running around! O and my niece, Marg, enjoyed a snow cone with no flavoring! It was just plain ice, but they thought it was DELICIOUS!
We ended our day with a bike ride around the block. My dad planned on buying O a tricycle for her 2nd birthday, but when I told my sister that plan she said that we could just borrow Marg's tricycle since Marg has almost outgrown it. O was super excited, and I love the handlebars. Its great to be able to push her comfortably on the tricycle. We are going to have LOTS of fun with this tricycle. Thanks, Marg and Mem! (and thanks to Grandaddy for buying Marg this great tricycle for her birthday years ago!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Reader

I heard O reading to herself and this is what I found when I came into the room. Can you see what she is reading? Its Teaching Montessori in the Home by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. I guess she wanted to find out what we'll be working on next :)

Planting Seeds

After we finished making our terrarium, O and I planted seeds in our egg carton. We got the idea from here. Hopefully, we'll have some tiny basil and lavender sprouts in a few weeks!

O's Terrarium

1st we spooned the rocks into the bottom of the jar. Then we added a layer of ground charcoal. Next we added a layer of spaghum moss (sp).
The next step involves putting a layer of soil into the jar. We put to much! Oops!
O lost interest after we finished putting in the soil. She went to rearrange the herbs in our herb garden while I put the plants in the jar. Unfortunately, one of our plants was too tall :( She came back to help when it was time to water the plants. She was a little overenthusiastic, and the plants may die due to overwatering!
Here is our finished terrarium. O really liked putting the rocks, stick, and animals in the jar. Do you see the gorrilla hiding in the leaves and the lizard peeking out from under the log?