Chasing Cheerios

Monday, March 31, 2008

Learning to Pour

Look at that concentration!

O practiced pouring today using popcorn kernals. She did a great job, and she absolutely loved it! After pouring the kernals into the bowl, she poured them back into the pitcher using a funnel. This was so much fun! She was very focused on this work for quite a while.

Crocodile Rocker

We gave O a Crocodile Rocker game from Hearthsong for Easter. To play the game you roll the dice and then choose a piece that matches the color on the dice. Then you balance the piece on the crocodile. O is a little young to understand exactly how to play the game. We take turns putting the pieces on the crocodile. We talk about the colors and build tall towers with the pieces. O likes to turn the crocodile right side up to make a little "ouse" for the pieces (she into "ouses" these days). She also puts the crocodile on her head and calls him a "at."

Displaying O's Artwork

I am so happy that we FINALLY have some of O's artwork hung up in our den. I've had one painting framed for more than a month, but I couldn't find matching frames. We finally found them, and we now have 6 of O's paintings framed in our den. They look great and O is so proud! She even helped hammer in the nails and hang the paintings. She kept complaining of the hammering being too "oud," so I held her ears for her while she and dada hammered.

O's Cardboard Chair

I got the idea for making a chair out of cardboard boxes from Family Fun magazine. I couldn't find the magazine when I finally had the boxes I needed, so I didn't follow the directions exactly, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. I hot glued the boxes together (after filling them with leftover packing styrofoam to strengthen them) and decopaged wrapping paper onto them. It was a litte tedious to place all of the strips of wrapping paper on the box. Luckily, my mom helped because I was getting a little bored with it. After it dried, I put a layer of mod podge over the entire chair, let it dry, then did a 2nd layer of mod podge. I thought about involving O in the process, but she showed no interest in it, and I'm pretty sure that she would have just wanted to tear the paper :) For some reason, O thought she should go night-night in the chair. She kept saying night-night while trying to sit sideways. She pushed at the sides and said "move." I think she wanted it to be a couch :)
*After reading this post, my mom said she is pretty sure that O was trying to make the chair recline since it resembles the recliners at her house. Also, O has seen Guh-guh sit sideways on the recliner. O's grandpa had a great idea...I should make an ottoman for O's chair. I'm putting it on my list!

Egg Carton Fun

Egg cartons are great for sorting. Today O got her egg carton off her shelf and put shells in it. She was very engrossed in this work. I prompted her to take the shells out and put them back in the basket after she was finished. She counted as she put them back...2, 3, 4, 6, 9. For some reason she refuses to say 1 :) See Montessori Mama's blog for more fun things to do with egg cartons.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Love Fuzzi Bunz!

A friend from a mommy site that I am a member of sold me 15 Fuzzi Bunz diapers and inserts for 36 dollars!!! I am still in shock! They are used, but are in PERFECT condition. She found them at a thrift store for 1 dollar each for the diapers and inserts, and she was kind and generous enough to sell them for what she paid for them (plus shipping). Five are mediums, so we can use those for O now since she still wears a diaper at naptime and nighttime, and the other 10 are smalls that we'll use with our next baby. When O was a newborn, we primarily used prefold diapers since we were new to cloth diapering and didn't know which cloth diapers we'd like best (and we didn't to spend a ton of money, since everyone said I wouldn't stick with it...wrong!) I love cloth diapering, and I honestly can't imagine using anything else (although we did use disposables on and beach vacations where we did not have access to a washer and dryer). I am so excited that we won't have to use prefolds with our next baby. Although they weren't that difficult to use, fuzzi bunz are much easier, and they are not as bulky. Thanks, Victoria!!! O was a little surprised when I spread the diapers out for a picture, and she insisted on being in the picture!

Jan Brett Matching Cards

Thanks to Mom over at What Do We Do All Day? for this idea! I printed these animal matching cards from Jan Brett's website last night and laminated them this morning for O. She was feeling a little fussy and overtired when I first showed them to her, but she cheered up when she saw the picture of the "orse." She rode a horse at an Easter party last Saturday, so she's into horses these days. We had fun matching the cards, and we are looking forward to matching them again soon. I think O will also like matching 3d animals to the cards. Since she enjoys matching so much I have plans for a few more homemade matching games- mommy/baby matching using pictures of animals and mommies and babies that we know and a family and friends matching game (thanks for the idea Auntie EB). The family and friends matching game will be great because it will help O remember family and friends that we don't see very often. I think that I'll use 2 different pictures of each person instead of an exact match to make it more challenging and fun for her.

Felt Cookies

Since O will be getting a kitchen set for her 2nd birthday in July, I decided to go ahead and start making felt food for her. I had a great time making these cookies (with my mom's help because I CANNOT do a decent blind stitch!), and they were super easy to make (except for the blind stitch). O doesn't get to eat cookies very often. In fact, I think she's only had one chocolate cookie in her life, but I know she'll love pretending to eat them. Next on my list to make are fried eggs, pancakes, bow tie pasta, ravioli, linguine, cheese quesadilla, cupcakes, carrots, carrot slices, banana slices, bread, tomato slices, lettuce, cheese, etc. I think all of those foods will be fairly easy to make and then maybe I'll branch out to the more difficult items. If anyone has any experience making felt food, I need all the suggestions and advice I can get. I found a few pictures and patterns on Crafster that I'll use as inspiration, and I'll also look at pictures of felt food at Etsy for ideas.

We're Home!

O and I are finally home after more than a week away. We had a GREAT time at her Grandmama and Grandpa's house, but we are glad to be back. O was super excited to see her daddy, our cat, and her toys and books. I'm ready to get back into our routine!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Color Matching

My mom has a fun game where you match different colored bears to dots on a card. I thought O would love it since she loves to match, and she loves dots. She matched one or two bears before getting bored and moving onto the next thing. We'll try again tomorrow to see if she is more interested in the task.

Our Doll Family

Here they are! Dada, O, and Mama. O has had lots of fun playing with them. She wore Mama and O in her back in the sling, and she had O get her milkies from Mama. Very cute!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No Spill Bubbles

I gave O some no spill bubbles for a late Easter present. She's had fun being able to be more independent with blowing bubbles. (I usually don't let her hold the bottle because I don't want her to spill it and waste it). Now she can carry the bottle around and blow bubbles independently, and she's practicing her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while she has fun!

Sewing Dolls

I was inspired by the beautiful dolls made by JojoEbi and decided that dolls would be a great Spring Break project. After I made the first doll (with my mom's help, since I am a novice), I decided that O would LOVE to have a family of dolls. Today we worked on the Dada and O dolls and finished the Mama doll. My sister was excited about the dolls, and she quickly made one for her daughter. Hopefully, I'll have a pic tomorrow. We've had a great time making them and working together. My mom, sister, and I all have different things that we like about sewing, so its good that we can work as a team. We are going to try to have monthly sewing/craft days.

Spontaneous Matching

O has really been matching everything lately. She had a monkey book and a small plastic chimpanzee in her Easter basket, and when she took the chimpanzee out of the egg she put it up to the book and said "match." Last night when we were reading a book, O noticed that the baby bear in the book had a cup. O was also holding her cup, so she put her cup against the picture of the cup and said "match." Today while I was sewing with my mom, O got out her playdoh and picked up a playdoh container with an orange lid. She said "orange, match," and she ran to match it to an orange key on her little piano. At my sister's house, she matched felt to thread. I LOVE this! Its so cute, and I don't want to forget any of it. I'm so glad that I have this blog to keep track of things.

Slicing Eggs

O was so excited to slice a boiled egg for her breakfast this morning using her Grandma's egg slicer. The whole time I was peeling and rinsing her egg, she kept saying "egg, egg, egg..." She loved being independent and cutting it "all by herself." I hope we can find our egg slicer when we get home!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Break

Regular readers may have noticed that things are a little slow on Chasing Cheerios this week. O and I are on Spring Break, and we are at her grandparents house for the week. We had a wonderful Easter (its my favorite holiday). She's been having a great time playing with her cousin, and I have a few activities planned (I'm just not sure if we'll get to them). Hopefully, I'll get to update the blog at least a few times this week :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mama's Milk

Sorry for another book review, but I wanted to share this beautiful book, too. Mama's Milk shows beautiful pictures of mamas (animals and human) nursing their babies accompanied by rhyming text. O loves to see the pictures and says "mulk" lovingly as we read. She especially likes the picture of the mama nursing the baby in bed while the daddy sleeps. Its a great book, especially for nursing mamas to read to their little nurslings :)

Vincent's Colors

O's grandmother recently gave her several books, and this is one of our favorites. The text is from Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother about his paintings. I love that O is being exposed to "real" art. She loves to label all of the people in the paintings as either "mama" or "dada." We enjoy talking about the different colors and objects in the paintings. She likes the paintings of flowers, and she likes to sniff them. Its a great book that we just wanted to share!

O's Easel

O's grandmother recently gave her an easel that belonged to O's Uncle William when he was a little boy. We put it in her porch playroom today, and she enjoyed painting on it with water. She's still a little short for it, but she seemed to really enjoy herself (and after yesterday we are keeping all water play outside for a while). I was glad to see that it has a chalkboard side (although I'm not especially fond of chalk), so that she can paint with water on it. For a great post on easels look here. The comments were especially interesting. Thanks, Grandmother, for sharing William's easel with us!

Painting with Gumballs

I've been wanting to paint with gumballs ever since we painted with marbles and today seemed like a good day to give it a try. I poured the paint into 2 bowls, and O dropped a gumball into each bowl. We shook the bowl around to coat the gumball with paint, and then O poured the gumball into the box.

Then we shook the box around (our piece of paper was in the bottom) to move the gumball around.

Here is the finished product. Its not nearly as nice as the marble painting, but it was fun!

After we finished the first painting, O enjoyed dipping the gumball into the paint and dotting the paper with it. She also painted with a stick for a while. It was great to paint outside!

20 Months old!

My O baby is 20 months old! It seems like every month goes by faster than the last. She'll be 2 before I know it :(

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom

We have really enjoyed reading Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom this week. Its such a fun book to read. O loves to look at all of the letters on the pages before the story begins. The first time we looked at the letters, she quickly pointed to the Os and said "O." Then she pointed to the lowercase o and said "baby." She then pointed to the capital O and said "mama." The most surprising thing was when she pointed to the D and said "dada." I thought it was just a coincidence, but she points to the D every time we read the book and says "dada."

Dyeing Easter Eggs

We had lots of fun dyeing Easter eggs after supper tonight. O was fascinated, and we made quite a mess. She especially loved stirring up the dye and lifting the eggs out of the mugs.

After we finished dyeing the eggs, we did some fingertip painting with the leftover dye. O dipped her fingers (well, her whole hands really) in the mugs and them made dots on a paper towel and baby wipe. She said "dot, dot, dot" as she made dots (the girl loves dots).

Too Much Water

O had a great time playing with water today. She soaked it up with a sponge and then squeezed it out, and she drank the water from the measuring cup.

Then she decided it would be a good idea to pour the ENTIRE container of water over her head and all over everything. There were about 2 gallons of water in the container and all of it headed towards the lowest part of the room which is behind the refrigerator. I just found out that it even leaked through the ceiling downstairs. Hmmm. Maybe we'll play with water on the deck from now on.

Bowling Fun

I've had the containers for a while intending to use them as terrariums. As you can see that hasn't happened yet, so I thought they'd make for a fun bowling game. O and I are not so good at bowling. We threw beanbags at the bottles and rolled a ball at them. As you can see from the pictures, O's aim is way off when she threw the beanbags. Unfortunately, my aim was not much better when I rolled the ball at the bottles (or maybe I'll blame it on our uneven floor!).

Everything has its Place...

And if its in the wrong place, O will tell you about it. In this picture she is pointing at a chair that had fallen over and was in the wrong place. She's saying "uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh," which she continued to say until I stood the chair upright and put it back where it belonged. What a funny girl!

Easter Egg Hunt

O and I had an Easter Egg Hunt this morning since it is such a beautiful day. She didn't understand why I was spreading her eggs all around the yard, and she was a little upset about it. Once we started looking for them and putting them in her basket, she really enjoyed herself.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Open Book

I've been tagged by my blogging Mama friend at Montessori Mama to blog on an "Open Book Meme."
These are the instructions:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open it at page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence/ phrase.
4. Blog the next four sentences/ phrases together with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig your shelves for that very special or intellectual book.
6. Pass it forward to six friends

Here it is:

Sing to the tune of This Old Man as you sprinkle:
Sprinkle time, sprinkle time,
Now its time for sprinkle time.
With a shake, shake, shakey shake...

Can you tell I had a book filled with toddler activities right next to me when I did this? How predictable... I tag:

Shannon's Sharings
Walk Beside Me
A Gypsy Caravan
Raising Maisy
Let's Explore

At the Children's Museum

I love taking O to children's museums, but we live about an hour and a half from them. We went
to visit some friends who live only 10 minutes from the museum, so we knew we had to visit. We had a great time.

O loved playing with the boats in the water.

She chose only fruits and vegetables for her groceries! Yay, O!

We spent a few minutes painting.

I love this chalkboard wall where the kids can paint with water. I wish I had a place in my house where I could put a large chalk board for water painting.

Driving the shrimp boat with a friend.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Learning to Steer

O is learning to steer our pedal boat, and she is SO proud! Now that the weather is nice, we are looking forward to daily pedal boat rides on the lake.

ABC Puzzle and Book

I bought this ABC puzzle/book about 4 years ago (so about 2 years before she was born!). We had fun matching the letters to the correct places in the book and labeling the pictures. O loved the picture of the baby, and she kept saying "baby" the whole time we were playing. Lots of fun!

A Matching Game

The idea for this matching game from Games to Play with Toddlers by Jackie Silberg. I traced around several of O's toys with a pencil onto a notecard. Then I outlined it using a black Sharpie pen. I put the objects in a drawstring bag (from IKEA) and spread the cards out in front of O. As she reaches into the bag to pull out an object we say "Abracadabra, 1,2,3. Reach in the bag. What do you see?" She pulls out an object and matches it to the correct card. LOTS of fun! It was also quick and simple to put together :) Next time we play, I'll have her close her eyes while she reaches into the bag to make it a little more exciting. Another variation is to give her one card at a time and have her feel around in the bag until she finds the correct object. I may also expand on this game by taking pictures of some of her small toys and printing them out for her to match the object to. A similar game was posted about on Z Recommends. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On and Off

This is another activity from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander. I had a small basket of about 6 or 7 rubber bands. I showed O how to put one on the door knob, and she was ready to do it herself! O LOVED this activity. It was quick and fun! Once she put all of the bands on the door knob, she took them off and put them back into the basket. This activity develops -skill in following directions -an awareness of stretchable materials -an awareness of "on" and "off" -problem solving -independence -eye-hand coordination

Spools and Straws

For this activity I put a small amount of playdoh in a bowl to hold up the straw. Then I showed O how to put the spools on the straw. She was very anxious to try it herself, and she liked the activity a little bit. It would have worked better if I'd had clay to hold the straw because the playdoh didn't hold it very well. I may also use packing styrofoam (from our recent Montessori purchases) to hold the straw up next time we do this activity. After O realized that the pink stuff in the bowl was playdoh, she was much more interested in playing with it instead of putting the spools on the straw :)

Put the Fish in the Boat

This activity came from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander. I cut the top off of an envelope to make a boat and cut several fish from construction paper for O to put in the boat. The child is supposed to pick up the fish and put them in the boat which will require the child to separate the envelope to slip the fish in. We talked about the colors of the fish. She called them all boo and ed (blue and red), but she did finally say orange after some prompting. O was a little frustrated by this activity (it was difficult to separate the envelope), and I think we'll wait until she's a little older (or in a better mood!) to try it again.

This activity develops:
- skill in picking up a flat object
- eye-hand coordination
- problem solving
- confidence
- independence
- language interaction

Friday, March 14, 2008

Easter Egg Work

My mom brought O a basket of Easter eggs when she came to keep her this week. Here is one of many activities we've done with the Easter eggs. We talk about the colors of the eggs, count the eggs, and talk about the concepts of open and closed. O likes to put the small eggs into the larger eggs, and then she loves to shake the eggs until she finds one with a smaller egg in it. Opening the eggs is also fun, but its not so easy to close them :)

Putting Cards in a Box

This fun and simple idea (that I would never have thought of myself) came from Jeremiah at Z Recommends. Thanks, Jeremiah! I turned a box upside down, cut a slit in it, and showed O how to slip the cards in it. She had a great time! She was very proud to show her daddy when he came upstairs to play.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Everything is a Hat

Everything is a hat even an Easter Basket. She also puts bowls on her head and calls them "ats." The girl loves hats!