Chasing Cheerios

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Feet

I have a weakness for baby shoes, and I was excited to find these sweet shoes at the 2nd hand shop for about a dollar. O was even more excited since they look a little like ballet shoes, and O LOVES to dance (which means that "baby sister" loves to dance, too, of course!).

Another Handmade Gift For Grandparents

We try to make all of the gifts for O and E's grandparents since handmade gifts are the best, especially for grandparents :) Canvases painted by O are much loved gifts that are easy to make, and O is always so proud to give the gift of her artwork.

O used washable tempera paint (the paint she uses at her easel) and painted on a 5 X 7 canvas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A List Poem Gift

O's Grandaddy Harry had a birthday recently, and O wrote a list poem for him. She adores her Grandaddy Harry, and she was excited to write a poem for him. I typed as she dictated the poem to me. She was ready to stop after the first 6 lines, so I asked her a couple of leading questions to help her think of a few more lines. She chose the color for the words, and I printed the poem for her to illustrate. We framed the poem, and she was SO proud to give it to her Grandaddy.

The idea for writing list poems came from Amy at Let's Explore. We've enjoyed writing several list poems over the last month, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of O's poems in the future. (The clothes pin in the picture is covering O's name).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Montessori Baby Toys

If you're looking for the perfect gift for your Montessori baby, this is it!
These sweetly simple Montessori baby toys are sold in a set by Pinkhouse Handworks, and we were so pleased when Janice agreed to send us a set to review. The toys are from or inspired by the Assistant to Infancy Montessori training for ages 0 to 3.

The 5 toys included in this set are a crocheted rattle, interlocking discs, wooden grasping beads, egg and cup, and peg and cup. The toys are intended for babies ages 3 months and up, and an information card is included that gives the approximate age at which to offer each toy and the purpose of each.

I love the simplicity and beauty of these toys. The rattle fits perfectly in E's hand, and she immediately and happily put it in her mouth :) I'm looking forward to introducing the other toys to her as she gets older. Make sure to check the Pinkhouse Handworks Shop for more simple and sweet Montessori baby toys.

Edit to Add: Pinkhouse Handworks is offering FREE SHIPPING on the set of Five Montessori Baby Toys.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another Blast From the Past

This woodsey playset is one of my all time favorite toys from my childhood. I remember asking my mom to read the book that went along with it over and over again. I'm SO glad that my mom saved this playset and now my girls get to enjoy it (it makes a nice fairy house!). For those of you whose moms didn't save all of your childhood toys, you can find this playset on ebay :)

Ohhhhhhhhh, I had this glowworm, too (the purple one) and this doll. I need to go up in the attic to find the rest of my toys!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I found our felt turkey activity just in time for the girls (O & my niece) to play with while it we prepared Thanksgiving dinner. We had a nice Thanksgiving with lots of delicious food, and I hope you did, too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fall Greeting Card Puzzles

I made a couple more puzzles using greeting cards for O. She really enjoys these puzzles, and they are so cheap and easy to make. I need to go to the dollar store soon to find Christmas cards to make a few Christmas puzzles and lacing cards!

Counting the House

Counting the house is fun activity in which you count various objects around your house and write the number beside the correspondng picture on your list. This great activity came from Let's Explore. The list is available for download at Let's Explore...Thanks, Amy!!! After printing the list, I laminated it so that O can use a wipe-off marker to "count the house" and use the sheet over and over again. We walked around our house together counting the various items. She enjoyed holding the clipboard "like a teacher." O LOVED this activity, and I think it's one that we'll do often. I may also make an outdoor version :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

O's Obsession..

O is obsessed with the medical profession :) She loves to play "broken arm," "broken leg," "heart compressions," "blood," "having a baby," "surgery," etc. She was excited to match these body parts stickers on these body chart posters, and I'm really glad that Elliott bought this body chart set for our kids long before they were born :) O will be getting a "Doctor's Office in a Box" for Christmas, and I can't wait to see her face when she opens it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Playdough Turkey

We haven't done very many Thanksgiving activities this month, but O did enjoy making a playdough turkey a few days ago. I gave her the bowl of playdough, a container of feathers, and 2 googly eyes. Her turkey looked a little like a snake with feathers, but she didn't mind :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

My 1st Knitted Hat!

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to learn to knit, and last night I finally learned! I knitted a hat while mom and I watched Gray's Anatomy (I find the show very annoying, so I was glad to have something to do). I admit that I cheated a little and used a Knifty Knitter. I was excited and surprised by how easy it was to knit a hat. I just wish I'd made the hat a little bigger! It fits O's baby dolls perfectly, and next time I'll make one big enough for O or E :)

O has been reminding me for months that I'm supposed to be learning to knit (how in the world did she remember that?!!!), so she was excited to see me knitting. I'm looking forward to teaching her to use the knifty knitter soon.

Bambu Kids Kitchen Utensils

Amy from Let's Explore sent O this set of 5 child sized kitchen tools (as part of a VERY generous "big sister" gift). The kitchen utensils are 9.5 inches long and are made from organically grown bamboo. They are finished with a natural food safe oil. The set includes a serving fork, rounded spatula, spatula, round spoon and long spoon. O enjoys using them to "cook" in her play kitchen, but they are also great for "real" cooking :) I love that the set is made from organically grown bamboo and is therefore environmentally friendly. I'm sure we'll be using this set for years of cooking fun!

These fun utensils are on sale this weekend at Let's Explore.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What We've Been Up To...

making handmade Christmas gifts, of course! My mom has been busily sewing a very special quilt for E. I chose, cut, ironed, and arranged the squares, and she is sewing it all together. I may try sewing a little myself, but I'm always afraid that I'll ruin it since I have trouble sewing a straight seam. Hopefully, we'll finish the quilt very soon...I've been planning this quilt since long before I was pregnant with E, and it's exciting to finally see it coming together.

Number Sequencing with Leaves

This leaf sequencing activity was quick, easy, and cheap to put together. I bought a pack of silk leaves for a dollar, and I had enough for our Thankful Tree and this activity. I used a permanent pen to write the numbers 1 through 10 on the leaves for O to put in order. She used the number line to self-check. After she ordered the leaves from 1 to 10, she pointed to each number as she said the number in English and Spanish. This was a fun seasonal activity that is easily customizable to the season or holiday. I'm also planning on making a Christmas version of this activity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can She Get Any Cuter?

I don't think so! She's 11 weeks old today and growing up way too fast.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fruit or Vegetable File Folder Game

Here is another file folder game. In this game, you sort the food as to whether it is a fruit or vegetable. We love file folder games! I downloaded the game at File Folder Fun.

Christmas Dollhouse Pillowcase

Ranee from Ranee Day Crafts sent us this amazing pillowcase dollhouse to play with and review. I love all dollhouses and making an interactive dollhouse out of a pillowcase is such an original and innovative idea.

The dollhouse pillowcase is completely handmade, and each one is original (I prefer for my kiddos to have original, creative, handmade toys rather than mass produced factory toys). When I unwrapped the dollhouse, I was impressed with all of the detail work. (It must have taken FOREVER to sew!) The front of the dollhouse opens to four rooms. You can roll it and tie it with ribbons while you play and button it closed when you are done playing. The dollhouse features 4 rooms...a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. The kitchen has a refrigerator that opens, and it is filled with tiny food...cupcakes, grapes, and bananas.

O was very excited to see the gingerbread men cookies on the kitchen counter along with the potted poinsetta by the stove. The living room has a Christmas tree, and O said that the stockings hanging from the fireplace are one of her favorite parts of the house. The bathroom has a bathtub with a fuzzy towel, a pedestal sink, and mirror. The bedroom is my favorite part of the house. The beds have quilted bedspreads with O and E's initials on them.

The dollhouse pillowcase comes with a hand painted peg doll who is super cute. O also immediately moved her miniature wooden family into the house. O loves to tuck her dolls in the beds at night. The dollhouse pillowcase zips onto a pillow, and when O is not playing with it, I just zip the wooden dolls into the pillowcase to keep everything together.

The dollhouse pillowcase folds up nicely, so it is great for travel. O has also enjoyed taking it in the car unfolded with a pillow in it. She sat it on her lap for the whole ride, and she could either play or rest on it :) We are going on vacation in a few weeks and this dollhouse is one of the only toys we'll take with us (other than books and a pack of new puzzles).

O is ready to go with this fun, handmade toy!

There are only a couple of these dollhoses in the shop, so if you want a one of a kind, handmade gift for your child, you need to act quickly!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Matching Silly Animal Pictures

I recently made O another matching activity from a mini calendar. (Here is the butterfly activity that is similar to this one). I cut the calendar apart and laminated the pages. Then I cut the tiny pictures (that were on the back of the calendar) out for O to match to the bigger pictures. She used a magnifying glass to look at the tiny pictures before matching them. This was a fun activity especially since the animal pictures are so silly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Egg Carton Shake-Up

This fun idea for practicing number recognition came from Mommies Wise Little Bookworms. I made a few slight changes...I wrote the numbers 1 through 6 (2 times each) on circle stickers and stuck each number into an egg cup of an egg carton. We placed a bead in the egg carton and shook it. O identified the number that the bead was on. I'm going to have to remake this game since I used an egg carton that had holes in the top. I knew it was going to be a problem, but I was ready to try this fun idea and didn't have an enclosed egg carton :(

I think this game would also be a fun way to practice color recognition by placing different colored sticker dots in the egg cartons instead of numbers (I need to remember this in about a year for Ema!). I also think this could be a fun simple addition activity...use 2 beads and have the child add the numbers that the beads land on. I may also make an letter recognition egg carton shake-up game soon. We could use it with a bead to shake and then label the letters, and it would also be fun to sort tiny objects in the letter egg carton according to their initial sounds.