Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning to Pour Water

E(1) loves this tiny little teapot and teacup that I put on her work shelf. I put the teapot (filled with water), a teacup, and a sponge on a small tray and put it on the bottom shelf. E was excited to see something new, and O was excited to see something old!

After E poured the water, she quickly drank it and wanted more. O used to do the same thing over and over and over again when she was E's age. What fun!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

E's Art Shelf

E(1) LOVES to "daw" (draw)! When she sees her big sister drawing, she says "daw, too!" Lately, she's been saying "daw somethin." Since she is so interested in drawing, I decided that she needed her very own art shelf.

We have 2 shelves from Pottery Barn (outlet) in our kitchen. O(4)'s art shelf is on the 2nd from the bottom shelf of one, and now E has her art shelf on the bottom shelf of the other.

I taped a large piece of paper to the bottom shelf and put a jar full of crayons beside it. Both girls were thrilled to see this when they woke up on Wednesday morning. O saw it first and said "E, look, look! Your own art shelf!"

I love how simple this was to put together and how perfect it is for my sweet girl!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning the Art of Stillness and Silence

E(1) was being very still and quiet to see if the minnows would nibble on her toes. After about 30 seconds, she said "all done!" and hopped up. We'll try again tomorrow :)

In Our 1st 10 Minutes of Summer Homeschool...

E counted to 10! Her articulation wasn't perfect, and she left out 4, but nobody expects perfection at 20 months old! Btw, I didn't teach her this. I usually only count to 3 with her!

Then, O(4) walked up to me and said 10 plus 11 equals 21. And all of this occured while I was checking email and facebook! Hmmm, homeschooling might be easier than I anticipated!

Fun with Face Paint

Since I stock up on face paint after Halloween, I always have some available for special occasions. When O had Spring Break about a month ago, we spent the 1st morning of the week on the beach and had fun painting faces while we were out there.

O was very specific about what she wanted on her face. Luckily, she's not too particular about how it looks, because I'm definitely not an artist! She was very pleased with the result, and now she says she wants me to paint faces at her birthday party!

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Little House on the Prairie Fans

I posted yesterday that I'd found the entire Rose Years collection at the library, and I wanted to also tell you that there are books for the Martha Years (Laura's great-grandmother) Beyond the Heather Hills (Little House), the Charlotte years (Laura's grandmother)Little House by Boston Bay , and the Caroline years (Laura's mother) Down to the Bonny Glen (Martha Years). I didn't know about these books until just a few months ago, and I was SO excited to find out about them. We've only read one from each of the collections listed above as they are difficult to find at our local libraries, and we really enjoyed them. Happy reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Happy Day!!!

What a great day this has been!!!

First, I signed my contract to work for 45 days next school year. (everyone else signed and turned in their contracts weeks ago, so I was a little nervous that I might not have a job next school year!)

Second, I went to the library and they had the entire Rose Years collection of books (this was thrilling since O LOVES the Little House books, and I've been checking the various libraries unsuccesfully for this set for months). The Rocky Ridge Collection: Little House on Rocky Ridge, Little Farm in the Ozarks, in the Land of the Big Red Apple, on the Other Side of the Hill (The Rocky Ridge Series , So4)

Third, I WON the science giveaway on the Montessori Print Shop blog! I almost never read blogs anymore, and I just happened to come across this giveaway when I was looking at the Montessori Print Shop's shop. I left a quick comment and thought that was the end of that. However, they emailed me today, and I won!!!

Finally, O had her last t-ball game, and she received a trophy. She was SO happy to "win" a trophy! She jumped up, cheered, and smiled and smiled. Both girls were extremely excited about the junk food that they ate at the banquet, too. One thing that is great about almost never letting your kids eat junk food is watching how excited they get when they get to have a special treat! What a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Montessori At Home Blog Sponsor

Chasing Cheerios has a sponsor!!! Check out the Montessori At Home button in the right hand sidebar!

I recently wrote a review on Montessori at Home by John Bowman. You can read it here. It is truly a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to implement Montessori methods in their home. I wish that I'd had it 3 years ago!

I'm planning on implementing many of the ideas and lessons in our summer homeschool (beginning next week!). O(4) said that her goal for the summer is to do "math, math, and more math!" Luckily, Montessori at Home has lots of ideas and information for implementing Montessori math lessons!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Putting Clothes Pins on a Container

I recently read about this activity in my Chasing Cheerios blog book, and I'm so glad I did! E(1) loved it!!!

I gave her a can full of clothes pins and showed her how to put them on the sides. She was very focused and determined, and she did this activity over and over again.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flower Arranging Sensory Bin

The idea for this flower arranging sensory bin came to me the other day, and it was quick and easy to put together since I had everything I needed. I love it when that happens!

I filled a wooden box with dried black beans (leftover from our Halloween sensory bin). I put an empty flower pot, a metal scoop, a teaspoon/tablespoon, and fake flowers in the box. I showed E(1) how to fill the flower pot with the beans using the scoop. Then I showed her how to arrange the flowers in the pot. She LOVED this activity!

After she arranged the flowers a few times, E had fun just scooping and spooning the beans into the pot and into piles in the box. I had to watch her really closely because she put the beans in her mouth a couple of times.

O(4) was very excited to see this sensory bin when she got home from school. She loved playing with it, and I added another flower pot so both girls could work in it at the same time. Unfortunately, they went a little crazy and scattered beans all over the floor. However, that just provided them with more opportunities to practice their sweeping skills and to improve their pincer grasps!

It's Hammer Time!

*Sorry to the people who commented on this post. Blogger was down for a while. When it came back up, they'd deleted the post, which also deleted the comments.

My dad (who is building his house from scratch...cutting trees that needed to be cleared for the house and turning them into boards to build the house, etc.) cut a few slices of one of his trees for the girls and I this weekend. I have lots of plans for these tree slices, and we started with a fun hammering activity.

We put this large tree slice under in the shade in our front yard along with a couple of hammers and nails. The girls have had a great time hammering nails. (I never let E(1) do this activity unsupervised just in case she decides to eat a nail!) O(4) especially likes to pull nails out after she hammers them. She was pulling so hard one time that she fell backwards off the tree when the nail finally came out!

While this is not an ideal toddler activity (especially when the toddler is super tired), both girls really enjoy it, and I think we'll spend a lot of time hammering this summer. I love that they are learning so many things through this simple activity...hand/eye coordination, determination, persistence, fine motor control, concentration, etc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mud Day!!!

O(4) loves to hear stories from my childhood, and one of the stories I tell her is how my kindergarten always had a "mud day" at the end of the school year. I was never allowed to participate in "mud day" because my parents were germophobe (we had "water day" instead). Since I am not a germaphobe (at least not as much as my mom and Elliott!), I let the girls go crazy with mud this week. They had a GREAT time!

We started off by filling several containers with water.

Then they made grass soup...this is a favorite daily activity. They serve it dry and/or wet.

We started adding dirt to the water to make mud. I was the designated dirt digger at one point.

Both girls eventually ended up in the container of mud.

Afte the girls tired of the mud, we put the waterhose on the slide to make a waterslide. Then I "chased" them with the water while they ran all around the yard. What a simple and fun afternoon!

Fun with the Moveable Alphabet

O(4), E(1), and I had fun with the moveable alphabet a few weeks ago. The girls gathered objects from around the room and brought them to the rug. O and I worked together to spell the words. Then I scrambled the letters, and O unscrambled them. She REALLY loved unscrambling the words! I'm looking forward to doing this more often this summer when we have more time for homeschool!!!