Friday, April 22, 2011

Paint Chip Egg Garland

We are really enjoying having something seasonal hanging in our dining room window. This pretty garland was made using paint chips from Lowe's. I just cut them into eggs, punched two holes, strung them up, and love the result! Also supports our rainbow unit well, although Mommy strung them in backwards order. Oops!
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Felt egg collage

I have been making some little felt hairclips, and had lots of felt scraps leftover. I cut out a big egg from cardstock, mixed up some diluted glue/water solution, and let Q go to town with a paintbrush, the glue and the felt.
LOVE how bright and pretty these came out! She really enjoyed this project and made two pretty eggs!
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Paper Plate bunny

Quinn made a bunny like this at school, and we decided to make a few more at home!

*cut paper plate in 1/2
*glue on cotton balls
*glue on construction paper ears
*add pink pom-pom nose (or color a cotton ball pink with marker)
*add eyes
*add string or paper whiskers

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Egg Tree

Here's our playroom tree decked out with pretty eggs in celebration of Easter!
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wooden bunnies

I always visit some thrift stores when I want to add to my seasonal decorations/toys for Q's playroom. We got these great wooden bunnies at a thrift store for a steal last year!
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Bunny Books

During the year I collect bunny books at the thrift stores we visit (usually paying between .25 and .49 per book!). In the spring I put them in a pretty basket and we have fun reading them!
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Egg tonging

These are some small plastic eggs that Q can tong from one container to the other. Works her fine muscles needed for writing later on! Also encourages concentration and counting skills!
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Bunny Ear dress up

Of course we added some fun bunny ears to our dress up basket! Love to see Q wandering around the house in them!!
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Egg mold playdough

This plastic jello mold that makes eggs has been working out great for playdough play this month. Q enjoys putting a little dough in each compartment. This is great counting and one-to-one correspondence work, as well as fine motor--as she has to pinch off the little pieces! These are often sold at the dollar store and can come in handy for all sorts of different activities. They can also hold play eggs (one to one correspondence), can be filled with different colors of paint for art experiences, or can be used in conjunction with an eye dropper/baster--fill dropper with water and use to drop into each compartment.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Washing Work

One of Q's favorite activities is washing "stuff." I set her up at her little table with a towel to set the work on, a small bowl of warm soapy water and a sponge. She usually likes to give her 2 babies a bath first. Then, if she's still in the mood, she will wash her dishes and utensils from her little kitchen.

This (Montessori-inspired) activity is wonderful for promoting practical life skills of cleaning, requires her to stretch the span of time she spends concentrating/focusing on a task, provides sensory stimulation, and also science skills and she is picking up some principles of liquids (and also learning about bubbles!)

This is often my go-to when I am making dinner and need something to keep her happily occupied.

Younger babies might enjoy having their highchair tray filled with water or a small, low tray filled with water. You might also consider setting a beach towel on the floor, filling a dish pan with some water, and letting your infant (who is able to sit) go to town splashing. You could even provide a couple utensils, but I'd omit the soap. Vanilla or mint extract could be added for pleasing smells, though! And the biggest mess you'd have to worry about is a little water to mop up. If you let baby play in her diaper, you don't even have to deal with wet clothes!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egg Cup for infants....and up!

The egg and egg cup is an infant montessori activity that I really love! The goal of this "work" is for the infant to:
1) Explore the shapes, weight, texture, size, and temperature of both the egg and the egg cup (most likely with mouth first and then fingers secondary).

2) Gradually learn that the egg fits INTO the cup. To foster this, demonstrate for the baby repeatidly over the course of many weeks. When you place the egg in the cup say, "in!" and when you take it out, say, "out!" You can remove the eggs different ways--grabbing it and just taking it out, turning it upside down to pour it out, etc.

3) Master taking the egg out of the cup independently

4) Putting the egg in the cup independently

I recommend finding a nice small tray (or plate or some tray-like object) to store the egg and egg cup upon in a place the baby can access it.

I bought this wooden egg cup at Hobby Lobby this week--It was around $1.00. Now is the time to buy one, as they are VERY hard to find after the Easter season. For infants I would use a smooth wooden egg that fits in the cup (can also be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.)

My toddler just enjoys playing with the egg cup and carrying her paper mache eggs around in it--which is a great hand-eye coordination and balance exercise!

PS) I took the photo of the wooden egg cup next to all my ceramic easter decorations just for the photo to be pretty. Obviously all you'd provide access to for an infant/toddler is the wooden egg cup and egg. The others are just for "pretty." Hope that doesn't confuse!

Shoe the Old Horse Fingerplay

Here's one of our favorite finger (foot?) plays right now...
Done with bare baby (or toddler!) feet....

Shoe the old horse (cover one of baby's feet with your hand)
Shoe the old mare (cover other foot with your other hand)
Pound a nail here (poke one of your fingers into baby's heel)
Pound a nail there (same thing on other foot)
But let the little colty foot go bare, bare, bare (tickle bottoms of both feet).

Great rhythm, promotes sound awareness through the rhyming words, encourages cause and effect relationship awareness, introduces new vocabulary, and is just plain fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baby Springtime Fingerplay

Baby Mamas, this one's for you!

Round and round the garden the little bunny goes. (draw circles on baby's tummy or arm or any body part....)
Hippity hop, hippity hop,(use two fingers to hop up baby's body)
I'm gonna get your nose! (touch baby's nose)

Round and round the garden the little bunny goes. (draw circles on baby's tummy or arm or any body part....)
Hippity hop, hippity hop,(use two fingers to hop up baby's body)
I'm gonna get your toes! (tickle baby's toes)

This fingerplay promotes rhyming awareness, name and location of body parts, cause and effect relationship (as baby learns to anticipate having their nose or toes tickled, and bonding!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Easter Rewinds

Here are a few Easter/Springy projects from the archives I wanted to remind you of!
(click on name for link)

Flannel knot rabbits (GREAT for babies!!)


Eastery Songs and Fingerplays

Velcro Rabbit Work

Bouncy Cottontail Fingerplay

Baby Sock Bunny

And keep posted for some new ones! I am busting out my Easter stuff today and am ready for some fun projects!!