Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tara's Tucker Box

Tara's Tucker Box
Here are a few lunches i have packed for my little prep girl to remind her of how much i love her even when we are not together....

This beauty was for the letter R week, Tara requested Rapunzel so i used her sandwich and added a boiled egg with Nori sheet eyes and mouth and cooked spaghetti for hair held by a silicone wrap band. She is laying on a bed of cranberries

This was a morning tea of fresh strawberries with leaf toothpicks. Egg chick-A boiled egg halved with a carrot beak and sesame seed eyes. Veggie chips and a sprinkles heart slice of bread

This was an under the sea day at prep so we made a crab from a mini crossiant,cabanossi nippers,apple skin mouth and cheese stick eyes placed on toothpicks. An oyster from two biscuits filled with icing with a yougart ball "pearl" inside. Its eyes are icing pens. A boiled egg fish shaped. Two honey fish sandwiches with sultana eyes and some rice snacks as gravel.  

This morning tea was made with 3 piklets-one cut in half with marshmellow heads and paws. Hearts and eyes were made with cupcake topper decorations.
A puzzle sandwhich made with a variety of fillings so you never know what your biting into! Cute teddy stamper in the middle

"o" day at Prep. Hotdog octopus with toothpick hair bow on a bed of lettuce.
Raviolli pasta and sauce.

Guitar painting

Guitar Painting

Our activity trays are just plastic serving trays from a dollar store but add some elastic bands around them that are painted with coloured paint and a peice of paper underneath and get strumming away with your guitar. The paint will splatter and flick your music onto your paper that becomes a lovely peice of artwork. If you dont have a serving tray, try an oven tray or even a cardboard box.

Playdough tray

Playdough Tray

Another activity tray i have on Mason's Montessori shelves is a playdough tray.
We have a stack of playdough around the house with shapes gallore but for toddlers, i feel they really benefit from a less is more approach.
A tray with one small pot of playdough, three cutter shapes and a rolling pin is plenty to keep a toddler interested.
Even with a tray so simple, it is important to show how to use playdough to a toddler. Eating playdough may be a natural reaction to children who are just given it without explaination.
Break down the process, get playdough out of pot, roll with pin,press shape into dough, put shape down then remove excess dough.  

Dinosaur transferring

Dinosaur Transferring

These dinosaurs sure get a work out in our home!
Bathtime play, volcanic islands, slime, playdough, all activities we usually add a dinosaur or two too!
I set up an activity tray on Mason's Montessori shelves with pile of dinosaurs and a basket with some tweezers inside.
I showed him with as few words as possible how to squeeze the tweezers to pick up one dinosaur then release his grip when he was over the basket.
It is amazing how quickly he caught on and now this is the first activity he goes to in the morning and will happily set it up and pack them away alone-Montessori works!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cloud dough

This recipe is known as cloud dough by child care professionals but last Christmas we bought a stack of "Moon dough" and i can say it is the same consistancy as that product at a fraction of the cost of buying it!It also works with the other moon dough products.

7 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of baby oil evenly mixed-simple! As baby oil is actually toxic if ingested i would recommend using a cooking oil like olive/sunflower/canola with infants. The baby oil does give it a lovely relaxing scent though! 

Sandpit toys are great for including with cloud dough, enjoy!!!

Primary colour slime adventures

I love when an you make an activity that can then lead on to other activities especially when it can involve two different stages of development.
We made a batch of slime the same as our Halloween recipe here http://homelearningfrombirth.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/halloween-spooky-slime-sensory-tub.html
but this time used a variety of colours to introduce Mason to primary colours.
 Another day we used the slime on a dinosaur tray and did some stomping
Lastly Tara used the slime in a slime basket that we hung off our garage roof and let fall onto a tray to watch the colours mix.
Slime is a fantastic sensory activity and feels great to play with after being cooled in the fridge. Squishy and calming for any age (including mine,shhh!)

Seed sorting

Seed sorting is another great Montessori activity that helps with fine motor skills and colour matching. These are some beans i found at the supermarket that a cheap and edible. I was certain he would see them as food and try to eat them so i would never
left them out unsupervised but when i introduced the activity and showed him the purpose he didn't even try them.
I have had many mums say to me "he just throws things" or "she just uses her toys to hit her siblings". Most of the time i feel the children are just not aware of the purpose of the toy. Get down and play with them. Use the dolls to make voices and role play, build a Lego house or start a car race with to cars then excuse yourself to do some chores and the child will know the purpose and imitate your playing.
Seed sorting is a calming activity that requires focus. It is important to let your child choose the activity from the shelves for this reason. The activity will go much smoother your child is in the right frame of mind for the activity.

Ice cube Mud bricks

We have had so much rain here in Sydney so as soon as the sun came out for a day we came out to play! The constant rain does have its advantages-we had tonnes of mud around our garden. Using ice cube trays we filled them up with mud and placed them in the sun to dry for 24 hours. The next day we had a load of rocks ready to play with. Using Mason's diggers and trucks we built walls,knocked them down and drove them around.

Coloured vinegar Vs Bi-carb soda

Tara is taking a liking to anything science and always asking to make the dinosaur volcano's that we made some time ago. http://homelearningfrombirth.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/volcano-dino-land.html
The following activity is a little less messy and great for a rainy day.
Pour a layer of bi-carb soda onto a tray. Fill up a glass or (a few if you want more variety) of vinegar and drop in your favourite food colouring. Use a dropper to transfer the coloured vinegar onto the bi-carb tray and watch the science take place! 

Pom Pom transferring

Mason is now 18 months and i had noticed that when he played independently he was purposefully playing. Taking a toy and placing it into a doll house or getting a car and placing it on his car mat. I knew it was time to start Montessori activities to practice order and focus.

I put a number of trays of activities onto our child sized Montessori shelves. When he woke from his rest he was immediately curious! He went up to them and started touching.I said to him "oh you would like to try this one?"I simply took his hands and put them on the edge of the tray and placed mine over his and said "two hands" and together we carried the tray to the desk and placed in down. I then said "Let's pull out the chair" and placed his hands on the chair with mine over the top helping and he sat down to begin.

A nice starter activity is a bath grip toy turned upside down and a box of pom poms. 

Firstly i showed him how to pick up one pom pom at a time and place it on the suction circle until they are all full then take them off and place them back into the box. Stand up and use two hands to take the tray back and put it back where he found it.

For such a simple activity there is so much to learn. Every detail has a purpose, for example if i was to pick up a tray i would so with one hand so if Mason saw me do that he would assume he should do the same but he would need two hands evenly spaced to be able to manage carrying a tray.
Placing the box of pom poms on the left hand side starts the process of left to right action which is useful for reading and writing skills so whenever your placing an activity down or laying out pictures try to remember left to right placement.