Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nora -- 9 Months Old


This post is 10+ days old now because time is slipping through my fingers at the most unfair of rates. I spent an agonizing 2.5 years waiting for Nora, everyday felt like an eternity. Then, she comes, and bam, nine-months are gone right before my eyes. 


Being with Nora is a joy and an absolute privilege. I could spend all day squeezing her. All day. This month Nora has had a little growth spurt! She's in size 4 diapers, 12 month shirts and 6-9/12 month pants. She's up to 18 lbs 4 oz, and 26 inches -- around 50 percent for weight and 10 percent for height. Even with this spurt, she's much smaller than Henry was at her age. She has a little more hair, three teeth -- two bottom and a top, as of yesterday -- and big blue eyes. 

This month Nora has been on the go. She is crawling, pulling up all over and cruising behind everything. She has even taken a couple unassisted steps. I'm guessing it won't be too much longer until she is walking. In fact, walking behind something is Nora's absolute favorite. One day she walked half a block behind a cart before she got tired and sat down. Thankfully, she's not the fastest crawler so she doesn't cause too much trouble. 


Her favorite things to do are take things in and out of baskets, play with anything that belongs to Henry, throw balls and read books. Nora loves to nom on everything and still puts every tiny thing ever in her mouth. She loves to eat -- three meals and a couple snacks a day. Beans and meat are her favorites. She also loves bathtime including being dunked under water, she just giggles and giggles. 


I'm having a hard time thinking of anything Nora really doesn't like. She is so even keeled that pretty much nothing phases her. She does get cranky waiting for dinner or when she's tired. She will sign "all done" now if she has had enough of something, but that's about all the protest she will make. 


Less than three months until her birthday. ::sigh:: I'd ask time to slow down, but I know that it won't.

signature

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Henry at 4-years-old

In the blink of an eye, my baby is 4. Everyday, he loses more of his baby-ness and becomes solidly a kid. A real life, independent, silly, charming, sassy kid. 


It's been a long time since I've dedicated a post solely to Henry. It's hard to really describe where we are at -- he's probably how he's always been -- very black and white. So super sweet and charming and social one minute, and screaming in my face, angry and sassy the next. 3-years-old, especially the last six-months have been a bit tough for him. Henry is exerting his independence at every opportunity and he's not afraid to let us know how he feels about something. 


But, still he's so much a baby. He carries his blankie everywhere, still sucks his bottom lip and touches my hair. He's a cuddler at heart and his love language is completely touch. Two seconds after screaming (and I mean screaming) in my face, he will plant the wettest sloppy boy kisses on my face. 


Henry is so silly and has the most contagious laugh. But, he is also a bit anxious and can get fixated on things. Right now, airbags and their presence in our van cause him great anxiety. We talk about where they are, what they do and why the car has them, every time we drive. 

Henry also has an amazing imagination. He lives for pretend play. He loves Spider-man and Star Wars. He loves peg people, small figures and Legos. He's obsessed with all things geography, telling time and writing his name. He's working hard to develop fine motor skills but still needs a little extra work with scissors, and writing. All of a sudden, he has an intense desire to read everything and is working on learning himself. He loves Nora more than I ever thought possible. 



For as big as Henry's personality is, he is still my tiny guy. At his 4-year check, he was 36.5" (1.86%) and 30 lbs (. He's still wearing 24 month size pants and 3T shirts. But, he's still just perfect. He's still rear-facing in his car-seat, sleeps mostly through the night, dresses himself, and all that good stuff. I just can't wait for all the years ahead. As much as I miss my tiny baby Henry, preschooler Henry is pretty darn awesome too. 

Happy Birthday {a few days late} buddy! 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Printable Baby Language Book and Treasure Basket

This month's 12 Month of Montessori topic was language. It was a little difficult for me to think of a language idea that I liked, because really the best was to develop your baby's language is expose your baby to language! Talk and talk and talk some more. Talk them through diaper changes, meal times, and play time. 

discovery basket, baby play, language

This language book and treasure basket can help get the conversations started! 

In this treasure basket, I included a DIY language book and several small, simple items. I used generic items so you can recreate the basket at home. I wanted an appealing mix that encouraged exploration and movement.


For a toddler, you might encourage matching a picture to an object, but here, I just wanted to explore the idea that things have names and we can talk about them. 


I presented this basket like I would any other treasure basket, by letting Nora just discover it. Once she showed an interest I asked her if I could read the book. I read the book, which she listened to (she loves reading). Then, I handed her the book. She flipped the pictures, tasted the paper, and played with the objects. I talked with her as she played. "Look at the orange ball!" "That's the blue ring." 


Nora has really enjoyed it! She loves paper, so the book was perfect for her. Plus the objects kept her interest. I look forward to keeping this basket on her shelf this month.


If you want to make a similar language basket for your baby, I've included a free printable! The printable includes all the pages we used and a blank page. You can use the blank page to write your child's name or to include a picture of one of you child's favorite things. 



To make, print out the printable. Laminate the sheets if you want a little more protection. Cut along the black lines, hole punch and bind. I used a metal ring to bind the book together because I know Nora likes to chew on metal (gross!) and it's easy to grasp, but other bindings -- like a tightly tied ribbon -- will also work. 



For your basket, just try to find objects similar to the book. Since this is not a matching activity they don't need to be the exact same. Put everything in a basket, and let your baby enjoy! And, just remember to keep talking! 

12 Months of Montessori Learning!

This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori series! Our theme this month is language, check out these amazing bloggers for Montessori language ideas for children of all ages! 


signature

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Montessori Inspired Space Theme

Over the past several weeks, we have been space crazy around here. Henry is in love with Star Wars so I thought we should use that desire to learn a little about the real solar system. 

montessori space preschool

It has been a huge success. Henry and the co-op kids all loved the work. 

The first tray was all about the moon landing. The tray features a Styrofoam ball painted like the moon, several flags and a couple of cards.


The cards feature pictures of the original moon landing and American flag. The goal here is to have the children look at the cards, study the astronauts, and plant the flag. Henry loved this work and probably repeated it more than anything else. I loved this work because it was a simple way to get him interested in fine motor work, an area where Henry could use some practice. 


The next tray was one examining the sun as a star. When I presented the work, I explained the sun was the closest star to the earth. To repeat the work, the children could use the sun punch to make a sun, then glue it to the black paper. Some of the co-op children are starting to write, so if they could, the kids could then copy the words "sun" and "star" from the example with chalk. 


This was used a lot by the children in co-op but not so much by Henry. He shys away from anything that might be considered "art."

Another tray during our space unit, was making constellations. To make we used mini-marshmallows and toothpicks. I provided an example of a constellation, but then told the children to just create their own.


This was another one of Hen's favorite works for the week. {And, I was pleasantly surprised how few marshmallows were eaten.} He mostly made lines but occasionally tried to copy by example. 


In the next tray we examined the solar system. This tray is going to become a permanent feature in our classroom, and deserves its own post. But it basically includes small wooden planets and a mat representing the solar system and labels. It was a big hit with Henry and the other co-op kids. I can't wait to share more about this with you (when I finish sewing it -- check Instagram for current updates!)



And, for the final "major" tray, we couldn't forget about Pluto. While Pluto isn't a planet anymore, I still wanted to include it because it appears in so many books about space. So, I created a simple tray with a small wooden planet (like those in the solar system map), cards and some letters. The tray allowed them to look at a real picture of Pluto and spell out the name or "Pluto the Dwarf Planet." I'm not sure why, but this was another huge hit. The kids were just drawn to Pluto, and I had to explain more than once why poor Pluto couldn't come to the Solar System map. 


Other things we did this unit included -- 

Star Counting 


"There's No Place Like Space!"


Pom-poms into ice cube tray -- this was mostly for the toddlers in our classroom. Henry still used it a bit.


signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...