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Showing posts from January, 2013

8 Winter Boredom Busters for 1-year-olds

Update Jan. 2016 -- This post was written before we really started on our Montessori journey. If you are a Montessori family, many of these same ideas will still work! I wouldn't recommend, however, introducing letters to such a young child. 

Here in Minnesota, it's the middle of the winter. Most days, it's too cold to go outside, too snowy, too icy, or just plain wet. Plus, I hate being cold so even on days where Henry could tolerate it, I tend to stay inside. So, we need to stay busy. Here are some things I do to avoid seeing that face above and some links for more information or additional activities.

Sensory Bins: I've talked a lot about sensory bins and some tips on successful sensory play. Sensory bins can really be anything you want them to be. We sometimes do themed bins, but a lot of the time, the bins don't need to be something elaborate or special. Just putting a bunch of related materials in a bin together seems to open up a whole new world for toddlers.…

Room Tour Office

Next room up on the room tour is my office. I love this space which is good since I spend a lot of time in it.

Before: This room had a lot of work that needed to be done. It had linoleum flooring and ugly plastic baseboards. It must have been a hobby room or something, because it was rough.

Where we're at: This was one of the first rooms we worked on when we moved in since I would need it right away for work. Morgan installed carpet squares over the linoleum, which was an easy and cheap solution for the floors. We painted, installed new baseboards, hung the blinds, and replaced the electrical outlets. I really like how it turned out. The paint turned out a little more orange-orange than our inspiration, but I still really like it.  

What we need: This depends on who you are talking to. Morgan believes the room is done. I think we need a big white shelf for the orange wall. I would also like some sort of orange/gray patterned window covering, but I still haven't found one I like. 

Tot School Letter B for Babies and Bubbles

This week we focused on the letter B. Henry was on a nap strike all week so we spent less time at tot school then I would have liked, but we managed to have fun. 
The first tray was a baby face matching game I made for him using his baby pictures. Henry loves matching games and babies so I thought it would be a perfect tray for him. So, of course...Henry wasn't super into it. He played it a few times but nothing like I thought he would. 

The second tray was letter B Popsicle stick puzzles I made. I knew this would be a challenge for Henry so I didn't expect much out of it. But the goal was obviously for him to make the letters. On the back of sticks, I made the puzzles self-correcting by numbering them in the correct order in a different color for each puzzle. Henry tried to play with this but was more interested in sticking the sticks into his mouth. He also liked counting the numbers but was never super interested in making the B's. 

The third tray was two small glass p…

My 1-year-old Does Chores

I firmly believe that babies and toddlers are smarter than most people give them credit for. When given the opportunity, I believe they will rise to the expectations they are given. Montessori methods believe in giving children the resources to do things for themselves, to be productive members of the family. Teaching them to do things for themselves, helps them grow up to be self-confident, happy kids.

For these reasons, I make my 1-year-old do chores. And, he is so proud. 
For Henry, specifically, he has three chores he is responsible for doing. At this point, it is not Hen's responsibility to remember to do these things, but he is expected to do the chore once he is told. Each of these things Henry has been doing since he was around 18-months-old. Right now, Henry is responsible for: 
Laundry: Henry must put all his dirty clothes in his laundry basket. Once they are off, he runs to put them away. It's actually really cute. One day, I left a pair of pants on the bathroom flo…

Room Tour Master Bedroom

Normally on Tuesdays, I link up with Toddle Along Tuesday over on Growing up Geeky, but for the time being TAT is on a break, so I'm going to take this break as a way to share some details about our new house.
For those of you that follow me on Pinterest or Instagram, you may recognize some of this! First room -- our Master Bedroom.

Where We're At: The actual color we ended up going with is a little darker than our inspiration but I still really liked how it turned out. In addition to the paint, we bought some new bedroom furniture and curtains. Our bedding we bought about a year ago from Ikea, and was the reason we wanted to stick with grays.

I'm not a huge fan of the way the furniture is arranged at the moment. But, its sort of a compromise between Morgan and I since he really wants the TV across from the bed.

What We Need: Our master is the most "done" room in our house. The painting was done on the first day we moved in {thanks Dad!!} so there was reall…


Wooohoo! I finally bit the bullet and switched to being a self-hosted blog! You shouldn't notice any changes really, other than finding the blog will now be easier -- bye-bye .blogspot.

Our official new URL is!

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Letter A Tot School

Henry is 22 months old.
As I said last week, we moved on to letters in tot school. I'm excited because there are so many great toddler activities for letters. Naturally, we started with the letter A. Henry really seemed to enjoy the new focus at tot school. For now, the book bin and activity wall are on hold. I'm not quite sure of the direction I want to take them, but they should be back soon enough.

This week Henry started out being able to identify and say the letter A. He had a much harder time identifying a lower case A but had no trouble with the capital. 
The first tray this week were a capital and lower case A with circles. The tray then included enough pom-poms to fill each circle. This tray not only gave Henry some exposure to both capital and lower case A, it was good fine motor work for him. Henry had a great time dumping the bowl of pom-poms and picking them up again, but wasn't super interested in actually placing the letters in the spaces. 

The second tray w…