Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tot School: 13.5 mo

Tot School

~13.5 months~

The weather is getting a bit cooler now so, I fear that our outside school time is coming to a close. I am lucky that the Stink Bug hardly noticed the cool breeze and slight mist today though. She just kept on having a good time while I gritted my teeth at the cold drizzle. I am definitely a fair weather person but, the Stink Bug has a way of getting me outside regardless. I enjoy seeing her play outside too much to keep her in!

She enjoyed full out running around the yard this week. Testing out her new "gym" shoes and her new found confidence in picking up speed!

The first tot school activity that we worked on was lacing small blocks. Ok, I know what you are thinking. Really? Lacing with a 13 month old!? In my defense, I really just wanted her to play with the blocks but, soon realized that she wanted to try to lacing them when she saw me doing it. It is funny how little ones want to be doing exactly what "big people" do. I figured that I would let her try, and was pleasantly surprised.

She is able to put the lacing end through the block but, generally looses the string as she turns the block over. I will often hold the string and block for her, and model how to pull it out of the other side of the block. She can only pull it through if I am holding it and then, occasionally she would rather just push the string back into the hole, which is just fine with me! :-)

The Stink Bug got to experience home made "play-dough" for the first time this week. At first, she did not like it AT ALL and would pull back her hand when I pushed her fingers into it. She did not want to have ANYTHING to do with it. I even tried to push her bare feet into it, without success. I brought it out every day, and by the end of the week she was finally "ok" with picking it up, or pushing her fingers into it to form little craters. She has a long way to go to enjoying the texture.

The third activity that we worked on this week was scribbling. My local grocery store had dry erase washable crayons on sale for 70% off so, I figured that for just over $1, they were worth trying out! I love having the Stink Bug use dry erase markers but, I really don't like how they stain her hands.

I was very impressed with how well the crayons worked, and how easy it was to wipe off of the board.

The Stink Bug did a little bit of scribbling but, mostly wanted to put the crayons in and out of the box, and watch me draw her silly little pictures.

At the end of the day, the Stink Bug was very patient with the activities that I gave her to work on, even though they were a little bit out of her doable range. Next week, I will have to reign in my ideas and give her some activities that she can master without any help!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Some More MomAgenda Love!

momAgenda - get organized with style

Alright ya'll! (Ok, so I am not a cowboy but, I can say "y'all" can't I!?) If you read my blog posts regularly, you may have read about how I LOVE MomAgenda's planners! Well I have just teamed up with them and, I have found a little deal to share with you! 20% off of a small School Years book. Check it out, I am SURE you will find something there that you love! It is back to school crazy time isn't it!? This will surely help you get back into the swing of things!

Get 20% Off a small School Years book with code SCHOOLYEARSMOM at!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tot School: 13 mo

Tot School

~13 months~

The first tot tray activity that we worked on this week was a practical life activity. For a brief explanation of what "practical life" activities are (by, click here!

This activity was very straight forward. I modeled how the Stink Bug should put her shoes on by sitting behind her and using her own hands to put her shoes on. Sort of like how you can imagine someone trying to teach you how to play pool. Once she got the hang of what I wanted her to do, she took off on her own.

I think the the key to having your toddler be successful at this activity is to choose shoes that are a couple of sizes too big and that slide easily. These shoes happen to be a infant sz 6 and she wears a 4 and a half or 5 right now.

Trying to figure out the best way to hold the shoe.

She had a lot of difficulty with this and needed quite a bit of help. I was happy that she did not get frustrated though so, I think that it was still within her "doable" range.

This activity was one of the Stink Bugs all time favorites! I filled a cleaned out, clear, soda bottle with a handful of pom poms and two pipe cleaners that I bent in a zig-zag and curled the pointed ends up into spirals. This activity was all about fine motor skills. Practice for putting small objects into containers, and long thin objects.

She also enjoyed setting the lid on top of the bottle, although she is not able to twist the lid yet - and I would not expect her to be able to do this for quite some time.

The last activity we worked on was stacking objects. In this case, some wooden blocks that were all the same size. The Stink Bug is great at knocking down stacks but, really not so good at stacking. I had to remind her a couple of times that she was supposed to stack them on top and not knock them over. I think I will just have to continue to reinforce this idea during our typical play time as well.

Of course some leaves were involved...

...and some keys...

Girls just want to have fun!

This picture was just too funny not to share! I made a zebra hat and mittens for the Stink Bug to wear this winter (and maybe for Halloween?) and wanted to make sure they fit so, I obviously tried them on her. Plus she had on zebra pajamas, so it was a no brainier! She proceeded to "pose" for me to take her picture! What a ham!

MomAgenda Coupon and Free Shipping!

Keeping your family organized can be a bit of a chore when you have a busy family, and children to boot. This compounds when you have little ones to home school and meals to plan! I know the only way that I can keep it all together is with a planner or some kind of calender. I use my phone for some things but, it really just doesn't cut it. I need a little bit more of a "hands on" experience when it comes to keeping it all straight. I was online recently looking for a new planner and came across MomAgenda and just wanted to make a quick post to share!

I totally fell in love with their planners! I looked around for an hour or so for a "less expensive" one and really didn't find anything that came close in quality or that looked professional. Some of the other planners out there look cheap or like you are yelling from the mountaintops "I AM A MOMMY!" Not quite the look I wanted.

So getting to the point, I ordered myself one, and wanted to share a little deal that they have going on with you. If you use the link here, you can get yourself a 10% off coupon. AAAAAAND if you use the code CMPSHIP you can get free shipping too! Yay!

Ok, so I have to say that I am not getting paid for saying good things about them. Also, they did not approach me, I just wanted to share a great deal! :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Upcycled Sweater Mittens

I just can't get enough of upcycling my old clothes. Especially well loved sweaters that I just can't seem to throw away. This specific sweater has the sweetest buttons all the way down the front. I just love it! The problem? There is a MAJOR, fist sized, hole right in the front of it. No matter how I look at fixing it, I know it will be noticeable. So, it has spent the last 6 months just sitting, waiting, to be thrown out. I finally sat down today, and decided to do something with it (thank you nap time). I decided to made some mittens, since the sweater is 100% wool. I will be making something else too but you'll have to keep an eye out for that in another tutorial!

I decided to use the cuffs on the sleeves to my advantage.

Start by using your own hand (or your child's hand) as a guide for where to cut your sleeve. Be sure to leave yourself lots of extra room!

Cut straight across the sleeve, all the way through.

Turn the sleeve inside out.

Place your hand (or your models) on the sleeve, and use it as a guide to make a mitten shape. You can trace, and then cut, or just cut around your hand. Be sure to leave plenty of room for sewing or surging.

Repeat with the other sleeve to make a second mitten. I know that it looks like I made two of the same mitten here but, they are identical on both sides so, It really doesn't matter. Either mitten can be used for either hand. Sew or serge around each mitten, and then turn right side out.

I love the buttons on this sweater so, I just HAD to recycle them! I snipped off four buttons, two for each mitten.

I hand stitched two buttons onto the "cuff" of each mitten.

Here are my mittens, all ready for some cold weather! Just in time too! This past week the daytime temperature in Ohio went from 100+ degrees down to the mid 60's! It wont be long before we pull out the jackets and mittens! I am sure you will want some upcycled mittens too!Have fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tot School: 12.5 mo

Tot School

~12.5 months~

This activity is one that the Stink Bug "designed" herself one afternoon. She had dug through her bag of lunch time essentials (bowls, cups, utensils and the like) and brought out a travel container of spoons. I opened it, at her loud request, and showed her how to take the spoons in and out of the container. A new activity was created! She has requested to do this multiple times so, I figured that I would add it to her tot trays! I really enjoy how this is helping her develop her fine motor skills and how long she will concentrate when doing this activity!

She decided that some leaves were better suited for this activity!

The second tot tray that I put out for the Stink Bug this week was a stacker toy. This skill is just emerging for her. Until this week she really had no interest in trying to put any toys on pegs. I was thrilled when she sat down to do this activity and stayed with it even though it was quite difficult for her! We can finally use the FOUR stackers that we have collected as various gifts for what they were intended for!

This girl has a thing for dried crispy leaves this week! She tried to stick them through the holes in the stacker "blocks" (or whatever you call them!).

The third activity that the Stink Bug worked on was by far the most difficult. She really stuck with it though! I had to step in here and there to help her push the pegs into one another and into the peg board. She was a little bit too gentle to push them in all of the way, and when she did push with force, she would knock over the pegs. We will definitely repeat this activity again. I may even have this be a "semi-permanent" tot tray and bring it out for her in addition to her three new trays each week. I am sure I will bring it out again when she is a little bit older to teach patterns, and counting skills too. (This is another one of those activities that you have to supervise closely. I could see the pegs being a choking hazard.)

I think we will stay inside for the rest of the week! It has been nearly 100 around here! Not too much fun unless your heading to the pool or splash ground!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ash Tree Meadow Featured!

Hey I was honored to be featured today at an awesome home and craft blog! Head on over and check it out here at The DIY Home Sweet Home Project blog! Thanks so much Jamie!
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