September 30, 2011

Red Texture Collage.

Since we've been focusing on the color red this week, I thought it would be fun to make this collage I saw at No Time for Flashcards.

Earlier this week we did some painting.

Then today we filled in a little more with some crayon and marker.

I gathered a bunch of supplies with different textures. I also cut some shapes out of construction paper.

We played around with our collage materials and discussed whether they were soft, smooth, etc. He also enjoyed naming the shapes--heart, star and triangle are his favorites.

Then we poured on the glue and started sticking.

I may keep this for a little while. We can look at it again in the future and talk about the color, shapes and textures.

September 29, 2011

Ribbon Dancing.

We added a little ribbon dancing to our music time today. I took one of Red's link toys and tied some ribbon to it.

Then we put on some music and danced.

Simple, easy, fun!

September 28, 2011

Apple Stamping.

Since we've been talking about apples this week, I thought it would be a great time to try apple stamping. I first saw this idea here at No Time for Flashcards.

First I cut the apple in half lengthwise.

Then I cut a couple notches to make it easier for Red's little hands to hold onto.

Then I got out the red paint and let him go to it. At first he tried sliding it back and forth across the paper like a brush.

Then I showed him how to stamp it a few times, and he liked that much better. He liked to say "stamp" each time he whacked it down.

And here was his finished masterpiece.

September 27, 2011

Control of Error.

I had heard about 'control of error' before on other blogs, but I had never really heard a good definition of what it was until I read John Bowman's e-book Montessori at Home. Here is an excerpt that I found particularly helpful:

          "Mistakes are how we learn. Imperfection is expected. Even after we achieve ‘mastery’ of a 
          task, mistakes still happen, though not as often. If your child does not make a few mistakes and
          have a few accidents, she isn’t learning or isn’t interested. Mistakes when learning are OK.

          Dr. Montessori had a different term for mistakes – Control of Error. She designed her materials
          so that a deviation from what was supposed to happen immediately tells a child that there has
          been an error. Children will not necessarily see one outcome as desirable over another. When
          you demonstrate activities for your child, always demonstrate what to do if there is an error.

          Always use a plastic or other table mat when doing these activities. Have a sponge and
          cleaning cloth ready. A mistake, such as spilling a bean during a pouring transfer, is actually an
          opportunity. When it happens, don’t make  a big negative out of it, just be sure your child stops
          the activity and picks up or cleans the spilled item up before continuing. That spill was the
          control of error for the activity – a signal that something went out of normal. Mistakes are
          actually a teaching moment. They should not bring a negative reaction. They are just things
          that happen and need to be fixed before continuing on. All these experiences are teaching your 

          Let’s say you are showing your child how to pour rice from one cup into another. Make sure
          you drop a little rice onto the table or floor. Immediately stop pouring. This tells your child
          that something unexpected has happened that needs attention. Carefully pick up all the rice
          that spilled and put it back into the cup. Then resume the pouring. Your child now knows that
          spilled rice is an unexpected deviation from the desired outcome; and that it needs to be fixed
          before continuing.

          Without this step, your child may not see any difference between rice on the floor and rice in
          the cup. Always include an example of how to handle errors when you demonstrate an activity
          for your child. Spill some water and show your child how to use the sponge and cloth to clean
          it up before continuing. Let your child practice this."

September 25, 2011

Tot School - 15.5 Months

Red is currently 15.5 Months.
Another week of tot school accomplished! I think we might be getting the hang of this! Here are our shelves this week.

We had an autumn basket this week with different fall items. It was great for work on vocabulary. I named the items as he pulled them out. We also started a nature basket that contains real items (instead of some of the fake stuff in this basket). I'll post of photo of that next week.

Our focal book was I Love Fall. It's a Touch-and-Feel book, so there were lots of textures to discuss.

He had a puzzle.

Some nesting blocks.

 A tray with washers and empty thread spools to slide onto dowel rods.

A Melissa and Doug block train.

He tried to put the blocks on his toes.

Pom poms to push into a container with a hole in the lid.

And zip-ties to place into an empty soy sauce bottle.

His attention to some of the trays dwindled toward the end of the week like last time. I think the train and the autumn basket were probably his favorites. We also did several art projects that I included in separate posts. And that was our week!

September 23, 2011

Mess-Free Finger Painting.

In the few times that Red has finger painted, he hasn't been as enthusiastic as I was expecting. He will put his index fingers in the paint, but he doesn't want to get his whole hand in it. I thought maybe some mess-free finger painting would help loosen him up a bit, but he is still a little reserved, preferring just to use his finger.

We started off with some paint, a piece of paper, and a Ziploc bag. The paint shown in the photo is not enough. You need at least twice that much.

Then I gave it to him to squish around.

We found that using crayons on the outside of the bag made some neat lines.

I had to help him spread it around since he only wanted to use his fingers, but you can get some pretty designs.

It looks like it's just going to take him a little time before he's ready to really get his hands dirty.

September 22, 2011

Leaf Collage.

Our art activity didn't go as well as planned today, but it was still a fun learning experience. We've been talking about leaves this week, so we started off just exploring them.

Then we taped down some contact paper--sticky side up--and pressed our leaves onto it.

But it turns out that contact paper isn't as sticky as you might think, and our leaves were not as flat as they should have been. We stuck another piece of contact paper over the top and pushed some more.

But we could never really get it stuck down flat. Here's our imperfect finished product.

If you wanted to do this project, I'd recommend finding really flat leaves, and I think you need fewer leaves, and therefore, more area for the contact paper to stick to itself. We never worry too much about the finished product around here anyway!

September 21, 2011

Water Painting.

We did a little water 'painting' today. This is a great activity for young toddlers, because there's no mess! Just a glass of water, a paint brush, and a driveway for a canvas.

September 19, 2011

Autumn Sensory Bin.

We played with our first sensory bin today! I decided to go with an autumn theme, because I love this time of year. I dyed some rice to use as a base.

Then added some scoops and containers. (Funnel, measuring spoons, small ice cream scoop, small glass jar, metal bucket, mini silicone baking cups)

And a few more items just for fun. (Pine cones, mini pumpkins/gourds/acorns, fake leaves/corn, mini hay bale, cinnamon stick, mini straw hat)

Red enjoyed scooping the rice.

And hiding objects then digging them back up.

And, of course, he loved the tractor.

Overall, it was a great success!