Monthly Archives: March 2013

Kent’s Birthday Present

We have the perfect birthday present on order for Kent!  His birthday isn’t until July but you know us, we like to plan ahead!

The exact specifications are unavailable at this time, and despite having some pictures we’re told that the item may vary a bit from the description.

The estimated arrival date is July 13th, 2013.  Kent was shipped earlier than expected though so you never know. 😉

BABY BECKER 19W4D_1

They were able to provide us with some details.  Such as… IT’S A BOY!

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And… I’m feeling great.  Thanks for asking a million times!  😀

This is at 21 weeks and 1 day.

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Tot School: St. Patrick’s Day week

Kent was 20 months old.

As we’ve been growing in our faith I’ve started digging in to each holiday and trying to decipher whether or not it is worth celebrating.  For us, St. Patrick’s Day is.  We are not Catholic but the story of how St. Patrick spread the word of God is still an inspiring story that I feel Kent can benefit from hearing.  I wanted to make the week really fun.  It was VERY fun, even better than Brown week.  Planning and preparation is really paying off.

I wish I had snapped a picture of the tot tray shelf.  I’ll try to do that from now on.

We made homemade vanilla pudding and Kent stirred in green food coloring.  Fun to watch!

We made homemade vanilla pudding and Kent stirred in green food coloring. Fun to watch!

A rainbow showed up right in our front yard at the best possible time.  All three of us stopped eating in the middle of dinner and sat on the porch for awhile to enjoy the sight.  Kent is still talking about it.

A rainbow showed up right in our front yard at the best possible time. All three of us stopped eating in the middle of dinner and sat on the porch for awhile to enjoy the sight. Kent is still talking about it.

St. Patrick's Day sensory bin: 2 packages of green split peas from WalMart, green pom poms, green foam shapes from our green bath activity, 3 strands of shamrock mardi gras style beads, and a green laundry soap scoop.  He loved it!

St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin: 2 packages of green split peas from WalMart, green pom poms, green foam shapes from our Green week, 3 strands of shamrock mardi gras style beads from the dollar store, and a green laundry soap scoop. He loved it!

I asked him for a smile and this is what I got.  Funny guy!

I asked him for a smile and this is what I got. Funny guy!

Rainbow craft for Great-Grandma's birthday: I rubber banded several crayons together and let him color over where he had watercolored earlier.  Then I put glue on the pot and let him stick it where he wanted.

Rainbow craft for Great-Grandma’s birthday: I rubber banded several crayons together and let him color over where he had painted watercolor earlier. Then I put glue on the pot and let him stick it where he wanted.  Oh, and he added glitter.

This was really fun, although I couldn't get any good pictures during the activity.  It was a scavenger hunt!  I printed off some coins, colored them yellow, and laminated them.  Then I hid them in various containers: an envelope (not sealed), a ziploc bag, a take out container, a paper sack, some things with lids, and the zipper pocket on this bag.  He had fun going through and finding them and preferred to put them all in the zipper pocket as they were found.

This was really fun, although I couldn’t get any good pictures during the activity. It was a scavenger hunt!  I saw this idea here. I printed off some coins, colored them yellow, and laminated them. Then I hid them in various containers: an envelope (not sealed), a ziploc bag, a take out container, a paper sack, some things with lids, and the zipper pocket on this bag. He had fun going through and finding them and preferred to put them all in the zipper pocket as they were found.  The only free coin printable I could find was a Crayola one so I just used the coins that didn’t say Crayola.

Practical life skill: dusting with a green feather duster from the dollar store.

Practical life skill: dusting with a green feather duster from the dollar store.

The highlight of the week!  An obstacle course of green streamers!  Best gross motor activity ever.

The highlight of the week! An obstacle course of green streamers! Best gross motor activity ever.

Our house doesn't have hallways so opened up all the doors makes a circle to run around and around.

Our house doesn’t have hallways so opening up all the doors makes a circle that he can run around and around.

Over

Over

Under!

Under!

He found a ball and threw it through the streamers.

He found a ball and threw it through the streamers.

Later it the week the sensory bin made a great seat.

Later in the week the sensory bin made a great seat.

Our favorite library books from the week.  Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland was really, really good and tells the real story of St. Patrick fairly accurately from what I understand.

Our favorite library books from the week. Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland was really, really good and tells the real story of St. Patrick fairly accurately from what I understand.

We also colored a free printable of St. Patrick and made a shamrock egg carton craft.  It was a GREAT week!

Have you changed the way you think about holidays due to your faith?  Any awesome activities we missed?

Tot School: Brown

Kent was 20 months old.

I spent a lot more time planning Brown week and it paid off.  There was a bit of frustration on my part when he didn’t want to do some of the activities but I adjusted and we had fun.

Tot trays clockwise from top left: painting with "mud", Heads and Tails matching cards (Brown Bear Brown Bear theme), paper bag with stickers, pouring beans, color bin, and paper plate craft.

Tot trays clockwise from top left: painting with “mud”, Heads and Tails matching cards (Brown Bear Brown Bear theme), paper bag with stickers, pouring beans, color bin, and paper plate craft.

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Making his tractor all muddy! First he colored it with Do-A-Dot markers.

Inspired by muddy pigs over at Twodaloo.

Inspired by muddy pigs over at Twodaloo.

We made avocado chocolate pudding (a favorite of ours) and Kent did the dishes.

We made avocado chocolate pudding (a favorite of ours) and Kent did the dishes.

I cut out a lot of brown objects from magazines and made them in to stickers with our Xyron Create-a-Sticker.  When he was done I cut eye holes in it and cut it up the sides so he could stick his arms through.  He didn't really want to wear it but we played peek-a-book through it and that was fun.

I cut out a lot of brown objects from magazines and made them in to stickers with our Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine. When he was done I cut eye holes in it and cut it up the sides so he could stick his arms through. He didn’t really want to wear it but we played peek-a-book through it and that was fun.

The highlight of the week, although I confess that we only did it once.  A "carwashing station" courtesy of You Are The Roots.

The highlight of the week, although I confess that we only did it once. A “carwashing station” courtesy of You Are The Roots.

Both grandmas saved their coffee grounds and I mixed them with cocoa powder to make the dirt.  Then, once they were nice and brown, he rinsed them in the soapy water and we set them on the rack to dry.  I explained that we were not to pour the dirt in to the water.  I forgot to say we don't pour the water in to the dirt...

Both grandmas saved their coffee grounds and I mixed them with cocoa powder to make the dirt. Then, once they were nice and brown, he rinsed them in the soapy water and we set them on the rack to dry. I explained that we were not to pour the dirt in to the water. I forgot to say we don’t pour the water in to the dirt…

It was fun anyway!

It was fun anyway!

Lots of favorite books this week.

Lots of favorite books this week.

We did the matching cards a couple times.  This was our first time using them so he didn’t quite “get it” enough to find both parts.  Instead, I laid them all out, already matched, and had him pick out the animals by name and then pick up both parts and put them in the pocket.  This worked well and was a good way to practice his language skills.

The yellow basket, aka color bin, was taken around the house and filled with random brown objects.  We have a coonskin cap from his Grandpa Larry and Kent enjoyed petting them and playing with it a little bit.

I’ll do a separate post of the paper plate craft.

This was by far our best week yet.  Stay tuned for our St. Patrick’s themed week which was even better.  What has been your favorite theme or activity when working with your children?

This post is linked to:
Tot School Gathering Place Week 10
Montessori Monday

Tot School: Pink

Painting with liquid watercolors.  We have this set and it has been a great investment.  I add a lot of water to stretch them.

Painting with liquid watercolors. We have this set and it has been a great investment. I add a lot of water to stretch them.

Pink sensory bin: water beads, foam shapes, plastic frog and scoop.  I set this up in the bathtub with the drain stopper in and a towel down.

Pink sensory bin: water beads, foam shapes, plastic frog and scoop. I set this up in the bathtub with the drain stopper in and a towel down.

White glue mixed with pink watercolor, then we put glitter on it.

White glue mixed with pink watercolor, then we put glitter on it.

The stacker from IKEA made a reappearance and he liked it a lot better this time.

The stacker from IKEA made a reappearance and he liked it a lot better this time.

Our favorite books from the week.  He LOVED the Sally Jean book and the Firefighter one.  We'll have to revisit the Firefighter book when we do community service themes.

Our favorite books from the week. He LOVED the Sally Jean book and the Firefighter one. We’ll have to revisit the Firefighter book when we do community service themes.

Tot School: January (Purple and Color Review)

Kent was 18 months old.

We kind of wandered through January.  I tried to rotate the tot trays so that he had fun stuff to play with but I didn’t do a lot of planning or set any real goals.  We spent some time on the color purple.

At some point I realized that even though we’d covered most of the colors I still wasn’t really sure if Kent knew and recognized them.  There was a time when he would accurately point the “the red ball” or the “green tree” in his books, but other times that he would point to something else.  So, we did some fun color review activities.  After working through them I could tell that he did recognize most colors, with normal errors and confusion over similar colors.  It’s just good to know where we’re at.

The idea here was to stuff the pom poms in to the matching shape.  This was our first color review and he wasn't really in to it.

The idea here was to stuff the pom poms in to the matching shape. This was our first color review and he wasn’t really in to it.

This was a big deal, it was one of the very first times I noticed him engaging in imaginative play and showing interest in his stuffed animals in a new way.  He carried these two around for much of the day.

This was a big deal, it was one of the very first times I noticed him engaging in imaginative play and showing interest in his stuffed animals in a new way. He carried these two around for much of the day.

Pouring beans between two pitchers.  This activity was a permanent fixture on his shelf for months.  He loves it.  When we first started he could only pour once or twice before tiring out his hands and wrists, and he was pretty careless when the beans spilled.  Now he can pour for a long time and he stops to pick up any escaped beans.

Pouring beans between two pitchers. This activity was a permanent fixture on his shelf for months. He loves it. When we first started he could only pour once or twice before tiring out his hands and wrists, and he was pretty careless when the beans spilled. Now he can pour for a long time and he stops to pick up any escaped beans.

Cleaning his table with a spray bottle and cloth.  At first he wasn't strong enough to spray with his hands so he would press the handle down on the table.  Now he can hold the bottle with one hand and press the handle with the other.

Cleaning his table with a spray bottle and cloth. At first he wasn’t strong enough to spray with his hands so he would press the handle down on the table. Now he can hold the bottle with one hand and press the handle with the other.

One to one correspondence: put one shape in each spot.  He did this well but got bored with it.

One to one correspondence: put one shape in each spot. He did this well but got bored with it.

He took off with puzzles around this time and has mastered the chunky puzzles on his own.

He took off with puzzles around this time and has mastered the chunky puzzles on his own.

A fun way to review colors: just an oatmeal container with holes punched in the lid.  I used markers to color around each hole and provided matching pipe cleaners.

A fun way to review colors: just an oatmeal container with holes punched in the lid. I used markers to color around each hole and provided matching pipe cleaners.

Just a fun, easy, fine motor activity: the net from the oranges spread out over the box and some wooden skewers for sticking through.

Just a fun, easy, fine motor activity: the net from the oranges spread out over the box and some wooden skewers for sticking through.

More imaginative play.  He was using the skid steer to clean out the barn, all on his own.

More imaginative play. He was using the skid steer to clean out the barn, all on his own.

A purple craft: feathers, construction paper, sequins, etc., sandwiched between 2 pieces of contact paper.

A purple craft: feathers, construction paper, sequins, etc., sandwiched between 2 pieces of contact paper.

Where are you at with learning colors?  What are your favorite color activities?

Tot School: December

Kent was 17 months old.

Ha, the only pictures I have from December are these two.  We made cloud dough.  It was fun but I think he tried to dump it out and I lost my cool.  We moved it to the bathtub and then the bathtub was greasy for a long time.

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We also did a few activities from The Truth in the Tinsel.  I googled and googled before I bought it trying to figure out if it would be age appropriate for a 17 month old.  The few comments I could find made it sound like the answer was yes.  I think the answer is yes, BUT you’d want to: a) have all your materials prepared ahead of time, and b) tell yourself to relax and let it be what it will be.  Neither describes me in December.  I was trying to pull supplies together with him at my side and he would (understandably) try to grab at them before I was ready, and I would get irritated.  Also, I had a long list of Christmas gifts to finish at the last minute so I was generally struggling in December anyway.  I’m still glad I bought the ebook, it will be perfect for us to use next year (especially since I have the whole year to prepare).

Did you do any fun Christmas activities?  Have you tried Truth in the Tinsel?  If so, what ages were your kids and did they enjoy it?  Anything else I should plan for next Christmas?

 

Tot School: November

Kent was 17 months old.

Stacking cans.

Stacking cans.

This is our simple version of a turkey: wooden skewers stuck in to a squash.

This is our simple version of a turkey: wooden skewers stuck in to a squash.  Inspired by this.

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Taking home our Christmas tree.

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After helping Daddy cut down the tree.

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Turkey craft! He really enjoys these and they turn out nice. Construction paper cut out, clear contact paper sticky side up and taped to the table, lots of glitter, crayons, markers, confetti, etc. Then stick another cut out over it, another layer of contact paper sticky side down, and trim around the edges.

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Showing off the finished product with Daddy. 

Playing music on the keyboard.

Playing music on the keyboard.