Wednesday, March 30, 2011

nurturing the babies

The other day I noticed J had lined up his "babies" and covered them with his beloved blanket. Then he gave each of them a bottle or sippy cup:

I provided him an opportunity to extend his dramatic play by giving him a cup and spoon so he could feed his babies:

Then we burped the babies:

J will make a great daddy one day!
The end!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

finding hooks

J has been mentioning hooks a lot lately. He came into my bedroom and when he saw I had hung my sports bra on the dresser knob, he cried, "hook! hook!" He then proceeded to try and hang it on the other dresser knobs. 

After a few more hook mentions (he hung is art bib after window painting on my dresser hook too) I realized he was (duh) showing an interest in hooks.

After his nap today I offered J his book bag and asked him if he wanted to find some hooks. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of these photos. I used my camera phone and little J is quite fast and often looks like a blur.

The first hook he found was the one holding up the diaper bag. He couldn't reach and moved on:
Next his changing table knobs: 
The bathroom door where we got distracted by his makeshift ball pit:
(We stopped a minute to play)
When he got out he was happy to resume the activity:
When he got to the buffet, he said, "Hook? No." But he gave it a shot anyway:
We were on our way downstairs when he found the door handle worked:
After this he had a tantrum because he couldn't go outside yet. I suspected he was hungry so we stopped to have a snack (another tantrum ensued because he couldn't have chocolate). After he calmed down he happily ate his banana with peanut butter and graham crackers. Then daddy came home from the auto parts store and hanging out with him in the garage fixing the truck became more attractive. 

To be continued in the basement!

vinegar and baking soda experinment

An oldie but goodie. We used a pipette and a salt shaker bottle to transfer vinegar into a tray of baking soda. (I use Colorations liquid watercolors instead of food coloring because it doesn't stain).

J was delighted with the bubbles it made. He said, "bubbles" and "izzy" (fizzy). Eventually we had to refill the vinegar and replace the baking soda (three times). Then we reversed the process and added baking soda to a cup of vinegar. He liked this process better. 

The end!

transferring beans

These beans reminded me of TicTacs. So I thought I'd set out my empty container for a transferring activity. 

I poured all the beans into the cup because I wasn't sure how many he'd want to do. Apparently it was too much, or the container I put them in was too tight because he dumped them on the tray either in frustration or for better access, I'm not sure. He hasn't been interested in doing this activity again, so I think it was a bit too much (though he put about 10 beans in). 

The end!

window painting

I recently set up our basement for messy play. We (well, my husband) repainted it from the Pepto Bismol color it was to something more contemporary and tiled half the floor for easy clean up. But I have yet to utilize this space because the light on our main floor is so brilliant and inviting, especially coming from our sliding glass door. I finally gave in and bought some BioColor paint for some window painting. 

Now, J is wearing a smock in this photo because he asked for one. I don't like most smocks because I think they are so bulky. But we had this old bib (that he never used to want to wear) so I put it on him and let him paint away. 

As he painted he talked about the colors he was using and named them. 

I've never painted on windows before but I highly recommend it. The BioColor washed off like a charm! 

The end!

the power of absorbtion (or using a sponge)!

I got this idea from Melissa from Chasing Cheerios (I  love her blog,  J and I will be trying out many of her activities).

I set up a tray, a sponge, and a salt shaker of water. I showed J how to sprinkle the water onto the tray and how to wipe it up with the sponge. He was very engaged in this activity wiping and sprinkling over and over.

Ah, sweet sweet concentration! I actually managed to unload and load the dishwasher! 

The end! 

transferring pom poms

J loves these Montessori-type activities. I think most children do.

I set him up with a tray, some tongs, a bowl of pom poms and an egg tray. He did the rest! 

The end! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

J's interest in trains

J is fascinated by anything with a motor, be it large or small. But he has shown a particular interest in trains. He constantly brings me books with trains to read, and he watches in rapt fascination when we get stopped by one (now I turn off a side road to get closer to one if we are too far away in traffic).

Knowing this, I brought him to a park we don't normally visit because of its nearness to some railroad tracks. First we went and observed the tracks. Then we went to play in the park for a little bit until we heard a whistle blowing in the distance.

The train was so close and SO loud. J turned his head into my neck when the horn blew and missed the conductor waving to him!

After the train went by we investigated the gate. I explained how the gate went down when a train was coming and that it means cars have to stop. (We got closer to the gate than this photo, but I was alone and unable to photograph up close for obvious safety reasons). 
J was very interested in the gate: it's lights, it's movements, and its sounds. When we got home he looked at his train book again and again and said, "Gate. Cars stop." He also shared his experiences with his teachers at school. (The school is near some tracks as well and the children can see and hear the train from the playground). 

J has a set of wooden train tracks that he builds with daily. I wonder if we could focus a little on creating  a gate for it or recreate the movements of the gate and the train using our bodies.

The end!

straws in a the tub!

Bath time is always a struggle. J likes the bath once he gets in, but getting him in there can be an ordeal. Today I enticed him with a container and straws. We do a lot of Montessori-inspired transferring activities, but have yet to try them in the tub. 

At first J struggled with the empty bottle because of it's buoyancy (it tended to flip over) and wanted to stand up. Not wanting him to slip,  I opened the cap and filled it with water so it was more stable. I gave J about 30 straws and he patiently put them in one by one, but he could have easily done more.

It seems he wanted to challenge himself so he tried to do a couple at a time, and he did struggle:

Good for you little man!

The end!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


J was playing on the kitchen floor with some of the more benign contents of our silverware drawer when he came upon the garlic press. I offered him a clove of garlic. It proved to be too difficult for him so he gave up and  pointed to the counter and said, "cooking." 

I lifted him up and offered him a bowl of flour and a spoon and a small jar of thyme. He then said, "milk?" I told him we couldn't play with milk, but offered him some stale iced tea I had in the back of the fridge that I had been meaning to pour out. I put a splash into a measuring cup and set it close by, refilling it when he wanted more:

He poured and sprinkled, and tinkered with the lid of the jar for a little while. 
Then I remembered I had some coffee grounds still in the coffee maker, and curious to see what he would do with them, I set them nearby as well. J said "coffee, uck!" and filled up a measuring spoon. 

He then dug his hand in and said, "uh oh, mess!" and needed me to clean his hand (he definitely doesn't get this from me!) After cleaning up J decided he was done. 

This interaction made me realize that my baby is talking now and I had better start documenting his words!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

everything in a row

I love when children line things up in a row. To me it indicates the beginning of mathematical thinking: intentional organization, categorization and pattern making.

J is interested in lining up almost anything:

 Cheese puffs:
 Candy hearts (I swear these snacks were initally in a bowl):
Dog treats (that he was supposed to be feeding to the dog. The minute J turned his head the dog lapped it up, lol)
Rocks, cars:
The end!

"tacks" (tracks)

J loves playing with his "cahs" (cars) and his "tains" (trains). So I thought it might be nice to make tracks in the paint with his cars. While he was playing J pointed and said  "tacks" (tracks) and "chachacha choo".

All done:

The end!

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