Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The makings of an exchange

We still have things to gather before we send out our Cultural exchange packets but here are the makings of the craft goodies we are sending, wooden nutcrackers complete with paint and brushes, Pipe cleaners in the colors of the German flag, and some lovely trains for Window art. Of course no package for children is complete with out stickers! I still need to add a flag, post cards, pictures, and a lovely little story about a boys daily life in Germany!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hot Wheels Painting

 This was a hit! We got out hot wheels, corks, bubble wands, and toy animals and saw what they could do. Not only did we paint on paper and bodies, we got the slide, and of course as finger paining always does it ends with foot painting (which usually causes one child or another to fall over) When all was said and done the boys had a great time, Little little ate A LOT of paint and we have some great track work for their walls. We got out paint here it's gluten free, non toxic, and has almost nothing in it that could cause allergies which is perfect for this house!

Friday, July 20, 2012


It's funny how being a mother is never really what you thought it would be. I never thought I could be this tired (All the time) or that I could get over the gag to the point of vomiting urge at the sight of throw up, among other things. I also never thought I could love this deeply so instantly, or have so much joy at something as simple as a smile, or a little person whispering how much they love you. As I type this I have a one year old destroying the house and completely full of joy, and an almost four year old having a lovely water activity in the sink (aka my house will soon be soaked!) It's amazing the difference there is between life in my house with two boys and life growing up in a house full of five girls. You never realize how glorious destruction can be until you have a son. The other day while I was willing away the time I read a few quotes that made me realize how important everything children do really is. It's amazing to think something as simple as playing with a toy is developing your child both physically and mentally.

"Respect all reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages in and try to understand them." -Maria Montessori

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But, for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." Fred Rogers

Sometimes I feel like I need a wall of things like this, constant reminders to let things go and let my children be what they need in that moment. However if I had a whole wall of all the things I should be doing as a mother I fear I would spend the majority of my time reading it and worrying about it instead of parenting in a natural way that flows for us all.

Language Activity (1yr)

A Language Activity With Feeding Objects (1yr)

Indirect Aim:To be able to put activities away, motor and cognitive development
Direct Aim:Develop skills for recognizing objects
Materials:Three items used at feeding time (spoon, cup, bowl, plate, fork), a small basket, a tray
This activity was easy enough to set up, using three items per sitting you present the child (this is for 12 months) tell them what it is allow them to explore it and then ask them to put it in the basket. After each object has been explained and placed in the basket you ask for specifics. When they give you the wrong thing you explain what they have and ask again for your first object. We have been giving little little a small glass cup to drink out for the last few months but, I will admit I still cringe when he thinks it needs to go for a walk, and the fact that he loves to throw things at the dinner table doesn't help the cringe factor much either!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hand Transfer

This activity teaching children how to control items from one object to the next, in our case it also taught someone how dumping out the bowl onto the tray made some lovely rain sounds! It got a good five minutes of use. I love these activities that cost nothing and teach coordination and control!
 I have done a few activities with the little one, (coin box, cylinder and box, and we are working on multiple shape puzzles) I have a few activities set up for each boy on shelves they can reach and both work on them often (I'd like a bit more) for now the main thing we are in desperate need of working on is cleaning up and putting things back where they go! The little has started "cleaning" things up and while the proves might be two blocks in and one block out at the moment we are making progress!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Children of the World

It's been a long time since I posted. Life has been full of family, camping, swimming and more sickness than any summer deserves. The more I get into Montessori, and getting ready for Big little to start attending Montessori preschool this summer, the more I love it. For me one of the biggest things in it is teaching children to be more than just a child of their environment, their community, or their country, Montessori believes in helping children become children of the world. Both of our boys have been to more countries than everyone in our families (save my father) but both are/were so little I don't know how much they will remember (little little if any). In order to help them become children of the world I have been on a campaign to bring awareness to them as much as possible about cultures of the world. We are anxiously awaiting Little Passports, we signed up for the Jettsetters package which will send us;

  • A letter from Sam and Sofia describing their in-country adventures
  • Fun and unique souvenirs and gifts that bring each country to life
  • A secret code to access our online Boarding Zone full of games & activities

After exploring each package I plan on finding a special dish from the country and having them help cook it, searching for video's on Youtube, and doing all that we can to connect with how life there differs from ours.
We FINALLY (Weeks seems like a long time for those of us who have no patience) Got a group for Chasing Cheerios Cultural Exchange, which we are more excited about that even our Little Passport. In our group we have Guatemala/USA, Australia, and Canada. We will get letters from kids telling us about their lives, activities, pictures, recipes and more. We are standing in for Germany for this one and I cannot wait to get the packages together to send out. (I will post them as soon as they're ready!)  After joining Chasing Cheerios I decided this is something I want to do as often as possible and found This website , the wait should be about a month before we are assigned a group but it will be well worth it. First we are planning on the world exchange and next time around we are going to do Stateside.
The thing I am most excited about in all of this is having the boys (really only Big little at this point) feel a connection between himself and the world. He has such a deep connection to Germany, and I want him to realize how much good there is in a world so full of evil and disappointment and to know that no matter how different you are from someone you are so much the same.