Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Toddler Tuesday April 5, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

As I mentioned yesterday, we did a unit on snakes and other reptiles last week.  Bitty Bug didn’t want to sit and listen to the stories, so I assumed she just wasn’t paying attention.  Imagine my surprise when a few days later, she was reciting simple facts she must have overheard from the books I was reading!  It just goes to show you that toddlers are always learning, and for better or worse they are *always* listening ( 😉 LOL!)

Here are some pictures from Bug’s learning this week….

Bug really likes working with these beads! She works on them for a long time almost every session.

While Monkey was using the metal insets for pre-writing practice, Bug was using them to practice her shape naming, shape matching, and pincher grasp skills.

Building towers with the knobless cylinders

Bug also really really loves to do this, and she will often do it independently. She loves taking this book about bunnies matching colors of paint, and put the color tablets on the correct colors in the book.

She even decided to put a black tablet on the black type!

Pouring glass pebbles between multiple cups

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Tot School Tuesday December 21, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 23 months old

This week, Bitty Bug was finally able to enjoy the snow.  I’m pretty sure this is her first winter where she can actually go out and play and enjoy the season–last year, she was still a little baby and wasn’t walking well.  This year though…she’s out digging in the snow, and sledding, and of course, having her first taste of freshly fallen snow.  That was one of the highlights of the week…she took one bite, gave an odd look because it was so cold, and then started shoveling fists full of snow into her mouth.  That girl…

Here’s a review of the week…

Bug, still enjoying the locks & keys work

Bug took all of the little gems out of the sensory bin and one by one dropped them into the clear container. She really concentrates for long periods of time when it comes to putting tiny things in containers...

Bug also loved doing the knobbed cylinders this week. She worked on these a lot, and is now really good at figuring out that she put a cylinder in the wrong compartment, even if the size difference is really small.

Bug received this Plan Toys garden for Christmas (to go with the PT dollhouse she's getting for her birthday). This is actually really good as a peg board-type activity...each little veggie fits into the little holes. It requires a good pincher grasp and good eye-hand coordination to get it just right.

Playing out in the snow. At first, she was not exactly sure how she was supposed to be walking on this slippery snow in such a puffy get-up...

Digging in the snow

Not even snow, ice, and temperatures in the 20's will keep this child off her plasma car though. She *loves* this thing and drives it around the neighborhood every chance she gets.

Off into the sunset...

 

Tot School Tuesday November 9, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:52 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21.5 months old

Bitty Bug continues to gain a fierce sense of independence (except of course when you bring her into a room full of people she doesn’t really know…then she curls up and gets shy. 😉 ).  But, she is getting very good at telling you what she wants, telling you that she wants to do it herself, and telling you when she feels wronged.  And to a toddler with two older siblings, she feels wronged a lot…like any time they have something really cool in their hands that she really really wants at that moment.  So, this week has been a week where Miss Bug learns some frustration tolerance, sharing, and how to deal with her big emotions.  That’s a big job for any child, but when you’re a little toddler with a limited vocabulary, that can be very hard.  So, we’ve seen a lot of tantrums this week, but we’ve also seen a lot of progress where she comes right to us and tells us what’s wrong.  It might be hard to understand what she’s saying, especially when she’s so upset, but she’s trying really hard to express herself!

Here are some pictures of Bug’s week of learning….

Bug enjoyed a warm fall day by playing with sidewalk chalk with Monkey

Our little One Woman Band! Bug did a lot of exploring the various instruments in the music cupboard to see how the various instruments could be used together.

Working with the Autumn/Thanksgiving matching cards. She really enjoyed looking for all of the pictures of pumpkins, since she did a lot of work with pumpkins in recent weeks. There were also a couple of cards she could actually match up too! But in general, I wasn't going for matching...I just was happy that she was looking through the cards!

Bug still loves pouring water! It's probably one of her favorite works. Here, she's pouring from a creamer to a child sized tea cup.

I started Bug on color box 1. I was really impressed--not only could she match them up, but she could point to the correct color when I asked her to find yellow, then blue, then red. And she could name the yellow cards when I asked her what color those were.

Working with her shades & sizes peg board.

The bead after bead board was another one that was a big hit with Bug this week. She's really into counting and colors, so this work combined both of them. She can count to 5 without help and can count to 12 with help! She can also independently name "yellow" and "orange" (probably because we have been working really hard on colors with Monkey, who is still having a really hard time with them.)

Bug still loves the autumn leaf sorting activity. She can't sort the individual colors yet, but she can name some of them. She usually sorts the green ones in one cup, and yellow, orange, and purple in the other cup. This is also good for using the pincher grasp, since all the leaves are pretty small.

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Montessori Monday November 8, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 9 months old

This week, we took a few days off to rest, enjoy the remaining days of early fall, and get some new work ready to go.  Towards the end of the week however, we were back in full swing!  This week, I added quite a few new Thanksgiving and Autumn themed work to transition us away from Halloeween and into the holiday season.  Monkey has also really really shown a strong interest in learning to write, so we are starting the sandpaper letters and and a few activities to bring her more to writing actual letters than shapes (she seems to be getting bored of tracing insets because what she really wants to do is write words.  However, she’s not really at the point of sounding out words at all…)

Another big addition for the week…today is Monkey’s first day of Vietnamese language lessons!  Since she was born in Vietnam, she is still showing a huge interest in Vietnamese culture–food, music, activities, and language.  We found a local college student who is from Hanoi who will be tutoring Monkey starting today!

Here are some pictures from this week’s lessons:

Monkey drew a line from one end of our driveway all the way down to the street. So, as long as we had this nice line, we practiced "walking the line" exercises!

Working with the Animals and their Families cards. Here, she’s sorting out “mother”, “father”, and “baby” for ducks, lions, bears, and sheep.

 

This work was something we downloaded and adapted from http://www.dltk-holidays.com. I printed the turkey, put the pieces of the body & tail together, laminated it, and then laminated each of the individual feather pieces. Using the picher grasp, Monkey put each color in a spot on the turkey’s tail.
We started working on color box 2 now. Monkey was excited to see more than 3 color options! LOL!

Working with the sandpaper numbers. As an added concrete lesson due to Monkey's processing issues, I put 1 red plastic leaf and 2 yellow plastic leaves out for her to count and match to the numbers.

 

Working more on her world map

Sandpaper letters (these aren't real sandpaper letters, but we already had these on hand from when we were teaching Jedi his letters. These have a rough texture for the letters just like sandpaper letters). We worked on M, A, and S (along with "motorcycle", "apple", and "star" for concrete reinforcement of the phonetic sounds)

Grating a bar of soap (apple cinnamon...it fit with the seasonal theme too! 😉 )

 
 
 

***Have you entered our giveaway yet? Enter to win a free set of Montessori albums and a training course by Karen Tyler! http://tinyurl.com/2euh3tm ***
 

***Do you like what you are reading on Barefoot in Suburbia? If so, please consider voting for us in the 2010 Homeschool Blog Awards–we have been nominated in the Best NEW Homeschool Blog category! http://hsbapost.com/ ***
 

Montessori Monday October 18, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Monkey had a busy time in her homeschool room this week!  She seems to be getting into a good routine and almost every day she asks to go down and do her school work.  She usually stays in her homeschool room for 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes she’s been down there for longer than that.  Some days it’s hard to get her to want to stop for the day so we can get to an appointment!

Using the hammering shapes work--the child hammers little shapes into the cork with a wooden hammer (the nails are actually tacks)

Jedi hammering nails into a pumpkin

Monkey hammering nails into a pumpkin. She *loved* this work. The pumpkin now has 3 days worth of nails in it--she seems to come back to this work almost daily!

Sorting purple bats, white skulls, and black spiders into separate cups.

Using tongs to put a black spider into each section of the pan.

Using tweezers to get the corn off the cob and transfer it to the dish.

Using foam pumpkins and pumpkin patch pictures to count. Each patch has a different number written on it and monkey puts down the number of pumpkins written on the patch.

Using the Power of 2 cube. Monkey was *really* fast at this! She got the concept very quickly.

Putting the geometric solids on their bases. She was very interested in the fact that some shapes would fit on more than one base--for example, the pyramid can fit on the triangle base and the square base!

Putting clothespins on the rim of a basket.

Jedi & Monkey painting haunted houses in preparation for their Halloween party

This is a cross between ecology and tonging. The blue paper represents water and the green paper represents land. The little flower pot is a "trash can". I put a bunch of small pieces of foil and paper on top of the "land" and "water" and monkey used the tongs to clean up all of the "litter".

Using the Parts of a Tree puzzle and comparing it to the 3 part cards.

Using the world map continent pieces to do pin punching. She easily took the stylus and put "dots" on the paper around the perimeter of the continent.

 

Tot School Tuesday October 12, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20.5 months old

For a while this past week, we actually thought autumn might arrive.  The temperatures were nice and cool, the leaves started changing, the pumpkin farms are crowded, the fields around us began to be harvested.  And then, it got right back up to 90 degrees again.  Gotta love central Ohio!  Regardless of summer’s refusal to let go, Bug enjoyed working with a lot of autumn themed work this week.  She also loved going on walks almost every day since the weather has been so warm again…and she even decided to do a little exploring of the edge of a newly harvested field.  It’s amazing how long some empty corn cobs can entertain a toddler! 😉

Bug using our Melissa & Doug shapes puzzles.  There are about a dozen different ones, but she always goes straight for the dog one!

This toy is a really good one--you have to sort by color and number. She gets the sorting by number part really well, but usually the colors end up mixed up by the end. She loves this toy!

Putting clothes pins on the rim of a basket. At first, she had a really hard time lining up the gap in the clothespin with the rim of the basket, but after a few minutes she got it. You could tell she was so proud of herself once she did!

Using her fingers to pick up dried corn kernals and put them in the bowl. She stuck with this for a surprisingly long time. Or maybe it's not so surprising considering her love for tiny objects. LOL!

Monkey was using the geometric solids, and Bug decided that they were pretty interesting. She enjoyed trying to figure out which ones could roll.

And apparently she had time to dye her hair this week... 😉 Just kidding of course...she has been playing in the dress-up trunk a lot. Monkey and Bug spend most of their day in various costumes now.

Our autumn sensory bin--Indian corn, corn kernals, some tweezers for pulling off the corn kernals, silk leaves, corn silk, corn leaves, fall colored pipe cleaners, various scoops (and later, we added some corn cobs we found on our nature walk)

There are also some spider rings and spider toys in there too. Bug really liked the spiders. For some reason, she also loves real spiders and picks them up by the legs to carry them around. Such a sweet and curious kid!

Bug's treasures. All of these had been flung out of the nearby field during the harvest. There are some leaves, a stalk, some corn plant roots, a couple empty corncobs, and a full one. All of these went down to the sensory bin.

 

Tot School Tuesday October 5, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 7:48 pm
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20 months old

This week was Tot School Lite in terms of taking pictures.  I didn’t really have the  camera near me for most of the week.  But she did have a lot of learning opportunities this week of course.  Bug is soaking in the last of the nice days before winter and going out for nature walks almost every day.  It’s starting to get a bit chilly here during the day, but she doesn’t really seem to mind much.  She loves being outdoors! 

Bug’s other favorite activity is helping out in the kitchen, so at least 2 or 3 times a day every day, she’s up in the Learning Tower helping to cook.  She washed apples, scrubbed potatoes, and mixed cookie dough, among other cooking activities this week.  This girl loves to help cook!

Bug’s other big accompishment in the past week is deciding that she wants to potty learn.  We don’t potty train our kids, and instead, we just leave potty chairs in rooms they frequently play in and just let them decide when they want to potty learn.  So far, it’s worked–both of the older kids potty trained completely in a day or two, around 2 1/2 years old, w ithout any  help from me.  It seems like Bug is wanting to learn even earlier.  She hates wearing clothes and diapers anyhow, so I guess I’m a bit happy she likes to use the potty chair a lot. 😉  Now, I don’t have any disillusions that I’ll have the 2 year old that’s potty trained by her birthday, but hey, if she wants to try, I’m not going to stop her. 😀

And here are the couple pictures I was able to take this week:

A few weeks ago, Bug used the cheese shaker and pipe cleaners to poke the pipe cleaners into the holes of the lid. This time, she didn't want to do that--instead, she wanted me to name all of the colors for her while she repeated the names.

Bug decided that she wanted to put beads on the pipe cleaner, next. Look at her concentration! She was really working hard on this. She had gotten the entire pipe cleaner covered in beads, but then knocked most of them off before deciding she wanted a bracelet.

Her finished bracelet!

Here, she's using her fingers to put beads in each of the holes of the snail tray. She has remarkable eye-hand coordination and pincer grasp!