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Category Archives: Toddler activities

Montessori?

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We are trying to find an area in which to stay for at least a year in Adelaide – but where to start? Well I guessed that ‘T’s happiness is my happiness adn that sending her to a good nursery with good schools nearby was the most important thing for me, so that is leading our search.

I came accross this Montessori nursery and school online and we are really looking forward to looking round it. I think that ‘T’ is very suited to Montessori education, she is a real thinking and is forever ‘sorthing’ her toys, some of  the below pictures were taken the other day when I found her passing her pretend pasta from one dish to the next, time after time, I’m amazed at how she sets up these little activities for herself and keeps herself entertained with these types of activities. I like the structure, simplicity and early education that the Montessori avenue seems to take, and it seems most suited to how we are at home as well.

When she plays with her play frame she ‘sorts’ and arranges her playsilks on the different slats, and she will sit and play with bricks and duplo for up to 30 minutes alone on a good day.

I really think that she is at teh right stage for a structed nursery now – her energy levels are rising, as is her concentration span (and her constant chatting!) I can’t believe how fast this time has gone and as much as I look forward to seeing her excel in a nursery, which ever one we decide on, I know it’s another chapter that will be closed. My little girl is growing up so fast before my eyes and it scares me!

Young learning through the TV and internet

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The amount of TV that ‘T’ and the content of ‘TV’ that ‘T’ watches at home is carefully monitored. For her first year I was very keen to ensure that her ‘TV’ time was very limited (see here for previous post and my reasons for this).

It’s one of those touchy subjects; when in a local shop recently the shop-keeper said to ‘T’ oh you must like Peppa Pig; here’s a Peppa Pig book’, my daughter looked bemused as she has no idea who ‘Peppa Pig’ is. I personally don’t like the programme that much and I would prefer her to watch more educational and gentle programmes. I find it quite scary and daunting that as I explained to the shop-keeper that ‘T’ doesn’t watch ‘Peppa Pig’, she looked at me in such a shocked way and I immediately felt like I was a completely strange and weird hippy-type mother (which I’m not!). I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with Peppa Pig and I know plenty of parents who let their children watch the programme, it’s just that I choose for ‘T’ to watch other things for my own personal reasons. Our main favourites are Postman Pat, Spot the Dog, Abney and Teal, Maisy Mouse and Come Outside. I like the simple and educational aspect that they all hold as well as the calm and simple storylines and characters.

Since ‘T’ has been very young we have had a bit of a routine where I prepare the evening meal and get the dull, household chores mainly done first thing in the morning from 7am – 8.30 am, where I also drink my coffee, run around doing some housework and get myself ready for the day. In that time, ‘T’ spends 30 mins reading in her bed from 7.00 until 7.30, she then comes down to the kitchen where her breakfast is waiting for her at the table and then she reads a book and eats some fruit watching some educational clips from YouTube whilst I run around getting things sorted for the day. This is what suits us and our routine and it’s one that I would like to keep with however many other children we will have. I find it makes the 5pm dinner-time-preparing time easy and quick so I have less need to turn the TV on then to ‘babysit’ her rather than spend time with her or out and about somewhere.

I often struggle to keep to my beliefs as it seems like there aren’t as many parents out there who use the TV for the same reason as us in our home, I’m sure it’s all about balance and what is right for each family and I want ‘T’ to have a balanced life though I hate the way that limiting TV time makes you out as a ‘strange’ parent. It’s not the easiest choice as I’m sure it would be quite easy to turn on the TV some days and have ‘T’ interested in that instead of reading books or going for walks etc. but I feel that I am doing the right thing for my child. I try and find programmes that I think will help and be good for her life, rather than buying into a commercialised franchise for branded TV programmes, bedding, toys, books, etc – the list is endless.

When I said that she doesn’t watch any TV to some people when she was a baby I seemed to get a lot of surprised reactions or comments such as ‘just wait till she’s older – she’ll watch TV then’  they annoy me a lot! I believe that being a Mum involves looking after, watching, caring, nurturing and educating your child on so many levels and sticking them in front of a TV as a minder is not mothering. Yes, she will watch more TV as she gets older and I’m fine with that, just as she’ll eat more chocolate as she gets older, and one day she’ll be old enough to drink alcohol if she chooses – it goes on; but for today, for now, whilst she is my little-almost 2 year old, she watches what I think is best for her, she relaxes, she gets educated, she can recognise letters of the alphabet, she can (almost) count to 20, she is learning to swim, she is playing in the garden, she has weekly trips to the library, socialising with friends, we make together home-made healthy dinners and is hopefully having the best life I can giver her as a mother. I find it so weird that we live in a world today where it is more unusual to spent half an hour showing your child how to bake or cook, or educate them about nature or paint a picture on a daily basis than it is to stick them in front of the TV.

I have found a fantastic site on YouTube for some really lovely, basic, simple, gentle  and very educational videos to educate toddlers and babies (these are what she watches in the morning). The link is here

this moment

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this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama

(feel free to add a link to your own ‘this moment’ in the comment section below)

this moment……….

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo (I couldn’t decide which photo so added 3 this week)– no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama

(feel free to add a link to your own ‘this moment’ in the comment section below)

Making paperchains

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I fell in love with a couple of sets of paperchains this Christmas but just could not justify spending a pretty steep amount on strips of paper so we set to maing our own.

‘T’ was in charge of somehow getting the paint on to the paper (using a brush, sponge, hands, her nose etc) whilst I cut them and stuck them together with glue nce they had dried.

We’re both very pleased with them!

Clay

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After seeing so many ‘pins’ of cute handprints made by little toddlers I decided that I needed to get some air-drying clay for ‘T’ and I to make some things out of. She absolutely loves playing with her play-doh so I thought this would appeal to her (which it did, a lot!) Here are some of the ideas I got from Pinterest (click here to see my boards if you would like to see the websites they are from):

We did several hand prints and a couple of foot prints. She was so proud of the foot ones and kept saying ‘ook’ (look) and pointing to them. It’s so nice to be able to do these activities with her now and I’m really enjoying the almost conversations that we are having, I know it won’t be long before she’s chatting away to herself constantly.

Once the prints have dried we will paint them. Will update in this space once we have the finished pieces!