Saturday, 30 June 2012

July is Penguin Month!

In the spirit of keeping my child entertained, I have put a whole heap of new things on her shelves this month.  Most of them are Montessori-inspired - largely because she keeps telling me to make her "jobs like I used to do," and also because she likes to have a choice of things to do.  I do still very much enjoy the Montessori-style activities, especially when I can see how much Niamh loves to do them.  I suspect our learning style will end up a bit ecclectic, at least in the early years.

Anyway, here's what we have to play with:

Sticker number matching.  She loves these foam number stickers (and we also have letters and animals), and rather than just allowing her to plaster the house (which she was doing), I came up with this little number matching game.  It's not about number recognition (though she does ask and recognise the numbers) but more about making the correct match with the stickers provided.

And here's her trying it out (Mess?  What mess?):

 A spooning activity:

 A tonging and colour separation activity:

Very Montessori - introduction to decimal system golden beads:

Glass bead pattern and shape matching (this one is a big hit - especially when we made penguin shapes out of them!)

We also have play dough, stacking boxes, lego, wooden food and cutlery sets, wooden blocks and a whole heap of other things.  We also tried cutting an orange and squeezing our own juice today using a hand-juicer.  She barely ended up with a mouthful, but she had fun, so I'm sure it'll be something she'll ask to do again (in fact, she already has...but 3 oranges is probably enough for one day!).

Oh!  I nearly forgot about Penguin Month.  Each month, we are going to look at a specific topic (we even have a little box...I will take a photo and post it later).  This month is...surprise surprise...penguin month!  We have already made a world map showing where penguins live (I'll post a photo later), made penguin play dough shapes, and of course, there is this month's sensory tub:

In this tub are:

- White, black and yellow pompoms (looks a bit like a penguin colony on snow)
- 8 penguin buttons
- 3 ice blue and 1 glittery "snow flakes" (pompoms)
- penguin food (fish, squid and krill made out of clear plastic and silver pen)
- ice cubes and water droplets (glass beads)
- sticker spelling game - she needs to find, match and make the words "egg," "chick," and "penguin"
   using the foam stickers in the tub
- photos of a penguin egg, chick and adult penguin

Here's what it looks like all crammed in:

Doing the penguin sticker spelling:

We are heading off to the museum tomorrow to see a dinosaur puppet show, which I am hoping she will enjoy (even though it's not penguins).

Thursday, 28 June 2012

What's Been Happening?

What has been happening?  Not much.  Well, lots and lots of not much, which - if you know what I mean - may be translated as "heaps of stuff, none of which I can specifically recall, or that seems especially relevant."

So I'll update in pictures, cos they're pretty and have, you know, colours n stuff.

Niamh has specifically been asking for "jobs" to do, lately (as in Montessori activities), so I have been obliging by coming up with a whole heap.  It's amazing how timely her request is, since she would have been starting school, if we'd kept her enrolled at the local Montessori.  I am still very much on the "unschooling" pathway, but I figure if she's asking for Montessori-type things to do, then I am merely making good on her requests.

A sticker matching activity (pardon the mess on the floor - created when she up-ended a jar of animal stickers while doing the activity I made for her).  She has to match the numbers written on each card, using her foam number stickers.

A close-up of the activity components,  The cards and the little pink bowl of stickers all pack away in the wooden box:

Niamh has been asking about the days of the week etc lately, so we made a calendar:

A traditional Montessori job - the hanging bead stair (except in our house, Niamh teaches the duck toys how to do it...)

Some free time at the park in between rain, rain, rain:

Making numbers up to 19:

Going to Penguin Island on a boat:

And so much more.

Can't believe my little baby is going to be 3 in just a few short weeks.