10.08.2019

Apples! a toddler invitation to play



I love early Autumn, before the leaves start to fall, when the days are still warm and the mornings have just the smallest hint of the crisp, cool weather that's to come. Makes me want apple crisp along with my coffee for breakfast.

Fortunately for me, my in-laws have a couple apple trees that have been busy producing tons of apples, so apple crisp (and lots of it!) is definitely in my future!

With all the apples starting to ripen, it was the perfect time to explore and experience apples with my two year old!

While this isn't a formal "unit," and this definitely isn't "school," I have found that having themed invitations to play helps me to come up with creative activities to help my toddler learn through play and hands on experiences.

Here's what we did!

10.05.2019

Seven Quick Takes : two year old woes, apple crisp, slide rafts, and a house plant

Just seven little things about our week!
...   .1.   ...

We've been getting to the little public library in town about once a week or so lately, and this week was no exception.

9.30.2019

Busy Bin : Apple Pie

This week, my 24-month old and I have been focusing on apples!

There are so many fun apple play activities, and we've had a great time learning through play together this week! To see more of what we did, check out our apple themed activities here!

One thing we've really enjoyed this week has been our busy bin! I debated just not doing a busy bin at all this week and focusing on more real-life sensory activities (like apple picking and making apple crisp together), but then I saw this fun Apple Pie sensory bin and thought I'd give it a try!

9.06.2019

Acorns! toddler play experience



Acorns, acorns everywhere!

We had a great time playing and learning about acorns this week!

Acorns were the perfect focus for this week for several reasons. Here in the Midwest, Fall is upon us already this year, but the weather has remained just beautiful.

And, I just happen to know an area with huge old oak trees. Jackpot. And they just happened to be falling in earnest this week (thanks for the inside scoop, Kristin!)

Busy Bin : Acorns



Acorns are a great Fall theme for directed play, and here in the Midwest, it's acorn season!

My toddler (he's just about 24 months old) and I had a great time learning about and playing with acorns this week. To see more about the activities, books, and resources we used, check out my page about our acorn activities!

8.26.2019

Seven Quick Takes : Black Hills 2019

Well, our annual Black Hills trip has come and gone already. I'm not sure how August is almost over, already, but there it is. Here are seven quick takes from our trip!


..1..

This year was the first Black Hills trip for two newbies-- little Koben, and our new-to-us camper. We purchased this camper in late April. It's exactly what we've been looking for over the past few years -- it's a toy hauler (the bed raises up to the ceiling, the back wall doubles as a ramp, and it has tie downs for small vehicles or motorcycles), it has a large bathroom and lots of storage space, and it's only 17 feet long.


It was in rough shape on the inside, and needed lots of scrubbing and TLC (thanks, Mom!) before it was ready to go.

Overall, we really like it.

8.15.2019

Sorta-Montessori : Toddler Water Play Skills Bin (a sensory bin alternative)

We have been (imperfectly, sort of) following a Montessori-style philosophy with our toddler for almost a year now.

While we don't follow all the "rules," (our toddler sleeps in a pak n play, not a floor bed; we have many plastic toys; he uses a high chair for meals...), some Montessori principles are practical, helpful for our family, and fit with our parenting style. So we use those, and toss the ideas that don't work for us.

One thing that is technically not a Montessori activity is sensory bins.

If you're not familiar, a sensory bin is a container with a base material like sand, corn, slime, water... and then some objects or manipulatives for a child to use to interact with the base material. They're super popular, often very engaging for kiddos, and can range from simple to very, very elaborate.

There are millions of ideas out there for really awesome sensory bins.

But generally, they're not really Montessori.