Building Rainbows

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Real Tools

With moving into a new house Lizzy has seen Mike and I use various tools to hammer nails in the walls and do small repairs. Lizzy is always curious and thinks she can use the tools herself.  To gain some practice, fine motor skills, and hand eye coordination I set up an activity for Lizzy to practice hammering. The materials used were a Styrofoam block, golf tees, and a real hammer. Lizzy enjoyed this very much and over the next few days filled the Styrofoam block with holes from all the hammering of golf tees and taking them out again.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Homework Assignment: It's All About Lizzy

Lizzy had her first "homework" assignment the first week of preschool. Lizzy was up long after her bedtime finishing her homework because she wanted to color everything in. Who knew homework would be so much fun...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cloud Dough

Another post inspired by activities at the children's museum is cloud dough. While we were in the gift shop Lizzy wanted cloud dough they had there to play with. I remembered seeing recipes for cloud dough and we decided to try to make our own. It was super easy just 8 cups of flour and one cup of baby oil. The cloud dough feels really soft but can be molded like sand. It also smells really good and leaves your hands soft because of the baby oil. We also got to use all our old sand toys again that Lizzy had already forgotten about. We keep the cloud dough in an bin sealed and so far it is still doing well. Lizzy plays with the dough a couple times a week.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

DIY Color Matching Ice Cream Playset

When Lizzy went to the children's museum one of her favorite activities was the ice cream stand. The cones were made of foam sheets and the ice cream was foam balls. I recreated something similar using foam sheets from the dollar tree and a pack of 10 balls also from the dollar tree. To make the cones I just shaped the foam sheets into cones and hot glued them and that's all I had to do. For $2 and very little effort Lizzy had her own ice cream set. She really enjoys playing with it. For younger children you could use this to color match the cone and ice cream. Lizzy uses a ladle to scoop the ice cream into the cones she really gets into pretending she is making ice cream cones for us.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Painted Box

What happens when mommy comes home from work with paint supplies and we get an amazon delivery? A painted box by Lizzy!

It's sometimes hard to come home from work with fun supplies I've used that day at work or activities/toys I bring back home after my visits with families because Lizzy of course wants to play with them. I am usually okay with that but it's also usually dinner time so she has to wait until after dinner. Waiting is hard but Lizzy is getting better about waiting and being helpful with cleaning up which is good. So, while I cleaned the kitchen Lizzy painted a box we got from an amazon delivery. The finished box will be Bella's new dog house : / !

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Coloring Without Limits

Coloring can be relaxing and a wind down activity at our house. Coloring books are great and Lizzy definitely enjoys her coloring books but she also enjoys coloring and drawing on plain pieces of paper creating her own pictures. Her pictures become more detailed and complex each time. Ask your child to tell you about their drawings you may be surprised by how thought out and detailed their pictures really are. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beading and Handwork

At home we have found a new hobby Lizzy and I can do together beading, and jewelry making. I use to enjoy the hobby of jewelry making but stopped for quite a while. I already had beads I have picked out and sorted for specific items I planned to make so I brought those out to do with Lizzy. Lizzy has been making beaded bracelets and necklaces for quite a while as this is one of her works she chose to do almost daily at her Montessori school. Lizzy can string beads even with the smallest of holes and string it is quite amazing. Handwork is important in both Montessori and Waldorf education. Handwork in preschool and kindergarten includes playing and modeling playdoh, clay, playing with sand, mud, wool, and bread making. All of these activities build small muscles in the hands for fine motor, and are connected to the intellectual part of the brain as well as the creative. Once those fine motor skills are gained beading, knitting, and sewing can be learned.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Phoenix Children's Museum

Tita and Tito were here to visit for Lizzy's summer break and one of the places we went to was the Phoenix Children's Museum. We had never been and Lizzy really enjoyed it. We liked how casual and simple the museum was. It was a lot smaller than the Houston Children's Museum but great for younger children. I'm sure you could spend all day but we felt like we saw and played with everything on our first visit. Lizzy especially liked the ice cream shop, pizza kitchen, and grocery store. I also got lots of ideas of how to recreate some of the things at the children's museum at home. I'm sure we'll be back.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Practical Life: Cleaning for Preschoolers

This is a first in a series of posts to come about practical life in the home, and chores a preschooler can do. Most preschoolers love to help clean up just like mommy and daddy do. No pretend but real life tools and tasks encourage and build independence in the child. An easy was to start is getting a sponge brush you can add cleaner to. Add half water and half white vinegar to the sponge wand. This solution will clean your bathroom, is natural, disinfecting, and non toxic. Your child can easily use the brush to clean tubs, counters, or whatever needs to be cleaned and scrubbed.

Baking soda can also be used to clean the tubs and can be fun to add water and vinegar to as it will bubble and clean your tub while still being non toxic and safe for your child as well as entertaining for your child to watch. Talk about the chemical reactions occurring, talk to your child about what they are doing, how they are helping, and what they are learning. Involve your children in your everyday tasks you might find they are more helpful than you hand thought : ).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quiet Blocks

With it being so hot we have been spending lots of time in the pool or playing in water if we are outside. I bought lots of sponges to make sponge bombs for water play when I remembered a post on pinterest about how to make sponge blocks. So on a quiet afternoon at home we made sponge blocks and played with them for quite a while. They were so simple to make just cutting sponges into shapes and kinda relaxing to play with without the noise. This would be a great toy to bring out when it's quiet time at home or when a younger sibling is napping as a quiet play activity during nap time. We will also be trying these blocks with the water table and some water to see how they do with water and building.