apple stamp art

Hello friends,

     Have you been apple picking yet this season? My grandma happens to have apple trees in her yard! We have been lucky enough to have (basically) unlimited access to apples this season! I have the perfect activity for apple abundance. If there are no apples to spare, just use the apple ends that nobody will eat anyways. I often find use of our scraps. I use them for Saylors sensory when it applies to the current lesson. 

     Saylor used his fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to create apple inspired art! I encouraged him to stamp apples on his paper using green and red paint. I would have included yellow too, but we were all out! 

     You’ll see that he decided to turn it into a little finger painting session as well, so we rolled with it! That’s just what you have to do with the little one activities!  He is pretty young still and learning structure as we go. Doing little lessons like this now will make it easier for him to follow instruction later, when he has the focus to go with it.


     I talked about colors, shapes, sizes, and textures out loud while Saylor created his art. I also encouraged him to count the apple slices on the paper. (of course he can’t count yet- however, he can begin to recognize numbers as separate beings/begin to listen to their patterns.)

     This activity is easy to put together- and didn’t require a trip to the craft store! Even the kitten joined in!
Alright, time for a cliche mama coffee break. Enjoying your remaining week!

Adrihens 

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Fall Sensory Bottles

Hello friends,

    Today I made sensory bottles for Saylor. He absolutely loves them! I have made many sensory bottles, but this container has to be my favorite! It’s a good size, easy lids, and durable! If you’ve ever been around a one year old you’ll know that ‘durable’ is very important, ha!

     I make sensory bottles so Saylor can observe items that I don’t want ending up in his mouth. I write on the sensory bottles to display each item as a word. Although Saylor obviously can’t read, he can observe words as separate beings with various letters. He is able to observe shapes of letters and patterns in each word. I make sure to communicate about the items in the jar on a daily basis. “What color is in the jar?” “What does this sound like?” “Big Leaves!” “Little leaves!” Etc. Repetition is so helpful- just a little bit every day will help with developmental connections! 


Sensory Bottles

You Will Need

•Empty peanut butter jars or Wowbutter jars for my no nuts friends

•Spray Paint (optional for fashion reasons)

•Items of your choice for the jars

•Tape

• Sharpie Marker

See! Easy Peasy! I will reuse my jars for different items in the future. Whatever is related to our lesson at the time. I recommend a little glue under the lid with liquid filled jars. Just in case!! 

Until next time, 

Adrihens 

Fruits and Veggies

Still working on our ‘things that grow’ lesson plan over here! This area could be dragged out for WEEKS if I wanted it to! However, I’ll probably wrap it up this week just to keep things fresh and new. Speaking of fresh and new, Saylor learned all about fruits and veggies today!

 

Sensory

Saylor has a bit of a diaper rash so I wanted to do sensory that allowed him to air his tush out. This tub has been one of my favorite items for sensory projects. I’ve filled it with water, leaves, flowers, sand, dirt, etc! It makes such a great observation area while keeping things contained. When I worked at a the daycare center we used sensory tubs that I am sure cost eighty dollars or more! This little tub has worked just fine and I am guessing it was under twenty bucks! So be creative if you’re getting a sensory tub and don’t feel the need to over spend.

The plastic vegetables we used can be found from Melissa and Doug. (one of my favorite toy brands) I requested these vegetables last Christmas on Saylor’s list. It’s important to instill the importance of good health from a young age. Kiddos learn from example and I wanted him to have examples of the best foods to eat! You will see that I sometimes use “fresh” fruits and veggies during a lesson plan and that is often because they are going bad and I don’t want to completely waste them. When I don’t have any of that around its nice to have these plastic fruits and veggies for permanent backup!

(Sensory)Math

I encouraged Saylor to count the vegetables as he found them in the bubble water. I also demonstrated counting them out loud on my own while he observed. I repeated this activity a few times to help him make connections. I usually only counted to about three or four-attempting not overwhelm him.

I encouraged Saylor to observe the shapes of each vegetable. I talked about the similarities of colors, shapes, and sizes while he observed. He also observed spacial dimensions while moving the vegetables around in the water.

(Sensory) Large Motor Skills

Saylor found it entertaining to throw the veggies down the porch steps! He watched them roll down the steps while observing the sounds. He used hand eye coordination and large motor skills to toss the veggies out of the tub. I retrieved them a few times so that he could practice his throw/aim. He practiced many squats while bending up and down to grasp the veggies from the tub!

(Sensory) Language

Saylor observed language the entire sensory activity. I constantly talk out loud about colors, shapes, numbers, textures, etc. I encouraged Saylor to repeat some of the simple words and he has made a few close attempts! 🙂 It’s always important to communicate about what you are doing with infants because they have no idea. They can observe what is happening around them but they want to learn how to connect these observations with words. They need our help! The more talking they hear from you, the easier it will be for them to learn words. So narrate the entire day basically! You are now their favorite author!

So as you can see this simple sensory project worked with three different learning areas. All I had to do was fill a tub with bubbles, water, plastic vegetables, and make an effort to communicate the learning areas! Saylor loves sensory and it’s one of the easiest way for a baby to make observations about the world. Ever wonder why they put EVERYTHING in their mouths? They are just like dogs in that way- it’s simply their way of observation. They haven’t learned how to communicate so they solely use their senses to explore the world. That’s why its so important that we teach them language, we can’t have them sucking on their feet forever, ha! 🙂

 

 

 

Language (Reading)

Saylor observed a couple books with fruits and vegetables! I encouraged him to turn pages on his own. Once he masters turning pages on his own, he will be more likely to read independently during his free play. I also think its important for him to have a purpose when we read. He is such an independent little man and wants to be included in the activities. Who doesn’t want their kid to enjoy reading though?! We all do. I read him pages of the books out loud. (when he let me before turning the page) I talked about colors, shapes, and words in the book while he observed. I pick up books at the library related to every lesson plan we do. I like to have them availible for Saylor as any time.

 

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Music

For music we tapped the vegetables on Saylor’s Drum! He also decided to throw vegetables to make it all that more intense. I encouraged him to tap with the same beats I demonstrated. I also encouraged him to dance and sing along to various songs! (Also as I demonstrated, ha!) HE LOVED IT! Saylor thinks he is such a funny guy when he does a little dance. (probably because I laugh every time.)We (Mitch, me, and Saylor) all love this drum so much! It’s a REMO drum that our friends got Saylor for his birthday. He loves to express himself and make his own beats. We made the music relate to veggies today! (creative I know, HA!)

Again, I like to use some of our items for activity multiple times. It makes it easier and creates repetition. (helpful for babies when making connections) I used the plastic vegetables for sensory, music, math, language, and movement today! Score! Stay creative my friends!

 

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-adrihen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cantaloupe Exploration

“The organic gardener does not think of throwing away the garbage. She knows that she needs the garbage. She is capable of transforming the garbage into compost, so that the compost can turn into lettuce, cucumber, radishes, and flowers again…With the energy of mindfulness, you can look into the garbage and say: I am not afraid. I am capable of transforming the garbage back into love.” -Nhat Hanh

Some of you who know me might be aware that we are in the process of moving states still. Well, kinda! Our lease was not able to be broken so we have been paying rent to a home we don’t live in until about a month ago. Fun times! So in return, we have been living with my grandma/ at my moms frequently to let our dog roam her fenced in yard. It’s a little bit like living out of a suitcase with a husband, baby, and a dog. Thankful for my family sharing their homes, but I am ready to settle back into our own place to say the least.

Given the circumstances, there are a few  parenting projects and goals I have to just put on hold until we find our new home. One of those projects is making a garden for (hopefully) lots of food! It’s important to me to share this gardening experience with little Saylor. It will demonstrate the importance of responsibility, patience, growth, and so much more! The hands on activities will teach life long lessons that he will be able to share with his own family.

I think it’s important to start off simple when teaching the babes. I decided to teach Saylor the importance of various garden foods. Today was obviously cantaloupe! Using the cantaloupe for various activities demonstrated the importance of the food beyond eating. It shows that the food can have multiples purposes to dumb it down. Later in life maybe he will not paint with cantaloupe skins, but realize the importance of compost instead of just throwing it to the trash.

Sensory/Snack

I brought four slices of cantaloupe outside for Saylor to explore/eat this morning. He used hand eye coordination and fine motor skills to grasp the cantaloupe on his own. He observed textures, colors, shapes, and smells while we talked about them together. Sharing everything verbally with infants is important when helping them develop their language. The more you talk, the more connections they can make! Careful, this can be dangerous when using adult words or gossiping. It might not be now….but they WILL share later. Try to get familiar with using your kiddo muzzle, ha!!

I was prepared to let Saylor make a huge mess during the sensory/ snack session. It can be challenging letting our kids making a mess, however stepping back is the perfect way to instill their independence. Make a commitment to step back during certain activities. It feels easier for me to step back when I have prepared clean up supplies ahead of time. So get a wet wash cloth and whatever else you need ready. When the free play messy activity is over, you’ve got it covered!

 

 

Art

     I think I have shared before that I often use my sensory item for art afterwards. Repetition helps build strong connections. Just like in college when you study the subject in different ways, it’s easier to grasp. Letting Saylor observe the cantaloupe in a different way helped him to learn and make more connections.

I placed green and orange (colors that make me think of cantaloupe) on a paper. I demonstrated turning the cantaloupe skin and then encouraged Saylor to join in! He used fine motor and hand eye coordination to grasp the cantaloupe skin. He observed colors, shapes, and textures while creating his art. I stepped back and encourage independence while he worked on this project. When he was finished I held the painting up and showed him his work! I encouraged him to notice the colors and shapes on the painting. I like to display Saylors art around the house so that he can look at it during the day. Other times I use his art for thank you notes, get well soon, or other notes “from Saylor” to include a special something that is actually from him. It makes the mail more personable and that is definitely something I want to share with my kids. Don’t you agree there is something special about receiving mail that had thought put into it? 🙂

 

 

-Adrihen

 

Growing & Gardens

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ” -Audrey Hepburn

 

I mean…who doesn’t like Audrey Hepburn? Anyways, what a meaningful quote! I just started a new lesson on gardens and growing. It’s a very important topic because gardening promotes health,responsibility, and dedication! These are some important qualities that I want to share with my kiddos! Gardening can also introduce early science lessons. Of course my little Saylor isn’t going to question why plants grow but consider an older age group. Encouraging our kids to notice a plants growth over time shows them that caring and nurturing attitudes can create wonderful results! Later in life they can use this skill not only in the garden but in day to day relationships. It’s not always smooth sailing teaching the little ones patience but it’s totally worth it.

 

Caring Importance

I demonstrated washing cabbage and radish this morning to share the importance of caring. It’s really important for me to show my kids the benefits of caring for the things we engage in (such as eating) and not just going about life mindlessly. I encouraged Saylor to join in and help me on his own. He used fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to wash the veggies on his own. I also encouraged him to observe colors, textures, and shapes. While observing I communicated about the qualities out loud in order to promote language skills. I encouraged Saylor to repeat colors back- no such luck today! I also want to be forward about the environmental changes I had to make before finishing this lesson. I attempted bringing this activity outside and letting Saylor observe it all in the grass. Instead the whole yard was his playground! It’s so easy to overstimulate these little ones. So if you’re ever wondering, “why wont my kid sit down and do such and such?” you are not alone! Saylor is not always interested in holding still to observe either. When this happens I just try to create a change in our environment that allows him to focus easier. This morning that change was strapping him into his high chair. I never just forget the activity and move on to whatever it is he wants to do. I think it’s important to share the importance of structure and rules at a young age so that it’s not a culture shock later in life. When the activity was over I let him climb around the yard until his little heart desired! He loved it! He also enjoyed the activity once I made it easier for him to focus on. Babes love free play and believe me I am all about stepping back to allow that. They are also craving your guidance and structure. Even when they don’t know it! It helps me to be consistent with our activities. I usually get them knocked out before nap time and then the later part of the day is dedicated to more laid back and flexible activities.(walks at the park, free play, etc.)

Art

One way I like to make things easy is using our sensory items again for art. Repetition is a helpful way to help kids build connections. We used the same radish sliced from sensory to create some red radish art! Saylor used fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to direct his radish slices in the paint. He observed colors, textures, and shapes while I encouraged him to talk about them. I always get asked how I keep Saylor from making a mess during art. The answer? I don’t. Let those kids make a mess from time to time- it’s good for their soul. It’s also good for creating a sense of control and boundaries. I know you’re  thinking I am full of it, but one of the most beneficial ways of learning is hands on! What an easy opportunity to let our kids be hands on. I find it does make my life easier when I am prepared for clean up before the mess even begins. When Saylor does art I get out a wet wash cloth and prepare the clean up before I even turn him loose on the art. This gives me bit more control during clean up when hes trying to grab my hair, clothes, etc!

I keep the occasional finger paint originals. I also like to create items relevant to our current lessons if it works out. Do you think Saylor will look back at his art puns with embarrassment? HA!

 

Sensory

I did not create a specific spot for sensory today, but I included it in all of our projects. Saylor used his senses to observe colors, textures, shapes, and sounds during these activities. I talked about the colors, shapes, and textures out loud to help Saylor make connections with words and his surroundings. I always think about how it’s really a blessing that I am so good at talking to myself. This world is brand new for our babies and they need you to talk about everything out loud to better learn!

-adrihens

 

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Saylor is learning about the color green today! We spent the first part of our morning outside just exploring all the green nature around here. So in other words… almost everything, ha! I am excited for us to find a home of our own soon, but I have to admit I will miss all of this nature a bit when we no longer live in the country! What a perfect place for Saylor to explore his first bits of nature!

Large Motor Skills

Saylor practiced his walking in the soft, damp grass. He observed the textures and temperatures with his toes. I spoke out loud about the color green to help promote language skill relating to each green object. I encouraged Saylor to walk with me and follow me around the yard. He used large motor skills to practice taking steps and pick himself back up each time he took a fall.

Sensory

After exploring the green nature around the yard, I brought out a sensory project. I placed various green items from Saylor’s toys into the green grass. I encouraged him to explore the items and that went well for a few moments. He is very determined to walk soon and he eventually got distracted towards that instead. I always think I wont be able to find enough of one color for our sensory projects but you’ll be surprised what you can find around the house when you look. A green flip flop for example, ha! Whatever works!

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Art

Saylor created his art work using green grass with white paint. I use non toxic crayola tempera paint for basically all art projects. I encouraged him to spread the grass around on the paper using his fingers and hands. He used fine motor skills to maneuver the grass around as he wanted. He explored color, texture, and shapes while creating his art. I continued to talk out loud about the color green during art in order to help him make language connections. I encouraged him to say “green” but no such luck today, ha! He did try though, using some other babble, and that’s good enough for me!

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Cone Flower Colors

I have started a lesson plan on colors because I feel ill and we’re past due on the topic change! Color is such a simple yet important thing for babies to learn about. You can pretty much take the lessons and activities wherever you want as long as there is color! 🙂 I like to pull out this topic when I need a bit of a break because it gives me a chance to brainstorm on other ideas while still teaching Saylor a valuable educated area!

Babies are constantly using their senses. While they become more familiar with various colors it presents a great opportunity to teach language! Babies are viewing colors every day so why not put a name with their observations and teach them color!

It has been rainy and clouds all week over here in Fort Wayne. I am one of the weirdos who doesn’t really mind a couple rainy days in a row. My husband often tells me I would be in my perfect home living in Seattle or England. I like the sounds of England better lately, ha!

Anyways, tea and biscuits aside, I like to get Saylor outside for as long as we can even on dreary days. I think it’s important for his adventurous side to burn off some energy. So before the rain rolled in, I decided to take art outside and make it more hands on! I cut a few cones flowers and then I placed a few drops of white and yellow paint. I encouraged Saylor to dip the flowers into paint and smear them around. He observed colors, textures, scents, and shapes. I verbalized the different colors while Saylor created his art.

The hands on experience with the colors, shapes, and objects helped Saylor to build connections through sensory of sight, touch, smell, and sound. While flash cards are still a somewhat effect way to teach kids, the more connections they can make the better! I like to involve sensory in our art as often as I can for this reason alone.

Don’t have cone flowers? Roll with it! Use any flower you want of course! This could also be used for other lesson plans like gardening, outdoors, etc! Be creative with it!

-Adrihens

 

 

Things That Go

 

 

 

The past couple of weeks I have been teaching about things that go. I was doing a summer lesson plan and quickly noticed  that Saylor is currently interested in pushing toy trucks, cars, boxes, and anything that he can pretend is a vehicle. I decided to ROLL with it and do a little lesson plan on things that go. I will always switch our lesson plan if I notice that Saylor has an obvious curiosity towards something specific. Speaking of things that go…it’s been a while since I have posted a blog! Where did the TIME go?! Moving states with a one year old, dog, and a husband is no joke. We are currently still house hunting so I apologize for the wacky posting schedule.

I found this toy tractor at a garage sale for a dollar a while back. I knew it would be a hit with Saylot because of the opening door on top! He spends a lot of time opening and closing doors in the kitchen when he can get away with it, ha!

Anyways, I put a little bit of color down on a medium sized car board and let Saylor roll his tractor through the paint. He used his fine motor skills and hand eye coordination while spreading the paint around. We talked about colors, textures, shapes, and patterns. I encouraged Saylor to roll the tractor various ways and explore the outcomes. The clean up wasn’t too bad either! 🙂

 

PS: Don’t let your kids eat the paint like Saylor did

-Adrihen

 

Vegetable Finger Paint

Hey there!

I’m so sorry for my lengthy hiatus. (for the maybe three people who follow my blog or at least creep at it from social media outlets) Our family recently moved from Columbus Ohio back to Fort Wayne Indiana. I have been busy adjusting and taking care of our general information changes such as mail,doctors,dentists, etc while also making time to visit the zillion people who want to see us since our return. It seems like things are finally starting to settle down again now that we have given everyone their initial visit. So back to business!

I have my in home childcare plan all ready and will hopefully get to put it into action as soon as we find a house. Until then I am solely a stay at home mama which has been my favorite task yet! I have recently started putting lesson plans into place to help me get in a routine. Saylor is a solo student for the time being but I want to be in the habit of lesson planning before I accept outside kids. This week we are learning about gardens,planting, and growing in hopes that spring will soon be here! 🙂

Teaching about gardens is one of my favorite topics for younger kids. It not only provides tools for growing wonderful fruits, vegetables, and plants but also helps them build so many other lifelong skills. Gardening teaches to spend time caring for something outside of yourself from an early age. It teaches the importance of offering your time,care, and patience to see growth. This is such an important lesson that they may not comprehend immediately but having the experience will make connecting the dots so much easier later in life. Gardening will also provide them will skills in science and knowledge about the earth. I don’t know about you but I am thankful for our earth and I would like to keep it a livable place for a long while! Teaching kids at a young age about caring for our earth is so beneficial in the long run.

Saylor will be 8 months in two days so his lesson plans are still pretty basic. Here is the painting activity we did today. I placed contact paper on the floor and provided various colors of paint. I also placed Saylor’s plastic vegetables on the contact paper and let him do free painting while using the veggies as tools. If you don’t have plastic vegetables you can use fresh vegetables of any kind. Since we have plastic vegetables I have quite the variety for his art. SPOILER ALERT: Get clean up tools ready before you even start this project. When the contact paper dries you can create adorable sun catchers for the window.

Encourage your kids to observe the colors,mixing,textures,shapes,etc during this art project. When the sun catchers are finished you can continue encouraging kids to observe colors, shapes,lines,etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infant Language Development

    Today I am blogging about a really awesome book that we found at the library! I take Saylor to the library pretty frequently so we can have a large variety of books to learn with. Germs right?! I always wipe the books down before giving them to Saylor, ha! If you have ever observed a baby with a book you will know my reasoning for that. Luckily Saylor has enjoyed looking at books since his very early days. I have been placing books around his blanket since he arrived from the hospital. As soon as those little eyes could see I noticed him observing the pictures ,letters, and words. Does he know what letters, words, and colors are yet?  Of course not! However, just observing them helps him form connections about shapes and appearances so that later in life when he is learning what they are it will all be more familiar.
     Some people see me talking about baby literature and roll their eyes. Babies are just vegetables that we have to keep our eye on for a couple years until they can actually do big people things right? Wrong! Infants benefit from their daily interactions every day. What daily interaction consists of depends on us as adults. If we are going to sit our kids on the couch to watch the latest on Donald Trumps tweets they probably aren’t going to learn much. I say that not because Donald Trumps literary vocabulary is equivalent to a fourth grade bully, but because it’s just not on their level of understanding to listen to “adult” twitter beef. However, it is beneficial for them to hear us communicating back and forth with each other as adults.
      Infants are born to communicate: crying, cooing, and gestures are all a form of communication in the infant world. Infants learn to use communication to connect with the world, to develop social relationships, and
to get things they want or need. 
Some of these developments occur naturally. Focused teaching, intentional interactions, and a highly responsive environment will all encourage and positively support an infant’s communication skills, and are required for optimal success. This is why I make a point to engage with my son daily. I am a stay at home mom so I am able to engage with art, literacy, math, motor development, social skills, etc., each day. At this age literary skills are pretty high on the list. When our kids learn our language it’s like a key that will open the door to all other learning areas. It will also allow us as parents to communicate more effectively while giving them the tools they need to evolve.
    We have to get down on an infant level of understanding to help them better grasp what they learn each day. I read to my 6 month old son every single night. Does he always want to sit down and look at a story? No. Absolutely not. However, I am beginning to show him the habit of bedtime stories. When he is able to better comprehend the stories we can skip the “I don’t want to read a story” crap because he will just know it as habit and not even an option unless he is miserably ill etc. Will he possibly still throw fits on a bad day about our bedtime routine? Most Likely! I believe that starting this routine early will minimize the bedtime story tantrums in our future days. Children feel safer in environments with a little structure and routine. I’m totally a fan of free play as well. There is a happy medium out there of us telling our kids what to do and letting them figure it out on their own. As a parent I think it’s important to find that happy medium.
    It makes it easier for us parents to read when we kinda like the books right? I mean I am not going to sit up and read these books by myself after Saylor is asleep or anything (sometimes I do, only to make sure they are good books) but I think it helps to have a fun book with beautiful pictures. I think the beautiful pictures part helps kiddos stay focused as well. After all, how else would I remember all of my childhood stories? I wanted to share this board book that I have never heard of until stumbling on it at the library. Is this not darling?! I think it’s darling. I also think it’s very simple for letter learning. Of course my six month old son is not learning letters yet. I know this. However, he is going to observe them when we read this tonight! 🙂
PS: We are in the process of moving a state away so please forgive me for not documenting our infant art lately. I know it’s probably more pleasing to your eyes. It’s still happening I just don’t have time to document and blog it all while packing and being a mom.