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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

Pine Play Activites 

Today we did sensory projects with leftover trimmings from our Christmas tree. I am obsessed with the smell of pine so instead of throwing it all out I first decorated our home and then used the rest for Saylor’s daily activities! First I let Saylor observe the pine branches on his play mat. He observed textures,colors,smells,shapes, and sizes! He was also able to work on hand eye coordination and grasping. When he was done observing I saved the branches for art. I try to spread out our main activities and stick free play in the middle. This gives him a chance to take in what they just learned and wind down. A baby mind is taking in so many things it’s best not to overwhelmed them with activity after activity.

 

 

After Saylor woke up from his second nap we did art with the pine branches. Saylor used his grasping and hand eye coordination to paint his picture. He observed textures,shapes,colors, and smells. He practiced his independence by painting on his on.I put him in his high chair and gave him the tools and then stepped back and allowed him to use critical thinking skills. He loves it! He loves to be in charge, ha! Just like mom. However, in order to teach it’s important to step back and allow our kids to practice these things for themselves.

I also gave saylor a pine branch bath but i’m not going to share those pictures on a public blog. He used the branches as bath toys! We practiced splashing using the branches as tools. Saylor loved all of these activities. Of course keep an eye to make sure no pine needles or sap is swallowed! 🙂

-Adri