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 

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

 

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

Infant Christmas Ornaments

Hello there!

Over the past couple days we spent our time making Christmas ornament gifts! I wanted Saylor to create a gift on his own and this is what I went with! There are so many salt dough recipes online for reference but here’s the one I picked!

1cup salt

1cup flour

1/2 cup water

I mixed up these three easy ingredients while Saylor was asleep! Then I rolled them out and cut various shapes just like cut out cookies. Take it from my husband though, they don’t have that same sweet flavor! 🙂 When you are done cutting out all of your shapes make sure to stick a straw through to create a hole for your ribbon!

I let these cuties dry for two days! I flipped them over once I felt they were strong enough to make a flip. I just did this to make sure they were extra dry before painting! It’s not required.

Once the shapes were dry I dabbed colors of my choice on each ornament. Some of the ornaments were for certain relatives so I used colors that would please them most. Some I just stuck with a Christmas color theme! Then I placed the ornament on Saylor’s high chair tray and let him do work! 🙂 He used his fingers and hands to maneuver the shape on his tray! He practiced grasping while observing colors, textures, shapes, and smells! I kept a close eye to make sure he kept his hands out of his mouth. A pretty rare occurrence at the moment, ha! We painted 4-5 ornaments per day to ensure I wasn’t boring him to death in one sitting.

I let the ornaments dry out for 1-2 days and then I sprayed acrylic sealer in gloss finish.

Now pick out some festive ribbons and you’ve got yourself a hand made keepsake ornament! 🙂

We had a blast making them and they will always be so meaningful for me to put on our tree. Make sure to have your kids make a couple for you and a couple for your themselves for taking with them when adulthood rolls around the corner! I know I appreciate having so many childhood keepsakes of my own.

Have a good weekend!

 

-Adri

 

December Art Start

Hello December!

Saylor and I have been busy making all sorts of art projects this week! I want him to have plenty of time to digest all of his self made decorations! 🙂 I cut out the shape for a tree with a star and taped them to our front closet door. Then I gave Saylor a couple different colors of paper to finger paint. When the papers were dry I cut out various shapes for his tree ornaments! The wreath we made is from the cardboard from our mama mimis pizza. I saved it because I just knew it would come in handy for some type of future craft. I put green finger pant on the cardboard circle and gave him bubble wrap to spread the paint around. He observed colors, shapes, textures, sounds, and smells while creating his wreath art. He loved it! When the circle dried I cut a circle in the middle and added the red bow using construction paper. We also made Christmas cards using green footprint shapes! I dipped his foot in green finger paint and then obviously created a tree out of the shape on my own. We plan to send these out for relatives later this week. I am waiting to print out a festive picture to go along with the card. We live three hours away from our families so it’s important for us to show them we care through mail. Facebook doesn’t always seem as personal because it takes little to no effort to send something on facebook. Besides that I haven’t taught Saylor the ins and outs of facebook comments just yet. Also, my inlaws deleted me so we would be a ghost to them without good old fashion mail! 🙂

We made the same tree shapes to hang on the counter where Saylor often sits in his bouncy to watch me cook. He has already been observing the shapes and colors of his art.

So. Much. Art. for one week I know! Like I said I wanted to make sure Saylor got the most out of observing it all. Infant art is so important because not only does it help babies work on their creative abilities but it also gives them a new perspective with colors, shapes, textures, smells, and sometimes sounds! I try to play music while we are doing art as well. This is a good tool for helping infants build connections to whatever it is they are working on. So what better time to do it than while he is learning so many new skills! It’s like the story about chewing a certain gum while you study will help you do better on a test if you chew the same gum while taking the test. Music is going to be our gum for this example and  you can call Bing Crosby the gum king!

Well off to finish my coffee! How very Gilmore Girl of me….Speaking of the Gilmore Girls I am so sick of seeing their updates lately! I’ll save that for a post on my evil twin blog account.

Catch Up Crafts For Fall

Hello there,

So I suck at keeping this a weekly thing…but I am striving to get better! If for nothing else but to keep a record of our projects, ha! I am just going to share some of the things we did during October so we can act like this posting drought never happened. It’s so important to provide continual learning opportunities for babies! Their minds are developing fast and the more connections they are able to make the better! Each new experience builds a connection in their little noggin. We focused on art using sensory items over the month of October. I would introduce the item (pine cones, leaves, etc) and then try to provide an art project using the same item. This repetition of items used helps to build familiarity for little babies new to the world. Saylor worked on his fine motor skills to reach and grasp during each activity. He observed colors, shapes, textures, smells, and sounds! He also worked on his hand eye coordination while creating each masterpiece 🙂

The pumpkin filling picture below is just a sensory project I provided after he watched me carve his pumpkin! 🙂

 

 

 

Raising Thankful Children

Hello there,

It’s been a while! I had a very busy couple weeks getting ready to make our first road trip with a baby. It helped to have everything ready and organized. It was only a three hour drive from Ohio to Indiana but if you’ve ever been around a baby that doesn’t want to sit in a car seat before you’d be scared too! Luckily our little man slept pretty much the entire drive! That’s right! No fussing! It was a weekend full of family,friends, and spontaneous baby gifts!

Gift giving has always been a passion of mine. I have always put a lot of thought, care, and time into things that I give people. So while I try to give without expecting anything in return I do know how big of a bummer it can be to give someone a gift they don’t appreciate. The first gift I got my husband while we were dating was a one hundred dollar pair of shoes. I searched all over town for his special size (14) with the perfect color and fit. He was a marine at the time and seemed to constantly be walking or running around California. A couple months later when he came to visit me in Indiana, I noticed he did NOT have his new shoes on!! I casually asked him if he packed them. He told me that he lost them and they did not really fit anyways so he could not wear them. Ummm.. HELLO?! I searched the ends of the earth for these giant sized nike sneakers and that evidently did not even cross his mind! I could not believe someone could just toss out a pair of nike shoes like they were a juicy fruit wrapper! I wondered if he ever learned about the term EXCHANGE! I learned to appreciate my nike shoes because it was a miracle if I had any before having a job of my own! Can you imagine how angry? I was angry. I wondered how he was going to appreciate my gift giving if he didn’t even have my gift! I realized he probably didn’t appreciate it. He possibly got nikes for stocking stuffers as a child what do I know?! Fast forward to the future (now) and I have helped my husband a lot with gift giving. It was important for me to help him because us givers need to be given to occasionally! While I realized that not all gifts are personal my husband realized that giving with meaning will leave a longer lasting memory which is truly a gift in itself!

While I was pregnant I thought of everything I ever wanted to teach my kids. I thought about making a list of traditions,books,and songs to share. I thought about all things the future would hold! One thing that I continued to thing about was teaching them to be givers and also be thankful for gifts. I realize that my children might not find the same happiness that I find in giving and that’s totally fine. I just hope they remember to be thankful. How can I teach my kids to be thankful? Example. I remember being told to write all of my thank you notes after Christmas. It always felt forced and unfair because I never saw adults making thank you notes! Why did I have to be thankful because I am a kid and I should worship all ground that adults walk on? I always put thank you notes on the back burner and hoped my mom would forget she asked.

I wondered what it would be like to look forward to making thank you notes. How could I get my kid to enjoy it? I always enjoyed making art as a kid. I also enjoyed writing but something about the layout of a thank you note felt forced and easily predictable. Thank you for the socks…..they have been keeping my feet warm. Why not something a little more expressive and fun?! Why not something with a little thinking outside the box! Here is our attempt at fun thank you notes!

The notes are in response to first Halloween gifts for Saylor so they are a Halloween theme! I used non toxic washable paint for the footprints and then did the rest on my own. I realize that not all parents are going to have the time to get as crafty but lucky for me it’s always been something I love to do! You can obviously make your version as simple as you prefer. It’s an easy thank you with a little bit of effort from Saylor himself. It’s important to start right away and be CONSISTENT on any habits you want your kids to have. I want my kids to have the habit of making an effort to be thankful.