Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caps for Babies

Knit One Save One
Every winter I try and do something for our world's children. I mostly do this because I had a wonderful role model in my own mother and I long to be that for my children. I participate in this particular effort because of Save the Children. If you don't know about this amazing organization please visit their web page and introduce yourself.
To be part of 'Knit One Save One' on a large scale you can do the following:
Write up a brief letter to your school families and share with them what your goal is. Last time I did this I said my goal was to collect 100 caps; I ended up collecting 121 caps! Share with them your goal and how they can help. Do they knit? Would they like to learn? Visit your local yarn shop and ask them to hang up a poster for you with where to mail donations. Get your church congregation involved and spread the word to the older generation. Knitting a small infant cap takes no time at all for the seasoned knitter. Next, set a dead line (when you want the caps collected by) and remember to check in with people closer to the collection date so that they can have time to buy one if they have not yet started knitting.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
PS: FYI, I don't know how to knit. I just collect the caps and send them on their way. Every bit helps and I'm doing what I can. Someday though, I'd love to learn how to knit. Maybe this winter?
If you want to contribute a cap visit: Save the Children
or contact me directly at
Montessori Mama

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Went Walking (a story basket)

Using the board book: I Went Walking by Sue Williams, I created this story extension for the toddler language shelf; I didn't intend for it to be used right there on the shelf but so be it. The kiddos really enjoy this book, much like Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear. They like to hear it read again and again and are very knowledgeable about the order in which the animals appear. It was a fun and easy language work for me to pull together (once I found the animals). I happened to find the animals needed at our local toy store, but you could draw or color copy the illustrations, laminate them and use those too. Happy crafting.
So far my holiday creations have been limited to felt wreaths and birds...I will post photos soon. What are you making?
PEACE to all,
Happy Thanksgiving!
Montessori Mama

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Work in PROCESS...

Because the image moved me, I snapped a photo of a child admiring a leaf. Next thing I know I'm sketching this

and then creating this
and then making changes...

I am happy with the details of the skirt and hair but not sure about the back ground color. Please share your thoughts.
Working Title: Autumn Reflection
Peace to all,
Montessori Mama

On the Toddler Language Shelf This Week

Here are a couple of finger plays I've made into works for the language shelf. 5 Little Monkeys and 5 Little Pumpkins. I suppose these could be on the math shelf also, but they've found themselves here. The toddlers are enjoying them and honestly so am I. It is lots of fun to share a familiar poem at circle and then again during the work session. What I enjoy most is when a pair of friends choose these and play them out with one another.
The reason for the extra large pumpkin in the bowl with the other small craft pumpkins is because one of the smaller ones has gone missing. With only four pumpkins in the bowl and five in the finger play, my toddler friends came up with a solution: use a REAL pumpkin!

*Side note: I'm really frustrated with my computer these takes so long to post and I have so much to share....
thank you for still reading even when I post so infrequently. I have about twenty or so drafts waiting in the wings for photos. It always amazes me how quickly Monday arrives. This weekend just wasn't long enough for all I wanted to do!
Take care,
PS Middle Man was cast as Mole in the Wind and the Willows (local theater production)!!! I'm so excited for him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Forget the Rocks, Let's Paint Pumpkins!

Inspired by the traditional Montessori rock painting I created a seasonal take on it by using pumpkins. The kiddos LOVED it! Giving two year olds a clear visual, for example, the fill line on the glass, is a point of interest that can be very helpful. Every day since this work was introduced there has been a child using it and one watching, continuously through-out the morning work cycle. As we know, toddlers LOVE water play, but in watching the concentration developing; it is more than the water that draws them to this work.

Monday, October 13, 2008

First Friends

The buddy system, walking down the ramp. Two friends walk together, leaving the nest to play on the play ground. I love HIGH SPEED!!!!
And my husband who just figured this out!
PEACE to all,
Montessori Mama

Little One Asks for More Snack

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Montessori Mama Where Are You?

Hey Everyone,
I'm still here. It's been a busy week and now I am away (for the long weekend)with Montessori Papa, celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. Even on vacation, I'm an early riser, so as I type this he sleeps. He would tease me for blogging on vaca, if he were awake. We are having a lovely time and enjoying our kid-free days. It's been really wonderful to connect with him and just 'be' together.
In other news...
The original paper cut design of the Little One Reading (pictured on my side bar)has sold! It has been up in the children's room of the public library for a few weeks now and interest has been peaked! I wanted to share because my Etsy shop has never gotten up and running and many have emailed me requesting this image. I will continue to sell the image but the original is no longer for sale. Until we are able to get high speed internet (like the service provided by the hotel I am staying in) at home, my Etsy shop is on hold. It is so difficult to upload images and without them nothing can be viewed (obviously). Anyway, I apologize for that and ask those of you interested in making purchases to contact me directly via my email address
Thank you!!
When I return home I will attempt to post some photos of works and activities from 'The Nest'.
What we've been up to:
We've been washing, rolling, painting and comparing gourds. We've been dancing with scarves pretending to be trees with colorful leaves. We've been celebrating Fall! How blessed I feel to be living in an area where there is so much Autumn color. We have been rubbing leaves, crushing leaves (the fallen ones) for collage work, matching like colors, and creating new images with leaves etc. in nature. Have I mentioned that I love Fall?

While surfing the web this morning I saw many lovely blogs sharing Fall crafts, here are a few of my favorites:
Super Fun Mama and her adorable little girl explored many different leaf activities!
Creative Kismet doing October up right! Wow! My boys will love those monster cup cakes! Thanks for the inspiration!
Next visit The Van Klan for a beautiful lesson on creating a centerpiece...I can't wait to make one!
Playful Learning inspired me and Papa Montessori (who teaches elem. and is now up reading the paper)and we look forward to creating our own leaf people with our classes. I'll let you know how it goes.
I hope all of you have wonderful weekend!
In Peace,
Montessori Mama

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Toddler Texture Collage

To make:
provide bowls of yarn pieces and pom-poms (well, really anything you have on hand: tissue paper scraps, cut paper, wrapping paper pieces, color saran wrap, felt...)
we used these soft items because we are talking about differences and these soft items are very different than the sticky contact paper we were placing them on.
Stretch a big piece of contact paper sticky side up on a group table or floor space.
Next invite the children to decorate the sticky paper. When everyone has added their personal touch, simple stick to a slider or large window. Not only it this group project fun and interesting to look at it is also a multi-texture experience! Sticky, soft AND when displayed on the window at toddler eye level, it is also a BUMPY surface to explore.
This activity brought smiles to the faces of the participants and we teachers while watching the children carefully choose which pom-pom to place and where. It looks very random but believe me folks it was not. It was however very sweet.
To quote one little girl, when I hung it on the glass,
"Wow! Look what we made!!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Fall!

Little One, his Papa and big brother all marched in the Church Street Fall Parade. Two flowers and one pooh bear (not pictured) I face painted street side and watched the crowd.
This was the highlight of my weekend for sure, face painting at the church street festival! But really, if I am being completely honest, my most favorite moment was when Middle Man (my spirited child) who participates in the annual cake walk again and again and NEVER wins, WON a cake for the first time. As the music started to play and he anxiously stood on his 'lucky number' 3, I felt my stomach and jaw tighten anticipating the let down tantrum that would follow when yet again, he did not win a cake. Can I just stop here to say this: he doesn't EVEN like to EAT cake!!!
It's the winning or rather the loosing that hurts him. Again and again, year after year....but thankfully NOT this year!
It was a much more enjoyable experience this year, I'll tell you.
Little One was photographed for the local paper and enjoyed chasing his best friend Stella around a big tree, kicking leaves and dancing. Montessori Papa I'm pretty sure could think of 10 other things he would have rather done, but in the end had a good time. Middle Man is still talking about it (and I will note* The uneaten cake still sits on the kitchen counter, like a shrine to the day).
Ahh....Middle Man, you certainly keep me on my toes! I love you so. To all of you with children who did NOT win a cake this year, I hope your child has recovered from the disappointment. Who invented the CAKE WALK anyway?
So tell me, how was your weekend?
Happy Fall to one and all!
Now back to our regular scheduled Montessori programming...

Where in the World?


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