Our Shelves at 27 Months
When I say life has been busy here, I mean BUSY. We moved for the second time in eight months at the beginning of March. I absolutely love our new house, but getting settled has taken ages longer than I thought it would. My first priority has been to set up Camden's spaces, so I will share them as they come together.
I am also suddenly halfway through pregnancy with baby number two! Looking back, it seems like time has flown by, but this was a difficult early pregnancy for me. With Camden, I never felt nauseous. Not even once. This time around I was sick for 16 weeks. 16! (You might have noticed that blog posts totally stopped during this time.) While I was exhausted and sick, I relied on toys as materials for Camden since I did not have the energy to put together anything more complicated (a new post about what was on his shelves during this time is coming soon.) Now that I have some energy back, all of the ideas that were brewing for the past four months have started making their way to reality. This means that many of Camden's trays for the past couple of weeks have been art related or things that require a bit more supervision.
Most mornings we wake up and eat immediately (to avoid toddler low blood sugar!) Usually Camden is ready to get to get right to work after cleaning up breakfast. Here is a look at our past few mornings and Camden's favorite work.
Earth, Sky and Water Animal Sorting
We've been going to a Montessori Mom and Me class once a week. Camden has enjoyed sorting animals by where they live. This work was such a hit that I made a simple felt version for our house with animals from the Safari Ltd North American Animals, Ocean and Birds Toobs. I love the way he puts all of the animals in straight lines. This has been fun for him, but I wish the animals were in proportion to each other. Camden has been asking a lot about where we can find birds as big as the moose. Haha! Next time we go to the zoo, we will definitely visit the ostriches!
Stamps, Stamps, Stamps
Every time we visit the Museum of Flight, Camden gets a stamp of an airplane on his hand. He loves the stamps so much that he is very careful in the bath to make sure he doesn't wash it off. I knew that he would be crazy about these vehicle stamps. It only took a moderate amount of convincing that stamping on the paper was better than on his body. I've made a little art nook for him and we have been hanging his art on the walls so we can all enjoy it. I can't wait to share more about that soon!
These paper punches have been a much bigger hit than I thought they would be! He has been running downstairs specifically to do this work for the past few mornings. I got 1" punches so that he can use the shapes for pasting work later. I put a little treasure box on his tray so that he could put the finished punches directly inside. The sheets pictured came with the punches and I was surprised to find that they are actually stickers! Needless to say, Camden loves them even more now!
Intro to scissors
Camden has been fascinated with scissors for quite awhile, but this week was his first experience using them. Voila Montessori has a lovely video about how to introduce scissors to toddlers, which I found very helpful. At this point, he is having some trouble picking up the scissors in the correct position, but once he gets his hands in the right position he snips away. I used some blunt ended children's scissors and glitter paper from my craft box for interest. Once again we are saving these scraps for pasting work later!
One thing Camden struggles with is keeping his art supplies on the intended surface unless I am sitting right next to him. I want him to have more freedom with his art, but I also do not want to have to clean paint off of the walls. So I have put this chalk, chalkboard and eraser set on his art shelves and have left it out all of the time (at this point paints come out when I can directly supervise.) The chalk is easy to clean off, so it has been a nice chance for us to discuss using the materials appropriately. We have also had a lot of chances to work on cleaning the walls and floors this week ;-). (I have water colors out on his shelves as we speak and it has gone well so far!)
Intro to a Magnifying Glass
I have a couple of things planned that will be more interesting when magnified, so I set up a first exploration tray with a magnifying glass and some shells that we have collected over the years. I used a real glass 10x magnifying glass, while it is a bit heavier than I had hoped Camden doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he has started examining other objects like the carpet or the ants that seem to have made their way into our house. Yuck! Although it has been a good chance for him to try out his new skill on a moving object!
Water transferring with a pipet
I have introduced this water transferring with a pipet work in the past, but it was such a hit that I put it out again. Since he has seen this work before, he is more focused on suctioning up as much water as he can and is transferring it very neatly. This is a multistep activity that requires him to get water from the sink, carefully carry it to his table then clean up after he is finished by dumping the water out in the sink and cleaning up any spills with a sponge. The sponge isn't visible in this picture, but is stored on the tray with the bowls and the pipet.
I presented this color sorting tray previously with less than ideal results. I am not sure what it is about these little discs, but Camden really loved to fling handfuls of them across the room. I removed the tray and waited a couple of weeks. This time I presented the tray again with the discs in the small ramekin in the top right corner and the throwing has stopped. Camden carefully pours the discs into the large tray and then will sort all of the discs in one sitting. When he cleans up, he puts the discs back into the ramekin. I think adding in the pouring step has really made a difference in his ability to focus on the task, since he has really enjoyed multistep processes recently. I have also been really excited to hear him counting the discs in the tray, even though this is something we have never worked on directly. I just love his adsorbent mind!
I am excited to share some of the more organized units that we have also been working in the near future, so stay tuned!