Friday, 30 January 2015

Book Review, Blue Hat, Green Hat

Happy Friday!  Here's another book review, this time it's Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton.  I adore all of Sandra Boynton's books, but I decided to write about this one because it's the first one that Bean giggled at when we read to her.  I am not sure if she understood what was so funny at 9 months old, she probably laughed because we did.   However, she definitely gets it now!  She will now say, "Oops!"  when I point to the silly turkey in the book.
This book is a great book to teach little ones about colours and it's short, simple and funny.  I would not be surprised if you had to read it several times in a row!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Hot Rocks


To help my toddler understand hot(warm) and cold using river rocks (Sensory Discrimination)


  • Two containers that are similar 
  • river rocks (to be divided equally into the containers)

As mentioned above, I divided the rocks into two. I put one set into the freezer about an hour before I did the activity.  For the hot rocks- I put them on a tray in the toaster oven and "baked" at 200 degrees for slightly less than a minute.  I set them aside to cool just to be absolutely sure they were not too hot for my daughter to handle.  Please double check the temperature of the rocks prior to letting your child play with them.
Then I placed each set of rocks into identical containers and asked my daughter to join me on the floor.  She immediately took the lid off of one and then the other.  She picked up one of the cold rocks and raised her shoulders and smiled at me, then3 quickly put it down. :) I asked if the rock felt "cold" or "hot".  I guess she thought both containers had cold rocks, because she just kept taking rocks out of the container with the cold rocks.  I decided to put a cold rock in one of her hands and a warm one in the other.  I repeated saying cold and warm and she did the same.  We also tapped the rocks together to make sounds.  My daughter seemed to enjoy taking all the rocks out and putting the lids on and off the containers.
(Note:  I supervised my daughter the entire time as she still has a tendency to put things into her mouth)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Sensory Surprise Bag


To encourage the use of senses through exploration of new objects
(Skill: Sensory Discrimination)


For this activity, you can use any assortment of objects as long as they are safe and objects in which you think your child will be interested.  Some of the ones I used are:

  • scented pinecone
  • a clean sponge
  • ribbons of various colours
  • spikey rubber ball
  • lids from tubes of lotion
  • feathers
  • bath puff
  • a kid friendly bag or container to put it all into

My daughter had not seen any of these items prior to the activity so I was especially interested in seeing what she would do with them.  I placed the bag on the floor and Bean came to it and began reaching in and taking all of the items out.  She gave me each item as she took it out of the bag, so I used the opportunity to describe the " cinnamon scented, pointy pinecone", "spikey ball", "smooth ribbons" etc.  She was most interested in the ball as she really enjoys practicing playing catch.  It was a fun and quick activity that is also easy to put together in minutes.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Edible Water Colours

Around this time last year, I wanted to let my daughter experiment with some form of painting or colouring. I was unable to find anything that was safe for her to put in her mouth yet still fun for her to use to paint.  Then I looked in my fridge- all the fruit and veggies in there!  I decided to shred or juice the fruit and vegetables and put them through a fine sieve to remove the pulp.  I was left with beautiful edible water colours.  I decided to let Bean use fingerling potatoes to dip into the paint instead of traditional brushes since back then, everything was a teething toy!  I used spinach, carrots and a mix of beets and blueberries for the three paints.  The colours were pretty faint when applied on the paper, but I don't think Bean minded the subtle colours.  The potatoes were great at moving the liquid around, but not so spongy of course, so I'd recommend using something else as "paint brushes".

Monday, 19 January 2015

Music Mondays

Exposing children to music early on has huge developmental benefits.  There are great music programs for even the youngest infant.  I have been taking Bean to a few different
music classes over the last year and a half but we are really enjoying our current class.  One of my favourite parts about the class is at the end when everyone selects an instrument to play to the music(recorded, instrumental mix).  I am amazed by how musically inclined children are.  They shake their bells and hit the bongos to the music or just dance with their instruments.  
I liked this idea so much that I decided I would have Music Mondays for Bean.  
I just thought I would put all of Bean’s instruments out and put her other toys aside and turn on music and start playing an instrument to the beat of the music. Bean has access to all of her toys any time she would like (although I do rotate) but when I put specific ones out, it definitely gets her attention.
We’ve only done it a couple of weeks, but it’s really fun. We select popular songs that she likes already, so she’s already having a good time!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Spatial Exploration

The last couple of months, my daughter has been trying to fit objects into other objects.  Sometimes the objects fit, other times they do not.   She often gets frustrated after multiple attempts of doing her best to coerce an object (for example a ball) into another object that it was not meant to fit into (i.e., her shoe!)
I decided to bring out some of her toys that she had not interacted with in a while to further explore this new found interest in spatial exploration.  I brought back the classic sorting toy she received last year as well as one I made myself out of a cardboard box.  I used an old box and cut out various shapes on the top using an exact-o knife.  I also painted it to make it look appealing, ha!  My intention was to put an assortment of her toys and other household items with the box and ask Bean if any of them would fit through the cut outs in the box.  I put it right beside the sorting toy in hopes of her being able to identify the similarities. 
Bean seemed to enjoy filling the cardboard box with all sorts of toys and crayons and utensils.  I think I will bring it out again a few more times until she moves on from it.  While not the most fancy or aesthetically beautiful toy, it allowed Bean to further develop the skill of spatial exploration and I was happy to be able to provide an additional opportunity for her to do so.  Let me know how it goes if you decide to make a sorter box too!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Book Love + Clip-Clop Review

Reading is something my daughter has enjoyed since her first few days as a newborn.   I remember her milk-drunk smiling as my husband read to her while I held her in my arms.  One book that brought her particular joy was Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  This book had the ability to calm her when she wouldn't stop crying because the story and the familiar beat and tone with which her father read to her in had become so comforting to her.
After a 10 day trip to Europe, the first thing she did when we got home was head straight to her books to reacquaint herself with her beloved library.   We spend A LOT of time reading!   This is why I'm thinking of making book reviews a regular feature on the blog.  It will include some of Bean's favourites as well as new ones as we discover them with you!

Today, I'll talk about Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee.  We discovered this book at the library and checked it out.  Upon bringing it home, we discovered Bean absolutely adored it.  It's short and cute and can be quite interactive- perfect for children 12 months and up.  It's about a horse (Mr. Horse) who gives a ride to all of his animal friends (great for children to practice naming animals).   It's fun repetition and excited characters are what Bean liked most about the book.  To  make it more exciting, we put Bean on our knee and bounce her up and down to mimic the actions of Mr. Horse.  She giggles with delight and asks for us to read it again and again.  This is one book we had to purchase because it was just too much fun!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Making a mark

For the past few months, Bean has been really interested in painting and scribbling.  She will do it with just about anything that she knows will make a mark.  Non-toxic crayons and washable markers are great for little hands.  For some variety, I tried letting my daughter "paint" with water on the Buddha board.  It was very novel to her at first (a few months ago).  It allowed her to draw lines and designs and within minutes the water dried to leave a fresh board for her to paint on again.  I loved it because it was relatively mess-free yet still allowed Bean to be creative.

Just a few days ago, I was writing on a chalk board we have in our kitchen.  Bean saw me and immediately wanted a piece of chalk to do the same.  Our chalk board hangs in our kitchen and is not in the most child friendly of places.  I decided to get some black construction paper and tape it to the floor and let her draw on it.   Both of these activities promote physical development in fine motor skills by holding and using tools and using them to make marks.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Water play + Bubbles!

My daughter loves bath time because it usually involves lots of play time and splashing around.  Since she has extremely dry skin and it's January, we have been keeping bath time short these days.   So when Bean (her nickname) decided she would open the bottom drawer in the kitchen where the straws are located, I decided it would be part of a fun and quick little activity that would allow her to play with water without having to take a skin drying bath!

Since we were already in the kitchen I got a pot and added a tiny amount of dish soap and filled up the pot about half way with water.  I then laid down a towel and started blowing bubbles in it.  She was delighted by the bubbles and proceeded to take my straw from my mouth and put it in the water along with the straw I had given her.
She was able to see cause and effect by bubbles being formed when I blew through the straw.  Later we added food colouring to add a different element to the same activity.  She twirled the straws in the water and eventually started getting her pants wet, so we ended the activity.  (Perhaps sooner that she would have liked) ;)

In any case it's a simple and fun sensory activity that you can do in your kitchen.  Next time I may add a scent (lavender or vanilla) to add yet another sensory element.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Welcome & Introduction!

Hi there!

Welcome to momece! This blog is a place for me to share some of the activities, adventures and a few special moments I experience with my daughter with all of you. I have been on this incredible learning journey of motherhood for over a year and am constantly amazed at how much and fast my baby is growing and learning.

In addition to being a mom, I'm an early childhood educator (ECE) and worked at a child care centre where I cared for groups of children aged three to eight years old. While I had some experience with infants and toddlers when completing school placements, it was completely different being a parent to an infant!  I felt like no amount of schooling or books could have prepared me for the first few months of being a mother.  

My daughter walking in the park
My daughter is an active, vivacious and loving toddler now and I am finding myself having to come up with learning experiences for her much like I did while I worked as an educator.  This blog will be a place where I will document some of what I will try with my daughter in an effort to engage her in activities that are developmentally appropriate, safe and fun!  I will be honest about what worked and what needed improvement & tweaking.

I hope you will join me in my journey!