Saturday, 11 June 2022

Embroidery for Kids

I must start this post with a confession: I don't think I've ever embroidered in my life. But my kid has shown interest in sewing over the last few months, so when I saw these embroidery circles at the store I knew that I need to get them. In case you're asking yourself "Is that what they're really called!?", according to Wikipedia, "An embroidery hoop or (earlier) tambour frame consists of a pair of concentric circular or elliptical rings. The larger ring has a tightening device, usually in the form of a metal screw. The artisan repositions the hoop as needed when working over a large piece of fabric."

The embroidery hoop was just next to the embroidery fabric. I didn't know anything about choosing the right fabric for this (obviously), but I was lucky enough to find one that's soft, but not too flimsy. Just right for her first project.

We used needles that I got on Amazon - it's a set of needles, some plastic and colourful, different lengths, with large eyes. If you want a link, I'd be happy to send it to you. I got the yarn at a thrift store.

She started by sewing some lines, which she then said that they looked like eyes. So I took a marker and drew the head and explained how to make it. The next day, I thought about drawing a shape with straight lines, so they're easier. And she made a star. Next, she drew herself a worm and said that she will stitch it.
 
I really loved learning with her. I think that it was a wonderful opportunity to teach her that you can learn things from 0 if you know where to search or if you put your mind to it.

 



Is your little one interested in sewing?



Monday, 6 June 2022

Montessori Floor Bed



I can't seem to find anything negative to say about floor beds/mattresses. We've always used a floor mattress until now, but since we moved, we thought about getting an actual bed for E., so that she enjoys her new room a bit more.


You can read about why we chose to use a floor bed with her in a blog post on www.grumpydumpling.com. I will soon add a link in stories.

But I wanted to mention what we paid attention to when we chose this bed frame (it's not the best, but it meets most of our requirements):
- first of all, I wanted it to be low enough so that it's safe even if she rolls out of it in her sleep. This made the search much easier, because we eliminated all high beds, with storage space. There were very few with a bedside railing
- we wanted natural colours, so we went for this. It's easier to match with other things, and it's not bad to look at
- we wanted the roof to be low, so that it feels cosy
- 90x200 felt like a good mattress size, because that way I can sleep with her when she is sick or is going through some transitions that keep her awake at night

We chose it together, but I actually did some research, then showed her only the options that I liked. We decorated it with some buntings, a pillow that she chose, and a white curtain. She helped me see the buttons on the curtain, so that we can remove it when it needs a wash.

At night, I put the play mattress next to the bed, just in case.

What sort of bed do you have for your little one? What made you choose that one over the others?

#montessorihousebed #housebed #montessoribedroom #independence #encouragingindependence #montessori #montessoriathome #floorbed #floormattress #cosy

Grieving


 It's extremely tough on us when a loved one dies. But it can be even tougher for a child (although it sometimes seems like they are unaffected or unconcerned) to cope with such events and talk about those feelings in a healthy way. They might not have experienced the loss of someone dear to them before, so they don't have the skills to cope with it and understand what happened.

How adults and children grieve depends on so many variables: developmental stage, personality, their relationship with the deceased, it can depend also on how often they spent time together, or how those people were involved in daily routines, the support offered to them, etc.

How can we make this awful experience better for our kids?
1. By being there for them, as much as we can - it's okay for them to see us cry, mad, and to observe how we deal with the event. And both might need extra hugs and cuddles.
2. By explaining how and why we are feeling sad, angry, buffled.
3. By using simple words and not overexplaining.
4. By thinking about how things will change for the family and the child (daily routines, family gatherings, etc.) and by talking about these with the child, to prepare them for the changes.
5. By not avoiding talking about the deceased: it is hard, but once you feel comfortable, talk about what sort of person they were, what they liked doing, look at photos and talk about nice things you did together. But do avoid talking about how sick they were in the hospital, how they struggled, or what sort of death they had.

It's completely up to you if you decide to take them to the funeral. But if you do, think about what will happen, where you will stand, if the coffin is closed or open, and decide what is best.

Have you had a death in the family? How did your child cope with it?
Please share your advice. I am sure it will help a lot of parents who are going through this.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

How to Teach Colours to Your Little One

First of all, you might be asking yourself when to introduce colours to your littles. Well, it depends on your kid, of course. If he clearly understands what you are saying most of the time, at least when you talk about basic things (toys, daily routines, surroundings), then it might be the right time – usually this happens around the age of 1-1 1/2.

You might think that knowing colours is a basic concept, but it might take a while for a child to grasp the notion of colour.

Here are some tips that might help to avoid overwhelming your child:

  • Start with two colours at a time. Once your child shows that he has learnt these two, you can introduce others. Choose colours that are very different from one another. For example, blue and yellow, not blue and green.  
  • Sing songs about colours: one of my favourite is “I See Something Blue” from Super Simple Learning (you couldstart with just two colours here, too) 
  • Use manipulatives to sort – place some construction paper (2 colours at first) on the floor and give your little one small objects of those colours to sort out.
  • Isolate the concept of colour – try to use the same types of objects that they can sort (bear counters, buttons, rocks, blocks, etc.) 
  • Use markers, crayons, watercolours if your child is interested in these – name the colours when he uses them. 
    This is a freebie that I made for my daughter, to work on colour matching. You can download it here.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Fur or Feathers

This is by no means an original idea, just something that E. enjoyed doing: classifying animals. I only gave her flashcards of mammals and birds for now, because it's easier to spot the differences. I will later add fish, then reptiles.

Depending on your child's vocabulary, you can practice names of animals, the words "fur" and "feathers", or "mammal" and "bird". It's good to explain in the beginning the main differences between the two groups: mammals have babies that they feed with milk and their bodies are covered in fur, birds have babies that come out of eggs and their bodies are covered in feathers. 

We used the montessori cards from @edituragama and the book is 100 de activități montessori pentru descoperirea lumii înconjurătoare by Éve Herrmann (the original title is 100 activités Montessori pour découvrir le monde).
 


 

Friday, 24 December 2021

Winter Oobleck + an 🐙 (because E wanted it to join the other animals)

We checked the pantry to see if we had corn starch, something that smells like winter, and green and red food colouring. And we did!

We used:
- 2 cups of corn starch
- 1 cup of water (the more corn starch you add, the better it is!)
- red and green food colouring
- orange essence
- some #schleich animals

It was fun and MESSY - but when we were done, we took the animals to the bathroom for a bath. 

 





Thursday, 23 December 2021

Initial Sound Recognition Freebie (in Romanian)

This is a printable that I made to go with our resin letters from @joc_senin (on Instagram).

E. loves them and uses them for sensory play (with #kineticsand, #homemadeplaydough, water play), for pretend play (they are buttons, she makes musical instruments from them, etc.).

So, I made these simple cards to match the initial letters on the cards to the #resinletters. Because the printer is still not working 🙄, she tested the printable straight from my laptop. It was her idea and I was so excited to see her find the letters.

I chose CVC words for emergent readers and I kept the matching colours (blue for consonants and pink for vowels) to make it easier. Also, the font is pretty similar to the resin letters.

You can download the product here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Ah_2EeUHXUDegYwwW5xs2L2sVIkdXA or by clicking on the pictures below.

If you decide to use it, I'd be happy to hear your feedback.

 



Tuesday, 23 November 2021

FLASH FREEBIE Thanksgiving Hunt with Clues (English and Romanian)

It's been a while since the last post and freebie, so here it is! It's a printable that I've made for my group, to work on their listening skills and to have some starting points for a conversation about Thanksgiving. 

I printed all of the flashcards and I will hide them in the classroom. The clues will make it easier for them to find the flashcards, but if they still can't, I will tell them warm-hot-cold. 

You can download this FLASH FREEBIE here or from my TeachersPayTeachers Store, Grumpy Dumpling.

I hope you'll enjoy this game!

Happy Thanksgiving!





Friday, 22 October 2021

Autumn Homemade Playdough with a Wintery Smell + Clay and Playdough Pretend Play

We made this orange and yellow playdough, and added gingerbread spices - it's divine and I am really surprised that E. hasn't tried to taste it ...yet 😅

We used the usual playdough recipe
2 ½ cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2 tbsp of cream of tartar
2 tbsp of oil
Food colouring
2 cups of boiling water
And added gingerbread spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves.

We made more hedgehogs using clay from @happy.by.nature_farm and playdough to make birds, snakes, hedgehogs. E. helped make the bird nest (from tree bark and playdough) and eggs, she stuck eyes on all and made beds and blankets for the hedgehog 🦔 family.

She played with these for an hour (!)





 

 

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Fine Motor Tray with Acorns

A simple autumn activity for fine motor skills: some acorns that we gathered together on our walk, homemade playdough, a tiny jar (with a small opening for some extra challenge), and large scissors. The acorns are slightly pushed inside, so they stand and they're easier to take out. The scissors are very good, because although the acorns are a bit slippery, they work well.