Monday, 18 January 2021

DIY Counting Board

I found these spools of thread and the wool pompoms at a thrift store the other day and I had this idea. E. is more and more interested in counting + she loved balancing wooden balls on golf tees, so I thought of this.

I first painted the spools to match the colours of the pompoms, then glued them onto the wooden board. I made the numbers and printed them, so we can talk about what they look like (1 is like a candle, 2 like a swan, 3 is like a bird).

She has used this countless times already, to balance wooden blocks, she built towers on each spool, she put pompoms on the spools, then tried to blow them off, etc.

I first made this using thick construction paper instead of the wooden boards, but she kept on pulling the spools off (check the picture of the old one by swiping). 

This board is useful for: learning number names, counting, comparing numbers, understanding 1-1 correspondence (pairing each object with one number name)

Does your child like counting?

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Sale December 28 - December 30

 It's been a while since the last sale. And what a better time for one than winter holidays? 

You can go to my store by clicking here, to see the freebies and the discounted printables.

Happy Holidays!


Saturday, 19 December 2020

Free Printables for Cutting Skills

I am writing a blog post about scissors skills, so I thought I would share with you a few free printables that you could just print out and give to your child, no prep needed.

You can find them by clicking on the links below:

Cutting and Tracing Worksheets for St. Patrick's Day

Tracing and Cutting Worksheets (Food Vocabulary) 

The Cutting Song (Scissors Grip) 

Free Tracing and Cutting Activities for Children

Most of them can be used as tracing sheets, too. If you have a laminator and a child who loves tracing, I recommend laminating them and using a dry-erase marker.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Functional-ish Toddler Kitchen / Snack Station

Have you seen those cool toddler kitchens with running water? Well…this is not one of them. We decided not to put a tap because we want to be able to transform it into a play kitchen again, when she will get bored of this (we’ve already done this once before) and because we needed to keep an extra eye on her. She can climb to the sink using her stool, so she is free to get water anytime she wants. But it’s easier for us to keep a closer eye on her there, because she doesn’t do it all the time.

This is what she currently has in her kitchen:
- Her apron, for when she is cooking – she gets it herself, but needs a bit of help putting it on
- A cutting board
- Some snacks – I usually put a porridge pouch, cereal (without sugar), toddler fruit bars, fruit (banana, mandarins, pear, etc.), or muffins, homemade crackers, etc. (things that don’t need to be in the fridge)
- Bib and placemat (we love the ones from @khadinedeco)
- A jar with cutlery
- An egg slicer, for fruit (bananas, soft kiwi, strawberries)
- A bowl or plate
- Pitcher and mug
- A hand towel
- Trash can (her old diaper bin)
- A broom

She has a different area for cleaning supplies: a tiny broom and dustpan, cloths and a spray bottle with water for wiping tables.

Does your toddler enjoy being independent at mealtimes? How do you support them? 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

How we Incorporate Music into Our Daily Routine

E. loves everything about music! I can truly say that songs and music in general have helped build at least 70% of her vocabulary. Ever since she was a baby, she paid more attention to me when I was singing to her than when I was talking. I used to sing about what we were doing together (I still do sometimes) and whenever we went on walks, we sang about what we saw. She quickly understood the meaning of the words that she heard in songs, because they were used in context. Nowadays, she creates her own silly songs and sings all the time.

I thought about sharing a few ways we’ve incorporated songs in our daily routine:

We made a Song Bag for when we’re on the go – I took screen shots of pictures from songs that we know (most of them are from Super Simple Learning), then made laminated flashcards and placed them all in a bag. I wrote about it in a previous post, but if you have any questions just ask.

We have musical instruments – she can play our piano anytime, but we’ve also started a collection of smaller real instruments for her. She used to have wooden toy instruments, but I thought that real instruments could be so much better – and they are! She has wooden shakers, a recorder, a ukulele, and a harmonica. 

She has music class at daycare – and she really enjoys it. I’m lucky that I teach at her kindergarten, because I can ask her teacher what songs she’s been singing at home.

She has lots of books about music – her favourite are The Story Orchestra (Swan Lake) and a book with 50 Finnish songs that has buttons that play every song. Check the photo for more of her favourite books about music. 

I sometimes set up trays related to certain songs – the one in the picture is just with some farm animals and DIY matching cards. When she plays with them, she usually sings Old MacDonald.

We use stick puppets (laminated pictures of characters in songs, stuck on some popsicle sticks), hand puppets, finger puppets, and any toys to act out the lyrics of songs.

And her favourite thing when she was little was to listen to me sing while changing her. I had printed pictures for some of her favourite songs and put them omn the wall, so that I could point to them while singing. Before I introduced those, I focused more on songs about body parts, clothes, daily routines, so I could sing them and give her an idea of what the words mean.

My all time favourite kids songs are those from Super Simple Songs. The lyrics are easy to remember and to translate, so we sing them in all three languages (or two, if I get very lazy about Finnish).

There are so many fun ways to incorporate music in everyday life! Does your child like music or singing?

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Encouraging a Toddler to Dress Independently

 I wrote this post for Instagram, and that's why it's mostly photos. But I thought it'd be nice to share it here, because this is an aspect that a lot of parents (and teachers) struggle with. 

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer.

And remember, we all have our bad days. Sometimes we just need to take it slow and focus on less things. :)