Tuesday, March 6, 2012

food fun

Hi, March.  Where did you come from?  Onward and upward...

For a while now I've been wanting to make sure Miss H was getting some good learnable moments in during her days at home with me.  I love that I can spend all this time with her and I want to make the most of it still having a lot of fun.  After scouring the interwebbings, a lot of people hold "tot school" in their homes and use various methods of structuring learning for their little ones.  It was OVERWHELMING, to say the least.  So much in fact that what started out as some simple ideas quickly got all mushed up in my head and I felt completely lost.  I had to step back and decide what my goal was, what I really thought was important for her and what would be enjoyable. 

So we are in our first week of "tot school", no not school but I haven't figured out what to call it yet.  I decided that I would pick a theme or focus for a week or two at a time and structure some play around that theme. Not all her play, and certainly not hours a day.  Who has the patience for that?  Not me and certainly not my (tear, sniff, sniff) 21 month old now.  Nor am I interested in homeschooling.  She's a toddler, she plays and should have as much fun as humanly possible before she spends the next 18+ years of her life in school.  I also know that they are sponges and learn new things every day by just observing us as adults and going through life.  So maybe this whole thing is just to entertain me so things aren't the same everyday?  And maybe I think it'd be fun to have new activites for H that will keep her attention for more time than the average sneeze. 

This week:  Nurtrition/Healthy Foods

On Monday we had to do our usual grocery shopping trip so I made sure to do the usual and point out and talk to her about the foods at the store and what we were putting in the cart.  She is mimicing a lot and will repeat pretty much anything you ask her to.  Currently her favorite things to visit at the store are the Mangoes (I'm sure its because she thinks theres a chance I'll bust one open right there and then for her...she's still waiting for that day.  She loves them.) And of course the live lobster tank.  What kid doesn't like that?  Later in the afternoon after naptime I let her play in a sensory bin filled with beans...

Digging in the beans for buried plastic fruit and veggies

I put a bowl on the other end of the sheet and she practiced transfering the beans from one end to the other.  Not a lot to ask of her, she does it twice a day across the kitchen to feed the cats, but fun none the less.  I had various spoons, ladles, bowls etc...from her to choose from and try out.

Showing Daddy her beans.  My intent was to catch her mimicing him, but she wouldn't stay when I pulled out the camera.  She will try her hardest to get in the EXACT same position he is in everytime.  Kills me.
 On Tuesday we played with learning to cut fruit and had some coloring fun.  The beans made a reappearance too right before nap because she was insistant on playing with them again.  Fine with me!  $3.00 bag of pinto beans and entertained for 30 mins or so...DONE!

This knife is part of a kids cutlery set I recently found at IKEA.  Not sharp but slighly serrated.  It came with forks, knives, and spoons about a hundred of each (not really) for $2.00 I think.  Score.

On to the strawberry.  She did surprisingly well with the cutting, I was shocked.

Then I let her scewer the fruit onto toothpicks because I want her to be able to serve fantastic appetizers one day, practice her fine motor skills.  Yeah.

Free printables.  They are everywhere on the web, find them, print them, slide them into sheet protectors and use Dry Erase Crayons on the them.

They are fantastic.  They wipe right off of dry erase and plastic sheet protectors.

We also went to the library today and picked up a card finally.  We found two books food themed and I'm sure will read them 1,000 times before next week.  This Saturday hopefully we can make it out to our favorite Farmers Market and check out the food there to round out the week.  Hope you are all having fun!

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