With winter come viruses. We have had the inevitable succession of runny noses, coughs and rashes that accompany big groups of small children. We've been spending some extra time at home when we're snotty to keep the bugs to ourselves. It's starting to feel like we're home more often than not!
When we're at home we miss the company of our friends. We miss the change of scenery too. We can start to feel frustrated with each other and cooped up at home. Visiting the chooks is a fun change in our routine that gets us out of the house.
The boys don't get to visit the chickens very often because we usually don't have time. They love to explore this different area and come up with new games to play. Fox loves to open and close the gate for the chickens over and over again. He checks for eggs and scoops pellets into the feeder. When he runs out of inspiration he copies his big brother.
Bear looks for the sneaky pets that are always hiding close by. He imagines race tracks or train tracks to drive along. He flaps his shadow wings and picks oranges to bring home for a picnic.
I'm incredibly thankful that despite these viruses the boys have stayed generally well. They get tired and need extra reassurance (and regular neurofen). I know other families suffer much more over winter from these same bugs.
Another favourite family job in winter is collecting fire wood.
We set out with our wheel barrows all rugged up for the cold. We head off across the paddocks and into the bush.
The boys and I forage and explore while Dad chops wood with the axe. There are all sorts of things to find and marvel at...
... sneaky mushrooms...
... delicate lichen.
Then we return victorious from our adventure with a wheelbarrow full of spoils!
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
My mum made play dough for Bear the last time she came to stay with us. He didn't want to touch it but loved poking holes in it with different objects. I love the way his play dough looks once he's been working on it - which gave me this idea to preserve and display it.
First Bear got to work on some rolled out air-dry modelling terracotta.
Then it was my turn to punch out stars with a cookie cutter, poke a hole for some festive string and write on the back "Bear 2014". They took 24 hours to dry completely.
I love the way they capture his baby art. We're going to share them with our friends and family. I hope they love them too! Merry Christmas everybody!!
Child sized furniture is basic to the Montessori concept. But a toddler table was one of those investments I've been putting off.
I finally bought a little table with two chairs from Ikea. I found a very helpful chair and table height guideline here. I cut the chair legs to 6.5" and the table legs to 14". Gave it a coat of clear gloss to protect against grubby fingers and added some sliders to the bottoms of the legs. It fits him perfectly!
After watching Bear use it for a few days I'm impressed by how much independence, pride and ownership it has given him. The same day that I showed him this table and chair he was able to sit down and stand up independently. He began to bring his toys to the table to work. He started pushing the chair in and pulling it out. The chair is light enough that he can carry it around. He can move it so that he could sit and watch me prepare dinner in the kitchen or watch the cat out the window. All these things happened completely automatically without any prompting or guidance from me.
It brings to mind the other fundamental Montessori concepts that I haven't embraced yet... Cooking? The floor bed? Maybe one day...
Bear's absolute favourite toy at the moment. He'll work on this baby for an hour at a time.
Very cheap, quick and easy and totally satisfying seeing him choose it from the shelf again and again.
I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be carting Bear off to the hospital - this little creature has always been pushing the limits. He is fearless and always moving. I'm actually surprised he wasn't doing anything silly when this happened - it was an innocent trip and fall. I was sitting right next to him and saw exactly what happened but was too slow to catch him.
1 cannula, 3 stitches and 2.5 hours of entertainment from my handbag and he was all mended.
It's a reminder of how quickly accidents can happen and how fragile little children are. Prevention is definitely better than cure and supervision is essential but not enough. Check out Farmsafe and Kidsafe for great resources on prevention.
Sadly no swimming for the next week :(
I'd like to introduce you to my pride and joy - my little Bear. Bear is now 16 months old and the inspiration for this blog. He is an extremely busy, fiercely independent and constantly entertaining little boy.
Language and Intelligence
The Developing Will
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.