a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

L is for Leaves Part 2

I finally, finally had time to take pictures of all of our L is for Leaf trays. They have been out for three weeks, becuase we haven't had a lot of time in the schoolroom, and also because they are really fun! You can see Part 1 of our Leaf activities here and some other Leaf activities here.

2teachingmommies.com has this great prinatble with leaves and a tree. We used our number rocks with this activitiy. We picked a rock to put on the trunk. 6 tells us to put 6 fall leaves on the tree. Kenna carefully placed each leaf while counting outloud. By the third time, she was able to do this independently, and I could monitor from afar because I could hear her counting!

Counting and clipping.  I like this activity- we numbered some clothespins, and clipped them to the right section of the fall themed wheel.

L isn't just for leaves! L is for Ladybugs!! We put our confessionsofahomeschooler sequencing ladybugs in order from small to big, and then from big to small.
Kenna decided to do some nursery rhyme action- she recited "Jack be Nimble" and then jumped over the "candlestick" aka- ladybugs!

Leaf shadow matching. We also looked up each leaf and found out what kind of tree it belongs to. I was wishing for a set of three-part cards, but I never got around to printing them. She's only two, so...maybe next fall!

Leaf counting and clipping- tricky but fun for Kenna. She liked being "wrong" and then having me tell her "Leaves, leaves, COUNT THEM AGAIN!!" 
Look closely to see that these leaves are numbered 1-20.  (they are a little set from the Dollar Tree.)
We used our Button Lacer to thread the leaves on in numerical order.

We actually got out our mat and did this activity in true Montessori style. (usually Kenna rejects the work mat)  Waffles the cat came to investigate the work in progress.

Buttoning those leaves was hard for Kenna! First time working with a button.  She did great. I intentionally cut the slits in the leaves rather large, so that she could be very successful.

Sliding the leaf down the ribbon.

All of the leaves securely buttoned!! She was really proud of herself, and the first time we did the activity, we left all of the leaves on the ribbon to show Daddy.  (Generally we clean up our work after the actvitiy is complete.)
Finding which leaf is different.  I laminated the page and gave her a dry erase marker. In the past, I have cut these sheets up into strips, but I left it whole this time to see what would happen. As I suspected, it was too overwhelming for Kenna. She couldn't "read" one line at a time, and kept pointing out leaves in separate rows that were "not the same".

And finally, some leaf size sorting. The text on the mat reads "small, medium, large." Well, we have never used the word "medium" before, so she kinda fell in love with the medium leaves. She only wanted to sort them, and line them up, and say the word medium about a million times. It was adorable.

We did some fun leaf crafts, but I have no pictures. We attempted leaf rubbing but she wasn't interested. We made a mobile with twigs and leaves, which required knot tying and she lost interest. :)  See a theme? I tried, though! I really did! Her favorite activity this month was really just raking and jumping in the leaves. Perfect!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On the sewing table 11.20.11

I've finally caught up on all the custom orders I had, so I am taking some time to make some gifts for my own family and friends for Christmas. (36ish days left???? ACK!)
This little gnome is part of a set of four. He's Fall. There is also Summer, Spring and Winter. I just need to take pictures. I love how he turned out, so much so that I decided to keep him and put him on our Nature Table. So much for gifting!
Soo stinking cute!  Our Waldorf style nature table makes me feel calm and peaceful. I can't wait to get some playsilks to add to the scene.

Rainbow Beanbags. Each bag is made with a different textured fabric. They are small for little hands. They have black and white backs.  I really like them. I made 5 sets. I'm kinda in love. Watch out, everyone on my list- every kid I know is getting a set this year!

Awesome! More sewing projects coming soon! I gotta get on the ball.

Practical life- raking and bush trimming

Fall is wrapping up, and December is barreling towards us, so there are some yard chores to wrap up before the snow hits.  We gave Kenna a really easy-to-use pair of clippers and told her to lop the tops off of our Euonymus bushes. Daddy provided a bucket for the clippings, and continued his work.

 Kenna enjoyed this so much, and did a great job independently! By the end, her hands were getting really tired, and clipping became harder for her. That was my cue to wrap up the activity.  We had her add the clippings to our compost heap and let her play with sidewalk chalk.
 She wanted me to play, and handed me the chalk. She told me which shapes to draw, and then we figured out the first letter of each shape. (I'll help you figure out my awesome drawings.... pentagon, cone, hexagon, octagon.)
 Kenna wandered over to see what Daddy was up to (repairing a bird feeder) and decided to get her rake and do some leaf moving. (I say "moving" and not "raking", since she really just pushed them around the front yard!) She loves her rake, and she really loves feeling useful. That is my favorite part of Waldorf philosophy- let children do things, real things, that make a real impact. Rake real leaves, clip real bushes, etc.  I am still torn between Waldorf and Montessori over this bit. Lucky me, I homeschool so I can mesh them together!
 Quinn and Little Man were also in the yard with us all afternoon: Quinn playing on a blanket and trying to eat grass, Little Man playing with a rolling toy and experimenting with sidewalk chalk.
 The girls, enjoying a beautiful Fall afternoon.
And lastly, Kenna needed me to take a picture of this. She calls it, "my ball wears a hat."  I love it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Felt Map- Birthday style!

I made a felt map for Kenna a couple weeks ago. She is going to LOVE it.  Meanwhile, we got invited to a birthday party for a sweet 3 year old girl, and the theme of the party??? DORA!! So of course I had to make her a map, too. I found this book- Dora's Birthday Surprise, and opened it to see what the Map had to say.
Map directed Dora and Boots to Acorn forest, the blue Troll Bridge, and then finally to Rainbow Mountain.

So, I got out my felt and some scissors, and made the three destinations to go with some others I had already made.

Troll Bridge. (I wish I had made a troll, too. I ran out of time.)
Rainbow Mountain. I made them two pieces, so she could take the rainbow and use it alone. I kinda hate the mountain, but I was copying the picture and was in a rush. Ahhh, well.

Now the Birthday Girl can read her book, and follow along with her very own Map. Yay!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Felt Microphone

 After watching several episodes of Little Einstein, Kenna declared she wanted a microphone like Annie.  Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade sealed the deal, since she saw lots of performers singing into microphones.  Since we are vegetarian, our Thanksgiving turkey was actually a "ToFurkey" and did not require a whole lot of prep work. (it was yummy, thanks for asking!) The lack of prep is why on Thanksgiving morning I sewed up a microphone for Kenna, instead of slaving over the stove (*not that I was the one cooking anyhow, since I DON'T cook.)
It came out adorable, with some felt, polyfil, and a little hand-stitching.  Kenna LOVES it and has been singing into it constantly (even at the dinner table.) She also experimented with holding it up to her ear, "So you can hear me better."  She melts my heart!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rainbow Cake!

*Disclaimer: I don't cook. I don't bake. I really am only allowed to use spoons in the kitchen.

I decided to make a Rainbow cake with Kenna. We mixed up some boxed cake mix (with some egg replacer and applesauce experiment) and split it into 6 cups. We mixed in food coloring (wish we had some gel coloring, but alas- the liquid drops were our only option). ROYGBV. (Handy Husband was irrirated that I didn't make Indigo. Confession- I don't know the difference between blue, indigo and violet.) 
Kenna (the half-naked chef) did all the mixing of food coloring. She and I discussed "what makes purple? What makes orange? It was fun to see the batter transform into bright colors.
Then we recited the colors of the rainbow in order, and puddled each color into two 8 inch pans.  The batter slowly spread out to the edge of the pan. Awesome!

With no egg in our cake mix, Kenna happily licked all the cups clean. (that's me in the background- a rare Mommy sighting! I'm usually behind the lens.)
All the rainbow batter in the pans, ready to climb into the oven.  I was waay more excited than Kenna.
Cooking... (in our new Range!)
Iced and served!! Amazing! (Kenna requested pink sprinkles on top, and I happily obliged.  She calls them sparkles, and that makes my heart happy.

Every tiny cake crumble was a different rainbow color. I think it looks more tie dye than rainbow, but whatever you call it, it was beautiful and delicious!  I have a lot of ideas on how to make other kinds of cake- like different shades of pink. Or matching colors to themed decor. Or zebra stripes (could I??) 
I will never make a plain yellow cake again.  :) You've been warned.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Light Box- Autumn leaves

 Fall has taken over our piece of the world, and Kenna is in love! She loves watching leaves flutter to the ground. She stops and stares above her head as they come raining down. It is magical and wondrous that trees would suddenly release the leaves they held up for so long. 
She is collecting them by the fistful. We have them in every bag and box, pocket and purse, everywhere she can think to stuff them. She gathers them in the yard, in parking lots, and on the playground. She holds the leaves up, one by one, and declares them beautiful. She studies them, enjoying how they spin between her fingers. She drops them to watch them fall. She piles them up to see how high they can stack. Leaves are amazing in my toddler's eyes.

I found these lovely acryllic leaves and knew Kenna would love to play with them.
I drew a tree onto a piece of paper, so that she could explore with it.
 She asked me to make some lines with the leaves and then she asked me to make some letters. They were enchanting.

 We love our light box. We love Autumn leaves.
Happy Fall!
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