Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Miniature Tea Set.

When my daughter was planning their 24 hour road trip to the city where I live, she had to be creative and thoughtful with ideas to keep her three year old little girl busy.  She needed fun things that would keep her occupied while sitting in a car seat.  She saw this idea on Made by Joel's website.    

Here is her version.

She found a geometry set tin and painted it with acrylic paint.  She drew the stove elements and sink with felt pen.

She found the tiny tea set at the local thrift store.  The three pieces of fabric were meant to place mats.

The little tea set fit nicely inside the tin.

She cut up little pieces of felt that could be used as food.

Now they have all arrived, and we have already had many tea parties together.


She shared a couple of considerations to think about.

1.  Make sure the tin is easy for a child to open 

2.  If this is a travel toy, you could paint the stove top on the inside of the lid. 

3.  Remember the miniature tea set pieces are choking hazards and should be used for children over the age of 3.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Playing to Win.

We spent the week-end at the ball field.  Our son's team was supposed to have travelled to another city but they still had snow on the field so the opposing team came here instead.  Nice for us as we enjoy watching the live action.

They played six games altogether, and guess what?  They won all six games!!  Yippee!! It's always fun to win that's for sure.     

For my son, winning is still kind of a novelty.  He grew up in a small town where it was sometimes challenging to have enough kids to make up a team.  So he had a lot of experience at losing ball games.  He said to me once when he was quite young, that he didn't care if he won or lost, he just wanted to play ball.  And I reassured him that while it is awesome to win and we should play to win, if we learn to lose well, we have learned a life lesson that builds our character.

Losing well is something to be proud of, in my opinion.

Hanging out in the dug out, his home away from home these days.

Playing to win.  

Safely sliding into second base.

I am pretty proud of this kid.  I have watched him develop into quite a remarkable athlete over the years.  I never dreamed he would be playing University baseball, but here he is.  What I like best of all though, is that his character has matured and he is a nice person, a really nice person.

Maybe all that losing paid off in the long run.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Early One Morning.

One morning some time ago, it was my turn to open our infant daycare room.  One of the best features of this room is the large windows on one end, that allows the morning sun to pour in.  The sun was so welcoming and gentle.

In the winter when the room was dark in the morning, we used light ropes to add in gentle light and define certain play areas.

But the natural light is so invigorating and energizing. And cheering.

The sun added depth to the toys, enhancing them with brightness and accents.

Light and shadow, perhaps a toy in itself.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A Beautiful Corner of the World.

We enjoyed a special trip to the ocean this past long week-end.  My husbands Mom and Auntie, aged 82 and 92, live there.  We got to visit with them and eat a lovely Sunday Easter meal together.  

 I took some pictures of the beauty around me.  

We went to the ocean twice.  The first day was overcast and a little rainy, but not cold.  We didn't mind. 

Exploring tidal pools.

She wanted to build a sand castle but didn't really like touching the sand.  So we built a drift wood castle and she played in the sand using a stone.

Right by the beach is a cemetery.  We took a walk through it, as it has special memories for my hubby D. When he was 14 or so he mowed the lawns, fixed head stones and other odd jobs. 

I loved all the gorgeous spring flowers.  As we drove around we saw beautiful signs of spring everywhere.

The week-end was relaxing and fun.  I'm glad we went.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Spring has Come.

Spring has come to the campus where our daycare center is located.  We have been waiting and waiting for the weather to finally warm up.  We have been spending a lot of time outside with our Little's.  For the really little ones it is so nice to go for a stroller ride around the campus.  The older ones like that too, but now they can easily play in the yard since the the snow and ice and mud have gone for another season.

This is what we saw on our walk today.

Leaves and flowers in bud.


Cheerful daffodils waving in the breeze.

The children are noticing all the birds around, busily scavenging for nesting materials.  We think we have a Mama robin right in our back yard.  I hope she doesn't regret that decision.

And motorcycles!  Vroom!  Vroom!

I don't want to start anything political, but as soon as we saw the motorbikes some of the boys started making appropriate motorcycle sounds.  Interesting how they can do that. I'm sure girls could make motorcycle sounds...if they wanted to.  But they don't.  Boys do.  Some of them are one.  One year old boys can make motorcycle sounds??  True story.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Resiliency in Children

"Resilience is the ability to steer through
serious life challenges and find ways to
bounce back and to thrive."

"We are born with the capacity for 

 "But resilience is not something
we have or don’t have." 

"We work on it
throughout our lives." 

"And we need to 
start as early as possible."

"Resilient kids are problem solvers."

"They face unfamiliar or tough situations and strive to find good solutions."

 This little guy is fifteen months old (or young).  Today was one of the first times he spent out in the play yard this spring. He didn't waste any time finding a challenge for himself on this ramp.  The first time he stood at the top looking down and decided to crawl down. He practised getting on and off, standing up and crawling. As you can see by his pants he fell once also. When he fell, I came along side him and he looked at me and I looked at him. He didn't cry. He just lay there for a few minutes, almost as if he was feeling his body to see if it hurt or maybe the fall surprised him.  I asked him if he needed help getting up and he reached up his hand to me. Then, he was right back at it, trying again.

Practising. Problem Solving. Mastering.

 Developing Resiliency.

Some of these ideas on resiliency were borrowed from an article I read by; Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Wet-Felted Play Mat - A Country Scene

I created this play mat a few years ago. It was one of the first mats I ever made and it turned out to be one of my personal favorites. As you can see, it features a little apple house surrounded by a hedge. There are paving stones that lead to the veggie patch where little rabbit loves to reside.  

The little flowers below are cut out felt shapes glued onto a small dowel that was painted green. You can also use a furniture nail to attach the felt to the dowel.  The children can move them around as they wish.

Goat likes to nibble the grass in the colorful fairy ring.

A gurgling stream runs down along one edge of the play mat.  I wonder if some ducks or a frog or turtle would like to come and play there?

I needle-felted some little apple people to go with this mat as well.  

Stay tuned for a story that I like to use with this mat.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Pure Imagination.

I haven't had an active three year old in my home for a long time. But for now our grand-daughter and her parents are staying with us until their new home becomes available.
We have a fairly small space and it's a good idea to watch where you are placing your feet these days.  Our living room has been taken over by this creative, hard-playing little girl.....and her toys.  I took a few pictures to show you what I have seen this past week.  

One morning I was presented with Birthday cake....with candies.  You might have to look closely to see those.  Yum, yum!

And what's cake without a special drink?

Wooden coasters turned into art.  Left over items from complex play. 

Block play.  

Beads and String.

A Mama bead and a Baby bead around the kitchen table.

Books?  No.
A path.   Actually a short cut.

I have to say that when I witness the incredible work and effort that goes into this kind of play it is no problem for me to move and let her take over the space for the day.