Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Story Stones - My version.

At Easter time I went with my family down to visit Great Grandma at the Ocean.  We made a point of course to spend as much time as we could prowling around on the well as visiting with Great Grandma and Great Auntie.

There is nothing quite like searching for the smoothest, roundest, softest stone.  Or the perfect shell, or the right shape of drift wood.  

My daughter and I brought a load full of rocks and sticks home with us.  We have very patient and understanding and tolerant husbands.

Truth be told as far a children are concerned, if they were given the opportunity to play with a bowl or basket of stones and driftwood they would.  Stones and driftwood are beautiful just as they are.

Even so, I decided to paint a few of stones, recently.  The other night, in fact.  My daughter called me up and said, "Do you want to do some crafting?"  Five minutes later there I was, in her living room.  That is still so cool, considering for the last ten years my daughters have lived a crazy, 24 hours drive away!

She was working on felting some flowers for her friends wedding.  And I decided to do some painting.  I started by painting ladybugs.

I used some acrylic paint.  For the lines and dots I used a black paint pen.  Did you know that Michaels has 40% off coupons on their website?  You can bring it up on your smartphone and use it at the check out.  That way paint pens would be super affordable!

After the lady bugs, things got a little out of control and I started having so much fun!  I don't consider myself a great artist by any means.   In my opinion, I thought the imperfections kind of added to the charm of the story stones.

I used the white paint pen for these and liked them, but decided to add a little color.

Some painted with color and some not.  

Pop them in a basket and you have a lovely play invitation. 

Simple and fun.  

I saw this blog post recently with lots more story stone ideas.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Outdoor Play Spaces.

I have a Son-in-Law who is working on his second Master's Degree.  This one is in Library Science.  The course he is currently working on is a Multi-Media one and he has a lot of assignments and projects to complete in a short six-week period.  

He shared one of his assignments with me that I was particularly pleased with, because, not only did it include my sweet little grand-daughter, but it also promotes the importance of outdoor play.  A topic near and dear to my heart.

I think he did a great job on his video assignment, don't you?

Talking of outdoor play, we had fun as a family, outdoors, this week-end.  My hubby D was in a 
slo-pitch tournament that we had fun watching.  As we sat in the shade and watched him, our little grand-daughter got us all moving by having races.  

On your mark, get set, Go!

Her Uncle was a good sport.

Papa's turn.  He had just enough energy left after his game.

And Mama's turn.

Happy and Carefree.  

Barefoot, Fresh Air and Sunshine.

So much to be thankful for.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

It was a Good Day.

This past Sunday was Father's Day.  We had a nice long Face Time visit with our daughter and husband who live far away.  Later in the day our oldest daughter and her little family came by to spend the afternoon.

After opening his gift and enjoying some coffee and cake, Papa got the idea to bring out a baseball and bat to teach his little grand-daughter his favorite sport.  


You can tell by the laughter and delight that we were all a little surprised at her hand - eye co-ordination!

Needless to say, we quickly took the game outside!

Taking a turn with her Mom.

Getting pointers from her baseball playing Uncle.

Time with family, time in the sunshine, time to laugh and play.

A good time.

I wish all the Father's out there a great next year.  Love your families and work hard.  Know that you are needed and valued.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Tree Blocks.

Back in May we spent some time on our property.  We mowed and trimmed and cut back wayward branches from pathways.  

I decided to gather a few of the branches to make some tree blocks.

It took my hubby D just a few minutes to cut up a basket full with his chop saw.

I had him cut the branches into an assortment of sizes.  The longer ones are great for story telling....they can make a house for the 3 Bears, for example.  

One fine Saturday, we went over to my daughter's house and spent just a little time sanding them.

Then we applied a finish of Bees Wax, Olive Oil, and Vitamin E Oil.

It smelled so good.

I did the sanding and my daughter applied the finish.

My grand-daughter also enjoyed participating.

We were really pleased with how they turned out. 

Soft, smooth, inviting.

I would like to get some much bigger ones next time to add to our collection.  

Need a gift idea?  Need to spruce up your block area? 

Here is a beautiful open-ended toy made with very little effort.  

Love it!!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

One Little Girl.

This post is about a little girl in our infant room.
This little girl is a special little lovely. Well, to be truthful, they all are.  Unique and different. But today I am going to tell you about a little girl who is sweet and gentle. Independent.
 This past while she has been seriously interested in baby dolls.  

We have this one.


And this one.  She loves both and doesn't discriminate.

All she has needed to date is one of these dolls to look after ALL day. All of her play centers around her doll.  When she comes for snack, we tuck it under her chair until she is done.  When she naps, she puts it to nap beside her.  For the rest of the day she carries it around.  Sometimes she covers it with a piece of fabric and pats it's back.  Another interest that goes along side her baby fascination, is her cell phone.  Her cell phone is a blue block.  

She sends text messages regularly to her mom, throughout the day.  Yesterday she used the silver mardi gras necklace to PLUG her phone in.  Of course she did!  Cell phones need to be charged!  I'm so glad we have "loose parts" in our room for children to use their imagination with!  

One day someone gave us a stroller for her to use.  It's a little challenging to bring in one stroller to the infant room, as EVERYONE wants a turn ALL at the same time.  So we bring it out when we go for walks.  The stroller has been a nice extension of her play.  She has taught me though, that she doesn't really need elaborate props.  For the longest time she has been content with a piece of fabric and her doll.

As our daycare is located on a University campus there are really nice pathways to walk on.  This week all of the staff have had an opportunity to take her out.  We push the triple with three Little's riding and she walks along side.  Students and faculty alike are so delighted!  

It's a cuteness overload!

Taking time to smell the flowers.

Checking out the grass and pavement.  Textures are interesting to little ones. 

She stopped now and then to check on her baby and fix the blanket.

Uh Oh!  Just sending a quick text to mommy.

I love my job!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Being Small.

Oh boy, it's been a hard few days at work.  We are having September in June.  Anybody who has worked in an infant room in September knows exactly what I am talking  about.  We have some new Little's, really little Little's.  They are experiencing for the first time, being away from everything familiar, to nothing familiar.  And they are insecure. They are crying and want to be held.  On top of that we have been having staffing challenges that all child care center's go through from time to time.

So tonight I am tired.  Bone weary.  My back hurts.
I did get a break today, for which I am thankful.  I walked up to the gym that is close by my work and plugged some music in my ears and started walking...with a smile on my face.  I read somewhere that, that is a great
 anti-depressant.  I want to share a song I listened to while I was walking and stretching out sore back and shoulder muscles.
For some reason I am having trouble loading the YouTube video (probably because I am tired), but click on the link and enjoy a sweet song......

Are there times when you want to be small?  When you need to be small?  I think about that when I am rocking Little's.  Making my arms a safe place for them to be in.  
 Sometimes even grown-ups need a safe place to be small and to rest and replenish.  A quiet, peaceful place. 

When I got home tonight this is what greeted me.

My bright, colorful garden cheers my soul.  It's not too big or fancy, just a few pots stuffed full. It's my quiet, happy place.  My little gnome home reminds me of child-like wonder and calms me down when life tries to overwhelm.

I will be ready to go back at it tomorrow, but for now I am being quiet.
 And small.