Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Blog Has Moved to!

I have decided to take the next step in blogging and try to turn this thing into a career!  My blog has moved to  All of the old content is over there, plus lots of new things!  If you are signed up for email updates through this blog, you will have to sign up again on the new site.  You can do that on the lefthand side where it says "Sign up by email."  Please like my blog's page on Facebook (click here!), follow me on Instagram (click here!), and follow me on Pinterest (click here!).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Picture to Picture Matching with Movement

Maria Montessori developed her philosophy with a huge emphasis on incorporating movement in all activities.  This is because movement stimulates many different areas of the brain as you are learning.  Young children live to move -- sitting still is not nearly as fun.  This picture to picture matching work involves moving all the way through the first floor of our house to complete it.

Calendars are great to use for picture to picture matching works.  They typically have nice large pictures for each month, plus smaller previews of each month's picture on the back.  My husband picked up a free calendar at our vet's office, so I decided to make this calendar picture to picture matching work.  I cut out five of the pictures and laminated them along with the smaller version of each.  I taped the larger pictures to the walls at L's height all over our house.  I attached velcro stickers to each pair, and put the smaller pictures in a basket on L's language shelf -- I put the velcro stickers at the top of each smaller picture rather than in the center because I found that it was easier for L to attach it when it was at the top.  When L found the basket of smaller pictures, I showed her how to carry it to each larger picture, find the matching dog, and attach it.  When she has matched all of them, we walk around the house again to collect them all and put the basket back on the shelf.  L loves this work!  This calendar was free, but I also found several on sale since the new year has already begun, and I bought a few to replace this one in a few months.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Language for Infants -- Reading and Singing

One of the best things you can do for your youngest infant is read to her.  In addition to helping with her language development, this can instill a love for books that can last a whole lifetime.  There are many wonderful children's books out there -- some of our favorite authors include Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, and Sandra Boynton.  Many children's books incorporate rhyming and have a certain rhythm to the words, which infants love to hear!  Choose books with simple pictures for your youngest infants, and books with more complex pictures and words for older children.  When your child is a little older, like L, you will find that she will want you to read the same book over and over and over again.  One of the books L loves to read is Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.  Since she now knows the story so well, I have started leaving out some words as I read, which she fills in by memory.  For example, the last page in the book reads, "And it was still hot."  I say, "And it was still..."  and L yells, "Hot!"  This is a great early literacy skill to begin with your toddler.

You can also sing to your young infant -- any song you know!  Many children's songs incorporate body parts or movements into them, which introduce your child to the names of things.  However, your baby loves just hearing your voice, so you could sing anything to her and she will stare at you in awe as if you are the greatest opera singer.  Singing grows your bond with your infant at the same time as introducing vocabulary, music, and rhythm.