Thursday, 17 March 2011

roosters and rescue

We are working on becoming more self sufficient in the coming months - although realistically it may take years! We should have our first veggies and salad later on in the year and are actually forward planning for next year too.  As much as we would love to be vegetarian, it isn't going to happen so we are forced to think about meat products. H aving thought about it for a nano-second we decided that eggs and a trip to the village butcher will be enough for now. Voila...

The Girls

More Girls

We re-homed four ex-battery hens from Little Hen Rescue and whilst we were there also adopted a fine young man, who we have called Brutus.  Brutus is also a rescue.  He was one of many chickens removed from Chicken Roundabout  (I could swear that's him standing on the pavement on homepage).  In this household the fact he has a name means that he will always be safe from the pot (told you we were softies).  I know at some point we will have to think about his unwanted male progeny but for now we're enjoying watching him lead his flock of rangy-looking hens around the paddock discovering their natural behaviours.


And the bonus is that our little one will have many opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.

Friday, 11 March 2011

bongo, bells and books

Birthday Bongo

Birthday Bells

Today's title sums up little one's first birthday nicely. She's very much into rhythmic noises sounds, so that's what we went with for her birthday. I found the bongo drum in a fair trade shop and C LOVED it. She has just started to "dance" to rhythms that she likes and the beat of the drum was an instant hit. Funnily enough she has suddenly taken an intense interest in the sound blocks she has had for a few months now. To feed her fascination with noise I have filled the fridge magnets I got from Ikea aeons ago with pasta and nuts; now when she pulls them off they will be a bit more interesting.

Fridge Magnets

Also, the containers are clear so she will be able to see what is making the noise (cause and effect=very Montessori). Well that's the plan anyway. Here's hoping she likes them. If not, it's back to the drawing board with a beat of a drum.

I can't really sign off this post without posting birthday piccys:

The hand made decorations I spoke about here looked beautiful hanging in our kitchen. I am so pleased with them they are still up!

Birthday decs

The birthday ring.

Birthday Ring

More about the birthday ring can be found on my Flickr page here

Sunday, 6 March 2011

beautiful banners

Our little one is nearly a whole year old already. I remember being told once (by an OLD person) that time speeds up the older you get but all I remember thinking was "yeah, yeah, blah, blah, yeah". Sigh. The innocence of youth. Anyway, back to special birthdays.

I stumbled across this wonderful post and decided to adapt it from a Valentines idea to make little one a birthday banner/birthday decoration. After cutting out the hearts from some plain and patterned card, we cut out letters from this site to spell "Happy Birthday". Then I sewed the hearts together on the sewing machine.

Birthday bunting

Montessori talks of the importance of beautiful items and a beautiful environment and these certainly look so pretty.

Birthday bunting

I suppose at this point I should say we are Montessori inspired with a bit of Waldorf thrown in...the Waldorf bit of our birthday celebration will be a birthday ring decorated with items personal to C. Part of the "personal" bit is her love of cats and dogs, for which I want to make a felt dog and cat. So far I have a sheet of black felt, brown felt and white felt. HELP!

As far as gifts go, we will buck the excesses usually associated with celebrations by giving a few simple, natural and age appropriate presents. And books. Lots of books. She ADORES books and enjoys the DK Publishing Peekaboo series but her absolute favourites at the moment are Global Babies; Carry Me; Dog and of course; Cat. It is surprising how difficult it is to find books with real photos in, especially here in the UK.

If you have any book recommendations or know how to make a 2" felt dog or cat then please leave a comment! Roll on the big day.

Friday, 4 March 2011

pickers and stickers

Picking stickers

It is only polite that as you have taken the time to drop by that I offer a quick introduction. So here goes,I am a full-time (grand) parent to C, who is nearly one and I have no formal Montessori training what-so-ever, but I read and research A LOT. Some of the blogs I follow offer a wealth of information too but nothing in my opinion replaces hands on learning - or maybe that should that be "eyes on" learning, as according to Maria Montessori you have to observe the child to be able to identify where the child is at in development terms.

That brings me onto my adorable (aren't they all?) grand-daughter. Although mobile, she far prefers refining her "fine motor" skills to perfecting the gross motor ones. To be honest she spends so much time on her cute bottom that I don't think her fine motor skills can be any finer tuned! Of course, I'm only joking. I am making the most of this sensitive period by making everything as small as possible. She loves eating at a time...she enjoys pressing forefinger at a time and she LOVES peeling stickers. So our most popular activity on her playroom shelves are sticker covered bricks. The advantage of the stickers being on the bricks is that she is already familiar with the bricks and knows that the stickers aren't always there and therefore that they come off. I did try just giving her a sheet of stickers but they weren't easy enough for her so she got bored very quickly and of course frustration is not conducive to learning patience and concentration.

To be honest I'm quite enjoying thinking up new activities to interest her. This Montessori thing could turn out to be good for my patience and concentration too.