So, I’ve been kinda crazy about sandpaper lately. I have three packs of different grits and I’m trying to use them all up so as you probably already guessed…this is the first in a series of about four different sandpaper projects I’ll be bring to Tried & True. Yay sandpaper!
Just so you know, I’m by no means well-versed in the Montessori method but I like to read and research (Thank you, History major) so I try to interject little bits of Maria Montessori into our everyday life where I can. Luckily a lot of the materials are totally DIY-able and there are tons of amazing bloggers who are willing to share their knowledge!
I should disclose, however, that I sorta kinda missed the boat on Jack (4 years) and this Tactile Matching Game. Waaaaay too easy for him. Maybe I should use it as part of a whole tactile series, going from one activity to another? I think he’d really enjoy something a little more difficult like a Feel & Find game. At least I still have Max to use the Tactile Matching Game!
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Spend enough time on Pinterest and you’re sure to see tons of pins where people stick velcro dots on the end of jumbo craft sticks so that kids can make shapes and such. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now and it just so happens that I’m also on the hunt for good stocking stuffers. Bingo, two birds with one stone!
This is such a quick and easy project I almost hate to write a full tutorial for it! Depending on the amount of sticks you want to make, you could seriously finish this in 10 minutes. Perfect for those last minute “Oh Crap, We Forgot The Stockings!” moment!
I’m uploading the free Label Printable as well as the Activity Sheet Printable. Feel free to download them and use them for your own personal pleasure (no commercial use, please). If you laminate the activity sheets, kids can also use a dry erase marker to write out the words. These also make a great addition to your bag to keep the kids busy during your fancy holiday dinner!
- Jumbo Craft Sticks
- 5/8 inch round hook & loop stickers
- Muslin Bag
- Activity Sheet Free Printable (01, 02, 03, 04)
- 5×7 Laminating Pocket (no heat necessary)
- Label Free Printable
1. Stick a hook sticker and a loop sticker to each side of the jumbo craft sticker for a total of four stickers per stick.
2. Print, cut and laminate each of the 5×7 activity sheets.
3. Print and cut out the Free Label Printable.
4. Put all the Shape Sticks and activity sheets in the muslin bag and attach the label. Done!5. Perfect stocking stuffer…and no batteries needed!
I saw the sweetest of ideas over at I Heart Naptime, soap boats that float down a river made from a gutter. So adorable and so nice on a hot Texas day! We don’t normally use bars of soap so I had none in stock and had to dig into my mother’s the travel bin. It would have been nice if the soap was a standard size bar since the picks kept of falling out but it turns out kids don’t really care if there’s a sail on their soap boats or not so it worked out in the end! (Beggars can’t be choosers, anyway. Thanks, Mom!)
That’s the face of one super excited (and somewhat impatient) three year old. I live for those faces!
As with most of our projects, Jack (3) and Max (1) took away totally different but equally important lessons from the soap boats. Jack was fascinated with the actual movement of the boats and what he could do to make them go faster. He adjusted the water pressure as well as raising up the gutter with two stones, both quenching his definite need for speed. Max, on the other hand, enjoyed toppling the whole thing over and watching Bob Barker (our dog) run away with a soap boat in his mouth. There’s got to be a lesson in there for Max, I’m just not too sure what it is!
The true test of whether or not my boys enjoyed an activity…if their shoes and bodies got sufficiently muddied in the process. The soap boats were definitely a success! :D
1) Color/Shape Matching Cards 2) Oversized Dominos 3) Button Snake
4) Lacing Cards 5) Color Sorting 6) Dough Fun
7) Shape Stencils 8) Popsicle Puzzle 9) Rigatoni Stringing
10) Coloring/Stamping 11) Counting and Sorting 12) Scavenger Hunt
I’ve got to admit…this whole toddler thing is uncharted territory for me! Just when I thought I was getting the hang of caring for a baby, Jackson went and changed into a toddler. His amazing little mind needs me to be so much more engaged and I find myself trying to play “catch up.”
So how do I research activities to stimulate a growing mind? The internet, of course. I first came upon the idea of toddler activity bags through Chasing Cheerios. What a great way to keep a kid busy for just a few minutes while you change out of your pajamas or finish your burger and fries at a restaurant! Here are a few more links for toddler bags: Muses of Megret, Intrepid Murmurings, and the motherload of activity ideas, My Delicious Ambiguity.
Yesterday a few local moms and I got together to swap our activity bags. The concept was easy: we each made 12 identical gallon-sized freezer bags filled with a toddler friendly activity and swapped for 12 other different bags. We all ended up with about a dozen activities that can be pulled out when needed.
Can’t wait to put these to good use!