Monthly Archives: August 2011

Montessori Print Shop Giveaway From 1+1+1=1

Have I mentioned I like Montessori Print Shop? If you follow my twitter, you might notice I retweet them a lot! I forget when I first stumbled upon the site, probably via a yahoo group post on a Montessori list. To start with, I downloaded some of the free printables. Then I purchased a couple of the other printables when they were on offer. Then I bought files that were so much cheaper than wooden materials (and just as good for home use) and a teaching manual. More recently, the site has expanded its information and has a list of some of the best Montessori oriented blogs around, books worth reading, an idea of Montessori ‘curriculum’ (e.g. Maths), guidance on using Montessori principles at home, Montessori terms and theory in bitesized chunks, how to prepare and use their printables and not forgetting the blog full of activities, ideas, information and giveaways. Montessori Print Shop are very generous with their giveaways.

I have not been asked to write this post, I have not been given anything to write this, I’ve not even ever won a giveaway! I just wanted to share a resource I find really useful (even though I don’t utilise what I’ve learnt as much as I want to!) and share a fantastic giveaway.

Homeschool blog 1+1+1=1 is hosting a giveaway for the entire Montessori Print Shop catalogue: almost 1000 files. I’m not entirely sure I’d know what to do with them all, but I’d certainly have a go: my girls will love helping with the laminating and cutting 😆

I think this is a fantastic resource and a great giveaway. Click here to enter (but please let me win!) 😆

Musical Beds

Writing anything has very much taken a back seat this week due to lack of sleep. A typical night goes some thing like this:

1800: Mention to girls it’s an hour until bedtime
1830: Start getting pyjamas and night nappies ready
1900: Read 4 or 5 stories while girls brush teeth, rebrush girls teeth
1920: Read another few stories
1930: Tucked up in own beds, black-out curtains tight, night light on, try to leave room
1931: Girls scream, go back to settle them, lie on end of bed until they’re nearly asleep
1950: Try to leave room, girls scream…
2000: Give up and put them in our bed
2003: Girls asleep, leave them; do finances, dishes, clothes, tidy toys, watch TV, read…
2200: Carry sleeping girls back to their own beds
2205: Girls scream, lie at end of bed until they sleep again
2230: Sneak out of room and go to bed
2300: Girls climb into our bed
2330: Carry sleeping girls back to their own beds
0000: Girls climb into our bed
0001: Mummy leaves parent bed and tries to sleep in MG’s bed
0010: Girls climb into MG’s bed. Three in a single bed not much fun…
0100: Mummy sneaks back to own bed
0105: Girls climb into our bed
0106: Daddy leaves parent bed and tries to sleep in MG’s bed
0200: Girls fidget too much in their sleep, return them to own beds. This time they’re so asleep they stay there
0430: MG wakes up screaming about ‘ladybird spiders’ – calm her down
0530: Return to own bed
0600: DG climbs into our bed and bounces on our heads
0610: Convince DG to sleep again, there’s no way we’re getting up
0630: MG climbs into our bed
0700: Girls wake up, try to wake Mummy and Daddy up but can’t; go downstairs and get own milk and breakfast
0900: Mummy and Daddy wake to wrecked house; Daddy is late for work; both are grumpy all day; Mummy and Daddy argue about who had the least sleep; Girls are grumpy because they didn’t sleep enough…

So we’ve been trying a few routines to try to get them to stay in their own beds. A quick fix would be nice, but we’ll just have to persevere 😆

So angelic when they’re actually asleep 🙂 Comments welcome on your own sleep troubles and solutions!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

The Girls Have The Blue Box

When MG’s godfather said “I’d really like to build the girls a wendy house” just before last Christmas, I was expecting a small playhouse which we’d all be thrilled with because it was handmade specially. Their godfather, however, had bigger plans…

First, there was the matter of where it was going to go. We had some huge trees in our pretty small garden that DH & his dad had cut down the year before, leaving the stumps to be dug out ready. Then measuring and making a base and frame. This happened in our garden over several weeks (but what we didn’t know at this point was that something extra was being constructed in another garden at the same time…)

A brief history of playhouse construction in pictures:

The treehouse annex was created in one day because MG said to her godfather “But I really wanted a treehouse!” on first seeing the frame 😆

And what was being constructed elsewhere? Only the coolest “porch” a playhouse could possibly have (with lights too…)

Actually, it turned out not to be possible to transport the completed TARDIS in a trailer as it would have been shaken up too much so it was flat-packed, but MG’s godfather really wanted to drive down the motorway like that – it would have been fantastic 😆

My daughters’ playhouse is a TARDIS! With a treehouse!

And it is bigger on the inside 😆

They are the luckiest girls in the world to have such a fab godfather and we’re the luckiest parents to have such brilliant friends.

Timothy Pope, Timothy Pope…

Yesterday evening MG found a cardboard tube and pretended it was a telescope, which led to reading Shark in the Dark by Nick Sharratt for the final bedtime story. “I want to paint my telescope” announces MG. Of course, I say, we’ll do that tomorrow…

So, as soon as she’s awake in the morning: “Can I paint my telescope? I need blue and yellow paint.” Ad nauseum, until I give in (about three minutes later, before we’ve even had breakfast…)

We have a messy art cupboard in the kitchen full of paints, paper and related paraphernalia. That “messy” belongs with “art”, not “cupboard”; it’s probably the tidiest part of the house at the moment. Generally there are things stacked in front of the cupboard door, so that DG can’t help herself to the paints 🙂

MG had her cardboard tube, so of course we had to find one for DG. Blue and Yellow were requested, so that’s 4 paint pots: blue and yellow for MG; blue and yellow for DG…

DG prefered painting on paper, and soon smeared her hands everywhere (she’s left-handed, hence the brush is in her dominant hand: I know she’s a toddler and it’s too early to tell etc but she’s been strongly left-handed from around 10 months old much like MG has been strongly right-handed from around 10 months old…)

MG painted her “telescope” to be like the one in the book, and then painted an empty milk carton before moving onto mixing paints and creating these lovely caterpillars…

…that ended up being smeared onto MG’s hands shortly after I took the picture. The girls were in a tactile painting mood today. Mess turned into running to the sink to wash hands (and bodies); then paint pots and brushes. And when all had finished, it was time for a bath 😆

I’ve recently discovered Amber Dusick’s Parenting with Crappy Pictures blog. This post on art is so true for this household; we invariably end up in scenario two…

Montessori Online Resources

Some time ago, I started to create a mini blog / site with a variety of Montessori links and info. But my bookmarks kept growing and growing and I had no time to organise them. Other sites have already done the same (and better) so I shall link to them instead 😆

About Montessori from Montessori Print Shop. Plus lots more information under the different menu headings. “Montessori Theory” is a great place to get an understanding for Montessori philosopny and “Montessori Lessons” for an idea of scope and sequence.

Free Montessori Materials
Free Montessori Materials Online – from Living Montessori Now (including free 3-6 Geography Album from A Montessori Marketplace)
The Little List – directory of free printables, DIY materials, curriculum (albums and scope and sequence) etc

Montessori Blogs
What Did We Do All Day? – extensive, updated Montessori Blog list (and DIY materials links)
Montessori Print Shop Favourite Blogs – a very good place to start!
50 must-read Montessori Blogs (some now obsolete)

Free Albums
There’s a few more albums not on the links above that I had collected:
Meg McElwee’s 3-6 Albums (Passwords:- Practical Life and Theory: pl101; Sensorial: sens789; Language: lang456; Mathematics: math123) If this shouldn’t be posted, let me know and I’ll delete but I got it from a public place originally…
Wikisori Albums
Mid America Montessori Teacher Training 6-9 Albums
Cultivating Dharma 6-9 Albums
Great Lessons 3-part cards (sorry, I can’t remember who created these)
Free Printables
Montessori for Learning
Montessori Print Shop
Montessori Materials
Montessori for Everyone
All these Yahoo! groups have a large number of free resources in their files sections:
Montessori Materials Makers
Montessori by Hand
Playschool 6

Maria Montessori’s Writing
Full Books Online
The Montessori Method (Celebration of Women Writers)
Dr Montessori’s Own Handbook (Project Gutenberg)
Spontaneous Activity in Education (Project Gutenburg)
Chapters Online
The Absorbent Mind (Moteaco)
Basic Ideas of Montessori’s Educational Theory (Moteaco)
The Child in the Family (Moteaco)
From Childhood to Adolescence (Moteaco)
The Discovery of the Child (Moteaco)
Education for a New World (Moteaco)
The Formation of Man (Moteaco)
What You Should Know About Your Child (Moteaco)
To Educate the Human Potential (Moteaco)
Lectures Online
The California Lectures of Maria Montessori, 1915 (Moteaco)
How It All Happened (1942) (Moteaco)

Other Useful Links
Virtual Montessori – online versions of several Montessori materials (e.g. 100 board, small bead frames, pythagoras board, synonyms)
Montessori Bells – online version of the bells
Edupic – royalty-free pictures that could be used for making 3-part cards, all sorts of subjects

Ice Experiment Failures

I’ve been absent from blogging for a few days, partially through feeling too tired to concentrate in the evening and partially from the last couple of art experiments not going down well with MG and DG. As it’s the summer holidays, I’ve been concentrating on outside and art projects with them.

But this blog is Child-Led Chaos. The Child-Led I’m working on; the Chaos we’re good at! So here’s some failures from the last few days…

Inspired by Share & Remember I gave the girls ice cube paints. I liked how bright the food colouring + water paints looked, and that they were given paper and cloth to paint on. MG drew half a dozen designs in about 2 minutes before she announced she was bored and went inside.

DG didn’t like the fact that the ‘paints’ were disappearing. She didn’t understand it and it upset her. As for painting on a muslin cloth – oh, no, that was not allowed! Muslins are comforters for both MG and DG and although MG understood it wasn’t permanent, DG was having none of it. Neither girl was impressed or happy, so all in all a failed project. I’ll try it again some other time though!

The second inspiration was from The Artful Parent and Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. I prepared a few balloons full of water in the freezer the day before but wasn’t going to use them because it was pouring with rain. However, being stuck inside created two very frustrated small monsters, so I set the ice, salt and food colouring out for them.

It was such a failure, I don’t even have pictures… DG tried eating the salt; her expression on spitting it out was priceless but I didn’t have the camera on me. MG piled an entire tub of salt onto her ice block and then coloured the salt with food colouring. The ice didn’t really crack too well under the salt, I think it wasn’t frozen enough? I don’t know what I was expecting but I don’t think it ‘worked’!

Both girls ended up covered in various shades of food colouring and the kitchen ended up smelling as I decided adding bicarbonate of soda and vinegar would make things more interesting for them (it didn’t)…

As I’m doing failures, here’s how the cake the girls made ended up:

So, CBeebies has been winning the ‘child-led’ aspect this week! Onwards and upwards… 😆

Splodgy Cup Painting!

Todays mess art experience was the trusty paper-cup-full-of-paint-with-a-hole-in-the-bottom. It probably has a proper shorter name, but I’ve gone for “splodgy cup painting”. This time MG and DG were involved in the setup so I have no setup pictures as we were too busy doing things to take pictures.

Materials needed: paint, water, paper cups (plastic will do), string (or similar), plasticine (or similar) and pencil.

For the uninitiated: take a paper cup (or three) and punch holes in either side at the top (pencil and plasticine method), tie string (or whatever you have – in our case curling ribbon) to create a hanging cup. Repeat for however many cups you want to use – three was plenty for my two small ones.

If you’re not already outside, relocate out at this point. Or somewhere you don’t mind covering the floor in paint. Or use a VERY large plastic sheet to cover your floor…

Put cups on plasticine balls and make a hole in the bottom with a pencil. Keep the plasticine over the hole in the bottom of the cup. Partially fill cup with paint of your choice – I used premix paint but any paint that can be made into a liquid will do. Add water until the paint consistancy is enough to flow through the hole at the bottom but not too watery. Repeat for all cups, trying to keep the paint contained in the cups until everyone is ready. Spread some large sheets of paper around, let small children pick up hanging cups, whisk plasticine off bottom of cups and stand well back…

Having never done this with the girls before, they wondered what I was up to when we were preparing but soon got into the swing of it (pun not intended :lol:)

This is how i envisaged the finished product looking (I did manage to sneak away one sheet to dry at this stage):

DG decided that extra water would be good in her paint cup, and MG chose to mix the red and yellow to make orange:

The extra water made things wetter and more slippery and after some foot painting I decided that we needed a tub of water to wash feet in. My jumped in with all her clothes, therefore clothes were discarded by the children at that point. DG decided that the foot washing tub was more fun than painting:

MG decided that brushes, and hands, and feet were more fun than refilling the cups:

MG squeezed lots of paint and danced through it but it was very slippery so she fell (not hurt, phew…) and ended up covered in orange from toes to upper thigh – which she happily washed off in the tub when DG came out for some paint dancing. Once they were happy with their work, they washed the bulk of the paint off in the tub, dried and I whisked them into a quick bath (there’s a theme to our art exploration here…)

I’m not sure how other bloggers make art look so neat and tidy. We’re just messy! The aftermath wasn’t too bad really:

I think a teensy bit of preparation, rather than just deciding to do this on a whim and making it up as we went along might have made this a bit less messy… 🙂 Great fun, quick and easy to set up, best done outside in warm weather!