Activity of the Day: Object Permanence and Memorization Fun

Activity of the Day: Object Permanence and Memorization Fun

Good evening and happy Monday! Today, Paulie had so much fun engaging in an activity that really enhances his cognitive development. The activity involves placing an item underneath a bowl and asking the child to find the item. This is not a new activity for Paul; when he was younger, I used to place an object under one of two bowls. Now that he is older, I use three bowls. Paul watches me place the object under one of the bowls, and then he watches me mix them. The way I line them up varies. After I mix them, I ask him, “where did the (for example) ball go?” and then he looks for it. After we engage in the activity for a while, I add another object; so now he has to remember where two objects are. He watches me place one object under one bowl, the other object under another bowl, watches me mix the bowls, and then looks for the item that I ask him to find. This activity offers a great opportunity to enhance language development. Use as much language as possible. Explain what you are doing; what he is doing; and use as many descriptive words as possible. The language that we used during this activity was: yellow, ball, under, red, bowl, red, triangle, smaller, larger, bigger, mix, mixing, mixed, round, circle, over, in, out, ridges, bumpy, smooth, watch, lift, find, etc.

Here are some pictures! =D

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you have a happy day! =D

Recipe for Quinoa Guacamole Salad 

Recipe for Quinoa Guacamole Salad 

Good morning and happy Saturday! Quinoa Guacamole Salad is one of my favorite recipes to make for Paul for lunch or dinner because each of the ingredients are packed with nutrition. =) The recipe is as follows (click on the ingredient whose nutrition you would like to explore):

Recipe
Ingredients: 

  1. [Organic] White quinoa 
  2. [Organic] Frozen Spinach
  3. [Organic] Tomatoes 
  4. Scallions 
  5. Lime
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Two [Organic] Avacodos 

Part 1:                    


Place 1 cup of [organic] white quinoa, frozen [organic] spinach (it is my preference to use frozen spinach for this recipe) and 2 cups of [purified] water into a pot over medium heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat as low as possible so that it is simmering. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed into the quinoa. 

Part 2:


While the quinoa cooks, prep your quacomole. The ingredients for this recipe should be based on your preferences. Place two ripe [organic] avocados in a bowl and mash them with a fork until the consistency is smooth. Then add in the ingredients of your choice. In this recipe, I added and mixed [organic] tomatoes, scallions, salt, pepper, and one lime into the avocados.  You can add jalepenos, cilantro, onions, etc. Then cover and cool in the refrigerator.

Part 3:


When the quinoa is done cooking, serve with the guacamole for your little munchkin to enjoy =D 

Tip: for extra nutrition, add a tablespoon of [organic] hemp seeds. =D 

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy happy happy Saturday! =)

Activity of the Day: Playing with Rice

Activity of the Day: Playing with Rice

Good afternoon and happy Thursday! As an early childhood educator, placing rice in the sensory table was always one of my favorite activities to do with the children. For such a simple activity, so much learning can occur so long as it is facilitated =) Today, Paul played with dry rice for the first time, and he had so much fun learning through this sensory activity! 

Sensory develoment 

  • He manipulated the rice by squeezing it with his hand, pinching it with his fingers, rubbing it on the floor with his hands, and using other tools such as bowls, measuring cups, and blocks to manipulate the rice with. 
  • He also felt the rice as I poured it on his hands and hid his hands underneath the rice. 
  • He picked and swiped the rice to find my hand, as well as other objects, hidden in the rice. 

Language Development

  • We used the following words during this activity: grain, hard, small, slippery, dump, pour, drop, rub, hide, hiden, cover, slip, a lot, a little, add, subtract, etc 
  • I used the following commands and questions: pick it up with your fingers, squeeze it with your hands, rub the rice between your hands, rub the rice on the floor with your hands, where are the shapes, where is my hand, where is your hand, use the scoop to scoop the rice into the bowl, etc. 
  • the goal is the expose Paul to as much language as possible. 

Fine motor development 

  • He is using his hands and fingers to manipulate the rice and tools. 

Cognitive development 

  • He engaged in pretend play =) he pretended that he was eating and cooking with the rice. He served us both rice in bowls and said “num num” and pretended to eat it. He even used utensils! 
  • He followed the commands and thought about the questions I asked.
  • He is practicing two step commands, such as “pick up the rice with your hand and eat it.”

Here are some pictures: 

Activity of the Day: Making Banana Bread

Activity of the Day: Making Banana Bread

Happy Tuesday! Today, Paul had so much fun learning through making, tasting, smelling, and exploring all of the ingredients needed for baking Banana bread. 

Language Development 

  • The following academic language was used during this activity: add, plus, subtract, minus,  more, less, bigger, larger, smaller, equal, first, second, third, then, last, finally, solid,  liquid, etc
  • The following language was also used: soft, wet, warm, hot, cold, hard, stick, butter, eggs, one, two, cups, measuring cup, bowl, flour, rise, sugar, sweet, stick, sticky, salt, salty, nits,  pecans, crumble, mash, fork, masher, mashed, pour, dump, mix, batter, in, on top, pre heat, oven, oven mit, rough, smooth, grainy, soft, etc

Sensory develoment 

  • He felt the difference between a cold stick of butter and hot melted butter. 
  • He felt the difference between a banana and mashed bananas. 
  • He felt the texture of flour, sugar, salt, egg shells, and the batter. 

Fine motor development 

  • He manipulated all of the ingredients and tools with a his fingers and hands.

Cognitive Develoment 

  • Practicing following one step, two step, and three step commands such as “pick up the spoon and scoop the sugar into the bowl”

This was a fun activity that strengthened Paul’s language, sensory, cognitive, fine motor, culinary and mathematical skills. Here are some pictures =)

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a happy day =)

Activity of the Day: Making and Manipulating Mud

Activity of the Day: Making and Manipulating Mud

Happy Sunday! Today, Paul had lots of fun learning through making mud and getting dirty! 

Sensory Development 

  • Paul touched and explored the dirt in four phases. First he explored the dirt before we added water; then watched and felt the dirt as it turned into mud as we added the water; then played with the mud while it was wet; and then  explored the mud after it was completely dried up and hard from the sun. 

Language Development

  • During this activity, I used as much language as possible. We used the following words: dirt, dry, soft, dirty, gritty, mud, muddy, dump, add, pour, water, wet, sticky, heavy, light, sunlight, hot, dried, hard, etc.

Fine Motor Development 

  • Paul used multiple grips and grasps to manipulate the dirt, mud, and tools that were used during this activity.

Cognitive Develoment

  • Paul learned how the state of dirt changes to mud when water is added; and how mud hardens when it is exposed to sunlight.

Here are some pictures;

Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 14 Months Old

Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 14 Months Old

Good morning and happy Friday! Month 13 was a super fun month =D 

Paul

  • practices blowing
  • says the sound of the letter P
  • Says the sound “ts” 
  • Says the word jump and then tries to jump
  • points to his and others eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, hair, and head
  • imitates putting objects on top of head and nose
  • is able to find a hidden object that was moved
  • Starting building with blocks (he practices balancing them)
  • Rolls cars
  • Bounces balls
  •  copies actions such as sweeping, using Q tips, pouring cat food into cat bowl, cleaning litter box, and flushing the toilet
  • calls all food num num, all cats boo boo, calls mamas milk nom mom
  • Sniffs food and objects to smell them. 
  • Say “mmmm” and “yum”
  • points to the body part that hurts when he falls or bangs it
  • tries to put socks on his feet
  • tries to put socks and sneakers on mamas feet
  • drinks from a sippy cup
  • eats with a spoon out of a bowl
  • wipes his hands and mouth with wet ones when asked
  • wipes his tray to help clean. 
  • Rubs his head on his cats (like they do to him)
  • Pretends to eat, drink, cough and laugh
  • Hides behind doors and wants us to find him
  • Plays peek a boo
  • Copies whispering
  • Copies yelling
  • Crawls under tables
  • Combs hair
  • Kisses cats
  • Understands the commands “stand” “sit” and “lay down” 
  • Pretends to be tired by laying down
  • Climbs up the stairs
  • Makes a raspberry sound when we say someone farted 
  • Loves loves loves sensory activities 
  • Adores his cats 
  • Says “nooooo” jokingly
  • When he play with water, he will walk really slowly with water in a cup to dump it in another bowl 
  • Copies and imitates sounds and actions that mama and dada do
  • Tries to say “dump” while he dumps water or toys outs of buckets 
  • Uses the words jump and dump consistentently and appropriately 
  • Runs 
  • Requests to go in his crib when he is tired and lays down
  • Tries to imitate humming

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy day =D

Activity of the Day: Learning Mathematical Concepts through the Manipulation of Blocks

Activity of the Day: Learning Mathematical Concepts through the Manipulation of Blocks

As a early childhood educator, the constructive play area is an essential center in my classroom because it provides children with mathematical learning opportunities through the manipulation of blocks. In this center, children play with abstract geometrical shapes to create a structure using their imagination. During this play, students develop a foundation for spatial reasoning, spacial orientation (knowing how to get around; mapping), number sense (estimating, counting, understanding the meaning of the words many, few, less and more), geometric thinking (generalizing shapes across contexts by creating, manipulating, and drawing shapes), spacial visualization (using a mental image to manipulate imagined movements), problem solving, recognizing attributes of shapes (understanding points and lines), and understanding AB patterns (understanding repetitive and growing patterns strengthens the foundation of algebraic thinking; for example, a repetitive pattern of circle square circle square circle square). 

Paul has officially started building; and he is currently learning how to balance blocks on top of each other. =D Here are some pictures:

The Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 13 Months Old

The Diary of Mama Bear: Paul is 13 Months Old

Good afternoon and happy Tuesday! =D Month 12 was such an amazing month; we have been blessed with such a happy, healthy, curious, funny and outgoing little boy =D I am so grateful <3  I just love love love love Paul’s personality. He is SO happy all the time, and he has such an incredible sense of humor. My favorite thing that he does is he LOVES to give kisses. One of our games is for him to give me a kiss, and then I chase him around saying “I want a kiss” and then I disappear, and when he comes to fine me I pop out and he falls down because he is laughing so hard =D

Pauls Humor

He thinks it is hilarious when:

  • We sniff his body or other peoples bodies and say “Pee You!” (or some variation of that).
  • When we so “yucky!”(or some variation of that) when he sticks his fingers in our mouth.
  • When he eats something inedible and we say “eww gross!” (or some variation of that).
  • When he tickles mamas feet and play’s the game I’m gonna get you and chases me around the apartment trying to tickle me.
  • When we tickle him.
  • When we play peek a boo (he initiates the game and will hide until we say “where’s Paul” and he will pop out and smile and laugh). He will hide behind window curtains or doors and pop out and laugh when we say “where’s Paul.
  • When he feeds us food and we say “yum” (or some variation of that).
  • When we chase each other around the apartment.
  • When he points to our eyes and accidentally pokes us and we make a funny face and say “ouch”(or some variation of that).
  • When we make funny impressions while reading stories.
  • Some new social games include: him running to mama and saying “dada” and laughing and then running to dada and saying “mama” and laughing. He thinks it is hilarious when we copy sounds and actions that he does. He also thinks its funny when he yells “mama” and mama yells “paul” in response.
  • Paul has been brushing his hair and other peoples hair as well; and when I say “brush mama’s hair” he goes to brush my hair and then tries to eat it and cracks up when I say “ew!’
  • He is such a little goofball. He even cracks himself up sometimes when he accidentally does something silly. I love being Paul’s mama =D

 Here is a list of some of the milestones Paul has reached this month and some special moments that I jotted down:

  • Paul is able to transition into standing position from any position and walk and run around.
  • He is so adventurous and climbs on anything to get to his objective.
  • Paul understands everything we are saying and consistently follows demands.
  • He copies actions; if i put a block on my head he will put a block on his head.
  • He has been very interested in the parts of the face, and he is able to point to his and anyone elses nose when asked the appropriate demand. We are working on pointing to all of the parts of his face and mama and dada’s face when labeled.
  • Paul found a toy that he used to play with, walked over to the coffee table, stuck it on, and played with it, What a great memory!
  • Paul understands when we say “wait” and waits for us! and even whines and babbles at us using very adorable hand motions (mama is Italian so I wonder where he learned that from).
  • He loves eating with a spoon, He practices scooping food onto the spoon and biting the food off the spoon at least once a day.
  • Paul pretends to eat by pretending to pick something up, looking, at us, saying “yum” or “nom nom” and laughing.
  • He is able to sit and sort shape blocks.
  • He has developed an interest for cars.
  • He throws a ball to mama and mama rolls it back to him.
  • He makes really cute faces when things blow in his face.
  • He tries to walk up steps.
  • Paul whimpers like a little puppy dog when he wants his mama.
  • He brushes his hair.
  • He cracks up and imitates mama brushing her teeth.
  • he tries to drink from adult cups.
  • If I place three objects in front of him and put something under one of the objects and ask “where is the ____?” he will pick up to appropriate object to get the item.
  • Paul LOVES his cats. They make him SO happy and provide so much entertainment for him. He calls all 3 cats Boo Boo because one of our cats name is Boo Boo. He even calls the cats in books Boo Boo.
  • He calls all food “Nana;”his favorite food happens to be bananas.
  • He LOVES taking a bath and everything about water and playing in water and with water. He will also play with the cat water.
  • His favorite place in the apartment is the bathroom. He does a bathroom dance that is similar to his Nana dance.
  • He is really interested in ceiling fans ;more specifically, turning the switch on and off and watching the ceiling fan turn on and off, He is very interested in the cause and effect of things.
  • He claps and waves appropriately.
  • He loves loves loves giving mama and dada kisses. EVERY morning, Paul wakes Matt up by giving him kisses. IT IS LITERALLY THE CUTEST THING EVER.
  • He tries to type on the computer keyboard!
  • He likes to pretend he is talking on the phone.
  • He says “no.”
  • He plays with the cats by picking up long strings or fabric and waves it in their face. It is sooooo cute!

 Paul’s First Sickness and a Head Lump

A week after Paul’s birthday he started running a fever. On the first day (Wednesday), he ran a 102.7 temperature so we brought him to the doctor where he came back negative for the flu and strep throat. They told us to rotate infant motrin and infant tylenol until the fevers were completely gone. He continued to run high fevers (up to 103.8) so we brought him back to the doctors on Friday where he again tested negative for strep. This time, they needed a urine sample to rule out a urinary tract infection so we had to bring pee bags home with us. The test came out negative. They told us that if he was still running a fever on Monday that they needed to run blood work. On Saturday, Matt noticed a lump on the back of his head near his ear; which it turned out was the same lump I discovered three weeks earlier but disregarded because it was very small. When I felt it this time, it had grown noticeably larger. Matt and I returned to the doctor with Paul on Monday who had been fever free for 20 hours but developed a rash in the morning. The lump turned out to be a swollen lymph node due to his body fighting off the virus, and the rash was roseola. During this entire week, Paul nursed constantly and slept with us so he could nurse unrestricted. Doing this helped him remain hydrated and it helped him sleep. =D

Owen snuggled with Paul every night that he was sick <3

Sleep

Nighttime

I am so happy with Paul’s sleep; the Individualized Nighttime Sleep Training Program is really working for us. He is becoming so much more independent. I am officially no longer nursing him to sleep at night time; and it has been like this every night for the last 14 days. After he is done nursing, he independently unlatches and I place him in his crib, cover him with the blanket that I have created the nursing association with and either sing to him or provide some sensory input to help him fall asleep; it depends on his needs. He will usually sleep somewhere between four to seven hours before he wakes up and nurses (he actually drinks) and when he is full he unlatches, I place him back in his crib and he falls to sleep on his own. The second time he wakes up I usually bring him in our bed and sometimes I pacify him and sometimes I do not; again it depends on his needs. He currently falls asleep in his crib by 7:30 pm and is up for the day sometime between 6:00 am and 7:00 am.

Naps

Paul is transitioning from taking two naps to taking one nap. If he takes one nap, he will usually sleep from 12:30 to 3:00 and if he takes 2 naps he will usually sleep from 9:30 to 10:30 and then again from 1:30 to 3:00. I typically nurse him to sleep for naps; and most of the time I nap with him!

Paul’s First Park Experience

We took Paul to the park to run around for the first time this month, and he absolutely loved it. He had his first encounter with the cutest, most friendliest bulldog. The dog strutted over to Paul, knocked him over, and started licking him all over the face; and Paul screamed like I have never heard. The owners were really nice and left with their dog. Paul forgot about the incident as soon as a six year old girl came to play at the park. He followed her around at a distance and every time she looked at him he would smile! It was so adorable.

Here are some pictures:

 Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a happy day! =D

36 Weeks Update

Good evening and happy Monday! I am now 36 weeks pregnant and have 28 days left until my due date. My tummy is feeling incredibly heavy, like I am carrying around a 20 pound kettlebell; a very adorable and active kettlebell of course =D I have been getting a lot of cramping and Braxton hicks contractions this week, which has me thinking about my birth plan. The plan is to go natural if I can, I would like to experience medication free childbirth at least once. If the pain is too intolerable, I will be getting an epidural, which is a little frightening to me. I really dislike the idea of having a tube sticking out of my back and a catheter inserted into my body. I also dislike the idea of feeling paralyzed from the waist down, so I am hoping I can tolerate the pain enough to experience childbirth. =D

Matt and I have a few names picked out; we have been calling him one of the names for the passed few months, but we are not set on it. A few days ago, Matt called out the names that we were discussing to my belly, and our son responded to the name that we have been calling him over the passed few months by giving us a big movement. It was incredible =D

Body

IMG_6776

Here is my body at 36 weeks pregnant. I am now 140 pounds, so I gained a pound and half this week. This time, eating empty calories is not to blame for the extra half pound of weight gain =)

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a happy Monday <33