Monday, January 25, 2010

Tot School Post #3

Tot School
(Xander is 12 months)

We started off with a wonderful Nature Crawl. Xander explored leaves, stones, and branches. Most importantly Ryan taught him that trees are for climbing. I love this photo of him looking up at his Daddy in the tree, he looks so amazed.

On Tuesday we played with Play-Doh for the first time. I discovered that I LOVE the smell of Play-Doh, it brings back happy childhood memories for me. Xander enjoyed touching it...

but what he really liked doing was trying to put it back in to it's tub. After I saw how much he enjoyed that, I gave him all the tubs and the tube they came in so he could try putting the tubs in the tube. It was difficult for him but he really enjoyed it.

On Wednesday we played with a pumpkin. He had enjoyed touching the large pumpkin we got at Halloween and I thought that now with him being older he'd get even more fun out of it. My in-laws had brought us some pie pumpkins and I needed to get them baked so it seemed like a perfect opportunity for fun.

He rolled it around, used it as a drum, tried to pick it up, and tried to taste it.

Then he became fascinated with the camera and I have a whole bunch of close up photos of his face, of a grabbing hand, there were quite a few "Not for babies!" which then led to this

 Xander does not like being told "No!" A change of scenery was needed so we moved to the high chair to examine the inside of the pumpkin. This was less fun for him. The strings and seeds stuck to his fingers and he didn't seem to like it.

Until Mommy removed the nasty strings and seeds, then the pumpkin was pretty neat again. (Wow, this photo really make his Carotenosis noticeable. My little pumpkin has a pumpkin nose!)

Later in the week Xander practiced emptying his shelves again. He's quite good at this activity.

After I cleaned his shelves back up we worked on stacking rings. Still just working on getting them on the pole, not worrying about size order.

Only to be distracted by Poppy Seed, our female rat terrier, squeezing through our makeshift baby/dog barricade.

Which leads to our exciting building session and a proper gate but that was on Sunday, so it will be next weeks post. See what other tots and their families are doing by going here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nature Crawl

Monday we actually had SUNSHINE!!! If you live in the Pacific Northwest you know how much we needed a break from gray overcast days. Such beautiful weather encouraged us to go outside and get some work done on our property. We had discovered several Scotch Broom bushes and wanted to cut them back. I also started  pruning our fruit trees. While I was busy working Xander was busy exploring.

He examined leaves

 and rocks, big and little,

and mossy branches trimmed from our sadly neglected fruit trees.

He watched in awe

as Daddy showed him how to climb a tree.

And after all that exercise and learning he crawled up into his chair and fell asleep.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tot School Post #2

Tot School
(Xander is 12 months)

We started off the week working with our ring stacker. This was the first time he was able to get the rings on the pole. He was not actually doing them in size order but he got pretty good at putting them on and off the pole.

He was having fun stacking the rings until he noticed McCoy, then he decided it was much more fun to throw the rings down to him.

McCoy asks, "what did I do to deserve this?"

Later in the week we worked on clearing off shelves...

feeding ourselves oatmeal...

and we finished off the week with some more crayon play.

We also had lots of reading time, knocking down towers that Mommy built, a great 1 year well baby checkup, and two horrible blood draws (1 to check how his iron levels are doing-- no longer anemic but still low on iron stores and needs to stay on the supplement, the 2nd was to make sure his yellow tint is just due to love of veggies and not jaundice-- it's veggie love).

Oh, and he has started standing on his own for longer times but only when he's distracted. He loses it as soon as he notices he's not holding on to anything. He has also started climbing, or trying to climb on things. I'm not too happy about that since he doesn't seem to to have any fear of falling off things and I know that is an accident waiting to happen once he can climb onto the couch.

Be sure to visit Tot School to see what other families are doing this week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tot School Post #1 and Xander Turns 1!

Tot School
(Xander turned 1 year old this week!)

Our first week of Tot School was a great success. We started off on Tuesday with an introduction to crayons. Xander didn't actually scribble, he mainly examined them, pounded them on his tray, and put them inside the envelope. But he had a blast doing all that and he didn't eat either crayon or paper so I was very happy! And so was Xander!

On Wednesday we picked up some helium balloons at the store. He got to play with them a little in the cart but it wasn't until Thursday night that he really got to have fun with them. Once we handed them to him he wouldn't let go. (Almost outgrown his Halloween pajamas! I'll sure miss the cute little pumpkin butt.)

 Friday was his first birthday! He had lots of practice in tearing paper and got to work on stacking blocks.

After presents, Xander got to work on his table manners. Happy to be fed his birthday dinner by Grandma (he still only eats purees, has a problem with textures).

Then horribly upset when  he found out that he'd finished all the yummy chocolate pudding!

On Saturday we had nature studies and physical education: we went for a walk on our property. Sick of being carried around Xander walked up our hill with some help from Grandpa.

He got to feel fuzzy moss growing on a tree, saw a tiny frog that his uncle caught (and released), and found a small twig covered in lichens and dry moss (saved for our nature shelf).

All in all a busy week. We're looking forward to what learning adventures next week will bring. See what other families are doing by visiting Tot School

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Off to a good start

My plan was to start exposing Xander to new things and activities. I didn't plan on that happening quite so soon but after he finished his lunch today opportunity struck.

I noticed the pile of junk mail sitting next to us waiting to go in the recycling bin and suddenly remembered I had just seen a box of crayons. I searched them out and showed Xander how to scribble on the envelopes and then let him at it. I was sure he was going to try gnawing on the crayon or shredding and eating the envelope but amazingly NOTHING went into his mouth! He never did actually scribble but he banged the crayons onto the envelope then opened it up and put the crayons inside. He just had a blast playing with the crayons! We will definitely be doing this again soon.

(note to self, wipe food off Xander's face before taking photos!)

Getting Started

In three days my baby will be turning one! Hard to believe, this year has just zipped on by. He's nowhere near school age, or even preschool age but I figured it was time for me to start planning. I've started reading the blogs of people who participate in Tot School and am amazed at what some of those tot's are accomplishing. The participants list their ages and none were 12 months, I think the youngest was 15 months, but even then it was hard for me to see Xander being ready to do some of those activities in just three months time. I had the dual anxieties of worrying that I wasn't doing enough with him so that he would be ready and worrying that he would have a leap in abilities and I wouldn't be the least bit prepared.

I don't want to push academics at this age, I really don't believe it's necessary. I do, however, want to be prepared to expose him to lots of activities. Tot School emphasizes that the activities you do with your child are supposed to be fun not forced. So, to deal with anxiety number one I plan on being more aware of exposing him to things, making sure I read to him several times every day, and seeing how he does when introduced to craft supplies, and other tot school things. Right now he puts everything in his mouth, chews board books, and will rip apart any paper he gets a hold of (catalogs, magazines, dh's brand new book!). Of course he's not going to learn how to properly handle these things if I don't expose him to them, my bad. It's just so much easier to only have him around things I know he can't destroy or choke on if I do something like blink. :D

To deal with anxiety number two I plan on preparing some activity trays (Montessori style), making up some file folder games, lapbooks, etc... First up are some felt hand puppets and a flannel board. Oh wait, actually first up is the little guys birthday! Got to go wrap gifts and clean the house before the relatives arrive.