Archive | December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec



Happy Holidays to you and yours.




I love this time of year and I hope you’re enjoying this nice lull in everyday life, even if you do not celebrate.







Threading Activity: Pasta Necklace

20 Dec

A classic kid’s craft, I say! It’s super simple and you can use whatever you have lying around your house– a great I-just-need-you-to-be-doing-something-right-now activity in a pinch! ūüėČ


Making a pasta necklace:

Materials: String, dry pasta, tape, scissors.

To start, string one pasta (piece of pasta?) and tie a knot.

Use the tape to make a “needle” for easier threading. I found that it works best if the taped part is longer than the pasta.



Threading’s an easy skill to practice in many fun ways! I’ve also¬†written about Threading exercises¬†here¬†and¬†here.

  • Try different types of pasta. You can dye pasta with food colouring or just buy the tri-coloured veggie pasta (yellow, orange, and green).
  • We are going to try small beads next! Maybe I’ll have Freestyle make bead necklaces for her cousins’ Christmas presents or keep that as a ready activity for when kids come over.
  • There are so many toys that let children practice the skill of threading.


Learning by Moving: Shapes

13 Dec

Other than naming them for her or pointing them out once in awhile, I hadn’t really sat down and presented Freestyle with a lesson about shapes. Freestyle knows circles, square, stars, and hearts just through everyday osmosis.

Taking advantage of the gorgeous day outside and the generosity of my neighbours’ for allowing us to deface their side of the driveway, I took Freestyle out for a “shape game” that would reinforce her knowledge of these shapes as well as give her an opportunity to kinaesthetically “experience” the shapes.

With sidewalk chalk, I drew a large circle and square, using a rake to help me make the looking shapes. It makes for a decent driveway ruler too.


To draw the circle I marked the centre with a dot and then kept the end of the rake on it while I moved the rake around in a circle, making marks as I went. Then I connected the marks. You could also use some string and have someone hold it in the centre while you move the other end around.


Shape Game 1: Running Laps (Circle)

We ran around (well, I walked quickly as I had Real Baby strapped to me in the carrier) and around and around…and around and around…and around! I chased Freestyle around the circle and then she chased me. Once in awhile I would emphasize the word “circle”: “Let’s run around the circle. This is a circle.”


Shape Game 2: Circling the Square (Square)

We walked and ran along the sides of the square. As with the circle, I’d say and emphasize the word “square.” I have to say, however, Freestyle much preferred the circle to the square! It’s more fun and easier to run around a circle than a square, I suppose!

To draw the square, I marked the centre again with chalk and then placed one of the rake there while I moved the other end to mark the four sides. Then I used the rake again to draw the sides, using the marks as a guides.


Shape Game 3: Circle or Square? (Both)

I would call out one of the shapes and Freestyle would run and jump into the middle of the shape. This one she liked too, especially when I would repeat the same shape to try to fake her out!



I wish there was room to add a triangle, but maybe next time! If you do not have a driveway, you could try a school playground– they may have a four square square and/or a basketball court with a circle on the pavement.




Sir Clicks A Lot

6 Dec

Here’s a lazy post… Happy clicking!



One of my favourite Montessori blogs, Living Montessori Now, posted this great video that provides a nice, succinct overview of Montessori learning (with a focus on the Casa classroom, ages 3-6).



Just watching it makes me miss the classroom and also inspires me to do more at home with Freestyle and Real Baby. I do love the Casa age, they’re so adorable and their work and development are so interesting to observe.





Clean up, clean up, 

Everybody, everywhere!

Clean up, clean up, 

Everybody do their share! 

I noticed that this song is sung in many of the daycares, children’s programs, and churches around here. I first heard it when my niece would sing it years ago and now Freestyle knows it and likes singing it!

We sing this song when we are cleaning up at home now. It’s a good signal to kids that it is indeed time to tidy up and you can just repeat it until the job is done. And repeat it you will…



There was a great segment on Q last week called Are playgrounds too safe?

You know what I miss? Those huge, round merry-go-rounds. I was the lazy kid who sat near the middle so that I wouldn’t have to push!



As I’ve said before, I always read about educational issues that just point to how right Montessori is for children. I previously wrote about why Montessori schools do not use grades on their report cards here.



I read this¬†NY Times article¬†(Posted in the “Motherlode” section– and yes, my blog name is purposely Motherload. Had to clarify because sometimes intentional misspelling bugs me!) recently. The author puts into words what I’ve long felt about digital photo-taking but way more eloquently!

And if that’s not convincing enough, the article reminded me of a truly creepy horror movie that I watched for my Sci Fi & Fantasty Film class:¬†Peeping Tom movie¬†



Let’s end this post on a more cheery note, shall we? Here’s my favourite Christmas movie (and the movie Biker and I watched after ice skating on our second* first date!):

* long story!



I want to watch it now! ūüėÄ Jamie & Aurelia are my favourite couple!