Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spell, Listen & Count for Fun!

This week has flown by and so much has happened in such a short amount of time. To start, the family and I are getting over Montezuma’s Revenge. I was hit the hardest. Thankfully, I’m feeling sooooo much better and so is everyone else. It started with food poisoning from an Ethiopian Restaurant but my stomach ache was compounded by a bad veggie patty from a Subway.

Amira’s sniffles have subsided, so I finally put her in her crib for the first time. We’ve been co-sleeping since she grew out of her bassinet. She literally started kicking me out of the bed and sleep became unproductive for the both of us. So it was time. Yay! She adjusted with a hitch. No wailing. A few whimpers, but that was to settle herself in before going to sleep. What a tremendous blessing! I think my early experience with A.J. sort of scared me, but after I was consistent, he adjusted well too.

Here are a few pictures of Amira playing and joining in on the fun A.J. and I have when we play and learn. As you can see, she can now put herself into a crawling position. AmiracrawlSince this month’s theme is “All About Me.” We spent time reinforcing how to spell A.J.’s full name. It was easy for him to learn how to spell his names, but adding the letters in the proper order provided another learning opportunity.Feltname

We’re always counting, so I found this cool balloon hunt activity from The Activity Mom’s site that I modified and played with A.J. He loved it so much that he would scream each time he found a balloon. I simply hid the numbered balloons. Each time he found one he had to put it in the proper clear bin. To make it easier, as finding the balloons were challenging enough, I put the numbered bottled caps in the tops of each bin.Balloon HuntAnother counting activity that we did combined fine motor skills work.CountthebeadsWe are also learning about the senses and for a listening activity I placed bells inside of eggs and had him shake them to see if he could tell which egg had the most bells, or which egg was the loudest. Then he ordered them from loudest to softest. Amira shook the eggs, too!EggbellsI still have some wonderful adventures to post about, but I will have to do it sometime this week. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that if you find any activities that you think other parents may enjoy doing with their little one, by all means share this post and my blog!

Oh, by the way…I surpassed 5,000 views on my blog! Yippee! This is just the beginning! Congratulations to me!

What other fun counting games have you played recently?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

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The Power of Imagination

ImaginationOriginally when I planned our activities for the month I didn’t realize Easter falls in March this year. I will include some Easter crafts as well as material about how we at Hillside interpret the meaning of Easter. To put it short, it’s about resurrecting your mind with new thoughts and ideas, something you can do anytime!

A.J. is playing with Easter grass in the photos above. It was his idea to take the grass and feed it to the cow in the picture. He’s really starting to use his imagination.

When we read books he enjoys acting out the various parts and loves when I join him. Usually I don’t mind, but I must admit that sometimes I just want to sit down and read instead of getting up every other second to pretend to climb a mountain or whatever the book is talking about. trainimaginationSince this month’s theme is “All About Me,” A.J. shared about some of his favorite things/people. Talking about what he enjoys encompasses a lot, but I tried to write what he said instead of what I thought he should say. Because I’m going to laminate this project and turn it into a place mat, I helped out more than I probably should have with the placement of the pictures. A.J. did glue most of the pictures.Favoritethings100_2901 100_2902 100_2903I often catch him looking at the pictures with a beautiful smile on his face. PRICELESS!!

How does your little one use his or her imagination these days?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Amira turned 6 months-old!

Yesterday was a beautiful day to turn 6 months-old! It was a sunny 61 degrees outside, birds chirped and the smell of spring was in the air. Congratulations to Amira for being the sweetest most patient daughter I’ve ever had.Amira6months

Since she turned 6 months-old, my DH and I decided to feed her blended oatmeal as her first taste of solid food. She was definitely ready to eat, evidenced by her grabbing the spoon and stuffing it into her mouth. She is increasingly becoming more independent. A.J. is too!

Now, he pours his own rice milk! A.J.independentAsking for milk politely over and over again can get tiresome. I knew I had to step it up and let him take on the empowering task of pouring his own milk. I bought a little glass pitcher that he has used for several months to water plants and practice pouring, but ironically I never put the milk into the pitcher until now. Ooops. He also spreads his own jelly.

He probably can do many more independent tasks if I’d let him or teach him. I have to review some age appropriate tasks he should be performing himself so that I can get back on the ball in this area. I need to revisit practical life activities so that he can continue to make progress in these areas.

A.J. wouldn’t take his nap yesterday afternoon. For those of you who have had the privilege of being around  A.J., when he is sleepy or cranky know that he can reallllllly go into a frenzy. While I was putting him back into bed, demanding that he take his nap, through his tears, he started saying the Prayer of Protection. He knows how to calm me down. Now, that’s smart thinking! But then again, he is accustomed to me saying the prayer before tucking him in bed. Nevertheless, praying was a timely thing to do. At least I’ve taught him that. Now, if I can remember to pray during his meltdowns perhaps I could set a better example of how to act when frustrated.

Please share with me the wonderful things your toddler can do or could do by 2.5 years-old.

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Measuring for Fun Learning

Measuringmeasuring2 A.J. was literally tickled to have the outline of his foot, hand, and body traced. Since he recognizes numbers, he can tell me the length of what is being measured. He may not have understood fully what he was doing, but this was a good introduction to measuring.

I know this because the following day after doing the measuring activity, a little girl brought a tape measure for Show and Tell at the Library. When A.J. saw the tape measure, he got so excited because he had just used one. I love synchronistic moments like this!!

A.J. also presented at Show and Tell this week. The first time he presented, he showed two of his bowling pins and little bowling ball. He rolled the ball and actually knocked a pin. Yesterday, he showed his ManMan puppet that we bought from the Center for Puppetry Arts. (He named his puppet after his friend Emmanuel. It’s hard for him to say Emmanuel, so he calls him ManMan. Now we do, too!)

A.J’s been interested in creating puppet shows at home since attending his first puppet show. Check out our homemade puppet theatre.

Currently, his puppet shows are of him singing, dancing and speaking really fast about his day. I need to video tape him performing a show. I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of seeing it later down the road.IMG_2153I have two questions for you today. What fun items have you measured lately? And what has your child presented at a Show and Tell?

Pray, Persist and Prosper!

-Asia

Homemade Addition Board

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We do a lot of counting and pre-math around here so I decided to start some simple addition using items I already had on hand. A.J. has tons of blocks so I took two and turned them into numbered dice. I used bottle caps that I already numbered for the answer after the equal sign and bears for the manipulatives.

A.J. likes to simply play with the bears, too.

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A.J. is learning about order, by putting the numbers in order.100_2802

We are also playing more with shapes. I bought a shape sorter to help A.J. with identifying 3-dimensional shapes. I think that’s the term for it. Anyway, he needs to practice putting matching the shapes and putting them in the correct way, which is a bit challenging for him.

Shapesorter

What creative ways do you use to teach simple addition?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

Q-tip Fine Motor Activity

q-tip fine motor skillsThis q-tip table top activity helps with developing fine motor skills. It’s one of those DIY projects that requires very little. All you need is a box, q-tips and decorations of your choice.

I have plenty under the sea foam stickers so I decided to use some of them. I also cut the q-tips in half so I could have more by using less.

Precious Snap shots

Brothersisterlove

I had to share these precious snap shots that I took of A.J. and Amira. These are moments that I want to remember and preserve. The days turn into nights and back into days so quickly that if you don’t capture the moment, they fade into oblivion.

We were headed to church when either DH or I snapped a photo of Amira in her pretty purple outfit. The other photos were taken this past Saturday morning (I believe). Amira will be 6 months-old this month and already enjoys playing with her brother. She’d better get ready because her big brother loves to play, too!

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

New Drum and Lessons for A.J. & Family!

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I’m so excited to have Baba Bey come to our home to give us drum lessons. The lessons are really for A.J., but we’re learning, too! Due to Patrick’s schedule, he will miss the first two lessons. He’s pretty coordinated when it comes to drumming so he will be able to catch up quickly.

A.J. was able to play on Baba’s drum and on several of his own drums. A.J. was in a little drum heaven.

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We bought A.J., a floor drum that he can play with mallets, sticks or his hands. The sound quality is clear and robust yet muffled enough that he can play it when Amira is downstairs.

Speaking of Amira, I was able to take a cute 10 second video of her bowling.

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia