Sunday, 30 August 2015

Fall lacing cards

Happy Monday everyone! This past week, I had a bit of a technology break, and still haven't managed to get our big farm theme up on the shelves. Y has seen the printables and is pretty anxious to get working, but we just haven't been home. 

In the meantime, the one work he has done in the past week was a simple lacing activity! Today, I am sharing this cute fall themed lacing printable for you! 

You can print it on card stock, laminate, and then use a hole punch to make the holes. We use yarn from my knitting stash and Y ends up having a great time working on his hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, and a great practical life activity! 

Preschool activities: fall themed lacing cards and free printables by Welcome to Mommyhood, #freeprintables, #fallactivitiesforkids, #preschoolactivities

Monday, 24 August 2015

Tree painting

2015 Paintathon: Painting with fall colours - tree art by Welcome to Mommyhood #artforkids, #paintingforkids, #paintathon

Today I am sharing my second post for the 2015 Paintathon! With the seasons getting ready to change, and fall colours just starting to make their appearance on the leaves here, I wanted to set up a fun invitation to explore warm colours in our painting. 

I created a simple tree printable for Y to explore. I also gathered a few additional supplies for him to explore - leaves, a sponge, and paint. We kept it very basic, but effective. 


2015 Paintathon: Painting with fall colours - tree art by Welcome to Mommyhood #artforkids, #paintingforkids, #paintathon

Aside from painting, this was an extremely fun project to use to learn about colour mixing. I only had yellow and red paint, which we mixed. I love the result on the paper - the different shades of colours that totally mystified Y!


2015 Paintathon: Painting with fall colours - tree art by Welcome to Mommyhood #artforkids, #paintingforkids, #paintathon

What you'll need 


2015 Paintathon: Painting with fall colours - tree art by Welcome to Mommyhood #artforkids, #paintingforkids, #paintathon

  • Leaves
  • Sponge
  • Paper 
  • Tree printable 
  • Paint 
  • Optional: paint brushes 
  • Optional: trays

2015 Paintathon

You may like



Homemade playdough and nature table invitation to play by Welcome to Mommyhood


Invitation to paint with wheels by Welcome to Mommyhood #transportation, #artsandcrafts, #preschoolactivities


Art activities for toddlers: a simple invitation to draw {Welcome to Mommyhood} #ArtActivitiesForToddlers

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Life update and the adjustment to life in a wheelchair

Before we get started, I’ll warn you guys that this is an emotional and very difficult post to write. If you leave comments, please be gentle and kind with your words (as usually are). Thank you!

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but I’m not really sure where to start or how to organise my thoughts or where I am. I guess the beginning is a good place.

I first want to say thank you so much for all your support, kindness, and loving messages. You really have no idea how much they have lifted me up, and have given me a bit of courage. I’m still having a hard time talking about what has happened and the consequences my accident will have for the rest of my life. That’s why I have at times been quiet, or have taken so long to respond. So yet again, thank you. It’s just difficult to read what I have written, what others have written, or to put words on paper. It’s a strange place where I am at right now.

For those of you that don’t know – About 5 months ago, a steel beam fell on my back. I wasn’t ‘smushed’ but it hit me, causing a severe spinal cord injury. My husband and I were working on our house at the time.

It happened in one second. One stupid moment that caused my life, the life of my husband, our son, and my family to change forever. My husband warned me (we were attempting to hoist the beam up to support the ceiling so we could take out a wall). He warned me not to go under the beam. I wanted a break. I wanted to hurry up. I didn’t look. I didn’t see that it wasn’t secure.
  
And then everything went black. That was it. I’m not even sure what exactly happened. Or rather how exactly it happened, but I will forever remember those first few moments afterwards. That pain. The fear. The absolute soul wrenching fear that consumed my heart and mind for the next few months started right then. I knew.

I woke up and my previous life was gone. I was only out for a few seconds, but when I came to, I knew exactly what was happening. I screamed. I can’t even describe the type of pain it was. I couldn’t breathe but I needed to scream.

Then my husband was by me. I told him to call an ambulance and that I couldn’t feel my legs. They came. I got morphine. It helped, but not. We went in a helicopter.

The stay in the hospital was heavy. I was helpless and truly realised the extent of my injury. There was one particular incident that really made it sink in. I had to sit unsupported at the edge of the bed. I couldn’t balance. I realised that I would have to learn to do everything again.

You see, a spinal cord injury doesn’t just mean you can’t move your legs, but also has implications for how you balance, how you can sit, as well as how parts of your upper body function depending on where your injury is.

Once I made it to the rehabilitation centre, I was working on re-learning everything. I needed to be independent again. But more than that, I needed to be able to take care of my family again.

I really struggled there at the beginning, especially when I saw other patients working on learning to walk again. I couldn’t see it without bawling and wishing that my injury was less severe that if I could move just a little bit. Slowly, after talking to other patients, I realised how different and equally horrible different types of spinal cord injuries are. My injury is very low, and I have very good feeling in all of my upper body and a little bit in my legs. My legs however cannot move. The cords connecting the signals from my brain to my legs for movement have been severed.

There are also injuries where the cords are not completely severed, but are partially intact. My cords for feeling are partially intact. In the centre, I initially couldn’t understand how people with very high injuries (in their necks and upper spinal cords) could still walk. I figured that their bodies were fine and couldn’t help but feel that I was so unlucky. I got into a pretty dark place of comparing myself now to how I was before. Comparing myself to other patients.

Eventually, I realised that their bodies weren’t fine.  I learned a lot about these types of injuries. It’s crazy how unique all of our bodies are You can actually have a high/neck level injury, have the ability to walk, but no ability to move your arms or hands. It really shocked me at some point in my self-pity process that one particular patient with exactly that type of injury was still smiling and seemed happy. He had to be fed each meal, but still had a smile on his face?

At some point, I suppose I realised that I was getting in the way of my own happiness by constantly thinking ‘if only’ and ‘she/he is so much better off’ and ‘why me?’. The thing is it happened. This is my life now and I need to make the best of it.


In the rehabilitation centre, I was told quite a lot that it’s good to show your emotions. To  be upset, to be angry. I was upset. In the beginning, in the hospital, in the first few months, I cried and cried and cried.  

And then I had a day without pain. A day where I didn’t need help from the nurses. A day where I was just doing what I needed to do and felt just fine. And then another day. And another. I realised that it had been a few days since I had cried. In the centre, I also had my own bedroom which meant that both Y and my husband could spend the night whenever they wanted. A few months into my healing process, the hubby would leave Y with me for half of the week. It was pure bliss. Those days – alone with my child and doing simple tasks together like brushing his teeth and me actually helping him again gave me unbelievable strength.

Nature walk tips by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #toddleractivties, #outdoortoddleractivities

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Farm themed printables

Y loves learning more and more about farms! In the summer and fall here in the country, the farmers are very busy and the tractors are constantly visible in the field. Here is a FREE farm themed printable set to go along with a farm theme! 

FREE farm themed printables for preschoolers and toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschool, #toddleractivities, #preschoolactivities,


What's included? 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Fall themed pre-reading cards

I have to admit that I am getting more and more excited for fall! The weather here is rainy and gray, and it's cold. That means my tea stash has made a new appearance on the counter top again, and I have pumpkin pie on my mind. 

Is August to early to start baking pumpkin pies? Probably not, right? It definitely doesn't help that the pumpkins in the garden are growing like mad and are just waiting to become pie! It must happen! 

Of course all of this translates into inspiration for Y's shelves! Today's freebie is a collection of fall themed cards! These images can be printed and used for kids to match to each other or simply see what images are 'typical' of autumn. To get your own printables, scroll down below! 

Fall inspired prereading cards for toddlers and preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #toddleractivities #montessoriprereadingcards, #montessoriactivities, #montessoripreschoolactivities

Sunday, 16 August 2015

August practical life activities

Y loves hands on works. He is always looking to tinker, explore, and get his little fingers working. That is why practical life based works, as well as trays that focus on building fine motor skills are very important when I am planning Y's trays. Today, I am sharing the types of practical life works we've had on the shelves so far in August! 

Montessori inspired August practical life and fine motor activities for preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #practicallife, #finemotoractivities

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Fall themed cutting strips

I know, I know, it's not technically fall yet, but I live in the Netherlands. It's always fall here. Coldish, windy, rainy, and occasionally a day of sunshine. Summer weather really only lasts a day. Maybe two.  

And so, I am in the mood for fall, for all things pumpkin, homemade pumpkin pie, and hopefully hosting our first Thanksgiving in the new house!!!!! I cannot wait. The hubby has now purchased some supplies for building me a lift, and then 'all' he has to do is make a few walls, build the kitchen, finish the bathrooms, and make a kitchen. All in time for Thanksgiving? 

It's really a bit early to start thinking about Thanksgiving but I am generally excited for fall, and then for next year. This one has been filled with so many challenges for us, that I cannot wait for the fresh start. The changing of seasons always feels like one so I am quite excited for fall to arrive and that generally translates into my son's shelf activities.

So as a way to celebrate it being almost autumn, I'm starting to add a few themed activities to our shelves! Today, I am sharing a small freebie - Fall themed cutting strips! 

Montessori inspired fall themed cutting strips by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #montessoriactivities, #preschoolactivities, #cuttingpractice

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Invitation to paint with nature

I am so, so excited to participate in the 2015 Paintathon! Today, I am sharing a beautiful way to add some nature exploration to a painting project - combining botany and arts and crafts? Why not? Here's what we did: 

Nature table and paint exploration by Welcome to Mommyhood #painting, #paintathon, #preschoolactivities, #naturetable

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Transportation themed toddler shelves

Y adores cars, trucks, planes, and basically anything that moves! Now that I am back home and am getting back to presenting shelf work for him, I knew the first 'unit' I wanted to get done was a transportation theme. Today, I am sharing all of the fun learning activities he has been working on the past few weeks! 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Y has been having so much fun that I have yet to swap out the activities even though he has already done all of them multiple times. 

Art


Y loved this very simple art project! I simply presented a container with transportation themed stickers and a few pieces of white paper! He has been loving stickers lately, and the efforts to peel off the white backing on the stickers were fabulous for fine motor practice!

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

We also completed a painting with wheels art project, too! You can read more about it in my transportation themed painting post!


Invitation to paint with wheels by Welcome to Mommyhood #transportation, #artsandcrafts, #preschoolactivities


Math


We did a size sequencing and sorting work with wheels from an old K'nex set that the hubby used to play with as a child! I tried to find these on amazon, but haven't had any luck. These tires have led to many great counting and sizing works! 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

This is another size sequencing and sorting work, but this time utilising transportation themed printables that I created. Here, I also presented a green felt mat that Y could roll out for this work. Because he is older and quite good at sorting, I presented 3 different vehicle cards in the bin. Here he had to first sort the cards by type of vehicle and then lay them out by size. Smallest to largest and/or reverse. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

From my Mega transportation pack, I used a sorting printable for Y. I put velcro on there and let him sort trucks from airplanes. Really this work is far too easy for him, and he is already entering a sensitive period for counting (sorting is a precursor to counting). However, Y still thinks it's fun - probably due to the theme so I added this to our shelves. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

And so I also added a counting work. Here, I used some homemade sandpaper numbers and counting cards I had made for Y to match to each other. You could have children layout the corresponding quantity of manipulatives alongside these cards. 

To do this work, I have Y layout his mat. Then, he lays out the sandpaper numbers in order (0-3 in this case). He can trace the numbers at this point if he chooses, but the focus is on ordering the numbers and saying what it is. We actually have a song we sing for numbers! After all that, he lays out the corresponding number card underneath.

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Here is another counting work using wooden numbers and rocks. A simple idea but very effective.


This one was really just for fun, but Y LOVED it! I simply created a shadow matching work. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Fine motor and practical life


A nuts and bolts matching work. For an extra challenge, there were multiple sizes so Y had to work to find which ones matched. It is important with these types of works to add the same amount of both nuts and bolts for a control of error.


Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Paper punching. Note: I added two plates for Y, but they are stacked. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Y lays this work out on his table. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Tonging rocks out of beans. A bit of a random mix, but great for fine motor practice! 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

I had a cutting strip printable ready for Y,  but the kiddo went through it before I could snap a photo, and then requested more paper to cut so that is what I presented here. 

We have been working on snipping since before my accident 5 months ago. Y began by first snipping - making short cuts in the paper. 



This past week, he was again very interested in cutting and kept asking for more paper. He ended up practicing for about 45 minutes! Before he sat down to do this work, he could not cut long pieces of paper continuously, rather he had to readjust his grip after each cut he made. By the end, he had mastered making continuous cuts and had also started properly grasping the scissors without a reminder of where to put his fingers. 

I really find those moments where I see Y mastering a new skill absolutely beautiful! I love that aspect of Montessori - we present activities that are challenging, and our little ones are motivated themselves to keep trying until they master the new skills! 

Science


This was a very simple car drop experiment. We taped the rolls onto the walls and dropped cars down them. We talked about how some were faster - or rather I pointed out that car a was heavier etc. I had 4 cars in the basket, but Y requested to play with 2 of them hence their absence from the photo. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

I set up a car wash tray for Y, but the weather has been strangely beautiful here so we set up something bigger outside! 



Music


Not much to discuss here - Y got to explore this harmonica. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Fun 


I made some transportation puzzles and Y got to match them. I laminated for extra durability. 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Reading and writing


I was thinking of using a sand tray, but didn't want to deal with the mess, so we used rice instead. The idea was that he could practice making the letter. Instead, he got out his dump trucks. It's transportation week so I suppose he wanted to stick with our theme ;) 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

This one really blew my mind. Before my accident, Y was very good at identifying Russian letters. We read books frequently and worked on letter recognition in tot school. However with a 5 month break, I figured he would have forgotten many letters. But he didn't and breeeezed through this work. I was so proud! 

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Another letter matching/recognition work.

Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

Outdoor exploration


This happened by chance - we were driving somewhere and saw this construction vehicle (how is it called in English??). Daddy and Y went to explore and I tried to get a photo. 


Montessori inspired transportation themed activities for preschoolers Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori

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Friday, 7 August 2015

Painting with wheels

When it comes to thinking up crafts or art projects for Y, I have to admit, I am not that creative. I can spend hours making printables or hands on learning activities, but crafts? I consider it an accomplishment if I manage to create some sort of 'invitation' to draw by providing him paper and crayons. 

And then I tend to feel lazy. Or unimaginative. However, I have been thinking a lot about our preschool plans and I came to a conclusion - I like the idea of Y getting to work on art and craft projects. BUT! I like to keep them open ended. It's fun. He enjoys it. I don't stress out about him not following instructions to make the perfect caterpillar or whatnot. 

I decided to make a conscientious effort to provide some sort of open ended invitation to work on an art project, but to have it be set up in a way where he can choose himself how he wants to work on his art. It has been so much fun! 

This past week, we have been working a lot on our transportation shelves! One of the activities he has coincidentally loved the most has been this invitation to paint using wheels and cars! Here's what we did: 

Invitation to paint with wheels by Welcome to Mommyhood #transportation, #artsandcrafts, #preschoolactivities

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Healthy Toddler Meals and Being Home Update

It's been about two weeks since I've finally been able to go home! These two weeks have been difficult, rewarding, amazing and challenging. Learning how to function again from a wheelchair, to cook, even to play with Y has become different.

All of these things are still possible of course and I'm so excited to be able to be Y's caregiver again, but they are different. Cooking means more stretching, more planning, and struggling to reach ingredients that the Husband or other folks put on the highest shelf in the fridge. 

I don't know how many of you really want to read in depth about life now, or how much I want to share about my spinal cord injury, but to keep it short: these two weeks have really taught me about patience. I need to be patient with myself especially as I take time to figure out how to do things again in a way that works for me. 

Most things, I can still do, do well, and do independently. Taking care of Y is such a blessing and brings so much joy! But being with him everyday, I notice how much I miss simply playing on the floor with him. We can sit on the couch together, but in order for me to get from the floor back into my chair, I need to build more muscle so I very rarely get to do that. 

This past weekend, my lovely husband was home and this happened:  

Healthy and easy toddler meal ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood, #healthymealsforkids, #healthykidsmeals, #healthtoddlermeals,

It may not seem like much, but for me - being able to play with my son on the ground was unbelievably special. In the past six months, I have only been able to do that three times, and it breaks my heart. Being able to spend about an hour on the floor with him was unbelievable! 

Y was also so ecstatic to see me on the ground with him! The kiddo literally climbed on me for the first 15 minutes before requesting I build a garage for his trucks. His request was happily granted and we spent a lovely evening playing with legos! 

Munchkin meals


Now, as for the food! Today is the first Thursday of the month which means it's time for another round of Munchkin Meals! As I said, these past few weeks have been pretty tough for me. This means that when it comes to feeding Y, I have been looking for quick options that really don't take much effort to throw together.  

On the other hand, now that I am back, I have been making it a priority to get extra veggies into Y's diet. Whilst I was away, I know that Y wasn't getting as many healthy meals as I like. Especially on the days he ate at the centre, we didn't have many options except for takeaway. Now, I am focusing on getting those habits under control and replacing french fries with oven baked sweet potato fries! 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tot school/preschool essentials without breaking the bank!

We have been working on Tot School activities at home for over a year and a half now. In this time, I have really learned what materials I have found useful, practical, and also inexpensive to have around. 

If you are thinking about starting with Tot School or preschool at home, I want to share a list of only the essentials or basic supplies I highly recommend you have at home! This is not including specifically Montessori materials (that depends on the approach you choose to use at home as well as your own budget!). This list consists of the basic supplies you would need to make your tot school or preschool a success! 


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori tot school or preschool supplies guide! A list of the basic essentials you will need to make your tot school or homeschool preschool a success! #montessori, #preschool, #totschool
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Mega transportation printable pack in English and Russian

I am so excited to share a new printable pack I worked very hard to create! Y loves anything transportation themed - cars, ships, trucks, anything that moves is bound to grab his attention! Y loves playing with his cars, disassembling his cars, and attempting to put them together again. 

Now that I am back home, I have been very anxious to get new works on our shelves instead of merely working on occasional works in between physical therapy appointments. Today, I am sharing the printables I used to create our first unit theme at home! Y has been loving these printables and the hands on activities we have been working on! 

Today, you can download the printables, but be sure to stay tuned to see all of the hands on activities that we have done with these printables! 

Mega transportation printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood includes over 40+ pages of activities! You can use these to work on math concepts, letter recognition, language building, and more! #printables, #montessori