Studying Cicadas and their cast skins. Found on a nature walk around the National Carillon which is on it's own little island. As fascinating place even without the Cicadas.
Caspar's International Space Station.
After getting dressed Otis finds a comfortable place for some reading.
I really miss blogging regularly. I hope I can get back to it soon. Today Otis used the sand tray for the first time.
At six (years old) I'm finally becoming comfortable with Caspar's use of technology. I noticed children using this application in the Cycle Two (Montessori) classroom and I couldn't wait to check it out for myself. As the teacher told me 'the only ethical frog dissection'. Wow, it's amazing and can be taught on our lounge room floor. This one is narrated and I love the voice - just like a science professor, you can learn more about it here.
This might be a bit too much for some adults and some children, however it will also appeal to many children ready or interested in this area of study.
Love Canberra and it's National institutions.
We recently swapped materials! These lovely cards are from Free Spirit Kids.
A pack of large paint brushes provides inspiration for some painting.
Caspar is six. He wants to be a gardener, magician, someone who takes school children to exhibits and a scientist when he grows up.
Otis has been spending some time working with shells. Listening, feeling, observing. Sorting, counting. They are so beautiful to work with.
The boys getting some love and attention from their Grandparents.
Otis matching the sound (from the CD) to the picture. He loves to hear the fire engine, the owl and the flushing toilet.
Caspar looking very anxious before his puppy's first health check. Turns out we have one very healthy pup!
Otis asked for an egg for breakfast. Peel. Slice and eat.
More magnet work.
In our garden. Bees. Yellow and lavender.
And Caspar's sunflower seeds are starting to grow.
A sneak peak of one of the books Otis is currently reading. Beautiful isn't it?
Otis takes his barn outside, playing very quietly.
Awesome, Colourful Rainbow Blocks.
Otis partakes in a spot of modelling! He loved every minute.
Shop business cards. Each set has a different quote.
Otis at 30 months!
Caspar's spring flower.
Today while at our 'quiet place' I really focused on Otis's hands and feet. Observing what he touched. Touching it also so I knew how it felt, so I would experience the same textures. We had a really beautiful day.
Otis using clay.
There are two trays on Otis' art shelf that have been there forever and he uses them so much I don't want to rotate them. Gluing/pasting and stamps.
A few more pictures of Otis and his 'practical life' work from today.
I love having Caspar's science experiments in the kitchen. This one is 'Striped Celery Snack: How Water Moves Up Stems'. He found it in Science Experiments You Can Eat and it shows how the water moves up through the xylem. The best thing about this book is Caspar can find the experiment himself. If it was an idea I had he probably wouldn't be as interested.
Caspar and Otis on the jumping castle at Floriade. They had the jumping castle and slide to themselves. Otis didn't go down the slide here, he backed out and went down the stairs.
Recent photographs of Otis' butterfly garden. If the plants continue to grow I will continue to take photographs. I think these would look lovely in a photograph book, showing Otis the stages from him planting the seeds to the actual plants/flowers.
The boys and I have been unwell this week so there has been lots of quiet time and rest. Here Otis is enjoying some fruit matching cards. I made these cards for Caspar so it's great to be able to get them out for Otis to use.
Otis is enjoying cutting this soft banana with a serrated knife.
There has been over watering and re-digging but much to our excitement (and possibly surprise) Otis's butterfly garden has started to grow, the seeds have sprouted.
The colour and light in this photograph is a bit crazy but the bokeh is real. Otis is using the outdoor black board - it's nailed to our fence just above the sandpit.
A busy but beautiful kitchen table.
Otis - doing his own thing. Sweeping the leaves and then dumping them.
Caspar having fun in the tree at a friend's house.
Caspar jumping out of the treehouse onto the trampoline.
Caspar in the treehouse with a 3.30pm sun.
Otis is so much like his brother and they are both like their dad. Happy Fathers Day! Welcome September and hello Spring.
Caspar is planting Sunflower seeds throughout our garden beds.
Otis smelling the wonderful wattle that now fills our city. Come spring and Canberra is full of bright yellow bursts of wattle.
After reading about this application on Swiss Miss, then on Design Mom, I down loaded it for Caspar. The Human Body by Tinybop is really an application I would recommend. I would say for five years and up for children with already a good knowledge of the human body.
The boys on their way to a Batman Birthday Party! We only had one Batman costume so Otis settled for being a knight.
Another shot of Caspar researching.
Signs of spring!
Otis is currently very interested in eggs. He asked to keep some in his fridge - which I initially thought was a good idea. Then he dropped two raw eggs on the floor. He also peeled, sliced and ate three (once cooked of course!).
Some photographs from our nature walk today. It was cold but sunny.
No post tonight as I'm having a few technical difficulties (I've already spent a couple of hours cleaning up my hard drive!). Tomorrow, all things going well, my post will be about the child in the second plane of development. Here the boys are enjoying some beautiful clay. Otis does what he always does with playdough - sticks in craft sticks, match sticks and buttons. Caspar has made some pinch bowls. You can see how dark it is in our house, I'm ready for Spring!
Some new additions to the aquarium. Otis likes to sit and watch. Caspar drew a Hermit Crab and put it on the wall. We realised we don't know how many legs a Hermit Crab has. Another research idea!
Otis loves cutting so we keep a cutting tray out. By the end of the day he has always cut all the strips.
Caspar is entranced by photography on the iPad.
Otis is a little obsessed with band-aids right now! This shows that Montessori in the home doesn't need to be expensive, the dustpan and brush Otis is using cost $2.
Otis cutting snack. He's now wearing his brother's apron.
Over the weekend Caspar used the hot glue gun by himself for the first time. He was really hesitant but handled it easily. The hot glue gun adds another dimension to Caspar's making that is hard to achieve by other means. That strong hold especially for solid and heavy items like shells, twigs and seedpods.
Last night the boys made their own dinner. I helped to boil the water for the pasta. The boys (mainly Caspar) peeled and grated the carrot, grated cheese, washed and cut the broccoli. When the pasta was cooked and drained they mixed it in with the vegetables and cheese along with a little olive oil. Child made raw vegetable pasta!
I love the bits of paper both boys are bringing home from school. Caspar is only five, I love that he can do multiplication - thanks to Montessori!
Today after lunch with a friend we visited the nearby playground.
This is from yesterday. This is work I found Otis doing on the window sill. Perhaps he was drawn to the light and warmth coming through the window. Our days have been really cold and wet. I haven't taken my camera out for this reason and the house has felt so dark. Perhaps today I'll take my camera out.
Otis and I made pizza for dinner. It was hard not to fix his with one big pile of cheese in the centre, I gently tried to show him how to spread it out. Otis had another try at grating, it's generally something I would leave until he is a bit older but he wants to help so much.
I'm about to update our what we are reading page. Here are three new books that we are reading. The Listening Walk is a classic and Otis loves it. Highly recommended for toddlers who love to listen.
This air plant sits on our kitchen table and is therefore looked at closely everyday. Now much to our excitement it's flowering.
Painting with found things. Everything was found in Caspar's making box. Cellophane, foil, lids, paper rolls, netting, string, egg cartons and corrugated card. Great for experiencing different textures and different sounds when painting. We were painting on the floor too, we put down some butchers paper first - so much easier for big painting projects.
Washing the floor. I give him his own little bucket, it only has an inch or so of water in it. Often he will wear his rain boots while doing this which helps to prevent slips.
Otis could you come and wash some potatoes please? He uses a small mushroom brush to clean the potatoes, it's the perfect size for those little hands.
What is important about this from a Montessori perspective is that this isn't an activity set up for the child, we are preparing a meal and the potatoes actually need to be cleaned. I could and have set this up at the kitchen sink but there wasn't enough clear space, plus it's nice for him to spend time working on it at his level/child sized table.
Otis is in charge of the compost. This is our bokashi bin.
The activity/photo of the day album can be seen here. Click on the individual photograph for the description.