Lazy Rainy Morning

diy, montessori, fine motorLucy threading craft matchsticks into a parmesan shaker.

Today is Monday, but no ordinary Monday. We have Michael home because of the extended weekend. It’s been steadily raining all morning so we have been doing quiet activities and pottering about. Lucy has a great little attention span for a 14 month old. She finished the above activity three times before interrupting Cameron.

baster, transfer, montessoriTransferring with a turkey baster. Hard hat optional.

The above pic was taken near the end where he was just playing. Initially it was set up with blue and yellow for transferring practice and colour mixing. He did this for quite some time before donning his rainboots and an umbrella and playing in the drizzly rain outside.

reggio, toddler, nature, exploration
reggio, toddler, nature, exploration

I’ve started doing more semi-structured introductions to new language and concepts with Lucy. For example, here we explored a shell, a starfish, a geode, an amethyst crystal and a sea urchin . It’s just about introducing the language to her in general (i.e. A smooth, white shell. A bumpy, rough, orange starfish.. you get the idea).

How was your weekend?

Nature Exploration

At the moment I’m assessing and planning several of the kids spaces in our home. One that is clearly needed in our new home is somewhere to gather our tools and resources for nature exploration. Having a proper backyard has transformed our daily life. We spend so much time outside.

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What tips would you recommend for nature investigation? Would you suggest baskets? a shelf? something else entirely? I have space (particularly outdoors undercover) but am thinking of practicality… would a basket be best? Because it is portable?

I’m thinking several baskets [say one for 'tools' (such as magnifiers, bug catchers, clipboard, containers) and another for relevant reference books/guides and another for record keeping (i.e. flower press, nature journal, photos of prior finds)] on a shelf?

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As we have only just moved to a place with a backyard full of nature enriched opportunities; we have never established a routine with incorporating nature into our lives. At our last home, there was very little to discover and nature enriched experiences were planned and few & far between.

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Now I want to set up an area that can hopefully inspire a more organic and frequent exploration of nature. What would you include for a curious 3 year old boy? What has made for great investigation and memories in your home? What is used time and time again?

Any advice and guidance would be so appreciated!

Easter Gift Inspiration

Have a look at my Etsy Treasury ‘Easter Gifts Inspiration’ for some gift inspiration for your 0-5 year old. Beautiful quality gifts made with natural materials. (I’m not affiliated with any of these sellers, I just like the items. I have purchased from a couple of them in the past)

Rainbow Nest - Counting Eggs - A Rainbow Counting Set Inspired by Montessori and Waldorf Philosophies - MamaMayI
Rainbow Nest – Coun…

$19
Wooden Easter Bunny Toy - Waldorf Wood Animal Toy -  Natural Rabbit Push Toy for Babies and Toddlers - Montessori Inspired Eco-Friendly Play - KeepsakeToys
Wooden Easter Bunny…

$24
Gumnut Gnome Baby - A little felt gnome tucked gently into an Australian gumnut. - Rumpelfeltskin
Gumnut Gnome Baby -…

$6
Wool Easter Egg PlaySilk Felted Spring Basket Waldorf Montessori toy / choose your color - newtknees
Wool Easter Egg Pla…

$22
Easter Sale - Waldorf Toy - Pastel Sorting Bunny,  Wooden toy / Educational  Montessori Toy - TheEnchantedCupboard
Easter Sale – Waldo…

$12
My Stone Collection III - Watercolor Print 8 x 10, Sticks, Stones and Feathers, Pink, Yellow & Grey Nature - todaysunshine
My Stone Collection…

$22
Wooden Egg w/ Hole Rattle- Beech - sevenacretoys
Wooden Egg w/ Hole …

$30
Easter Bamboo Velour Teething Toy - BrightLifeToys
Easter Bamboo Velou…

$12
Rainbow Draw String Backpack - colourbazaar
Rainbow Draw String…

$9
Miniature  Bunny Rabbit Wood Match Box Set - Puzzimals
Miniature Bunny Ra…

$12.49
Wood play eggs and cups montessori color matching game - laughingcrickets
Wood play eggs and …

$26
Wood Toy - Easter Bunnies - Secret hidden bunny tree - 4 piece set - Waldorf wooden toys - CeadarHillHeirlooms
Wood Toy – Easter B…

$26.08
Wood Teether Bunny wooden toy natural baby toy - littlesaplingtoys
Wood Teether Bunny …

$12
wooden knitting fork with hand painted rainbow wool - indigoinspirations
wooden knitting for…

$23.5
Wooden bunnies, waldorf wooden rabbit - Halushka
Wooden bunnies, wal…

$12
hand felted wool felt crayon roll assorted colours for boys & girls fits 10 Stockmar Block beeswax crayons - masajesaf
hand felted wool fe…

$22

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

Keeping Busy

With the hubby away every evening doing Tafe work (gaining more qualifications and endorsements for his trade), Cameron and I have been keeping busy.

Aside from the usual hum of the day, from caring for pets, to singing and reading or outdoor play, we have filled our days with new engaging activities.

We went back to our local nature centre. Last time we went there Cammy was quite a bit younger. This time it was such a more interactive experience. It’s so great to have ‘real’ experiences like this; so much more is absorbed by a toddler when they can see/smell/hear/touch things up close!

Cameron even learnt some new words (goana and wallaby amongst others) and loved the big lazy sleeping wombats and the noisy dirty pigs. We will definitely have to return one day soon.

We brought some new shelving for Cam’s playroom. Now I feel much more organised with a place for everything and everything in it’s place. The bottom two cubes on the left even have Bud’s things ready for him/her.

It has been HOT here lately too so we popped down to our closest water park to cool down the other day. Cameron really got into it this time and got soaked & played for ages.

I posted a couple of short, cute clips of Cammy being his adorable self up on my Youtube channel. I plan on doing a gender reveal video and pregnancy vlog this weekend.

Cam loves interacting with my bump & Bud.

ther excitement has been my sisters new puppy! My nephews birthday is coming up and Cam’s Aunty Vicki got a bulldog x for him. She is only 8 weeks old and very sweet.

We have still been playing with the water beads frequently but the other day I switched things up and added paint (watered down, non-toxic acrylics) and paper and invited Cam to go wild bouncing, squeezing, rolling and painting with the water beads. This was a hit!

This afternoon after Cameron’s sleep we went to the lakes armed with some bread to feed ducks. This was such a relaxing experience and we got to see some other critters (turtles, lizards, native birds, fish and an eel!) too.

Only 2 sleeps until I get to see ‘Bud’. I’m nervous and excited… I just can’t wait. Here’s to hoping time goes fast!

Nature and My Tot

Our herbs are going well. Our garlic has shoots and the other herbs have grown a lot. We have lavender in the middle of the big pot, surrounded by thyme, coriander, oregano and chives and there is mint in the seperate pot (it tends to take over if planted with other herbs). Cameron enjoys watering the plants with me. He likes catching the dripping water from the strawberry plant that hangs above them.

Cameron and I love going to The Daisy Hill Koala Centre and the native park that is joined to it. It’s such a lovely area with tonnes of wildlife and little walks that are the perfect length for toddler-paced adventures.

Cameron laughs when the koalas scratch themselves and he says “shh” complete with little finger-to-the-mouth action when they sleep (most of the time). We were lucky to see a kookaburra up very close who was hanging out with the koalas.

Cameron spent a lot of the time pointing at the sky spotting aeroplanes and yelling “pane!” rather than caring about the interesting wildlife. I swear he was more fussed by the dog (“wow puppyyyy!”) than the wallabies on our walks.

He does, however, say wallaby and koala now and was excited to answer his Daddy’s question about what he saw today with his attempt at “wallaby baby” (wowaby bay-bee).

Do you see it???

Mostly, I love watching him collect leaves, sticks, stones and leaves along the way, and point out ferns, vines, bark and wildlife. He loves to sit down randomly in the grass.

Tomorrow we have a less-lovely day with a doctor visit and his 18 month immunisations. Wish us luck!