Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dice Addition Game with Number Sticks

If you've got a preschooler learning number bonds, this game is super easy to like.  And if you're a busy mama, this game is super easy to DIY even if you don't have number sticks!

This idea is a DIY-version of another DIY-version.  See this video by Education Unboxed where she also explains how to adapt this for higher elementary problem solving.  I set this up in less than five minutes before we started playing, so I only got a chance to take a photo in the middle of game play. 

We used stuff we had around.  A piece of cloth, our number magnets, a pair of dice and 2 sets of stickers.  I always say it's easy to think of play when you've got stuff around!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

It's More Fun: Bleached Floors

When I do something, I find the dreaming of possibilities as part of the fun.  My husband, however, thinks this is ridiculous.  He is Mr. Action Man.  Three months ago, he made my seven-year-dream of white wooden flooring come true.

Sometimes deciding fast and living with the consequences is the only way to get things done.  

Not only did I learn that life lesson, I also learned a thing or two about bleaching floors.  
It's totally worth it.

(I should take more pics when the rooms aren't in a KonMari transition - my next project!)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Why Do Montessori Students Wash Tables?

It really is one of the strangest sights in the Montessori classroom to see a student wash a table.  Why are they wasting precious studying time doing chores?  Why is the school forcing my child to do menial work?  Who washes a table anyway?

I must admit even I pooh-poohed this activity all the way until Ladybug graduated preschool.  I get the logic fine: practical life is the first important curriculum because it lets children become independent and empowered when they see they can do things by themselves. 

But washing tables?  I was skeptical.  We have helpers as part of our homes - would children ever really contribute consistently in that way?  Would it ever really matter in the grand scheme of priorities?  Eventually everyone learns practical life at some stage in their life anyway (um, in my case when I got married).  

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Outdoor Sand Kitchen | Playdate Idea

Some months ago, I finished the book Tinker Lab and was inspired to revamp our little outdoor play space to a dirty kitchen area where kids can just go crazy with mixtures and concoctions.  

It made for a super fun playdate afternoon:

This was the space set-up back then.  Since I'm always moving stuff around my house, the outdoor space was more cluttered than I like, but in the meantime it stayed like this:

The play invitation!

With some closer looks, you'll see that everything in here is repurposed old stuff from our kitchen.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Meet Our Book Cart

I packed away the lovely wooden grocery stand and play food awhile ago, but one thing remained: her shopping cart!  It has a better life as a book cart today:

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Koinoburi in the Playroom

The Japanese have a national holiday "Children's Day" in blessing and hope for a good future that is healthy and well.  I think this tradition honouring children is lovely.
A koinoburi, a carp flag, is hung in households during this day.  I bought this sweet version:
And hella expensive.  So I only bought one.

Friday, 3 July 2015

When I Pick Her Up From School

Of all the bittersweet moments of being a working mom, 
those rare days of picking up my daughter from school are classic.  


Her shriek of happiness and the look of joy that lights up her face make me feel like a winner.  
I'm the best mom in that moment.  

It also makes me feel like a loser.  
I'm the absent mom for the school days before that one.

On a rare day, straight from work and on leave for the afternoon

When I pick her up from school, I always observe my co-fetchers and wonder what is it they do for a living.  I like to assume they're rich entrepreneurs or housewives-who-lunch.  Humor me.  To have freedom with your time is truly rich by my standards.  

When I pick her up from school, I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.  Everyone knows everyone else, yayas included.  I swear, making friends with fellow-parents is like grade school all over again.

Last week I got up the courage to talk to a fellow-mom beside me.  I confided that I always marvelled how some parents were there everyday.  She told me that she had just left her job last week and it was her first time to pick up her daughter!  And her daughter?  She had that same lit up face when she saw her mommy.

The truth is when I pick up my daughter from school, I like to pretend that I'm that mom I spoke to last week.  When being there is the most important priority of her day.  And her daughter feels it.

And maybe more importantly, so does she.  

When I pick her up from school, it's a day when my priorities walk the talk. 
When I'm living the dream of having it all.   

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