Teaching a Toddler – Colours

Well August has been a terrible month for us. We have been sick with an awful cold that neither of us could seem to get over and a growing boy who is testing every fiber of my patience and the boundaries we have given him. For a kid who is only 18 months old he sure is acting like he has joined the ‘terrible two’s’ already.

Needless to say all my usual planning, prep work and routine has gone out the window and has been replaced with a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants attitude and way to many grumpy days. Although to be honest most of the grumpiness has been from me and not Mr B, oh whom I kidding, all the grumpiness has been from me 😦

Anyhoo, spring has sprung down here in Australia and I’m determined to get over my grumps and move on.

We did get round to doing some afternoon activities. Our theme this month was all about colour, which was great cause everywhere you go you see colour. So every outing was a chance to reinforce what we were learning at home. Throughout each activity I pretty much just let my son do whatever he wanted and while he worked/played I would talk about the colours and what he was doing. Most of the activities were about fun and playing rather than about dedicated learning 🙂

Monday: Colour Wheel

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This was pretty easy to make. I took some plain paper and divided it into 8, then took some colour markers and coloured in the triangles. I then cut smaller triangles out of the scraps, coloured them in with the same colours and attached them to pegs with some tape. Since these activities only get used a couple of times they really don’t have to be very fancy or long-lasting. He loved this, but I think that may be more due to the fun of putting pegs on paper that the matching colours together.

Tuesday: Bicarb and Vinegar (OUTSIDE!)

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This activity speaks for itself and was lots of fun. We’ve done something like this before but it never gets old 🙂 All you need to do is add some food colouring to some vinegar and mix it with bicarb of soda then stand back and watch…or in my son’s case, get messy. I should warn you to put on crappy clothes as the stupid food colouring stained everything, which I knew would happen but I wasn’t prepared for him to literally sit in the middle of the path and then pour vinegar all overs his legs.

Wednesday: Colour paper tubes

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I took 5 pieces of coloured paper and tore them in half. One half I rolled into small tubes and just taped them closed while the other half I tore into 3 more pieces and scrunched them up into little balls. I then taped the tubes to our pantry door and placed all the little scrunched up pieces of paper into a small basket. We had lots of fun talking about the colours and placing the right colours into the tubes. I’m not sure Mr B understood that the colour of the tubes is what I was referring too as he still can’t identify colours but he can say all the right words, so we are half way there 🙂

Thursday: Matching sets.

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This is really easy to play and lots of fun, I walked around the house picking up different coloured items and putting them into his basket. Then I set out some butchers paper (seriously invest in some if you haven’t got any yet) and picked out items from the basket and asked him to match them to a colour. This really didn’t work at first but I think he got the concept by the last week although I wasn’t expecting him to get them all right at all. If you do this activity make sure you choose items that are predominantly that colour otherwise your kid might not get what you are asking of them.

Friday: Drawing

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Drawing is pretty new to us, even though I have exposed Mr B lots of times, he still hasn’t got the hang of it. I do all my prep work while he has his afternoon nap, that way I can put away other toys and it’s all ready for him. I drew small squares in different mediums (markers, crayons and pencil crayons) and gave him markers to try to match the colours. It was really fun and he loved scribbling everywhere, we have tons of sheets of butchers paper which I just stick to our coffee table with some tape so it doesn’t move while he is drawing.

Reading:

Reading is really important to me and my husband so we want to nurture a love of books in our children right from the start. When our son was first born my husband would read to him every night and we have kept that up ever since.

During the month we include books to our reading time with the theme we are doing at the time. Our local library is great when it comes to finding fun educational books however they are mostly for older kids and have a minimal range for young kids which is disappointing. But we love to challenge Mr B so we’ve introduced books that require him to sit still just a little longer and try to concentrate a little more, which are just a bit above his level. This means we’ve done a mix of difficult library and easy home books this month so he didn’t get frustrated with reading time.

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Home is where the heart is.

My heart will always yearn for Africa, for the place of my birth, for Cape Town; the city I will always call home. There are many many days in which I have felt very homesick and wondered what my life would be like if I had never moved a whole continent away from my friends and family.

But that’s no way to live my life. I know that my life is now here, is in Australia and the move I have made is exactly where I should be.
Little did I know when I met my husband, 4 wonderful years ago in a little Clapham bar in London that I would end up this far from home and yet here I am. I had been living in London for a while and he had just arrived a few months before. We were both spending a few years travelling around and earning some lovely, lovely pounds. Neither of us were really interested in anything to serious and we both just enjoyed each others company and seeing sights and sounds together. For a short while we decided to go our separate ways.
I was devastated, I don’t think I had realised just how much fun I was having with him or the fact that he was such a wonderful person till he was gone. But obviously we ended up back together and after a year and a half  of blissful happiness, he managed to make me even happier by asking me to marry him…. I said yes 😉

And as they say the rest is history, we got married in London and moved over to Australia soon after that. In 2013 we were given the great honour of having a baby and being parents to the sweetest little boy we could ever have asked for.

I’ve had to make Australia home, not only for myself but for my family too. Don’t get me wrong I do dearly love my new home and all the first world luxuries and safety it offers us. We are also very lucky to be living in a stunning part of Australia and very, very close to my husband’s family so this post is really not about me complaining. I have made some amazing friends and together with our family I really feel like I have found a spot for myself here with people I can love and cherish and who I know love me back.

But as I’m sure any South African expat can agree Africa will always be in my blood and will always be what comes to mind when people ask me where my home is. They say home is where the heart is… my heart will always be in Africa!

Teaching a Toddler – Zoo Theme

This gallery contains 7 photos.

To kick off our Teaching a Toddler series we did a Zoo theme through July. Although we don’t stick seriously to it, our days all have a pretty similar routine and these activities fit into our afternoon after a nap. … Continue reading

Projects – or maybe it’s called Nesting?

I love my husband… He has been so great to me throughout our relationship and even more now throughout my pregnancy! He is so supportive and lets me do/does whatever whim and wish I suddenly am inspired with, in fact I think that’s probably why he hates Pinterest so much!

So when we wanted to redecorate our nursery he was so fantastic and even found me my favourite item for the nursery and refurbished it to fit with our theme (he knows me so well)! NurseryRocking Chair

I also wanted some new side tables for our lounge and my darling Sean made me some out of pallets for me, such a talented young man!

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One of Sean’s loves is listening to old school records so of course we finally had to purchase a record player and some records of course. But there was nowhere to put it so he took an old pallett and made us this beautiful crate to use for our records!

Laundry ShelfThen there are the little treasures we keep picking up, like this old ammo box (sorry no before picture) which I turned into a laundry shelf and my dear husband took the time to put up for me.

16 Weeks!

Wow… 16 Weeks, how quickly is this all going by? Just 4 weeks till we are half way through and ready to have our next scan!

I unfortunately haven’t been too well this last week with a horrible cold and since I can’t take any medication, it really knocked me out! But I am slowly on the mend and feeling much better already.

Thankfully the morning sickness is pretty much completely gone now (although when I was sick it came back with a bit of a vengeance).

Not too much else has changed yet although I am almost 100% sure I felt some fluttering in my belly so hopefully that will soon turn in to a proper kick! And of course the size of my belly is probably the most obvious thing to show I am pregnant. I have also been getting a little bit of broad ligament pain which has been very uncomfortable and my sleep has been very disturbed which is probably just my bodies way of training me for all the sleepless nights ahead.

But even with all these changes and experience (good or bad) it is so exciting and I am really starting to feel a bit more pregnant each time something happens.

We have also finally settled everything with the house and have our official move-in date on the 19th October. We are so happy to have it all sorted out and officially know when we get to move in.

I just can’t wait to unpack everything and start decorating the nursery, I have even got some ideas already and have been lucky enough to pick up some wonderful 2nd hand bargains.

We have decided not to find out the sex of the baby so everything we see or have gotten so far has been very neutral, which can actually be quite hard! Most things are either blue or pink, so we probably won’t get to much more till the kid pops out 🙂

 

13 weeks and counting

I can’t believe it we are actually pregnant and can finally tell people!

It’s really hard to keep a 3 month secret 😉 but now the cat is finally out of the bag and we can start sharing all our cool experiences (and some not so cool ones).

We found out completely by accident, I was about a week late and not feeling 100% so decided to take a pregnancy test (just to rule out the option) but we hadn’t been trying so I wasn’t very optimistic. After peeing on stick I waited a few moments but there was only one line so I threw it in the bin and just presumed I had calculated things wrong or I was just a little late. Later that afternoon I was cleaning up and taking the bin out and what should I notice but the stick actually had 2 lines on it!!! What the heck? I must not have waited long enough for the result! Ok this is a little un-expected maybe it’s a mistake, lets try another one… This time I waited a bit longer and OMG it has 2 very clear lines as well! And so it’s time to call the daddy-to-be (and our immediate family) and share the GREAT news!  Even though it was a bit surprising we are absolutley over-joyed

So far our pregnancy hasn’t been half as bad as some of the horror stories I have heard so we are extremely grateful for that. I started off with some terrible nausea but it never really progressed to full on vommiting and the only other problem I had was extreme tiredness, and when I say extreme I mean I felt like no matter how many hours of sleep I was getting I still need about 8 more!  I am however blessed with a very amazing husband  who would help me out SO much by cleaning, cooking, sopping and making sure I was ok every moment he could, even though he was working full-time he still did so much for me and I will be forever grateful for that.  We have now hit 13 weeks (14 on Saturday) and I am already starting to feel SO much better and have been able to get alot more done (which means Sean has been let off the hook and can finally get some rest).

We are also SUPER excited that all our paperwork is getting in order for our very own home! I just can’t wait to get in and start decorating the nursery and sorting everything out for the arrival of our gorgeous little monkey. Despite some very annoying delays with the bank we are still hoping to be moving in early in October, so at least we won’t be moving when I am too heavily pregnant. But of course since I am pregnant I won’t be able to do any heavy lifting Yay for me 😉 But I will have to do all the un-packing since Sean will still be working, which suites me just fine as the perfectionist in me will probably want to do it all my way anyway!