Rachel here. We've been keeping busy around here. I've been giving Reese lots of different tasks to keep her little hands busy. Basically if it's something that needs to be done, and it's safe for her to do it... I let her. This past week she learned to cut bananas amongst other things. I think she appreciates being given more responsibilities. She also worked a lot on her scissor cutting skills, and letter writing. She HATES practicing her letters. Her teacher said that if she's simply putting a pencil to paper and making forms... not just scribbling... than she's doing well. I've been working on drawing shapes with her with her pencil which usually leads into her wanting to work on letters in her books. She also really likes mazes where the correct route is highlighted, and she traces the route with her pencil. Helps with her hand control.
EG's attention has been occupied mostly with painting. Not necessarily painting paper... mostly herself. :) She also loves putting objects into containers.
Some things we've been working on together... The Zip lock bags have shaving cream + a couple drops of two different colored food coloring + little hands that squish = color mixing.
Here are a few deals Bryan and I found this weekend while meandering around without the kids. I'm a OUAC junkie. If the girls need something or there is something I'm interested in for them, I always check there first. I've found some really great things in the past, and this trip was no exception. The TAG Jr was a last minute find. Reese has the TAG, and EG loves it, so finding this for $12 (w/one book) was a steal. I found this M&D "shape puzzle" for EG. While Reese has one a lot like this, this version has grooves/spots for the shapes... where Reese's is completely flat. Great for Emma, and she loves it. I stumbled upon the rock crayons (great for little hands), which I have seen on multiple Montessori sites, so I was pretty excited. Then the grandaddy of them all... Wedgits! Everyone I've seen that has these loves them, so I'm anxious to see Reese get to learn to use them. :)
We're trying to only get "open ended" toys for the girls. Things they can do whatever they want with to get an outcome... things that allow them to create what they want or act things out. Thats why children always enjoy the boxes toys come in as opposed to the toy... they create whatever they'd like with just the box. There are really some great things out there!