Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stocking up...

Rachel here. My package just arrived from Oriental Trading, and I just about died. I knew I ordered a lot... but holy cow. This is to get us a good start on summertime shenanigans. I'm getting more and more nervous with summertime approaching and knowing Reese will be back home 24/7. She's been doing such great things at Montessori that I'm afraid I won't be able to keep her attention. I've been searching for lots of open ended toys and arts/crafts, and trying to match up some of the things we have here at home with some of her favorite activities ("work") she does at school.

As far as arts/crafts supplies... we have a ton already, but I wanted to stock up on some things we didn't have and things we run out of quickly. I ordered some special paper that'll bleed color... one of Reese's favorite transferring activities (I'll share more on that later), liquid water color paint, regular washable paint, some ceramic markers (can be used to draw on ceramics... we have tons of random tile around here), different shaped sponges, "jewels", buttons, and a bag of wooden beads.
I also picked out some painting trays (we were using egg cartons and ice cube trays, but the depth was a pain in the butt for mixing and whatnot), some pipettes (for transferring water and liquid water color), and some plastic needles in hopes of working on some stitching activities with Reese.

When it came to looking at items we could use for Montessori, I made some great finds. Reese is totally into dinosaurs right now, and I thought these dinosaur skeletons would be great along with the dinosaurs we picked up from OUAC a while back. My plan is to turn the sandbox into dinoland... how fun would it be to dig for dinosaur skeletons???? It'll be like one big sensory box with some rocks and a volcano... I can hardly contain myself! NERDY.I thought these tongs were pretty cool. They have little holes in them... the idea is to find bugs, catch them with the tongs, and observe them. We'll use them in our sensory boxes and for transferring more than anything I'm sure.I've been wanting to get some of these test tubes forever now. We can use them to mix colors, to house "i spy" games, and I even found a really cool magnet activity that they can be used for. The possibilities are endless, and we're super excited.This is something I've seen all over the Montessori world and was excited to find it for a great price. The idea... Reese will put shapes on the cork and hammer the little tacks into the holes to hold the shapes in place. The reviews were great, and I think she'll really like it.I couldn't get Reese a specific "toy" and forget about Emma Grace. I found this really cute sensory matching game. Basically the shapes are in the bag, and you have to feel for the correct "shape" to fit into each block of wood. It'll be great to learn shapes, animals, colors, etc... And our newest sensory bin! I'm so super excited about this one. I had been wanting to make this one since we started these bins, but wasn't sure of what all we had. Bryan and I did some work in the attic, garage, and shed this past weekend and found virtually ALL of this stuff. The only thing that we didn't already have were the little seeds (the little red and blue wooden flower beads... they were from the wooden bag of beads mentioned above)... AWESOME! I think the girls will love the garden bin. The weather here in The Burg has been amazing, so these bins will soon make their way outside on the back porch... much easier on cleanup.Now the goal is to house all of this stuff. I have some shelving closet type things and some bins out in the garage, and then there are numerous nooks and crannies inside that house everything right now. My goal is to get everything in one central location where everything can be found and kept without me pulling my hair out in order to put things together. I'd really like to find an old curio/china cabinet that I can paint to house all the arts/crafts materials. I've been looking on Craigslist, but I'm just not sure what I'm willing/wanting to spend. Looks like a great goal for this summer... hello yard sales! :)


Hutch & Meg said...

Hey! I saw your comment on Andria's blog, and decided to stalk you while I was at it...did you get all those goodies from Oriental Trading? Who knew that place had all that! I love the hammer/pin thing. Was that from there?

Rachel said...

ha!... i stalk you too, so no worries. :) i did get everything in this post from o.t. except for the materials used in the sensory box. o.t. has TONS of stuff... you really have to be careful with the quality... most of the time you get what you pay for. the hammer/pin thing is great though... reese loves it. emma grace can put the pins in the holes and push them in w/her fingers, so both your little ones would probably be able to use it. :)