Telling the Nativity Story with Lolly Stick Puppets

Talitha was ill and grumpy most of the day yesterday. Ill and grumpy in a way only a two-and-a-half-year-old can be. She spent quite a lot of it sitting on the couch and admonishing the cat not to look at her. Still, she lit up when I suggested we make something. “Make something”, “paint something”, “bake something” – I can count on these for a brightening of just about any mood. I’d picked up some lolly sticks over the weekend so I thought – puppets? It made sense to do the Nativity since we’re having lots of chats about Christmas…

Make an Advent Calendar from Toilet Rolls

I got all excited about making an Advent Calendar when I read this post by Along Came Cherry. I was totally going to follow her idea except I realised that I didn’t have any tissue paper. This meant I wouldn’t be able to place the rolls horizontally and forward facing so Talitha could burst the fronts. Wanting to use only what I already had, I ended up with something quite different – pockets! I’m really happy with the result. Here’s what I used: 13 toilet roll tubes tape green gift wrap (to cover the tubes) gold gift wrap (for the…

Learning about the weather with a toddler

Two-year-old Talitha has been fascinated with the weather recently. Most mornings, when we come down to the kitchen, she rushes to look out the glass doors and tell me: “It’s a bit sunny” or “It’s raining!” She loves adding “a bit” before most adjectives. I wonder if I do this subconsciously. Anyway, I’ve been going with this and observing the weather a lot more. Someone on the Circus Queen Facebook page mentioned that Autumn is such a good time to chat about it because there’s so much variation. Here’s how we’ve been learning about it. 1. Get out in it…

When does home education begin?

We began talking about home education very early on in my pregnancy with Talitha. For me, it was something I’d been thinking about for a while. Laurence had never considered it before but he was open. School was difficult for me. It wasn’t all negative but there wasn’t enough in my own experience to discourage me from exploring the alternatives. I found it an awkward social landscape to navigate – or rather I was the awkward one – and I was often really bored, either because of what was being taught or not taught, or the way in which it…

How valuable is baby sign language?

A friend invited me to come along to her Sing and Sign class back when Talitha was nine months or so, I think. I went along mainly because it sounded like a fun structured thing Bristol offered and because I wanted to spend more time with my friend. I wasn’t too sure about baby sign language, mind. I mean, would it actually work? Most of the way through the course, Talitha wasn’t signing at all. When I saw other babies in the class sign, their gestures seemed more like approximations than signs. You had to want to see the signs,…

Making a treasure basket

OR Finding the time to write a blog post… I noticed at a La Leche League meeting this morning that Talitha was particularly taken with looking inside the baskets on the floor and taking things out of them. So, I thought it was about time we made a treasure basket. The idea came from Margaret Atieh’s article in Juno’s Winter 2011 edition. The idea is to fill the basket with safe objects from around your house and allow the baby to explore it. It’s both fun and a learning tool. First, I emptied all the rubbish out of a basket.…