Tot Time–Fun on the Farm

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This month we started a new theme, farms. Coincidentally, Counting Coconuts also started the same theme and our sensory buckets look almost the same, though neither of us knew about the other’s beforehand. Counting Coconuts is doing lots of cool Montessori activities for her farm-themed unit, and I highly recommend you check out her blog if you haven’t already.
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Dora really enjoyed her sensory tub for a while, but her enthusiasm has since waned. I think part of the issue is that as our weather has improved, she just wants to be outside. The sensory tub is filled with corn feed, farm-themed figurines, a couple of tractors, and a miniature pitch fork and broom. While she was playing with the sensory tub, Dora was using the corn feed to to do a lot of spooning, and dumping. She also used it for a lot of imaginary play and I am kind of toying with the idea of trying to start combining sensory tubs with miniature play scenes, like the ones that I saw over at Childhood 101.
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I also mixed up Dora’s open-close basket, yet another wonderful idea that I got from Counting Coconuts. I added some horse harness clasps, a brown bottle, and some bolts with nuts on them. Unfortunately, these were really too hard for Dora to manipulate. I am looking for more containers for Dora to work with, but have not found anything too wonderful. The items that came with the open-close basket when I bought it from Montessori Services, were so nice, I just can’t seem to find other items that work as well.
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We visited a working farm that is part of one of the local parks. I had hoped for us to attend their annual sheep shearing event, but the line for the shuttle was just too long so we left. Who knew that sheep shearing was such a poplar activity? So we went to the park later in the week with my parents instead. We saw some piglets, horses, rabbits, ducks, and chickens. The sheep, mysteriously, were no where to be found. Maybe they were recovering from the shearing event? Without a doubt, Dora’s favorite farm animal is chickens. Previously, we saw some two-day old chicks at a store and Dora could have watched those chicks all day if I let her.
Dora’s favorite farm-themed book of the week was The Big Red Barn (affiliate link) by Margaret Wise Brown. I love this book’s sweet story and cute drawings, it has been a favorite of several of my children.
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Not in keeping with our farm theme, our ladybug larvae finally arrived. Sorry this photo is so blurry, my camera is on its last legs and really struggled to focus on something this tiny. Dora is absolutely terrified of the ladybug larvae. They are a bit creepy looking…. So I am raising ladybugs by myself. Coincidentally, in her Kindermusik class, she made a ladybug out of paper plates and construction paper.
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Speaking of music, music is really Dora’s passion right now. She spends a good portion of the day singing, playing instruments, dancing, and listening to music. I don’t want to pigeon hole as “our musical child”, but her passion for music greatly reminds me of Tertia’s passion for animals at this age and Tertia is currently attending a vet assistant program at the local college, volunteers 2-3 days per week at a local shelter, and works another 2-3 days per week at a doggie daycare/boarding center. Not to mention, spends countless hours with our own dog and cats and frequently pet sits for our neighbors. I never pushed Tertia in her interest in animals – I am not personally a big animal person, though I like them well enough. She just seemed to come out of utero as being passionate about animals and Dora seems to be the same way about music and dance. None of my other kids had the same level of passion about a particular subject. I suppose there could be some sort of “passion gene” that runs in my family as my father was supposedly equally passionate about planes from an extremely early age and then went on to be a pilot. Certainly, I was never so passionate about any particular subject. I would also mention that I am not particularly fond of music or dancing, though my husband used to be a professional musician. So if Dora continues with this interest, it will all be new territory for me.
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What about you, were you passionate about anything as a child? If so, are you still passionate about it? Are you children passionate about anything? I personally believe that homeschooling makes it easier to have passions, since homeschooled children have more time to pursue their personal interests.

Have you been doing any farm-themed activities? Or do you live on a farm of your own? I’d love to operate an urban farm (at least in theory I would). I’d particularly like to raise chickens as I’d love to have fresh, organic eggs.
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Labels: Montessori, Summer, This and That, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff