Monthly Archives: February 2012

Preschool at Home–Sense of Touch

Transluscent Putty 4

We ended up spending a lot more time at home this week than we usually do. Part of this was, because Dora has suddenly started refusing to go to any of her activities. So I am just canceling them as clearly she is feeling that she needs more time at home. It is only on the days that we are home for most of the day that she really starts exploring the materials/toys that we have at home. Of course, conversely, if we are home too much, she becomes bored. It is a precarious balance. Anyway, this week we studied touch. I had tons of “fun” stuff to do. The only problem was that Dora did not like the feel of any of my “fun” activities. We tried working with fabric matching and touch boards, which she hated (she wouldn’t even touch the touch boards at all after the first time). We made doughs, slime, and clays galore and she hated them all. Then yesterday I saw this post about making transparent silly putty at Play at Home Mom to play with on light boxes and I knew that we had to try it! I had been looking for liquid starch for a very long time and having so much trouble finding it. Today I went to several stores and was just about to give up, when I tried one last store and they had it! The putty was an absolute success! It looked so cool and Dora loved playing with it. It was not too gooey for her at all. Yay! She spent most of the time making designs by putting beads into it. Meanwhile, Tertia just HAD to try to blow bubbles in it like Play at Home Mom’s son did.


For a craft activity, we tried our hand at embossing with a set from Allison’s Montessori. I had never done embossing before and am not sure I was doing it right. Dora decided that she preferred using the designs as stencils and using a puncher with them instead anyway.

KidsQuest 1

We went to one of our local children’s museums, which had lots of activities for Dora to explore her sense of touch with.

For literature, we read three good books. We read Pat the Bunny, which I somehow missed buying for her when she was younger. Despite it being aimed at somewhat younger children, she really enjoyed the book and I ended up reading it far too many times this week.

We also read Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On, with cut out holes for the eyes. Dora insisted on poking a finger through every single eye on every single page.

Finally, we read the last in our series of senses books, Touch (Five Senses). Interestingly, she has been going over to the science shelf and asking me to reread the other senses books and I just finally started paying attention to the last page of each book, which has a medical type drawing of the body part involved with a LOT of details. I pointed out the pictures and described the details and Dora was fascinated by it all. I guess it really must have made an impression on her, because suddenly her imaginary friend, Ana, has started having some very strange “health problems”. I had planned to not go into more of the human body with her after we finished the five senses, but her obvious curiosity about the subject, combined with some of the health issues that she has been dealing with lately, have made me feel that I owe it to her to cover more of the body’s systems.

Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

I’m linking this post to The Play Academy at NurtureStore and…

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Labels: Montessori, Preschool, Science, Summer, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Did You Think That I Stopped Following You?


You may or may not have heard that Google Friend Connect will be retired at the end of this month for non-Blogger blogs. That means that if you have “followed/joined” a blog that is hosted on a non-Blogger platform, you will no longer automatically receive blog post updates from that blog. What I have been a bit unclear about, is how self-hosted Blogger blogs will be affected. I own my blog’s address, meaning that “blogspot” is not part of my web address, but I do use the blogger platform. Several other blogs follow the same practice. It guarantees that you own your blog name, makes it easier to switch over to other platforms if you become dissatisfied with Blogger, yet allows me the simplicity of using the Blogger platform.

I was in the process of switching over all non-Blogger blogs to RSS feeds, instead of “following” them, when I realized that “following” blogs is just a pain at times. It makes it really hard to “un-follow” blogs in general, but especially blogs that go private or are deactivated. Plus, there were times that I had accidentally “followed” a blog and subscribed to it’s feed, so would end up seeing the same post twice in my reader. So, I just decided that I am only going to use RSS feeds for now on. So if you area blogger and I suddenly “un-followed” you, I didn’t really stop following you, I’m just reading yours posts via RSS feeds now instead of GFC.

Labels: This and That
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Growing a Terrarium

Terrarium 6
This is a project that Dora and I actually started in the fall and for some reason I never blogged about it. This is actually one of those projects that I can honestly say went really well. Our terrarium is still thriving, in fact I need to figure out how to trim the plants as they have all reached the top of our jar, and that is with quite a bit of settling of the dirt and what not.
I had never grown a terrarium, but have been interested in them for some time. I also would like to own some poison dart frogs (which actually aren’t dangerous, as long as you don’t feed them spiders, ants, and other venomous bugs), but for now had to settle for plastic ones. After reading about growing terrariums at many sites, I settled on using the instructions from The Garden Helper. Were I to do it all over again, the one thing I would do differently is to make my layers smaller.
If you would like to grow a terrarium, it is very easy. First select your vessel. I chose one that had a lid, because I didn’t want to murder forget to water the plants. With a lidded vessel, the moisture says in the container and waters the plants for you. I’m sure I’ll need to water them some eventually, as it is not 100% airtight, but they have not been watered for three months now. Next, you need to select your plants. Our nursery had a special section for terrarium plants. Terrariums are meant to be grown in indirect sunlight, else the glass will focus the sun’s ray and fry your plants, so keep that in mind when selecting your plants.
Terrarium 2
Next you add a layer of gravel, sand, or small rocks for drainage.
Terrarium 3
Then you add a layer of activated charcoal, which can bought at an aquarium/pet supply store if they do not have it at your nursery. According to Garden Helper, this layer will help clean the air of the fumes caused by the decomposition of organic matter.
Terrarium 4
For the third layer, you add some sphagnum moss, which prevents the soil from sinking down to the bottom.
Terrarium 5
For the final layer, add potting soil. Then plant your plants and add any decorations you want to use. I found that chopsticks work very well for helping to arrange things. And voila, you have a beautiful, practically no-maintenance addition to your household.
Read the post at The Garden Helper for more help with choosing plants and maintaining your terrarium.

Labels: Nature Study, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff