After walking through the main garden area, we came to the Gaffield Children's Garden. Wow! I was not expecting the children's garden to be so amazing! There are plants galore, including a vegetable garden area where you are free to taste test the veggies, a "troll and fairy knoll" where you can use objects found in nature to build fairy houses, streams, ponds, bridges, animal statues, a log cabin, trails to walk on, tunnels made of grape and pumpkin vines, and much more!
Here are some pictures of our trip:
|Froggy Boots using a leaf stamp made out of a potato cut by a cookie cutter.|
|Froggy Boots loves to smell flowers! Here she found a very pretty flower buried under some other plants. She climbed up on the rock wall to get a closer "smell."|
|Froggy Boots playing bells.|
|Froggy Boots sitting on top of one of the several stone statues -- a turtle!|
|This was a face made of stone, what appeared to be glass balls for eyes, and a mouth made out of rocks.|
|Froggy Boots walking out of the pumpkin vine tunnel. This was by far her favorite part of the whole trip!|
|Froggy Boots walking out of the grape vine tunnel. Again, this topped the list along with the pumpkin vine tunnel!|
Froggy Boots always helps me water the plants and has also shown a lot of interest in the bird feeder. Since she had been practicing her scooping and pouring skills with beans inside, I decided to give her an opportunity to fill the bird feeder for me. I set up a tray with a bowl of bird seed, a measuring cup for scooping, and the bird feeder. She filled the whole bird feeder all by herself! I was totally amazed!
|Froggy Boots working on filling the bird feeder!|
|I didn't have to help her at all!|
|Froggy Boots using the measuring cup to scoop from the large bowl to the smaller bowls.|
|Froggy Boots using the spoon to scoop from the large bowl to the smaller bowls.|
|Froggy Boots also practiced emptying the smaller bowls into the larger bowls. She moved carefully and slowly while doing this. She is very interested in "being careful" these days!|
I learned a lesson of my own today about breaking a child's concentration. Maria Montessori was very correct when she said that you should try to avoid breaking a child's concentration when she is working. When it was time for me to go in and make dinner, I asked Froggy Boots if she would like to move the scooping inside and use her beans instead, she said "yes." But, after I got the activity set back up for her, she used it for about a minute and then was no longer interested. Her concentration had been broken... oh well, sometimes you can't avoid these situations!
Along with the "Montessori Makeover" I have been working on in my preschool classroom, I have also been trying to bring the Montessori prepared environment into my home for Froggy Boots. So far I have only done a few things. The major one was to switch Froggy Boots from sippy cups to child-sized drinking glasses. This was a fairly seamless transition.
Next on my list is to re-do her closet so that she is able to choose her own clothes and get them out of her closet by herself. I was inspired to do this when I red a blog called The New Mommy Files. I am planning to use the same method she has by installing a tension mounted shower curtain rod. This way I can move it up as she grows.
I am also planning to install hand towel hooks at Froggy Boots level in both of our bathrooms and a bath towel hook in the upstairs bathroom so that she can take down and hang up her own bath towel. At this point I am planning to use those removable sticky-back hooks for this project. That way there is no hole drilling necessary and they can be easily removed when Froggy Boots no longer needs them.