Thursday, January 4, 2018

Raising a Book Lover

I love children's books and through my career I've collected a large library.
When I retired last year I sorted through them all and above is what I have left.
Behind each door is a cubby full of books waiting to be shared.
In another book shelf I've stored my baby board books.
Those are the ones we are using right now.
Every month I bring a new bunch of books to my daughter's place,
I am their baby book library - Nana's library.
My daughter and son in-law introduced books right from birth.
They made it a part of their bed time routine in the beginning.
My husband (Opa) and I shared books with her any time we could.
Starting with just reading one page, if that was all she was interested in.
I liked using flap books because we were into 'peek-a-boo".
Those books kept her attention a little longer.
Sharing books gave us that wonderful experience to bond,
for us to get to know each other,
to build trust, introduce new words, concepts, emotions, 
and to have fun.
And her love of books grew to more than just bedtime.
There were usually a couple of books available in her toy basket
to be seen as an everyday item not something special to be pulled out 
at certain times.
She was allowed to play with them, become familiar with how they felt
and learn how to open and flip the pages.
As she grew older the amount of books available to her at one time increased.
Her mom created a book shelf that is at her level and is in their main living area.
She has become more specific in which books she wants to look at.
She picks through the books until she finds the one she wants, carries it to one of us, climbs up on our laps, and turn the pages.
She now has her favourite books and her favourite pages.
Today she turns one and she loves books.
She loves to share them with us 
or enjoy them herself.

I think it's time to bring out the felt board and expand on the stories.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 - What's next?

2017 was an exciting year of change for us, 
starting with retirement for my husband and I, 
then a cross country trip 
 but the most exciting part was welcoming our first grand child last January
and watching her grow,
and then twin grand children just before Christmas.

2018 will see me spending part of my week with my oldest
grand child while her parents are at work.
I hope to visit some of the StrongStart centres in the lower mainland with her 
and will be posting activities that we do at home.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cross Country Trip

It's final.  I'm retired! And with that my husband and I have headed off across the country in search of trains and other interesting sights.  You can follow along on our blog called Opananaland.

Opa is my husband and Nana is myself.  This blog started when my husband built a garden railway in our back yard.  When he was planning it we talked a lot about when we have grand children that it would have to be open for them to touch and play with.  We've learned from each other about our ideas of children playing with the 'trains' and have practice sessions with friends bringing their children to visit.

Watch for more to come - it's a big country!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sticky Sensory Bin

I started by putting wood pellets in the two tubs.
 Then I added a Pringles can that I had covered with brown paper 
then with contact paper - sticky side out.
 Finally I added acrylic leaves in the side with the Pringle can
 and acrylic acorns in the other tub with a big coffee can
that I had cut a hole in the top.
 It was a mistake putting the sticky can into the tub with all the wood pellets
because they stuck to it and left little room for the leaves.
 It worked better to put the sticky can on the tray between the two tubs
The children's fingers stuck to the can while they tried to stick leaves on.
It was a struggle keeping the can upright sometimes.
 She tried sticking an acorn to the can but it was too round.
The other tub wasn't played with as much.
The children were more curious about sticking leaves to a can
rather than dropping acorns in a can.
It was fun picking everything off to clear space.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Inspired by Hydrangeas

 I picked some hydrangeas from my garden and set them up
as an inspiration for painting.
 Blue, purple and white paint was offered on a small plate
with old fashioned shaving brushes
 The size and shape of the brush is perfect for little hands to grip.
 And they worked great for mixing the paint and dabbing or swiping on the paper.
 This is my attempt, I may make a large painting using this technique.
 Small amount of green paint was offered in a milk jug lid.
I couldn't find any tiny brushes so I cut coffee stir sticks shorter.
 Love all the different movement I can see in this painting;
dabbing, swiping, swishing, stopping and lifting.
This turned out to be a fun colour mixing activity.
She made the colour of the ocean.

Taking the activity one step further and getting his fingers involved.

The following photos show the concentration and enthusiasm of 
one child as she explores the materials.
One of my favourite parts of this job is watching and enjoying
the children.