Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Activities

Lots of fun things to keep us busy for the next couple of weeks... (as always, click on pictures for a close-up)

Practical Life:
Pouring egg shaped gems. Notice the cute little Peter Rabbit cups? They're so tiny! I bought one years ago (I love Peter Rabbit) and imagine my delight when I saw a second one - a perfect match - at the thrift store a few months ago!

Tonging puffs. Well, these aren't really puffs now that I think about it. They're like spiky little balls. Anyway, the goofy tongs are the kind you use while you're decorating eggs. James will get a kick out of them.

Spooning spring colored "pebbles". When living on an island with limited supplies, you must think outside the box. I'm always keeping my eyes open for possibilities in unlikely places. These pebbles are actually meant to be used for decorative purposes. For filling a vase or something like that. I found them in the home decor section of Brown & Co.

Open and close. These are a constant on our shelves. James' favorite for sure. I just make sure to switch up the items every couple of weeks. There's a small egg eraser inside each thing.

Sensorial:Sound eggs. I made these over a year ago and they are just now making an appearance! I'm not crazy about the visible tape (I don't do glue guns), but ah well. I'll be getting these in May when we visit the US.

Size discrimination with wooden eggs. I bought these wooden eggs from this Etsy store a while back. They were so pretty in their natural state, but I was tempted by this post on The Wonder Years, so I dyed them. I am SO happy with how they turned out! They came in 4 sizes - perfect for a sorting activity.

Click here to see our Easter sensory tub and playdough.

Math:Counting eggs. A little felt, a needle and thread and a bit of fabric paint and presto - you have counting eggs. James caught me making these yesterday and was SO excited about them! Wait 'til he sees the numbers on them - he'll love it.

Counting bunnies. I made something similar for St. Patrick's Day and James really enjoyed it, so here's an Easter variation. :)

Chick counting game. This is another brilliant idea from My Montessori Journey. I took an ordinary die and covered it with blank address labels, then I wrote a 1 or a 2 on each side. James will roll the die, and if it lands on, say, 2, then he'll put 2 chicks in the egg tray. He'll continue on this way until the tray is full. Fun!

Letters:Alphabet eggs. I love these! I got the idea from - where else - My Montessori Journey. I printed off the template from Kidsoup onto some of my scrapbooking paper, cut them out and laminated each egg. A bit tedious to make, but so worth it - they're so nice to look at! There's an egg for each letter and the idea is that James will put them in alphabetical order. And bonus - we can practice spelling his name, too!

B is for Bunny. I used this template and some flat marbles for this activity. Easy peasy.

Lock and key. This is a classic Montessori activity. I found the lock and key set at the dollar store, and the small chest at the thrift store (gotta love thrifty finds!). The set has a large, medium and small padlock with a key for each in the corresponding size. I color coded the keys with a piece of a pipe cleaner to make it a bit easier for James.

A couple of sorting activities...
Sorting egg shaped beads. These glass beads are so pretty, I think James will enjoy playing with them.

Sorting egg shapes. These were once a part of a garland that I found at the dollar store. It's hard to tell from the pic, but they're really sparkly. :D

I have lots of Easter art ideas, but I'm holding off on doing them until next week. Our 13 year old niece, Tia, arrives tomorrow and will be staying with us for a couple of weeks. We are all so excited for her visit. I think it'll be great for James to spend time with his cousin, particularly since we don't see family but once or twice a year. Anyway, I've learned she's really into crafts (yay!!), so I'm hoping she'll want to join us in some artsy activities.


sbswtp said...

great trays!!!! i love the felt eggs with the numbers :)

Mommy Moment said...

You have lovely work out for James!
I can imagine your excitement in having your niece come to stay with you! She is one lucky girl! You are going to have so much fun!
Have a wonderful time!


The Activity Mom said...

Those smaller lock and keys are perfect! I got a bigger one awhile back for B and it was too hard for him to turn the key. It was even hard for me. =)

Unknown said...

Wow, you are just amazing! How do you get it all done? I especially love the math eggs. So pretty, yet educationally functional.

Karen said...

Hi Mari-Ann!!! so beautiful trays and homemade works!!! Just lovely!... I sure James will be very busy!!! I like everything!!!

Enjoy your visit!!

Big Hugs,

Evelyn / 2 Pequenos Traviesos said...

Everything you do is a WORK OF ART!!! They're all so beautiful. I'm dying to dye wooden eggs...
Hugs from PR

Kara said...

So many great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

Love love love the felt eggs!! Would you consider writing a tutorial on them?
I agree with Evelyn, these activities look like beautiful works of art. How could James NOT want to touch them?! Great job, mommy!

Michelle said...

Wow! Those are AWESOME activities! I wish I had enough energy to make all of them... I just might try some of the simpler ones to put together. Thanks for the ideas! ♥ Michelle

Eva said...

wow those are amazing activities!! I've wanted to start trying montessori activities for some time but have yet to get into it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Those are great activities. I bet James will be excited to get attention from his older cousin. It's amazing how toddlers adore "big kids". Have a very happy family visit!

Homeschool @ sg said...

I lurrrrve your counting eggs activity! Did you really make them yourself? Its soooo pretty! I salute you, it must be very time consuming to make them. i'd have been excited seeing them too!

Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

I love the wooden eggs and the felt eggs. Too late for me this year, but on the top of my list for next! Thanks for the fantastic ideas :).

Anonymous said...

I love your spooning work, it's beautiful! Speaking of beach inspiration, I recently found some necklaces made out of small shells at the craft store, so I took the shells off the strings and put them into the spooning work. Could be an option for you, living on the beach! :)

Leptir (NataĊĦa) said...

GREAT activities. Thanks for sharing :-)

Anonymous said...

As always I love all of your activities!! I have been slacking and didn't do a single thing w/ Sammy last week! I will hopefully be able to get my stuff together for this week!

Sarah said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower. What great ideas you have here. I'm a preschool speech therapist, and your activities would work well for both my daughter and my work :)

Cara said...

I have so many comments about these activities that I don't even know where to begin. I WISH I had seen the wooden eggs sooner! The Littlest Apple is allergic to eggs, and dying wooden eggs would have been a great alternative for us. The felt counting eggs are so cute! I've been trying to incorporate some number activities around here, but so far The Littlest Apple just isn't interested. Hope you enjoy your visit from your niece. How could she NOT love all of your fantastic arts & crafts?! ;)

Christel Teyssier said...

All I can say is WOW!!! you do such great things for your son!!!! It's wonderful. I love all your creative ideas and you inspire me.
I'm French, currently living in France. I have 2 sons aged 3 1/2 yrs old and 2. The eldest one is mildly autistic and he loses his skills when he's in a group. So, school is difficult for him. Every time I come to your blog, I see new things I could do for him, to help him out. I would have loved for my children to have attended a Montessori school, however they are quite rare in this country! Is there one book you highly recommend for me to do more Montessori activities at home?

ONce again, thank you so much. I'll make sure to have a link back to your site once my blog is updated!


Counting Coconuts said...

Your kind words always mean so much to me - thanks, guys!

montessorimoments: you're right - shells are an excellent resource; we love them!

Jen: I'd be happy to write up a tutorial... now if I can just find the time to do it! :)

Cheok-Co-Late: Yep! I did make them - I'm a craftaholic!

Christel: I'm so glad you have found useful things on my blog! It's been found that Montessori is enormously beneficial to children with autism. Feel free to email me directly and we can talk more about this if you'd like. As for a book recommendation, I'd say the best one for a light and easy intro into Montessori would be "How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way" by Tim Seldin.

Sippy Cup Central said...

Your felt eggs are lovely, you make everything look so pretty. What great tray ideas.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful collection of activities--I love them!!! I was happy to see the one with the little yellow chicks, because I just bought a bunch of them at a craft store the other day and needed some good ideas for them! So far, I've used them in a sensory basket--for Gabriela to hunt and find. I also bought some foam egg shapes--I think I can adapt some of your ideas for those too. Thanks for sharing!

Theprincessandthetot said...

I absolutely LOVE the bottom two trays. Any chance you remember where you got them?

This entire post is full of fantastic ideas. I don't even have a favorite, as they are all wonderful! I so enjoy your blog.

Counting Coconuts said...

The Princess and the Tot: I believe one of them came from Alison's Montessori and the other from Montessori & Such (as a part of a kit). :)

EmilyM said...

Great Easter activities. James is very lucky!

Deb Chitwood said...

I always love your seasonal activities, Mari-Ann! And it's great the way you change activities like the open and close activity. That always makes such a difference in keeping activities fresh! I linked to your post at

Mhairi said...

I have just discovered your blog and I am loving it. Spending too much time looking and not enough time doing but I saw your sensory eggs and the comment about the tape. Somewhere on my blog list there is a person who decided she didn't like the plasticey look of the eggs and made fabric covers for them. Apparently it is a little hard to sew up the final stage but they are great and there is no choking hazard.

Bobbi said...

Hi Mari-ann!
You have a wonderful blog! I loved the idea you posted for making a felt story notebook and I want to make one for myself. Could you repost this idea? I think I came across it in Yahoo Groups.
Much Obliged!
Bobbi Parks

Counting Coconuts said...

Hi Bobbi,

It may just be my pregnancy brain making me forget, but for the life of me I have no clue what you're referring to! :( Could you give me more details? Anything I've ever posted has remained on my blog. If it's an idea I spoke about and it's not on my blog that it's likely the idea never came to fruition.



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