Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY Montessori Color Tablets

The thrifty teacher's version of Montessori color tablets. :)
These have been in the late stages of completion for well over a year now and am I ever glad they're finally done!

Paint samples are great and free - there are SO many things you can do with them! To make these color tablets, I simply cut the paint samples so they were all of equal size, then I laminated them, and cut out (That step was the hold up in completion.)

What I like about these is that they stay true to the Montessori style in that each one is uniform and that the child's fingers do not actually touch the color portion of the tablet. To accomplish that I left an extra quarter inch on either side of the tablet. Easy peasy!

~Thank you for your comments!~

Friday, March 23, 2012

Montessori Print Shop Giveaway WINNER!!

Congratulations to Vanessa Hoffman!

Vanessa, please contact me at countingcoconuts1(at)gmail(dot)com to go over the details. : )

Huge thanks to all who entered!! And as a special thanks, Jennifer of Montessori Print Shop would like to offer all of you a 15% discount on anything in the shop! Just enter the code CCPMG3232012 at checkout and be sure to click 'apply'. You can enjoy this discount until March 29th!

Birthday Calendar Cards

I kinda went a little crazy making calendar cards one night :D - they're just so fun and easy to put together, I can't help myself!

Anyway, here's the birthday themed set that will be on our calendar next month...
Click here to download

Keep in mind that I format these myself, so they're not perfect, but they'll certainly get the job done. : ) Also, as with all of my printables, these are for your personal use only - please do not sell or offer them in a giveaway. Thank you and enjoy!

~Thank you for your comments!~

Friday, March 16, 2012

Montessori Print Shop Review & Giveaway!

~This giveaway has closed~

James has long been a fan of maps - he enjoys searching for states and countries, and gets a kLinkick out of all the different names. Most recently he's really gotten into flags. I thought about ordering some mini flags as I did a while back when I created our Continent Bags, but at nearly $2 a pop, they are just spendy for me to order an entire set for the world. Then, just a day later, I read this post on Chasing Cheerios and found out about Montessori Print Shop's pin flags. (cue the Hallelujah chorus) They were *just* the thing we needed!!

We've had a ball learning with our new maps and pin flags - seriously, James just can't get enough of them. In addition to his current interest in maps and flags, He LOVES sets and collections of things - these are right up his alley!

These maps are great because they're bright, easy to read, and just the right size for our cork boards. Not all of the flags have a matching map, but we don't mind - we use what maps we can and an atlas for the rest of the flags!

Two guesses on how James feels about these pin flags! :D

The flags were super easy (albeit a little time consuming) to put together, and I appreciate how clear and consistent the photos are - I'm kind of picky like that. :) I printed our flags onto card stock and did not laminate them - they are getting a lot of use and holding up just fine!

Think these would be of use in your classroom? Want to have a set of your own? Well...

Jennifer, the lovely owner of Montessori Print Shop, has once again donated a very generous gift to one of you:

Montessori Print Shop's ENTIRE pin flag and map set!!!
(valued at nearly $50!)

Included in the set:
:: Four maps (colored, labeled, and blank) and two sets of labels (color coded and non-color coded) for each of the following: North America, South American, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
:: Four maps and a set of labels for both the United States and Canada.
:: Two maps (labeled and blank) each for US capital cities and states.
:: Two maps (labeled and blank) each for Canada's capital cities and provinces.

:: A set of pin map flags for all of the above maps! The winner can choose between a color coded set or a non-color coded set.

And here's a little freebie for ALL of you to enjoy right now:
world continent maps and pin flags!

Of course you can head directly to the store and buy the entire set right now, or you can enter to win the set for FREE!

Here's what you do:

Mandatory entry:
1. Leave a comment on this post.

Extra entries:
2. Like Counting Coconuts on Facebook and leave me a separate comment on this post letting me know you have/already do.
3. Like Montessori Print Shop on Facebook and leave me a separate comment on this post letting me know you have/already do.
4. Follow Counting Coconuts and leave me a separate comment on this post letting me know you have/already do.
5. After today come back and leave me one comment per day on this post until the end of the giveaway.

*NOTE re: separate comments - each entry will be counted as a chance to win. If you put all of your entry requirements into just ONE comment, you'll only have ONE chance to win.

This giveaway will end on Thursday, March 22nd at 9pm Atlantic Time, and is open to anyone, anywhere!

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Sensory Tub II - Birthday!

James' birthday is next month (he's going to be FIVE. Omgoodness.) and I plan on making a HUGE deal out of celebrating it, starting with this tub...

Here's what's inside:
:: Red translucent and misc. colored pony beads
:: LOTS of small water balloons
:: One blown-up balloon
:: Wrapping ribbon
:: A strip of crepe paper
:: Lots of candles
:: A bunch of 5's - some of these are beads, others are scrapbooking embellishments from my old stash
:: a few squares of paper and a paper punch - thought James might have fun making his own confetti!
:: Party hat
:: Noise maker
:: "Happy Birthday" confetti
:: Colorful cupcake liners
:: Balloon shaped candles that spell out "Happy Birthday"

Click the button below to see a full list of my sensory tubs or click here to view my slideshow on the Counting Coconuts Facebook page.

~Thank you for your comments!~

Monday, March 12, 2012

Story Starters

Once a week, James writes & draws in his story journal. Sometimes he makes up a story, other times, when he's feeling not so motivated, he needs a little help coming up with ideas. That's when I decided to create a tray of "story starters".

I went through some second hand National Geographic magazines and clipped some interesting photos. James selects a photo from the tray and stares at it for a minute or two, allowing the creative juices to get flowing. :)

I always enjoy seeing what he comes up with!

~Thank you for your comments!~

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yarn Along - Lots of Baby Knits

Rather than create a post for each of these knits, I thought I'd just toss 'em all into one! Most of these are cozy things I've made since Juliet was born in August, and some are pics of her wearing knits I made when I was preggo with her. :)

This is another Milo vest (LOVE Milos) for my friend, Terri. The colorway, which I think is sooo dreamy, is "Betty Draper Blues" by Madeleine Tosh Vintage. Would knit with Madeleine Tosh exclusively if I had easy access to it (and could afford it!!).

These legwarmers were an easy knit. They came together quickly, but I realized I'm not a fan of repeat projects, meaning I kind of groaned when after finishing the first legwarmer I had to cast on for the second and, seemingly, start all over again. :/ They look pretty cute on Juliet's wonderfully chubby thighs!

Juliet modeling the Small Things Bonnet I made for her. She wore - nay, she ROCKED it - during our month long stay in Minnesota in December. I received lots of comments on it (it's the pixie aspect that people can't resist!), and when I lost it in the Mall of America, I was on the verge of tears. Thankfully, after a couple of frantic phone calls, I found it!

Another Small Things Bonnet, this one knit in the "Mulled Wine" colorway by Madeleine Tosh. This is the next size up from the one in the above photo. I wasn't sure what size she'd fit into by the time December rolled around. As it turned out, this one was far too big and will likely fit her next winter.

This cute little vest (missing the buttons - was searching for just the right ones at the time of the photo), was made for my friend, Dana. I really liked this pattern, it's a shame it comes in only one (tiny!) size.

I knit this basic scarf for James using some cheapy acrylic yarn. Never again will I use acrylic yarn for this kind of project! Despite my many attempts and varied ways of blocking it, the sides stubbornly curled and curled until the scarf was basically one long, ugly tube. Grrr. But, I knit it for our Minnesota trip and it served its purpose.

Juliet in the Boheme I made for her. This was knit in the 6 month size and so I've been saving it for a while. She's 5 months old in the above photo and the other day I pulled it out just to see if it fit yet (I've been anxious about having her wear it - it's my favorite knit!). Guess what... it's nearly too small! Boo! The length is great, but it's a bit tight around the chest and in the armholes. Ah well, guess I'd better just cast on another one. : )

These longies weren't my favorite knit. I struggled with the gusset portion and in the end I made up my own design to get them to look right. Such a pain.

~Juliet at 2.5 months~
They were cute when finished though and I thought they'd work well for the chilly Bermuda winter ahead... that is, until I accidentally felted them in the washer. Oops! They are now half the size they were and I think she ended up only wearing them three times. :(

It's hard to tell, but this is the teeniest little sweater! It's a preemie cardigan knit for my friend, Clarie. Her little love is just under 5lbs. and has nearly outgrown it!

Juliet (4.5 months old) loving her new high chair and feeling warm and cozy in the baby kimono I knit for her. This sweater has been my go-to for warmth. It's bulky enough to fit over any outfit, and has fit well over the past couple of months. The sleeves are now a bit short.

This hat is one of two that I knit for the Craft Hope Project #16: The Littlest Warriors. I used bulky yarn and a fun lace pattern all of which resulted in a very quick knit!

~Juliet at 6 months, fascinated by the ocean~
Here's another Country Kiddie, but for this one I added several purl rows throughout the knit, just to make it a bit more interesting. I LOVED the yarn I used for this project - Claudia Handpainted in the Celedon Dreams colorway. SO soft and silky.

That's all for now! I have another project on needles, but I'm in a bit of a knitting funk and just not interested in doing it right now. Ah well, that's how it goes around here. My current obsession is freezer paper projects!

Oh, and I'm not very good at making detailed notes in Ravelry, but I do have each of these knits listed and linked on my projects page, so take a look if any of the patterns interest you. My handle is "rockislander".

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along. (Sorry, Ginny, I haven't read a book since August!)

~Thank you for your comments!~

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Sensory Tub I - Bees

This is the first of two sensory tubs I made for James to use over the next couple of months (I'll share the other one later this month). As always, I had fun making them, but this was especially enjoyable because it's been over 6 months since I last made one! "Designing" and putting together these tubs is such a creative thrill for me - I know that sounds dorky, but it's true!

Anyway, what with spring just around the corner, I thought it befitting to make a tub about bees. :) I adore bees (from a slight distance, of course)!

Here's what's inside:
:: Black beans
:: Yellow porcupine balls
:: Jumbo sorting beads
:: Little bees - these are SO cute and have a nice, supple feel to them. Btw, if you check out the link, please note that I did NOT spend $64 on a ton of these - they were sold separately for 25 cents here at our local toy store.
:: Wind up bee
:: Burt's Bees lip balm - LOVE this stuff and I often find my balm in James' room (sneaky bugger!). Now he can have his own!
:: Fake sunflowers
:: Little porcelain honey pot with honey stick - perfect for scooping and collecting, this thing is so cute and was a surprise find at our local chef shop. It was cheap to begin with, but cost me nothing thanks to a gift certificate I had! Score!
:: Chunk of real beeswax - leftover from our adventure in wax molds.
:: Alphabet beads

I also made him a set of antennae to wear (two black pipe cleaners wrapped around my black headband). :)

I searched the web and came across some bee facts and parts of a bee and added them to the tub. Not so sensory, I know, but since we're not really doing full on themes anymore, I figured I'd toss them in. :) We'll also have a look through these two websites (here and here) to learn more about bees.

And, as an unplanned, but timely tie-in to this tub, we'll soon be visiting our friend's homestead where they keep bees and make their own honey!

Click the button below to see a full list of my sensory tubs or click here to view my slideshow on the Counting Coconuts Facebook page.

~Thank you for your comments!~

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Montessori Services/For Small Hands Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to Nicole of Frontier Dreams!

Nicole, you've won a $50 gift certificate to be used at either Montessori Services of For Small Hands! Please contact me at with your mailing address.

HUGE thanks to all who entered this giveaway! You know, I have kind of a love-hate relationship when it comes to giveaways - I LOVE being able to provide a vehicle for sharing good things, but I hate having to pick just one winner. Especially when so many of you leave such kind and hopeful comments! Situations like this are tough for those with bleeding hearts like mine!

Well, be sure to check back soon because I have another great giveaway coming up in a week or so!


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