At breakfast time Aa. prepared her own fruit. I have been meaning to purchase her a special "knife" which has a handle on the top and a wavy blade on the bottom. If anyone has read the book "Montessori From The Start" by Paula Plk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen then you may have seen the photos of the most adorable little 18mo. old guy cutting apples with something similar. Turned out that Aa.-girl's Mama (my mother-in-law) had this handy device. Very similar except that the handle is at the back. It worked so well that I now need to see if I can borrow it for a very long time!
Well, it was the last day of school yesterday so we wanted to make Aa.'s wonderful Montessori "Teachers" ( I put teachers in question marks because as those well educated about Montessori philosophy know, the adults that guide children in a Montessori fashion do not actually teach, the child teaches himself!) All the previous day I was trying to figure out what we could make that would be both meaningful, useful and decorative. Late in the afternoon an image of a stepping stone popped into my head. We quickly headed out to the dollar store so that Aa. could pick out some decorations for it and to the hardware store to lug a 50lb bag of quick dry cement home and set to work.Here's a pic of the main items we used: a plastic pot tray as a mold, the screen from a dollar store splatter screen, quick dry cement, old measuring cups (one for water, one for cement), wooden spoon, ice cream pail to mix cement and water in, water source.
Fearing the caustic nature of cement, I did the measuring and pouring of cement and water, Aa. did a small amount of mixing.
I spooned half of the mix into the mold, placed the splatter screen on top and then Aa. spooned the rest of the cement on top to fill the mold. The splatter screen acts to reinforce the stone.
Now for the really fun stuff: Decorating!
The only problem we had was that I had purchased quick dry cement and while we were decorating it became increasingly hard to push the decorative items into the top of the stepping stone because it was hardening so fast! I'm wondering if some of the gems and stones will stay put for very long?! Aa. had so much fun and the look on her face when she gave her gift to Miss Kathy and Mr. Aaron was a heart melter.