The most Beautiful Books at 22 Months and Why We Limit Fantasy Books for our Toddler

1. Mama, is it Summer Yet?  By: Nikki McClure

2. Animalium  By: Katie Scott and Jenny Brook

3. Little Night Cat  By: Sonja Danowski

4. I am a Bunny  By: Ole Risom and Richard Scary

5. Whistle for Willie  By: Ezra Jack Keats

6. Plant a Little Seed  By: Bonnie Christiensen

7. Louie  By: Ezra Jack Keats

8. Home  By: Carson Ellis

These are the books that M and I are really loving right now. Most of them are not fantasy based as M is not old enough to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but who can resist I am a Bunny. 

Since the book I am a Bunny features a talking bunny as the main character, I classify it as fantasy. I loved fairy tales and other fantasy books as a child and I am in no way passing judgement upon anyone who loves to read fantasy books to their children.  I am simply mentioning the fact that we have decided to keep fantasy to a minimum and focus mostly on literature that depicts true information about the world in which we live.

If I come across a fantasy book that is beautifully illustrated, I am very likely to go ahead and rent it from the library.

I was recently reading M the book Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale ( I love this book so muchand he asked me what the children living in the roots were (he pointed at one of the children and said, “what’s that?”).  I found myself feeling conflicted when I said, “This is a child who lives in the roots of the trees until it is time for spring.” I felt weird about it because M completely believed me.  I realized in that moment why Maria Montessori believed in providing young children with the truth about our world rather than providing them with fantasy.

Children between the ages of 0-6 are sponges for information and are constantly taking on new understandings about their surroundings. It feels a little funny to fill children’s minds with false information about their world. I want M to fill his mind with the truth about nature, human feelings and needs and how things like cars and trucks work. When he is older, around age 5, he will be ready to enjoy fantasy books because he will understand that they are not real.  So, for now, I look for non-fiction books or fiction books that, for the most part, represent reality.

What are your favorite books?

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Gardening at 22 Months

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I am having so much fun with M in this early spring weather. He can now use a spray bottle on his own, which is for some reason a huge milestone in my mind. Here he is spraying the lovely terrarium that a co-worker gave us for a Christmas gift. Thanks Christy Cooper!

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We also started lettuce seeds in our kitchen. The seeds took about 4 days to sprout, so M didn’t have to wait very long at all to see the fruits of his labor. We put the sprouts outside during the day and if it’s cold we keep them inside, near a window. We will move them to larger pots soon so that they have room to grow.

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We started sunflower seeds in wet paper towels and a mason jar. This is an activity from a really sweet book called Sow and Grow that my co-worker gifted to me several years ago. Thanks Anna Wegerson! The sunflower seeds also took only about 4 days to sprout.

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Here is a peek at the inside of the book. It is definitely worth the $15.00.

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Finally, we cut the daffodil and crocus flowers blooming in our back yard. The crocuses do not seem to like being in a vase at all, but the daffodils are just fine.

Happy gardening! Please share you gardening ideas!

In the Kitchen at 22 Months

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Here is another post about M in the kitchen as it is truly his favorite place in the house. Here he is helping me roll out cookie dough. His favorite part of the cookie experience was certainly the rolling pin. This brought on some serious concentration from a very active and quick-to-move-on little boy. M helped with every step, but this step allowed for more independence than others. As you can see M is using the beloved learning tower. A friend recently asked me if this purchase was worth it and while M does at times stand on a chair for kitchen activities, I feel much calmer when he is using the learning tower since he cannot fall over as easily. So, yes, the learning tower is worth it as long as there is time for you and your child to hang out in the kitchen together. I got this learning tower on amazon for a pretty good deal considering some of them cost $300.00. I am happy with it overall.

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Here he is again in the learning tower, but this time doing dishes. This activity has been great for both of us. M loves it and I clean the kitchen and do laundry while he is occupied. Score! I place a bath towel underneath the learning tower to catch all of the inevitable spills that occur during this activity. The time I gain for getting things done makes a quick wipe of the floor totally worth it. M is wearing a very inexpensive apron from Lowe’s Hardware. There are lots of lovely toddler apron tutorials on the web, but for $3, this one does the job very well.

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