Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scotty's Hobbies

Tommy goes to a Montessori school, and they have a 'wish list'.  I went over to an online Montessori store to buy one of the items off their wish list, where I found their sister-site, For Small Hands.  The prices were actually very reasonable, and so I picked up a few things for the boys to play with.  I love many things about Montessori learning, not the least of which is that so much of the early education is about household play, and the older kids do a lot of work with textiles. 

But it's not just "pretend household" stuff, it's stuff you can really use!  A clothesline with tiny, working clothes pins.  *sigh*  Or, safety knives for cutting vegetables.  :)  Every morning, Scotty comes out to the kitchen and says, "What are you making today, Mommy?"  When I tell him what I'm cooking, he says, "I'm going to make something yummy too!" and then he runs back to his room (where his kitchen is) and whips up a picnic basket full of tasty...fake food....and then we all have to say, "Mmmmm!  Yummy!" and pretend to eat sushi.  Good times.

At the Montessori store, though, they had a baking set that had miniature functioning pans!  And a tiny wooden rolling pin!  And a chef's hat!  Awww, yeaaahhhhh! 

The set even came with scaled down recipes, that made the perfect amount of batter to use the tiny bundt-cake pan or the muffin tins!

The first thing he made was a couple dozen carrot muffins.  He 'helps' all the time in the kitchen, but there was a special kind of pride involved here; he really understood that this was all him, start to finish!

 I'm sorry, but...Pardon me while I swoon.  Those folded hands in his lap?  His tiny feet?   Pressed up against the window, watching his muffins bake?  Where are my salts?

Those muffins were delicious!  Tiny, tiny, bite-sized goodness, and he couldn't have been cuter.

That is, he couldn't be cuter unless you caught up with him while he was enjoying his second favorite hobby...  The doll house.  My boy is so domestic!

 He and I have spent countless hours playing with our house!  We like to set up the whole house, and we're both obsessed with the 'details'...where should this potted plant go?  Which rooms should have the clocks?  Let's make a new blanket for the crib!  Oh, boy!!  Once we have the house just so, we like to think about what everybody is doing.  

Scotty usually puts both babies and both kids in the big play room.  That's a happening spot, to be sure!  He puts Mommy in the kitchen and Daddy is either in bed or on the couch.  Hmmmm.....

After an hour of playing, he usually stands next to me and starts telling me where to put things, and what should be happening.  "No, put that baby in the crib.  Take that one out!  Put the other one in.  Mommy is at the stove, not the refrigerator.  Move the shower over here.  Why don't you put two toilets in the bathroom?  That table is too small.  Put her at the desk."

Once we get to this phase of the festivities, I know it's time to put our toys down for a while.  Last thing I need is a four year old pecking at my neck.


  1. He's so cute! Does he do windows? ;)

  2. ha! I wish! He was doing dishes tonight though, totally spontaneously....that can't be wrong, am I right? :)

  3. love. my next career is to be a montessori teacher. i have already scooped out a school in paris. just have to wait a bit for my 2 guys to be a little older so i can go and take the courses. thanks for the links too. montessori schools are not so common here in belgium. there is one about 45 minutes away from our house. i think i will keep the boys in the creche here in our village (they only go 3 mornings a week for 4 hours each - 10 minute walk away), when they are 2 and a half they have the option to go "full time" (pre school basicly)(free, and it is REALLY nice).

  4. @ Michelle ~ lovely! So funny to think about how that's only like, what, a year or so away? Where does the time go, I ask you. I love the Montessori philosophy, and ALL the great teachers I know (and I know many!) really know how to work that child-centered classroom, whether or not they've been formally Montessori certificated. Montessori pre-schools are common here (and NOT free, by the way) and there are lots of (NOT free) grade schools too. We feel so lucky that Tommy is in a public school (charter) that is the first of it's kind in the state (possibly even the country? I'm not sure) that is a totally free Montessori education for 1st to 8th grade. He loves it, and so do we. I think you would be a great teacher, especially in a Montessori environment. It's funny, but I can see it in the pictures you take of the boys! Your photography is all about capturing who they are, and it's just like that in classroom...just noticing who they are and helping them develop that. Love. :)

  5. Please share where you got this doll house from! I've just started doll house hunting on the internet tonight and found you! I'm wanting to get something similar... paint it like the house in the story Up and give it to my son for his birthday. As for your little boy playing with a doll house goes... What does your husband think of it? I showed my husband your blog so that he can see it is a gender neutral thing... He's on the fence about it! Regardless, I'm still doing it. ;) TIA for your input.

    1. Hello Anonymous, I made this dollhouse from a kit back in 2000. It was before either of my sons were born, and I actually just did it for fun for myself. Kits are cheaper than buying a house, but make sure you get a really sturdy kit. (and it was not cheap, as I recall, but far cheaper than the pre-mades....think 140 instead of 500 I'm recalling?) Some of the victorian styles are very flimsy, I'm afraid. The wood in my dollhouse is one-third inch thick. The dimensions of this dollhouse are 26 inches tall, 27 inches wide, and 22 inches deep. I even had to attach each shingle individually! But it was so fun to make :)

      As for the gender issues, it seems to me with both of my boys that up until around the age 5 or 6, a lot of their play was gender neutral. They loved cars and blocks and action figures, it's true, but they also loved their toy kitchen, dress up games, and the dollhouse.

      They continued playing with the kitchen much longer than the dollhouse (Thing Two, at 7 years old, still works in his kitchen, but has very little interest in the dollhouse as of this past year), but after several years of dollhouse play, they STILL loved it, but they began populating it with hot wheels, star wars figures, and plastic dinosaurs lol.

      I recently started reconfiguring the dollhouse as a gnome ranch haha and the boys are fascinated anew. I made little gnome dolls and put a camp fire in the middle of the living room and made tables and chairs from branches we found. It's all fun again!

      I predict (and my most annoying trait is that I'm always right :) that your son will LOVE his dollhouse for many years, in many ways. AND, I can tell you this for free: my kids are ALL BOY and they smell like hamsters and they play war games (oh come on, this peace loving mama is trying to embrace their interests) and love going on knight's adventures complete with swords and dragons, and playing with a dollhouse seemingly did nothing to confuse them. I'm sure there are people who can cite actual research about the benefits, and non issues, but I'll stick with what I know (my own boys) and wish you good times and lots of love.

      xoxo mia