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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Handmade Christmas Presents: Bunny's Gift

Since this was a picture we took just a few weeks before Christmas:
...the fact that we had already gotten Bunny a toy fridge to open on Christmas Day was a very good thing!

Well, I'm not sure that this first present can exactly count as handmade--at least in the sense of it being called handmade by me. This is a refrigerator we bought from an Amish guy who makes the most awesome toys and toy furniture.  We asked for it unfinished for two reasons: we wanted a cheaper price, and we wanted to personalize it.

Then, we painted it to match the Amish toy stove/sink we bought for Bunny for her birthday--stainless steel thanks to a can of metallic spray paint.

The inside, of course, we painted white.  That was my husband's job in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

My job during those same early hours was to do this:

...to paint the front of the refrigerator.  I knew I wanted to paint something meaningful on the front but it took me awhile to figure out what.  I painted the vowels because literacy and learning letters is very important in our family.  I painted the sheep "coloring page" with "The Lord is my Shepherd" written beneath it to match Bunny's bedroom theme of the Parable of the Lost sheep.  I painted a scripture on a piece of notebook paper that will hopefully be something that embeds itself in her mind, reminding her to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart."  And finally, because I'm a Spanish teacher, I couldn't help but add the little "Hola" magnet.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the entire effect. 

The refrigerator coupled with the knitted fruits I gave her a couple months back for her birthday, some plastic foods that one of her grandmothers gave her, and the Melissa and Doug Fridge food set that we gave her this Christmas (from my  Diapers.com referral money) makes Bunny quite a wonderful play Fridge.  And then, when we went up north to visit my parents, my mom gave her the Melissa and Doug cutting food set.

And my brilliant little Bunny, at only 15 1/2 months old, speaks marvelously.  I know you won't believe me but she already says parts of the alphabet and her numbers 1-10 (specifically nine... TEN, which she'll recite proudly to herself at the funniest moments!).  Honestly, there isn't much that she doesn't say at this point which is remarkably early according to her doctor. She uses verbs in the command sense when she wants something, "Eat" for instance, means she's hungry, and she is wonderful with nouns and identifying words.  Adjectives and descriptors haven't made their way into her vocabulary yet.    Anyway, the play fridge has been a great way for her to learn and practice new vocabulary.  She loves pulling out her bananas, "Nana" and she can say "pear" now as well. Fruits she doesn't know the name for she calls apples.  She learned "pepper" and "onion" thanks to the lovely food she has, and she already knew "milk" and "juice" but she proudly names them and the cheese for us as well as she pulls them out of her fridge.  So, all in all, this gift which is only partly handmade has been not only a wonderful center for imagination, but for learning as well.

Stay tuned for more handmade presents to come.  When at all possible, I will link to the web addresses from which I gleaned the ideas, or if there is no pattern or address I'll find similar patterns for you to use yourself or give instructions.  


saskia said...

I had some kids that were amazing talkers at a year old, so I believe you. I also have a son who didn't talk well until 3 1/2 or older, and I have a 20 month old who doesn't say much! funny how they are all different huh? I love the fridge- that is so cool.

María Xi said...

¡Feliz Navidad, Becca!
Tu conejita está muy grande y bella.
Me encanta la idea de esos juguetes más naturales. Yo odio el plástico, pero para Navida fue inevitable que mi niña recibiera de ese tipo de jueguetes. Regalos son regalos.
Yo sólo le compro de madera y lana y le hago muñecas waldorf de algodón y vellón.

Becca, pasando a otro tema te quería preguntar algunas cosas sobre marcas de pañales de tela, pues hice una tienda por internet para vender productos de bebés y tú conoces mucho sobre el tema. ¿Tienes algún correo interno para hacerte consultas?

Cariños desde Chile.