How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?

If you have been following this blog, you must have noticed that we welcomed a cute bundle of Joy a month back.

In this post, I wanted to talk of how you could prepare your toddler to make the entire episode a happy one.

It is such an awesome news that the family will grow, but it is quiet overwhelming and challenging for your toddler.

Here are some tips that we used that kind of eased or transitioned our toddler well.

1. Let your toddler know the good news right from the beginning. My toddler knew he was going to a brother when I was 2 months pregnant.

2. Take your toddler along to the hospital visits and scan appointments. My boy was present during all scans and he got to watch the little baby on the scan monitors.

3. I let my little boy apply stretch marks cream on my tummy and had him gently stroke the tummy.

4. We spoke positively about the baby and told him when the baby is here he would have company to talk and play.

5. We took advantage of all newborn visits in the friends and family circle. While we were there we told him that is how our new baby would be.

6. We took him while we shopped for our newborn.

7. I told him his birth story of how he was born and how I instantly fell in love with him. I kept reminding him of how new baby would come in from my tummy as well.

8. We spoke about how we would get to stay in hospital for a while when the baby comes in.

9. We shopped few toys to keep him busy during hospital visits and we wrapped a car for him. We told him that baby got him this gift 😉

10. We told him that we would move to my parents place and prepared him that his grandma and grandpa will take care of him.

11. When he first met his brother we asked him to kiss the baby gently.

12. Once we came home with the baby, we got his help in reaching out for diapers, massage lotions and other things.

13. I asked his preferences of the two choices of dress we would dress for the baby. Sometimes the combinations were funny but it gave him a sense of belonging and contributing to the baby 🙂

While this was all done we made sure he got enough attention during the whole pregnancy and after the baby’s arrival.

Afterall that would be the only time your toddler will be your only child 😉

We made sure he does not feel left out and I and my husband tried to him undivided attention.
Honestly with a newborn it was tough but we did our part 🙂

P.S: Below are the things I wish I had done differently.

1. I could have weaned my toddler during my pregnancy. Tandem breastfeeding got difficult while my little one started cluster feeding at 4 weeks.

2. I wish I had let my toddler stay in the hospital on the first day of baby’s arrival. That was our first and only night away from me.

3. I wish I had read books about the baby’s arrival.

4. Finally, I wish we three had gone on a tour  or something which would have been memorable 🙂

And good luck to you on your new arrival. Also if you have ideas and inputs on this, please leave it on the comment and I will add those pointers on this post 🙂

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

8 Ideas for Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

Learning to read is not a race while there is so much emphasis on phonics these days.

The child has to be ready before they start reading on their own, if not it leads to frustration.

Pre-reading activities or reading readiness is like a warm-up before you start exercising.

I have a curated list of free printables which you can directly download from the websites.

Montessori explains that the sensitive period for language is from 0-6. Reading aloud books and associating objects to words are all started from birth, while these activities can be started anywhere from 3-6 years.

1.Reading Aloud before Bedtime:

My son loves to read and I read aloud to him before our nap time while we snuggle together. We started with picture books with few sentences each page and then moved on to books with more text. Now we read books like this at 3.5 years.

2.Sorting by Category:

Sorting is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted. This blog beautifully explains why sorting is essential in the part of growing. In the later part of the blog there are plentiful ideas to sort by category. If your child is young and you want to begin then concrete objects are the best to start with. Check this post for young children less than 3. I would like to try all of the sorting ideas in our future work. For now, we tried a few of it and I have attached the links of free printables below. Don’t forget to download and practice them.

3.What does not belong?

Once children learn to sort they start noticing how things are alike and what is different. You can read on how to do this activity here and download your set of cards from below.

4.Pattern Cards:

Sequencing is an important life skill by itself. Here Children learn to move from left to right like how we read on print and also

The printable can be downloaded from below.

5.Story Sequence:

This is an extension work of pattern cards, the story sequence helps to observe and recall events.

You can start with something as simple as “Jack and Jill” Rhyme (printable link below) and ask your child to arrange them in order.

The one we used is a bit complex which explains the story of a snowman. This printable comes with a control card i.e. Montessori way of the child to know if he has done the work successfully. The printable link is mentioned below.

6.Picture to Background Matching:

This activity is to help one prepare for figure ground perception. This helps in focusing on one piece of information from a busy background. In simple words: looking for a particular word/line on a book page.

“I Spy” games can be done to work on this. We did some simple picture puzzle downloaded from a website. Link is given below.

7.Using Magnifying Lens to Focus on an Object:

My son is now fascinated to use his magnifying lens and I took that to advantage by giving him some matching work with the help of the lens. While he was working on this, I understood he enjoys using the lens a lot. In the coming days we hope we do a lot more of magnifying lens activities. The printable can be downloaded from below.

8.Look alike cards:

This teaches the child to move from left to right and top to bottom. You can read on how to present this activity here. The printable link is mentioned below.

Join our Instagram, Facebook page and Facebook group to chat and get inspired as a community 🙂

Printable download links:

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Language-Materials_ep_60-1.html

https://www.montessoriinspiredprintables.com/products/montessori-pre-reading-what-does-not-belong-activity

http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/JackandJillSequentialOrder.htm

http://www.totschooling.net/2014/09/fall-leaf-shadow-matching.html

http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/science/science_center_activities.html

 

Reference links:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/matching_and_sorting_are_early_stages_of_math_development

https://mindmoves.co.za/articles/article/PreReadingAndSpellingSkills.pdf

http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2013/08/why-matching-sorting-and-categorising-is-good-for-their-brain-development.html

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2013/11/14/4-benefits-sorting-activities-young-children/

http://carrotsareorange.com/pre-reading-lessons/

http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/figure-ground-perception.html

What should I teach my one year old?

Do you feel that your little baby is growing up faster than you think?

Do you wish you had some more patience when it comes to your kid?

Do you think you are not doing much with your kid?

Do you want to spend quality time with your kid, but run out of ideas?

Did you say YES?

Then you are in the right place 🙂

Here are a few ideas which you can tweak to your own convenience.

These are tried and tested with my now two year old and I am sure that would work for you.

Nature Learning:

Learn through nature teach your one year old

Nature is the best teacher 🙂

Get Outdoors.Ok, this is a no brainer. Take your little one outside; I am sure you must have a park or a green place close by. Point out to the birds, trees, ants, bugs, anything you see. Listen to the birds. Talk about color green. Watch the squirrels collect their neem nuts and run back.

Treasure Baskets:

 

tres1

All the kitchen items i could grab in two minutes 🙂

introduce Music to one year old

For the love of music 🙂

Teach Colours one year old

That’s Color Red 🙂

Are you worried that your little one still mouths things? Then, this one is for you. Get this treasure basket ready. This one is a no prep one and easy one at that. We introduced colours using these cute little treasure baskets. Please read here to know more about that.Read more here.

Sensory Food:

sensory food teach one year old

Messy little fingers 🙂

Oh, I love this one. Whomever, thought of this first is an absolute genius. Use any food that you think your little one would like to explore. I can help you with a few ideas.

Yogurt mixed with food coloring

Messing with apple sauce

Picking out chunky watermelon cubes to suck and lick them.

Pulling out each noodle/pasta which enhances finger grasp.

Sensory Play:

Bean Bags

DIY Sensory Bean Bags.. Could have looked better 😉

Put in some colored rice into empty transparent water bottles.

Throw in some pom poms into water. Add some glitter or small miniatures to give that shiny look.

Make these sensory bean bags and have them feel it or practice tossing them into a basket.

Make this sensory board with the unused stuff lying around at home.

You can also use some edible play dough which you must have done before for her little hands to mess with

Family cards:

fam1-Optimized

Are you staying away from your family and worried that your lil one would forget your close ones? Then try this out.

You can also click pictures of different rooms in your house and read them aloud to your kids while they hold the picture. And that’s how we start Geography.

Invest in some simple Puzzles:

Not sure, which ones to buy? Then check this out.

Simple Colour Match

Simple Shape Puzzle

Teach them independence:

Teach your little one to use their cup. Not able to find small tiny cups, then use shot glasses. Yes, put them to use 🙂

Teach them to eat on their own. Follow baby led weaning that way you also polish the hand mouth coordination skill.

Teach them to use their fork and spoon.

Ask for their help to clean up after their toy play, to put their dirty clothes inside the laundry bag, to put their shoes back in the shelf, train to use the garbage bin/dust bin

Make simple activities:

Potato painting

Other things you can teach:

Teach animal sounds, train sounds, rain sounds and thunder sounds.

Teach them their body parts. We started with belly button 😉

Teach them to share.

Self Groom:

Teach them to blow their nose.

Teach them to wash their hands and wipe them.

I hope this helped. Is there something else you have done already, that I have missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Please subscribe to this blog. The next blog post would be on introduction to exciting science experiments that could be done along with your toddler. Yes, your toddler could do it too 🙂

5 Basic Montessori Philosophies You Should Know Before You Start Montessori at Home

Hello awesome moms!! Want to start Montessori at home? But,don’t have the time to read books? Do have the time, but the huge amount of information available overwhelms you? Not sure where and how to start? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I will run through the basics of Montessori philosophy on a series.

  1. Follow your child:In addition to the age required activities which you might get to read from my blog and other blogs or from the albums you buy, it is recommended to follow your child’s interest
  2. Sensitive Period:Children pass through sensitive periods during which certain skills can be learnt effortlessly at that point of time. And these periods are temporary periods. Once the skill is mastered the sensitive period vanishes. And if you don’t stimulate this sensitive period, the easy learning opportunity is gone for your child. Read more about it here on how to identify your child’s sensitive period.
  3. Control of Error: Every Montessori activity has something called Control of Error, which means while doing an activity your child self corrects and need not depend on you to do it for them. This self correction comes in handy to develop your child’s decision making skills. Eg: When they have sound cylinders/smell bottles they have matching dots or numbers at their bottom. Your child looks for these marks to know if they have matched right.
  4. Prepared Environment: Children love order and this prepared environment contributes majorly to it. This well ordered space provides lots of space to move and choose his/her own work. Every material has a place and your child knows where to look for it.
  5. Concrete to Abstract: Montessori once said “what the hand does, the mind remembers”. So the child should learn using concrete objects and then move to abstract ones i.e. paper pencil. E.g.: Introduction to numbers is done using counters/beads.

In the next post I would talk about how to make small changes in your home sweet home to make it easy for your child in this adult sized world  🙂

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Montessori Inspired Threading Beads and Pasta Toddler Activity

Montessori Inspired Threading Beads and Pasta Toddler Activity

I got these wooden threading beads from a mom who sold her Montessori materials. I just love the simplicity of this material. Yet, the benefits are more than we think. Plus it can be made complicated as the child grows. Don’t you think that’s awesome?

Montessori Pasta Lacing Beads Toddler activities 4

Wooden beads to thread. Paint is a bit chipped off 🙂

What do you need?

Tray, beads, sturdy thread or shoe string or a file thread, penne pasta.

Montessori Pasta Lacing Beads Toddler activities

Big fat beads,thus need not worry about choking hazard 🙂

Why do this activity?

For fine motor skills by grasping the bead/pasta which in turn helps to hold the pencil when the child is ready to write

Eye hand coordination to see a particular bead and to pick it up

Math logic skills to see if the thread can still hold a few more pastas/beads and to determine how long the thread is

Control of Error: Beads enter in the thread only if it is put in right.

Montessori Pasta Lacing Beads Toddler activities 3

Pasta is not only for eating,mama 🙂

How to extend this activity as they grow?

Move onto smaller beads.

Use flowers to make a garland. Too much to expect! But hey, aren’t children a bundle of surprise?

Give in a bead pattern and ask to match the pattern while they do it

Montessori Pasta Lacing Beads Toddler activities

Make a knot at the end like this

How to do?

Show your clever cookie how to grasp the bead, clutch it one hand and how to hold the thread in another hand.

Introduce new words like thread, beads and pasta.

Show them how to put in the bead/pasta onto the thread and pull it.

Sit back and watch them try to do this 🙂

Montessori Pasta Lacing Beads Toddler

Making a necklace? Yes Yes !!

Where to source the materials from?

Montessori beads from here

Shoe lace/file thread from local stationary shop

Pasta from the kitchen  🙂

If you like what you read then don’t forget to follow this blog :-). And drop in the comments if you like to share or ask anything in regards to this 🙂 Happy learning 🙂

Teaching Toddlers Day and Night Difference

Lately my little toddler gets overexcited at night and I found it very difficult to explain it to him that it was night and the whole city sleeps including the street dogs. Man that was a Hercules task. He did not want to sleep and did not want to turn off the lights. Then I took in that I had to do something about this.

I had to frequently talk about the day and night difference and how the sun is up through the day and nights are dark. We spoke about shadows and moon. I also showed him how we turn on lights when it gets dark in the evening and that in some time we would hit the bed. I spoke about earth too but he didn’t get much on what I was saying.

Then, we decided to learn about them by doing some tray activities. We did some picture sorting which had clear distinction of day and night. You can download them from here.  🙂

Teaching toddlers day and night activities

Clever Cookie sorted out the day and night skies. Good Job!!

We did day and night picture sorting where he had to sort them on the mat. You can download this printable from below link.

Teaching toddlers day and night activities sensory sky night

Oh those are stars on the tea dust. And that’s the box that came with Ferrero Rocher and the jar from a cake shop:-)

I tried this sensory bottle in which I filled with tea dust and tiny stars to depict night time. I showed him how to count the stars while I picked them up from the tray to jar.

Teaching toddlers day and night activities shadow preschooler

We had a blast doing this after we turned off the lights 🙂

We did some shadow puppet game to turn the lights off  🙂 I got these printables from Charlotte’s blog.You can download those awesome puppets from there.

We stuck the stars and moon on the black painted card stock.

We stuck the stars and moon on the black painted card stock.

Teaching toddlers day and night activities clouds sun sky

Similarly, we stuck the clouds and the sun on a blue cardstock

Finally some craft work too 🙂 We stuck the stars and moon on a black painted card stock for the night sky.Similarly, for the day sky we stuck the clouds and sun on the blue one.  Again printables can be downloaded from below link 🙂

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Day and Night Picture Sorting 

Craft -Day and Night

 

Montessori Inspired Pattern Activities for Toddlers

Montessori Inspired Pattern Activities for Toddlers

Montessori Printable Pattern activitiesHello awesome moms. Arrghh, dads too 🙂

We did these simple Montessori inspired pattern activities for my toddler at home.

Before that, I like to share how we get to proceed with each activity.

I present one new activity everyday (at least when I am on the best of my moods :-)) and rotate what we have already to get stabilized on what was done earlier. I remove them off my shelf when my son loses interest.

So, why does your toddler should do pattern matching/sorting?

We see patterns everyday don’t we, how do we connect the dots? Patterns?

Now you know why?

Now you know why?

Patterning activities lays foundation for their math activities.

And how crucial is pattern matching in developing visual discrimination skills? Read here.

You can download this free printable here.

Pattern Matching for Toddlers

I placed a sample under glass tumbler and put the rest of the pieces on a tray.

The transparent glasses were much easier than the muffin tray.

The transparent glasses were much easier than the muffin tray.

You may ask, why give glass to a toddler? Won’t he break it?

Montessori insists on using real and breakable items.

Seeing a glass break will teach the child to be gentle and handle fragile things carefully in the future. Yup, Montessori saw broken items as a learning experience. Smart lady, wasn’t she?

I had only three glasses at home. Yes, there is only one Papa Bear, Mama Bear and a Baby Bear at home 🙂

I extended the activity by adding some more patterns on a muffin tray.

Muffin trays are not just for muffins, right?

Muffin trays are not just for muffins, right?

Download them, print and laminate them. Use them and tell me if your lil one liked it? 🙂

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Montessori Inspired Matching Objects to Pictures – Toddler Visual Discrimination Skills Part2

Hello, how are you today? I have been quiet busy with shifting my house and I am slacking a bit here on my blog. Nevertheless, my little boy doesn’t find it comfortable to play around with all the carton boxes spread across the house.

In my previous home, we used our open lower unit shelf as his Montessori shelf and here we do not have one. For time being our shoe rack is our new Montessori shelf till our pay day 🙂

We are working on our visual discrimination skills and this is a follow up post on that. Montessori inspired object to picture matching.

Why should one match objects to pictures?

Like I said before, this helps in developing their visual discrimination skills. You could read more about it here.

Move from concrete to abstract. . This is one of the beautiful theories of Montessori Method. First they play with objects (concrete), and then move to picture-object association and from there to abstract (picture to picture association). This concept comes in handy when they start polishing their mathematical skills and sensorial learning in the later years.

How does one match objects to pictures?

I made these vegetables and fruits cards which you can use like flash cards too. You can download these printables  from here

Fruit Cards

Vegetable Cards

Or you could photograph the objects you have already at home with a clean background and laminate them.

Here you go. This is how we did it.

 

Haan.. Jing Jaang thought that was for eating :-)

Haan.. Jing Jaang thought that was for eating 🙂

Toddler_Matching_objects_pictures_Montessori_fruits

I then had to convince him, that we would eventually eat it after we finish this activity 🙂