As a parent we think it is important to keep the child active and busy, for we have been told an idle mind is devil’s workshop. In pursuit of keeping the child busy are we limiting their natural inclination to access simple things available around them and find the ‘fun ‘ in it.
Yes it is important for me to keep my child busy with different activities, it is equally important for him to be bored and try his hands out on unstructured play. This thought was a revelation to me through my firsthand experience.
There are days I am too tired to engage myself in creating activities, on one such days my son was done with the activities that were on the shelf. I had energy only to sit and watch him. But watch him do what? I was clueless. It didn’t seem to be a concern for my son, he casually picked up old decoration balls lined them up color coordinated, then he decided to experiment those balls by removing the glitter.
He was excited to see the texture changing, the curiosity reached the next level when he scratched the surface and saw there was something else inside. I let him do what he wanted, the next thing I saw was a thermocol ball waved in front of my face between those little fingers.
Gleaming with excitement with the discovery, he now wanted to see play float or sink. And the game went on for some time.
In all the tiredness I found the energy to smile and get excited that a simple decoration ball lying in one corner of his toy box kept him busy. More importantly it gave me time to sit back relax and enjoy, plan something for the next day.
I wasn’t able to capture those moments to share. All I could do was to happily watch him play.
After that instance we have been having many such moments of free play where he uses whatever is available at his disposal
A glimpse of it below in which he tries to balance his cars in the basketball net.
Now you tell me, how much of free play do you encourage? How long does the free play happen?
Meanwhile take a moment to join our support group Early Learning for Toddlers India and find your mom tribe 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
All the kitchen items i could grab in two minutes 🙂
For the love of music 🙂
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.
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.
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.
Teach animal sounds, train sounds, rain sounds and thunder sounds.
Teach them their body parts. We started with belly button 😉
Teach them to share.
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 🙂
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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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