Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Walk in the Park

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Learning to Pour

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My eldest is now 2 years old and so I have decided to introduce her to some of the Montessori practical skills. She loves to help out in the house. She helps with the laundry and with our baby, she’s a great little helper! Usually she says, ‘I help?’ Whenever she sees me doing chores around the house!

I thought now would be a good time to show her how to pour lentils into a bowl as well as learn to scoop lentils with a spoon. She still struggles with using a spoon at meal times so I thought this activity would be good practice.

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She enjoyed this activity quite a bit. It was good sensory play as well. She also used her pincer grab to pick up stray lentils on her tray which is helping to strengthen her fine motor skills. All that in one simple activity.

DIY Octahedron Mobile

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My baby S is now 11 weeks old and very alert. She tends to cry if I put her down so infant mobiles have worked really well with her. I decided to make an Octahedron mobile as it is really beautiful and simple to make. It helps with depth perception and aids the visual sense.

Firstly, I found a octahedron template from here. Then I traced the template onto the back of metallic card stock (red, blue and yellow) which I bought from the local craft shop. I cut them out and folded the cutouts and used hot glue to make the octahedrons. I used clear beading string to hang them from a wooden dowel. Voila! You have a very simple, yet beautiful mobile!

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Mobiles are a great start to the Montessori method of teaching at home!

DIY Gobbi Mobile

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I have been reading about how I can stimulate my 10 week old baby girl. She is very alert and gets very fussy if she is bored. I never realised a newborn could be bored before now! I suppose with my first baby, I naturally stimulated her. She was the centre of my world! My attention was never divided. But now, with an active toddler on overdrive, my baby girl doesn’t get the time I could give my eldest. So I have been reading about Montessori mobiles. I made a black and white one out of paper before she was born but it’s nothing to write about! But then I found out about Gobbi Mobiles.

Gobbi mobiles (so named after the creator) are a series of spheres in graduated shades of the same colour. The intention is to stimulate the visual sense. Also, you could put it within arm’s reach so that she randomly bats at it. Eventually, she will realise that she is responsible for the movement of the spheres.

I used four spherical polystyrene balls, 4 times 2 metres of ribbon (shades of green), beading string, hot glue and skewers (which I don’t recommend; a dowel would have been better).
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My baby girl loved this mobile! It’s not the best job in the world but for £6 you can’t go wrong! I hope you find this helpful!image

Montessori Matching Game

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Today I introduced my little girl to her first Montessori activity. I’m still getting the hang of the three period lesson but we had some success!

First, I went through the farm animal nomenclature cards I printed out free from the Internet; then I demonstrated how to match her toy animals to the cards. She was able to match them right away! I was very impressed! She enjoyed this activity for about 3 minutes then chewed the animals.

Afterwards, I got her to match card to card. She struggled with this activity at first but eventually, after a few tries, she was successful at matching the cards. I think she struggled because I didn’t demonstrate it properly. I tried really hard not to correct her verbally when she got the answer wrong, rather, I just fixed her answer without saying anything and she figured out what she did wrong just by watching me! Fabulous!

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The next activity I did with her was a colour matching activity. I used three paint chips I got for free from B&Q (red, blue and yellow) and three of her building bricks of the same colours. I then attempted to do the three period lesson; however, she wanted to match them right away! (I need to seriously reevaluate how I will introduce future activities.) Anyway, she managed to correctly match the three bricks to the right paint chip.

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These two activities are both free and simple to make. My little girl is only 23 months so you can definitely start them on Montessori activities before they are three years old. Just don’t expect a long attention span at this point!

Nurture and Nature

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A walk in the park

A walk in the park

Isn’t it amazing how the outdoors can bring a child out of their shell? Curiosity can happen naturally and with minimal shouts of ‘No!’ from parents. I love taking my little one out for walks. We were heading to the park on this day, only to discover that our local park shut at dusk. So we walked behind the bushes that lined the main road. It was a pretty shoddy replacement but she didn’t care! She played and hid under bushes I couldn’t crawl under and stomped in puddles. Sometimes I need to just relax and let her be. I can be a control freak at times but when I let her loose, she loves the freedom and has a great time! My goal as a a parent and her teacher, is to choose my battles. I want her to just enjoy being carefree and independent. I have been researching the Montessori method of teaching, and I must say, I have become quite passionate about this wonderful way of educating children. I’m not trained in this method but I definitely want to use many Montessori resources. It will benefit my daughter who is such a kinaesthetic learner. She hates to sit down even for a minute! While the Montessori method does train children to be focussed on tasks, it also appeals to all the senses. I recommend anyone who is homeschooling to research this and try implementing some of the activities into their daily routine!