Lady P is in nursery today so I spent some time with Baby S doing whatever she wanted! First, we played with play doh making Minnie Mouse bows (she wanted a mummy bow, a daddy bow and a baby bow).
Afterwards, we did her alphabet puzzle and did all the letter sounds together. Then we did sandpaper letters. I got her to trace them (barely) and say the sound of s, a and t. She knows s already because of her name. Then I asked her to point to each letter which she did. But then she didn’t want to do anymore.
After this, she chose her new rainbow toy that someone bought her. We practiced making a rainbow and I asked her to pass me the colours. So far, she knows orange. Then she made a tunnel using the pieces from the rainbow.
While I did laundry, Baby S watched The Letter Factory and managed to sit through the whole thing! Now she’s having a nap! So that was my very simple toddler school! All accomplished holding a newborn!
I have finally varnished my number rods (using yacht varnish [probably very toxic]) however, this material will only be used with supervision until both girls are old enough to keep things out of their mouths (my eldest is terrible!).
The first activity I did with Lady P was to carefully take the number rods from the shelf and place them gently on the rug (this may seem like a silly step but long sticks of wood and toddlers generally don’t mix). I read about the number rods beforehand and learned that if children handle each rod using two hands (one at either end), they begin to understand the concept of 1 being a small amount and 10 being a larger amount. Once we got to 10, the rod was too long for her to hold at either end. I named each rod as I gave them to her: “this is 1…this is 2…etc”. She usually repeated what I said and took them to the rug (Now, I’m using the number rods in the same way that the red rods would be used. I just didn’t see the point in making two sets of rods for my personal home use. You could, however, paint your rods all red then add the blue stripes when your toddler is ready for them. )
The second lesson we did was ordering the rods from shortest to longest. I made the mistake of trying to get her to order all 10. I should not have done this as she was completely lost. Next time I will focus on 3 or 4 rods then add a few more as she perfects the activity. I used vocabulary like short, shortest, long, longest, longer etc. She could pick out the shortest rod and the longest rod but it got a bit fuzzy after this.
The last activity I did with her, she absolutely loved! We created a ‘maze’ using the rods; then she got to balance and try to walk, one foot in front of another (an impossible feat for a 2 year old), around the ‘maze’. She could not do it without stepping outside of the maze with her other foot but she enjoyed the activity. This activity helps young children learn to balance. Another popular activity that also teaches this is walking the line. But I’ve not done this with Lady P yet.
So far, the number rods are proving a good diy project. You can see how I made them here on my blog.
Lady P is showing a genuine keenness for learning! She loves practising her writing! I recently bought ABC’s Write and Wipe!: Lowercase Letters [With Pen] (Kumon Flash Cards)She loves using them with dry wipe pens and especially enjoys using a baby wipe to clean the cards afterwards.
These cards are great value for money. They are quite large, which is great for little hands that don’t have the fine motor skills yet to make small letters. On one side is a green picture with the word; on the other side is the traceable letter (this set is lower case). Usually, she will look at the picture, say the word then flip it over and write the letter. I usually help her by saying the sound of the letter which she repeats.
This pack also comes with five additional cards that have smaller pictures on one side and traceable letters on the other.
Overall, I give this product two thumbs up as they are a quality item which my daughter loves using!
My eldest is 2 years and 2 months and loves doing matching games. I printed out this colour matching activity from The Helpful Garden. This blog is amazing and she does really great activities and nomenclature cards etc that you can download and print for free! ( I downloaded her Blue Series reading activities for a child I work with).
This activity has a picture mat for each colour and cards to match. I chose two colours my daughter struggles with (right now, if she doesn’t know the colour, she calls it blue or pink), then got her to match the picture card to the mat. I asked her what the picture was then got her to tell me the colour of the item named. I mixed up two groups of cards and she really enjoyed the activity. It teaches colours as well as vocabulary!
So we finally had a nice day here in sunny Blackpool! I try to take advantage of every possible smidgen of sun particles as I never know when I will see it again! I took my little girl outside and decided not to get rid of that old baby bath I had collecting dust! I filled it with water and voila! A free water table!
I gave my little one a cleaning sponge, some cups and an empty bottle I cut in half (the end with the cap on it makes a great funnel). She also decided to use a paint brush that was lying around to draw on the pavement with water! I also showed her how to squeeze out the sponge into a container which is a good way for her to build strength in her hand! Overall, a successful morning activity!
Note: don’t put soap in the water as I did. Toddlers love drinking bath water! Why I’ve not figured this out by now, I don’t know!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!