Monday, October 25, 2010

Toddler Work

Our 28 month olds love our Montessori room as much as our preschooler!!!  Some things they chose this weekend, pictured above:
  • Autumn Themed Sets Basket
  • Mini Knobbed Cylinders
  • Squeezing work, transferring spiders with tweezers
  • Our 1-10 box, complete with short bead stair and cards and counters

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toddler Scissor Lesson

This little one is always surprising me.  I originally gathered materials for Montessori at home for our oldest, but the value of this method is trickling down to our tots.  (I chuckle while posting this, as I see the 4 year old holding scissors towards her body)

I modeled cutting (away from the body, holding the paper at the opposite side, elbow by my side) and we had a lesson on carrying scissors.  The children may not use scissors while standing.

I sang this song, to the tune of "Open, Shut Them"

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little snip snip snip
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Cut the paper, snip snip snip

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Word Family Manipulatives

This is my little weekend craft, made for switching the letters around to make new words.  I made one for about 10 possible word endings.  I hope we have plenty of fun with this one.  It is an extension to the pink level reading materials used in some Montessori language areas.  I made it with leftover pony beads, wooden cube beads, pipe cleaner and a thin Sharpie.  Our oldest is sounding out consonant-vowel-consonant words now!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Metal Insets On A Budget

Metal Insets are a great Language material for pre-writing, also for geometry, and art. The tray is from Montessori Outlet, and the shape and paper holder is a craft from Home Depot's kid craft area. Our children adore this activity. It appears to be a simple tracing work, but it holds many educational aims for the child. The metal insets and their furniture cost a fortune, so I found an alternative at Discount School Supply. This set includes a small, medium, and large inset of each of the geometric shapes one would find at a Montessori School. It also comes with a star and a heart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Out There! A Neighborhood Nature Walk

Our girls love to collect. We first went on this walk today because the little ones are really into the moon. They couldn't see it, so we set out to find it. At 3pm, it was nowhere to be found. We will check again in the morning, I promised. However, we made some great observations. The brush is starting to disappear and we can see part of the walking trail we take in the winter. Leaves are on the ground and the leaves in the trees are turning beautiful colors. We put our collections on top of our backyard boulder for keeps.
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Art Time After A Nature Walk, Autumn Tree

We had a great little walk today, observing the changing leaves and collecting the fallen leaves and acorns. When we got back, I gave each child a brown crayon, an elipse-shaped sponge, and a few dropped of paint on a big tray. Instead of journaling at this age, I love to ask them to look back at memories through art. We got messy, but hey- it's childhood!!!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food Preparation: Lentil Soup!

Today was one of the first days that we NEEDED a jacket outside this year, and the rain called for soup. Luckily, today at school a six year old gave me a simple recipe for lentil soup in a crock pot. Today's big lesson was about carrots, how they grow and the way we eat the roots and discard the leaves. Then, we each got a turn to peel the carrots. I actually did very little work of my own. Tossing it all in the crock pot before it's plugged in allowed them to see where the changes would occur. Peanuts's favorite part was the clean up, she loves that table brush from Montessori Services.

Green lentils, 2 small onions, 6 large carrots, 8 cups of water, four shakes of sea-salt, 5 hours in the crock pot on high.
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Big Day, Big Sis

As well as our children work together, today Bean (age 4) stated that she needed some time to work alone. She is a great big sister, so when she asks for a break, it's granted. I whisked the twins away for crayon time in the kitchen, and she made some fun choices. We had a 3-period lesson with sandpaper letters, some work with letter formation with the wooden pieces from Handwriting Without Tears (I prefer the font and method in our albums, but this is what she does at her new school), and a challenge with all four mini-knobbed cylinders. Busy, with enough time for making soup on this wet fall day!
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Tot Tuesday

Bead stringing was a big draw today, as well as coloring with crayons. I started to set up areas where the twinks can work standing, since they were not choosing to sit at any of the tables or work spaces. I found that when the table is a little higher than their belly button they have the best angle for manipulation with the hand. A busy Tuesday!
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Water Transfer

This was a great activity for when Big sis is alone with me, I imagine the tots not being ready for such fine movements. Also can be used with beads, cherrios, or with a tool like a tweezer or tong.

I found some of the parts to this work at Alki Products.
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September In Review

We have been doing Montessori work in our home 2-3 days a week this September. It was an adjustment for Bean and I the most, as she is used to Montessori School and I was accustomed to working with 20 children, not just 3 - two of which being tots! Bean is at a public preschool, and gets her Montessori from her Mom. We are finding the niche in planning the time, minimum of twice a week in the Montessori room. Other times, someone will say, "I want to work" and away we go!!!! I imagine we will have more lessons and more time working when the weather is cold, as I'm not one to take the child away from the fabulous New England Autumn outside!!

For October I hope to:
  • own more authentic sensorial
  • make a sound basket
  • make a fabric box
  • create an alphabet drawer set
  • get the children to work more independently
Here's to high hopes for October!!!!