We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.
— Maria Montessori
6 New Activities: February 2016

6 New Activities: February 2016

It's been a while since I have done any formal "teaching" (exploring is more like it) because baby 2 was born January 30. I was tired the weeks leading up to that and I've been tired since then!

Either way I decided to put together a few activities for Alexander, mostly based on the scope and sequence of Montessori. I picked some objectives that could be translated to easy, DIY activities. Because Alexander is younger, and because I am happy with making things myself, I created these activities with objects we already had in the house. I have a lot of trays and baskets, which I repurpose as needed.

I'll quickly run through the 6 activities I plan to introduce to Alexander this week and next. I'm not an expert at this, so my "technique" is probably not the best. Basically, I briefly introduce all of the new items to Alexander. I literally mean, "Hey Alexander, look at this! And look at this over here! And check out this one!" I don't really explain too much. I let him pick the one that seems most interesting, and then I show him how to work with it. He is almost always drawn to one or two things and ignores the rest. That's fine by me. I leave the others out and revisit them on a different day.

Here are the 6 things I've got set up right now:

1. Walk the Line

The objective is to just walk along a marked line on the floor. I used some yarn and tape to create a closed loop that started in his school room, went out and about, then came back into the room.

So far, he has walked along the line a few times but got distracted and hung out in the school room after that. I may try to make it more interesting by adding some obstacles (like things he needs to jump over or do along the way).

2. Sweeping Rice

The objective is to sweep small objects into a designated area. I think the point is to practice a sweeping motion so he can help with actual sweeping soon. Right now, if he tries to help me clean, he uses the broom and just pushes it forward, shoving all the food particles and dirt underneath the table or cabinets. Not super helpful! Ha! I demonstrate it for him, but it doesn't quite stick. I keep meaning to get him a small broom, but I don't know if it would help.

In this case, he used the same pushing motion to "sweep" the rice forward. He didn't get the rice into the square hardly at all. Again, I did a demonstration but he just couldn't get the sweeping motion down. I'll give it another shot in a few days. He may have just been distracted.

For the materials, I had the wooden tray/box from another toy. The brush is from my husband's head shaving kit. And the pink is a piece of Post-It tape that I cut into 4 sections.

3. Tracing Numbers

Alexander has been really into 11-20 (finally!) so I'm embracing it. He counts to 20, except for 16 usually. And he recognizes them all. He can write a handful of numbers without tracing, but for the rest, we trace.

First we have these tracing cards (aff).

And second, I write the numbers on his chalkboard for him to trace.

4. Word + Picture Puzzles

I saw this idea on Instagram, so I made a few of them. This one spells Alexander once his face is put together.

5. Pin Punching

The basic idea is to use some sort of pin -- push pin, safety pin, paper clip -- to punch out a pre-drawn shape. If you make enough tiny dots, the shape should pop right out.

We aren't there yet! Alexander has enjoyed making holes in the paper, but he isn't so concerned with creating a shape.

6. Water Transfer with a Baster

Simple: Just transfer water using a baster/eye dropper! Alexander loves water transfer. This is a bit of a challenge for him, but he's sorting it out!

Activities for a 1-Year-Old

Activities for a 1-Year-Old

A Tour of Our New School Room!

A Tour of Our New School Room!