Hey all! Tomorrow is the September edition of our market, The City Flea. We've got 145 rad vendors ready to sell their goods so come on down and say hey!
September 16, 2014
Ruthie has always been a little helper, mimicking the daily tasks I do around the house which most often is less than helpful, but I allow her to contribute in whatever way she knows how and here's what i've noticed: She is independent and confident and at 19 months, capable. That was probably the most valuable lesson I learned as a Montessori teacher - that children, no matter how young, are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. I've also learned to be patient because when we are talking about toddler's or preschoolers, patience is a must. I fold the laundry, she throws it into her own pile, but you know what? To her, she's helping and how can I take the feeling of being a helper and accomplishment away from her? Things may take twice as long and end up messier before cleaner but I think ( I hope) I'm setting her up to be a responsible, confident little human.
Some of my favorite ways to get her involved around the house /
Laundry. She absolutely loves helping put the clothes into the wash machine and changing them over into the dryer. Same when the cycle is finished and it's time to put the clothes in the hamper to carry up for folding. It's an easy task for even the smallest toddler.
Wet spills. They happen often with kids and instead of getting upset or aggravated, because we all know they aren't trying to spill on purpose (well not all the time anyways,) I simply tell her that it's okay- spills happen but now it's time to clean it up. Give her a dish towel and let her wipe up her own mess. Of course you might have to go back and clean it up a bit after, but allowing your child to deal with the consequences and responsibility of their own actions is invaluable.
Dusting. Feather duster or rag, it doesn't really matter and it is one of the ways they can help that won't create more work for you in the end. No harm in letting your little one wipe surfaces with a dry cloth so why not?
Dishwasher loading. Ru is a pro at putting our dirtied utensils in the dishwasher basket. She wants to play in the dishwasher when it's open anyways so why not get them involved in a productive way instead?
Clean up. Kind of a no brainer but so often I'll see kids destroy a room and think nothing of cleaning it up when they are finished. I have not figured this one out completely yet but I do make Ruthie clean up at least 2 or 3 toys when we finish playing in a particular area or room. I want her to know that it's important to keep her environment tidy and beautiful and to respect her things.
September 11, 2014
Always a super fun sensory activity is the Montessori mystery bag. Because Ru is so little, I chose five simple to identify objects that she is familiar with. 1. A toy train 2. Dinosaur 3. spoon 4. ball 5. block. The purpose is for your child to identify objects simply by using their sense of touch. To start, I asked Ruthie to find each object one by one, using her eyes and hands. Then I told her it was mama's turn and went through doing the same thing, except I showed her how I was only using my hands, keeping my eyes closed. I still had her interest so I put all the items back in the bag and encouraged her to try finding the train with just her hands. (That was a bit tricky but she sure loved trying.) Once she can master these five objects, I'll switch them out for new ones and as she gets older, I'll put in different types of fabrics, shapes and shells or rocks.
Next week I'm planning to share a few idea's for how to get your toddler to help around the house. Gosh, this age is fun!
September 10, 2014
It has been so fun for me, putting together a little Montessori playroom in our third floor loft space. I think because I am not going back to teaching this year my desire to set up a little classroom is especially strong. (I've have been waiting until Ru was able to actually do some things other than stick a toy in her mouth. Hooray!) She is at this stage right now - in Montessori terms - a sensitive period for language and I am trying to really help her take off. She is speaking in 3 word 'sentences' and knows the word for almost every single thing around her. Witnessing her language develop has been one of my favorite things about mama hood. So, I thought it was time for her to have an actual learning environment, instead of just play. (Although at this age they do learn by playing - it's just the teacher in me)
On her shelves now : wooden hammer and ball work / basket of shapes for sorting / abacus for color recognition and counting / montessori baric tablets ( a bit advanced but she likes to sort them) / books / farm puzzle / transfer work with pom pom balls into cup / color cards / shape cards
It's a little bit more colorful than I'd like and all the furniture is mismatched but that's okay. For now I am using what we've got and plan to order some things from the How We Montessori Shop and Alisons montessori, where I used to order a lot of things for my classroom. I also wanted to share a super easy and fun toddler sensorial activity with you guys....tomorrow!
September 9, 2014
The last of our Montana photo's taken with something other than an iPhone. I didn't edit these really at all so just overlook that and enjoy how freaking gorgeous Montana is. Because, come on. It's insane. Can't wait to get back! If you are interested in taking a peek at part 1, here ya go!