Lately, whenever Ryan sees mommy or daddy doing something around the house, he wants to try it too. The other day, I was cleaning up a spill on the floor. Without even being asked, Ryan got his own rag, imitated my movement, and actually helped. I was so proud of him for feeling self-confident and independent enough to want to do that on his own!
Most of the activities that we have tried so far are very basic and serve the purpose of developing fine motor movements, which is a precursor to writing. The activities are always child-led: Ryan decides when he starts and when he stops. In our experience, most of the materials keep Ryan busy for a relatively long chunk of time. He enjoys doing them over and over again, figuring out everything at his own pace. Ryan eventually lets me know when he is finished, and then I model how to put the materials away. (I think that it will be a while before he can do this part on his own, but we are continuing to work on it).
The greatest thing is that these materials can probably be found laying around the house, so you can give these opportunities to your children without spending a penny (and even if you do need to purchase a few of the supplies, they are inexpensive).
Colander and Pipe Cleaners
|Exploring how the pipe cleaners can be put in and out of the holes, twisted, and tangled up.|
Wipes Container and Pom Poms
|Making a game out of this by stuffing the pom poms through the hole as fast as he can.|
Cheese Shaker and Lollipop Sticks
(or you can use toothpicks)
|This is challenging, but definitely Ryan's favorite activity this month. He chooses to do this one often.|
Spools of Thread and Chopsticks
|This is the first in a series of activities. The next will be threading the spools onto a pipe cleaner, and then finally threading the spools onto a shoelace.|
Ryan is so proud of all his hard work, and now he's ready for story-time with mommy
|Ryan loves to pick out which stories we read each day. He LOVES his books.|
While I agree with most aspects of the Montessori philosophy, I also believe that children need time to use their imaginations and creativity through free play with their toys and the natural environment. After doing our Montessori work for the day, Ryan and I usually spend our afternoons at playgroups, library events, kid gyms, etc. These are enjoyable social outlets for both of us, and also provide Ryan with plenty of time for free play. I absolutely love spending time with this little guy, and I feel like this age is extremely fun!