We have continued to work on letter-sounds and color recognition these past two months, so many of the works from my last Montessori post have remained in the rotation. This age is so much fun because Ryan can now clearly communicate his thoughts and ideas about everything, which allows me to plan activities that he really enjoys.
Here are some of his new favorites:
Here are some of his new favorites:
Fine Motor (Pouring and Threading)Ryan has been working on pouring and cleaning up his mess afterwards. He has already shown much improvement in his pouring abilities since choosing to practice this.
Threading cut paper towel rolls onto yarn (for necklaces) and cheerios onto pipecleaners (for bracelets) have also helped Ryan to improve his fine motor skills.
OrderingI remember having a lot of fun these nesting dolls when I was little, so I decided to pick up some for Ryan the other day. He worked with them for at least fifteen minutes, opening and closing them, and putting them inside of each other. At this point, it is challenging for him to figure out the correct order so that they all fit together, and I think that is what makes them so interesting.
SortingRyan likes to sort these wooden pieces by shape and color. This seems to be one of the easier activities this month, so I try to encourage him to count the shapes as he places them.
Practical LifeThis is, hands down, Ryan's absolute favorite thing to do this month. I can't believe how long he likes to sit there and scrub vegetables. He takes pride in "preparing" them (and then eating them) so I will definitely plan more work that involves food in the future.
I picked up this Melissa and Doug basic skills puzzle at a kids' consignment sale for $3. Ryan explores the different pieces and attempts to zip, snap, button, buckle, and tie. (It will be a few months or more before he fully grasps these skills, but he seems to enjoy it nonetheless).
It has been a while since we have done finger painting (here and here), so I decided that it was time to get out our easel for Ryan to start using it on a regular basis. We love spending time outside on the balcony, and this is a fun way for us to relax and work at the same time.
Ryan recently started to become a little uneasy about having messy hands. I always make a point to get my hands in the finger paints too, so that he sees that it is okay (and even fun) to be messy. I need to come up with some more "messy" activities so that he doesn't become too obsessed with staying clean!
Large MotorRyan likes to practice keeping his balance by walking a straight line (simply a piece of masking tape stuck to the floor) and he enjoys sweeping the floor with his little broom.
He also has tons of fun with a hula hoop: rolling it, jumping in it, and tossing bean bags into it.
These are Ryan's bean bags that we got from Etsy seller, IcingOnTheCupcake. He has had these since he was born. Not only are these bean bags fun to toss, but they are great sensory items too. Even as an infant, he enjoyed looking at the black and white patterns and touching the different materials on the back.
Imaginative PlayI'm sure you know that my posts are mostly Montessori-inspired, but I also want to share some of our Waldorf-inspired imaginative play activities because I think that creative free play is a vital part to child development. Ryan loves to play pretend, and these are some of his favorite materials right now:
Knit food- fruits, veggies, cheeseburger, cupcake, and cookies
Wooden play kitchen (from a tot swap)
Noah's Ark and animals
Knit farm animals and barn
Puppets (less than $1 each on consignment)
Ryan continues to amaze me with how quickly he learns and how much he already knows. I especially love his creativity and imagination. It is so hard for me to believe that he will be TWO years old soon! I thank God every day because I am so blessed to be a mommy to such an incredible little boy.