Tuesday, 23 July 2013

DIY toddler materials

 
Here are a few materials my brother and I made for Finn.
 
Washers on a horizontal and bendy metal dowel. It's hard to hold the washers upside down and push up to get them onto the rod!
 
 
Interestingly, the cubes of this material were unpainted for many months, and Finn didn't pay any attention to it. It was only when they were painted that he started using it. It's the first material with which he has shown real concentration and repetition. We also sometimes tape the whole thing onto the side of his shelves so the dowel lies horizontally for more challenge.

 
My brother made this amazing puzzle for Finn. It's really fantastic as all the pieces are interchangeable. Finn loved taking all the pieces out to reveal the family photos underneath ever since he was tiny. Now I can ask him where grandad is and he will try hard to remember before lifting a piece out. I thought about changing the pictures from time to time but he really loves these ones.

 
Cubes on different sized dowels. Oh that's hard! He is still a bit young for this one at 18 months. There are two cubes for each dowel so he can't just stack them all on the small dowel.


Different sized circles. He can be deeply focused on this one.


Fantastic one shape puzzles my brother made! We put pictures of him underneath to play peek-a-boo.

  
 Another one by my talented brother. Finn is very interested in letters and sounds so this is perfect for him.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

All in a day

 
Matching model animals to photos
 
 


Pairing farm animal mothers and babies



 
A non-Montessori activity presented in a Montessori way

 
 
 
How to encourage your child to do a puzzle: put all the pieces in a bag.




 
Opening and closing basket with surprises inside each container





 Large motor activity with makeshift balance boards

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Finn's drawing

 
Finn draws every day. We have a few different mediums for him to use. His favourite pencils at the moment are the Stabilo Woody 3-in-1, and I love them too. They have a really thick lead and can be used as pencils, wax crayons or watercolour paint by just painting over the lines with water. The colours are really vibrant even with a light touch. We used to let him draw on the windows with them because they wash off so easily. We decided to stop when it became clear that he didn't understand not to draw on the walls! The Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 are pictured below. 
 
 
 
 
Below are the crayon rocks. Soy wax crayons in the shape of pebbles, easy to grasp for little hands. They give wide, colourful strokes, but you need to apply some pressure to get as much vibrancy as the Stabilo pencils above.
 
 
 
 
Here is our box of Melissa and Doug crayons. Finn loves the box because it has a slot for each crayon. He spends more time taking them in and out than drawing with them. When he does, the strokes are thin and pale, but nice anyway. They will be very appropriate for detailed drawings later on.
 
 
 
 
Felt-tipped pens. What he loves most about them are the caps at the moment. He likes to take each pen, take off the cap, make a scribble, and put the cap back on. He does this with all the pens until he has used all the colours.

 

 
 
Our body art pencils! He loves drawing over his legs, arms, feet and tummy, and all of my body too! 
 
 
 
 
 
You can see a drawing he made with the Melissa and Doug crayons below. 
 
 
 
And here's one with the Stabilo Woody pencils. This drawing is recent while the one above is a few weeks old. I love to see his drawing evolve!
 

Three period lesson with a toddler

 
Today I gave Finn a three period lesson on "cauliflower", "onion" and "pepper". Well... a two period lesson would be more accurate as he can't tell me the names back yet. 
 
 

I showed him each vegetable separately and pointed to him the characteristics, or told him a little story. For example, I mentioned that the cauliflower has big leaves that rabbits like to eat, that the onion has dry skin that we peel off before we cook it, and how shiny the red pepper was. The details help the child remember. He also held each one in his hands and didn't fail to notice that the onion was like a ball that could be thrown across the living room!


 
When I was about certain he would remember the names, I put all three on the tray and asked him to show me each one in turn after I called its name.



He had a lot of fun doing this activity and really loved exploring each item. He paid really close attention when I was saying the names, so I think it was a successsful lesson!
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