Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Little of This and a Little of That

It's been slow in terms of Montessori work lately. The summer has been busy with swimming, bicycling, trips, spending time with grandparents and potty training so there hasn't been as much interest in the Montessori shelves. But there has been a little.

These Smelling Bottles are new on the shelf. The bottles are glass spice bottles that I emptied. I put red stickers on half and yellow stickers on the other half. The bottles are filled with cotton balls that have a few drops of essential oils. I chose peppermint, rosemary, orange and tea tree from this set. Each red-yellow pair has a matching colored sticker on the bottom to check accuracy after matching them.

"This one is peppermint, Mommy!" He loves the smell of peppermint, probably because I bought some peppermint Altoids recently that he likes to eat.  It is one of my favorite from this set too.  I do not like the Tea Tree... bleh.

Here's a fun Practical Life activity that came up suddenly when DJ's little truck got dirty. A bowl of warm, soapy water, a sponge, a second bowl of clear water and a towel is the perfect recipe for a happy boy. After thoroughly cleaning his truck he moved on to washing his Counting Bears.

Although we don't do the traditional Montessori activity of "Walking the Line," DJ has been driven lately to his own balance practice, which is a critical gross motor skill. On an outing with friends, he found this LONG stretch of yellow concrete border and he and his toddler friends had to walk the entire length of it! Whew. It took awhile but they made it.

DJ found this little cloth bag in my stash. It's a version of a Stereognostic or Mystery bag. It has miniature geometric solids in it. The idea is to put your hand in the bag and try to find a specific shape just from the feel of it without looking. DJ liked the idea of a new game but he didn't really understand. I'd put the cube and cylinder in the bag and ask him to pull out the cube. He would reach in and pull out the first thing he felt and then say "yay!" whether it was the right shape or not. Haha.

This is a 2D to 3D match activity that I made from the Rainforest Safari Toob and Google Images. In this picture he has matched the macaw and the toucan. The picture of the toucan I chose from Google Images has the bird perched on a tree branch. When DJ picked up the green frog with orange feet, I told him it was a tree frog. He then looked over the page, set the frog onto the toucan's branch and said "It goes here."

Yes, little man... the tree frog does belong on a tree branch.

Although he's still refusing to play any sound games, DJ wanted to play with my sound objects one day. Here he has the S and M boxes. I was hoping he would sort them into their proper boxes but he was adamant that even I couldn't do it. I had to go back later and put them in their box. Someday he'll be ready and in the meantime I'm trying to be very careful not to push him. But he does like to explore all the little objects.  In this picture you can make out mug, mop, mailbox, milk and sun, star, sandwich, stamp.  There are more but the rest are hard to see.

This was a VERY proud moment for me. After playing with these beads in a very non-Montessori way (driving his cars through them) he randomly began cleaning them up saying to himself "put these beads back in their basket." Wow. There is a first time for everything!

This is the first time in awhile that DJ selected the Binomial Cube. He had been such a pro at it, so I was a bit surprised when he struggled to remember how to do it. The main problem was that he put a wrong piece in the bottom so ended up at the top with a final piece that wouldn't fit in anywhere, which really confused him. So pro or not, there is still more to learn with this work.

DJ has been playing soccer weekly since February in a Daddy & Me toddler class. We've been seeing some real progress recently in his willingness to cooperate, listen to coach, participate in the group and attempt to move the soccer ball to the desired goal. This is a huge step forward for my independent, do-things-my-way boy who initially was more likely to refuse to stay on the playing field, let alone do anything with the ball. Don't you love his jersey that's bigger than he is?

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