Monday, 16 June 2014

Montessori Inspired ocean activities for toddlers part II

Are you tired of all of our ocean related activities yet? I hope not because this post is going to be filled with them! Montessori style, of course! We have been focusing on math based activities quite a bit lately. I'm not trying to force anything on the Toddler, but he has been loving math, and using his index finger for counting. I've tried to encourage this interest by providing largely math based activities for him last week. Of course, with all of these activities, we also tried to add in some language work by talking about the manipulatives we are using, and our ocean themed 3 part cards

Now that I am able to better see which activities he enjoys, I've really been noticing his language skills growing by leaps and bounds, but also, I see that he's enjoying our school activities so much more! I try to focus our themes based on his interests, as well, which really helps to maintain his attention.  

These are the ocean themed activities that we worked on last week:


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


Fine motor practice (with numbers)


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


Much to my surprise, the Toddler was not interested in this work. I really thought he'd enjoy the fine motor practice, but he was more interested in the other works we had for the week. 

This lovely idea came from Renae at Every Star is Different, who did something like this for addition practice in a Valentine's Day Unit. I simplified it for my 20 month old. Deb at Living Montessori Now also has something like this.

Practical life


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Open and close containers


This one was met with lots of love! I hid all sorts of sea/ocean themed trinkets in each container and the Toddler loved going through them, figuring out how to open each container, and dumping out the contents. He's been really into turning and twisting things, thus most of these are ones you can twist off. 

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

We even returned to it a few times throughout the week and weekend! 


See! Straight away after breakfast, he ran to work on this! 


Put the paper clip on the strips

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


The Toddler (a bit to my surprise) found this one rather amusing, and succeeded in getting the paperclips above on the papers! Color coordinated and all!

Pre-math


Land vs water paperclip sorting


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

And sorting paperclips was no fun for him. I tried to explain that look the green ones are like grass and the blue like the ocean/water, but he looked at me like I was crazy and ran away to get himself a glass of real water. 

Seashell sorting


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


Counting 


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

With activities like this, I usually sit down with him and do them myself, while counting out loud. He likes to watch me do them, but I know he isn't ready to do so on his own. He does like to help count (to 3). 

Counting with crabs 


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Ocean themed numbers cards


 Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

The Toddler loved it. All we did was match up the number cards with the quantity of animals, but adored looking at the fish and pointing at the paper while we counted. These fishies are pretty beautiful, so I definitely get his interest! 

Science


This was a sink or float experiment. I set up two bowls filled with water, and a small bowl with salt. 

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)


When the Toddler woke up from nap time, we poured the salt into one of the bowls, and brought out various objects to see if they would sink or float in each bowl. In theory, an egg (or soap) should float in saltwater, but we weren't too successful. Not enough salt, I think. The idea came from To the Lesson.

I also used our ocean unit theme as an opportunity to quickly discuss different matters of state (frozen vs. liquid water). 

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

The Toddler loved this work! He got to pour the water in the pitcher into the empty bowl. Then, he worked on transferring the ice to the bowl with the water, and back out again. We discussed how the ice had melted, as well. 

I know any time we get out water, it will be a win. For the third week in a row, we practiced pouring water from one cup to another every day. The Toddler just gets his own cups and pours his own water. He brings the cups to the coffee table one at a time and just does it. Or he's ask for an extra cup of water at mealtimes. 

Miscellaneous 


Starfish puzzle


Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Welcome to Mommyhood: Montessori activities for toddlers (ocean theme)

Just for fun


This week, we also spent a ton of time playing outdoors in the sandbox. It works with our theme because of the sand, right? Yes! It was great because my in laws live right around the corner from two play areas, one of which has a large sandbox. My son was a bit hesitant at first as he dislikes getting his hands dirty, but after I demonstrated how fun it is, we both had a blast running around in the box, and building balls and towers with it. It was great sensory fun and made me realise we haaavvveee to go to the beach soon. 

For more tot school inspiration, stop by my Toddler Activities page and my Tot School page. Also, be sure to visit the first part of this Montessori inspired oceans/sea animal unit. You can also get your own free Montessori Oceans printables by clicking on the photo below: 


 Free Montessori inspired ocean activities for toddlers

This post may be linked up at any of these awesome parties: Tot school linky party hosted  1+1+1=1 and/or Montessori Mondays.


Thanks for stopping by!
Yuliya