Monday, 21 July 2014

Montessori practical life ideas

Given that things around here have been pretty food centred lately, I thought I'd change it up, and go back to the other topic that I love: Montessori works for the Toddler. We've been focusing a lot on practical life lately even though I haven't been posting too much about it. These aren't always the types of activities that I prepare beforehand or spend too much time thinking about beforehand. They flow organically and many happen spur of the moment throughout the day. Most of the these activities also use items that many people will already have on hand at home.

These are definitely the Toddler's favourite types of works as he loves anything that involves using his hands and keeping busy. Makes sense, doesn't it? I mean, what toddler likes to sit still? Definitely not mine! He loves to work on learning activities that involve action, and these activities are definitely about doing

Since we have transitioned into a more Montessori [inspired] approach to tot school, I have seen such progress in my son's development. My mother in law gasped with shock the first time she saw my toddler calmly collect his cup, pour himself a glass of water, carefully carry it over to the coffee table, and place it on a coaster to enjoy later. The child is not even two yet. I know that this stems largely from the amount of practice he has had pouring, spooning, and just learning to be careful with our Montessori inspired practical life works. 

... which I why, I want to share this post, describing the type of practical life works that the Toddler has been loving for the past month or so: 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Food preparation 


Food  prep is something that the Toddler absolutely loves doing. While I don't get him involved in cooking as much as I really should, he does typically peel his own eggs, citrus fruits, and bananas. 

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas


He sometimes eats helps with dinner, too!

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

He had a lot of fun with this apple cutter work, too. 

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Juicing lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruits 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

He loved drinking the freshly squeezed juice, too! 

Removing the stems from strawberries

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Folding laundry 


I tried to get the Toddler to help me fold laundry as part of our school works. I've only set this out for him once, but it was actually quite funny. I was in the process of actually folding laundry, but stopped to demonstrate this work for him when he got this tray. As soon as I was done, he took the washcloth, and put it in the folded laundry pile and then got another tray to work on. 

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Jars and lids


The Toddler has been really, really into twisting and turning things lately. I set up this very simple work a few times for the Toddler a little while ago, and he loved it! 

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Getting dressed


The Toddler loves getting himself dressed and undressed. Every morning, he picks out his own socks and undies. Because it's been so warm, that's usually the only clothing he wears unless we go outside. 

He started spontaneously dressing himself a while ago, I don't remember when, but it's been a while. I was changing him, then he grabbed his pants and put them on all by himself! They were backwards, but nonetheless, I was very proud! From then on, I have been encouraging him to not only get himself dressed, but to also pick out his own outfit. Sadly, because we are at my in laws house, we don't have a full on Montessori closet for him, but in our new home, he will be able to reach all of his clothing on his own. 

He can get his shoes on by himself, as well, but sometimes needs a reminder that if he sits down that it is easier. He also takes off his shoes on his own and tidies them up without prompting. 

Manners and being polite


This isn't as easy to photograph, so we'll just chat here. I was recently a little congested, and had to sneeze several times in a row. The Toddler thought this was absolutely hilarious and was thoroughly amused that I kept sneezing into my elbow. I didn't really have to teach him this, but afterwards, simply from seeing me do it, he started walking around fake coughing and sneezing with his arm in his mouth. Silly boy. It's close enough right? Next, I'll tackle sneezing into a tissue! 

I'm also working on teaching him to say please and thank you. If he asks for something, I restate the sentence with the polite words included. He can't actually say those words yet, but I figure, I should get them in from the start. 


Pouring through a funnel 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

There are actually two bowls necessary for this work, but I stacked them in this photo. I helped my son to set up this work. 

Pencil sharpening 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Showering/bathing


The Toddler has been enjoying washing his hands in the bathroom after he's done practicing sitting on the potty (don't worry! He typically relieves himself right after we spent twenty minutes sitting there! Sigh...)

I've also let him wash his own hair and body in the shower. I will typically help him squeeze the shampoo onto his hands and then help him massage it over his hair. He continues on his own. Same idea with the body wash except we use a washcloth. 

Spooning 


Black beans


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Buttons


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Water transfer 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Sweeping with a brush 


We've also been practicing a lot with his new brush. We typically have this work involved in our weekly school activities, but I change up the manipulatives that we use. 


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Toilet learning


Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

I set up this little station for him in our bathroom. The basket contains extra socks, undies, pants, wipes, and cloths for getting cleaned up after accidents. Since setting up our toilet learning station, we have had several successes, but: 

I have to say, this whole toilet training thing has been really challenging for all us. We've gotten to the point where the Toddler no longer wants to wear diapers (he takes them off if he has an accident, logically as it's icky), so I know it's time to really teach him how to use the potty. 

At the same time, he doesn't quite get it and I'm not sure what to do about that. He will pee or pee in his undies and then come up to me and say, 'Need to pee!' with big, sad eyes. I try to watch for his cues, but have been terrible at catching him right beforehand rather than during. 

Washing toys


Welcome to Mommyhood: life skills


Wringing out a washcloth


I gave the Toddler a damp wash cloth, and added some extra water in the yellow bowl/plate. The Toddler got to practice wringing out the cloth in the green plate. 



Bonus: 1 to 1 correspondence


Just because I love Montessori, here are a few 1 to 1 correspondence works that the Toddler enjoyed last week. 

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

Montessori Practical life ideas by Welcome to Mommyhood. #montessori, #practicallife, #montessoripracticallifeideas

As you can see, most of our practical life activities include either food prep in some way or spooning. For now, those have simply been the types of works that my son has taken an interest to the most. As he develops and his interests change, I'm sure our works will, as well. 

For more Montessori inspiration, check out my Montessori activities page. For more toddler activities, be sure to visit my Toddler Activities page. For even more Montessori based ideas, visit my Montessori Inspired Board on Pinterest. 

I am linking up at the Weekly Kids CoopMontessori Monday, the Sunday Showcase!

Thanks for stopping by!
Yuliya