Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Africa themed practical life and fine motor activities for toddlers

Mr. Toddler had so much fun exploring Africa in the month of February. I am so excited to finally share the works that we had on our shelves with you today! We kept these works up for quite a bit of time in comparison to our usual shelf rotation. The reason being that Mr. Toddler just loved them!  

I do want to point that these works accompanied our Africa themed printables - all of which are linked at the bottom of this post. These were 'inspired' by Africa (a large continent with a rich history and just tons of topics to cover) and were a very fun and simple way to start delving into the topic with my toddler. 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Practical life 


Washing a lion


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Spooning peas


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

 

Spooning wooden beads and shells 


I introduced Mr. Toddler to some of the natural resources in Africa with this... kind of. 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

To be real here, Mr. Toddler loves spooning and really doesn't care whether I am using wooden beads and seashells to represent some of the bountiful natural resources in Africa. However, the themed spooning work is for me- to catch his interest and keep our materials organised. 

If he were older (3-4 ish), I would include a description or explanation. Now, I did not. When we revisit this theme (which we will because we both enjoyed it very much), I will additionally make pre-reading or 3 part cards using natural resources found in Africa. He's just too young to really make the connection in my opinion. 


Spooning 'diamonds' 

 Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities


Sensorial


Mr. Toddler got to explore assorted spices that are commonly used in various African dishes. I picked here a few that we already had on hand (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves), but of course, you can use whatever you have. There is a great diversity in the types of dishes that are prepared in each region so this is quite easy to set up. 

I was thinking about presenting matching cards, but decided against it as I wanted this work to be focused purely on the sensorial aspect of this work - smelling, feeling, and even tasting the spices (not the cloves). 


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Predictably with Mr. Toddler, he chose to make this a pouring and mixing work after he was finished being patient with me while I named each spice and let him smell it. 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Poke. Poke.  

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Mr. Toddler usually helps me to prepare my own spice mixes when I am cooking. He always mixes them and puts them into one large bowl. That is why I should have known that he would mix them all together in this work. This is the basis for a pumpkin pie spice though (except that we use ground cloves). 


Kitchen practical life


He got to grind cinnamon. This was quite a difficult task actually, and nutmeg would have been much more appropriate to do this way. Sadly, we had run out. The idea worked well though and he got to use this grater for the first time. 

First, I demonstrated. Then, he got to try himself. I do not have an action shot as I was watching him very carefully at this time. 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Safety note: I sat next to Mr. Toddler the entire time in case I needed to intervene. My son is 2.5 years old and I knew based on his own skills that he would be relatively safe with this as long as I was carefully watching. I did not need to intervene. Do not do this work with your kids if you do not feel comfortable and make sure you pay close attention.

Mortal and pestle  


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

He loved, loved, loved this work! Folks, I simply couldn't get him away from it (not that I wanted to)! He was so drawn to it and was so excited to work on it daily for almost two weeks! It was such a fun tray for him! 

I presented coriander seeds, a mortar and pestle, and an extra bowl for the powder. Note: you may want an additional air tight jar or bag for the powder for storing afterwards. We have a lot of glass jars that I use for our spices so we just used that. 

Step 1: Open the container 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Step 2: Pour the seeds


Step 3: Grind and then pour powder into extra bowl

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Fine motor


We made colourful patterns. The inspiration for this work was the colourful bead work of the Maasai tribe (by the way, I have a few photos related to this in my Africa themed pre-reading cards printable pack!) 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Digging for diamonds 


Again, this was inspired by the natural resources available, but was really just targeting Mr. Toddler's fine motor skills. The bowl on the right is for the diamonds he dug out of the 'ground' (black play dough). 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivitiesToddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Music

One of my sister's in law had an internship in Ghana a few years ago and brought back this drum. Mr. Toddler simply adores music and had the best time with it! 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

 All he did was play on it (banging at his will) but music is music! I danced while he played. Yep, I so shamelessly dance around the living room while my kid sings or pretends he's playing a drum (banging on a pot), or this case, is playing an actual drum. Good times folks! 


Exploring animals of Africa 


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

 First, I simply let him use the magnifying glass and look at the animals. We eventually moved onto making footprints in green play dough, and then used my African animal 3 part cards to match the animal figurines to the cards. 


Matching baby and mommy animals 


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities


Making giraffe bracelets 



Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Sorting  


Sorting beads by size

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Sorting beads by type 


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

Lacing 


We've had this elephant for about a year and have had it out during play time every now and again since I purchased it. This time, Mr. Toddler was not interested in it. At all. And didn't touch this work once. He hasn't mastered lacing yet, but just wasn't drawn to it. I think it does better as a free play activity so that's what we'll be doing in the future. 


Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities


When works don't go as planned 


Mr. Toddler doesn't always see our works the same way that I do. I always try let him explore on his own. Here's what happened one day, when he took his trays into his own hands - he combined the peas and African animal exploration trays. It actually made sense to me - he hid the animals in the peas and then dug them out. Afterwards, he poured the peas from one bowl into two others. 

Toddler Activities: Africa inspired Montessori activities #toddleractivities, #montessoriactivities

You may like




FREE African Animal 3 part cards {Welcome to Mommyhood} #montessori, #freeprintables

Looking for more? 


Be sure to subscribe to get email updates whenever new posts come out! You'll be the first ones to know about FREE printables, new works, and all sorts of inspiration! 


Like on facebook




Thank you for stopping by!