Tuesday, 15 March 2016

How to present Montessori activities to your kids

I am so excited to be participating in a highly requested collaboration today alongside Amruta from Mumma Diaries! Today, we are talking about how to present Montessori style activities to your little ones! Be sure to visit Amruta's youtube channel to see the wonderful tips and ideas she is sharing! 

In this post, I am sharing Montessori inspired trays and a few concepts that you can apply to presenting different types of activities to your kids. This post does not contain Montessori materials per se such as the pink tower, sandpaper numbers etc because I wanted to leave a general focus more open to tray work and not just Montessori (inspired) activities. 

Here are some practical tips for how to present and demonstrate activities or works, tray work, shelf work etc.

How to present montessori style activities for kids by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

A tonging practical life work

How to present montessori style activities for kids by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

A lot of works look like this leaf tonging work. The goal in this particular tray is for the child to use the tongs to transfer leaves from one bowl to the other. 

Why? 

The purpose of this work is to strengthen hand muscles, hand eye coordination, work on patience and concentration. 

What to focus on?

With works like this, I don't give my child a demonstration or a presentation on how to use the materials. By 3.5 years old, he has developed a system for how we use the trays and materials and knows what he has to do simply by looking at the tray.  

When presenting a transferring work, be sure to give your child two bowls - one that contains the material and another for placing the material into. After your child masters transferring into one bowl, then present three bowls. Then, your child will have to transfer the objects from one bowl into two bowls, focusing on placing equal quantities in both. 

We also keep the tongs in between the bowls. This avoids giving your child an underlying preference for which hand to use. 

How to demonstrate 

If you are presenting a material for the first time, then it is important to give a demonstration of how to use the material. If the tongs are new, you can give a demonstration by: 

  • Sit with your child on the ground
  • Get a mat for containing the work
  • Place the tray on the mat 
  • Demonstrate how to use the tongs slowly. Show your child how to transfer the leaves using the tongs. 
  • Do not speak during the presentation. 
  • Clean up the supplies by placing them onto the tray and then back on the shelf. 
  • Roll up the mat 

Cleaning up the materials is just as important a step as actually using the tongs. Cleaning up teaches your child responsibility and to care for their environment and materials that they are able to use. 


Water pouring work using a funnel


How to present montessori style activities for kids by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

This is another practical life work that is fairly self explanatory. The goal here is for the child to use a funnel to pour water from one glass to another. A sponge is needed for drying spilled water. 

Why? 

These works are very important and develop several important skills: independence (the child can get their own water or drink), consideration (can get a drink for someone else), helps to develop cooking skills, hand eye coordination, math skills (knowing when something is full is a great lesson on volume), and concentration. 

What to focus on?

It's very important to remember to give a sponge or something for your child to clean up messes with. I like to leave that in a bowl to prevent it from moving on the tray. 

How to demonstrate 

  • Sit with your child on the ground
  • Get a mat for containing the work
  • Place the tray on the mat 
  • Insert the funnel into one of the bottles
  • Pour the water slowly from one bottle to the other
  • Demonstrate using the sponge by cleaning up some spilled water
  • Place the sponge back in the bowl
  • Place the funnel back on the tray 
  • Place the glass bottles onto the tray 
  • Return the tray to the shelf
  • Roll up the mat

Animal cards and figurines


How to present montessori style activities for kids by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

You may have seen those lovely Safari Ltd and Schleich animal figurines. We love using these for language lessons alongside printable cards with images of those same animals. You can use these to create several activities. 


  • A 3 part lesson using the figurines
  • A 3 part lesson using the cards
  • Have your child match the figurines to the cards

Why? 

We love these for our foreign language studies! My son is learning English at the moment and these types of works are very efficient for helping him to remember new vocabulary terms. 

What to focus on?

For the presentation, I like to contain the animals in a bowl to prevent them from moving. Keep in mind, a 3 part lesson can be done with almost anything, not just animal figurines or cards! 

How to give a 3 part lesson

  • Sit with your child on the ground
  • Get a mat for containing the work
  • Place the tray on the mat 
  • Lay out the animal cards neatly in front of you - make sure they face your child so s/he can clearly see the animals. 
  • Step 1: Start by saying 'This is _____' for each card. Speak clearly and slowly. Point to each card as you say what it is called. 
  • Step 2: Ask your child to identify the animals. For example, you will say 'Can you show me the giraffe'. Do this for each animal or card. Your child should point to the giraffe. 
  • If your child incorrectly identifies an animal, make a mental note but do not say anything. Then, return to Step 1. After giving part 1, then repeat step 2. 
  • Step 3: Point to one of the cards and say 'What is this?'. Your child should properly identify the name of the animal/card that you are pointing to. If they make a mistake, do not saying anything, but make a mental note. Go back to Step 1.  
  • After you are done, be sure to clean up the work and place it back on the shelf. 

Lion washing


How to present montessori style activities for kids by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

I love presenting animal washing works! These are fun practical life activities! Here, I usually don't fill the bucket with water until my son selects this particular activity. This activity is very self explanatory, but you may want to demonstrate how to do it if this is the first time you are presenting this type of work for your child. 

Why? 

Cleaning activities such as these promote independence, consideration, care of the environment and are also very fun for kids to do! 

What to focus on?

Again, don't forget to offer a sponge or something for your child to clean up messes with. Everything is contained in individual bowls. You may also want to offer a cloth for drying off the animal. 

How to demonstrate 

  • Sit with your child on the ground
  • Get a mat for containing the work
  • Place the tray on the mat 
  • Fill the bucket with water
  • Place the lion in the water
  • Wash the lion with a sponge
  • Demonstrate drying a spill 
  • Place all of the supplies back onto the tray
  • Place the tray back onto the shelf

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Today, I am linking up at:  A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten community, Tot school Gathering PlaceThe Thoughtful SpotLove to Learn LinkyThe Mommy Club Resources and SolutionsLink and Learn, TGIFHip Homeschool Moms,