Tuesday, 7 June 2016

How to use 1 material to create multiple activities

Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

I have to admit that I just adore collecting manipulatives and little tid bits for Y's shelves and activities. The thing is though, those little things that we buy tend to add up - not only in cost, but also in storage space. That's why I love to reuse materials and try to find new ways to bring life to either 'old' activities, or use a material in a new way. 

Today, I am sharing multiple ideas for using one material: today, we're all about seashells! With the weather warming up, it's perfect to create seashell themed works. You even get bonus points if you go to the beach and collect the shelves yourselves! 


Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities


Practical life


Washing seashells is a fabulous practical life work. Note, the pitcher is empty because one of the tasks that Y has to do if he selects this work is to get the water himself. 

Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

I presented a small sponge (for spills) and q-tip for actually washing the shells. 


TipWhen you are trying to reintroduce a material, add water! There's just something about water that is like a magnet to my son. Washing works, pouring, etc, he loves it all! 

Another wonderful practical life idea is to provide a pouring work! This work builds up hand eye coordination, motor skills, concentration and so much more!
Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

Alternatively, a spooning work is also a fabulous work! Carefully spooning seashells or small manipulatives builds up concentration and patience. A lot of patience. Additionally, spooning is a wonderful way to strengthen hand muscles, hand eye coordination, and prepares your child for writing in an indirect way. 

Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

Writing, really? Yes, really! Grasping a spoon properly and strengthening muscles in hands by repeatedly making a spooning motion is great practice for writing later on!


Arts and crafts


Adding some art to a project can be tons of fun, and also let's our little ones get creative. I like to make invitations to create art by presenting a few objects on a tray. 


Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

What you'll need:


  • Seashells
  • Tray
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Cardstock 
  • An old shoe box lid 
  • Paint brushes 
  • An apron for your kiddo 

With this activity, it can get a bit messy. That is why I recommend using a shoe box lid. You can place a sheet of paper on the bottom, and then let your kiddo get creative! Y had a ton of fun painting on the seashells themselves. However, you can also use the shells as stamps, or explore the patterns they leave on the paper! 

Math


Seashell sorting based on type 


Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

This was a beautiful work that just fascinated Y! He really loved the small jars - I'm not sure if it was their lids or their fun handles, but he enjoyed working with them so much! 


Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

I love how organically works flow when you have properly selected materials. Really, I cannot stress this enough. Y was so careful with, not only the seashells, but also the breakable glass jars. He observed the shells carefully, and placed them into the jars very meticulously. The jars were the perfect size for his hands. He could get the lids off with concentration, and could even hold the jars using the handles very comfortably. Quite a successful work that he returned to countless times. 

Tip: When trying to add new 'life' to a material that you have used previously, such as the seashells in this case, try adding a new element such as the jars above. They were a new material I am testing out for a secret project (shh!) and they were just perfect for bringing in an added element of intrigue to a fairly simple sorting work! 

Another fabulous math work is using sandpaper numbers! Y loves to count and really enjoyed counting out these seashells. 

Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

After we finished counting them, instead of tracing the numbers with his finger, Y started laying out the seashells on the numbers, too! Tip: sometimes, adding a new perspective to a manipulative simply involves presenting it to your child and letting them figure out what they want to do with it!


Exploration


Y loves his magnifying glass. Exploring the tiny details of seashells is a great work! Each seashell is different and provides tons of exploration opportunities. 

Bringing new life to old activities: how to use 1 manipulative to make multiple activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #homeschool, #preschool, #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities

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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 MomsPractical Mondays