Monday, 6 February 2017

No need to be fancy! Montessori inspired activities

When it comes to Montessori style activities, I feel like we can get wrapped up in buying lovely, expensive materials. I want to take a little bit of time to write about several ideas you can use for Montessori inspired activities that are very easy to set up with materials you likely already have on hand. 

The thing is, if you are at home, you don't need to replicate a school. If you have a Montessori school, or a non-Montessori school, go you! If you're a teacher, thank you for doing such a precious and important job! These environments however are really very different (home versus school), and I think that's just fine!

Today, I want to write a bit about creating Montessori inspired activities at home specifically. As a parent, I find myself looking at beautiful images of Montessori schools and environments, and I can't help but wish I could set up my home more like a beautiful Montessori school with all of those fabulous materials. However, my bank account has limited funding of course, and we need to be realistic. 

It's okay not to replicate a school, or worse yet, get stuck on pinterest and feel pressure to create a magazine worthy environment! I feel like parenting, and homeschooling can really lead to some pretty hefty guilt trips that we of course inflict upon ourselves. 

I hope to encourage you guys today and say that it's not necessary to have a 'fancy' set up, expensive materials, and that you don't need to replicate that photo you saw on pinterest. You can create wonderful, educational, useful works and activities with materials you likely already have at home just because! Isn't that wonderful? 

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

Montessori Inspired Activities


Sorting

Before I show you guys this work, can I just please point out how obsessed Y and I are with our wooden bowls. Gosh, I just adore how beautiful these are! 

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

For this work, all I did was gather some bowls and some tri-color pasta! I bet you either have this at home, or can get the pasta very cheaply from your local grocery store! Isn't that fantastic? You only need a few simple materials to create a wonderful Montessori style activity! 



All you have to do is add some pasta to one larger bowl. Present three identical, smaller bowls, as well on the your tray. 

When presenting works like this, I actually like to count out and make sure that there is the same quantity of each color/type of material being sorted. I promise, it doesn't take long!

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

This type of activity is really great for children. This is a fantastic math activity. Sorting objects (in this case by colour) teaches children that each object has it's own characteristics and is it's own category. This is a necessary skill that children must acquire before they are able to learn to count/number quantity.  

Additionally, a work like this is great for developing fine motor skills and pincer grasp, which prepares the hand for writing! 

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

Counting

We have been really enjoying our sandpaper numbers. I made these myself actually! For this activity, you can also swap sandpaper numbers for number cards (you can use printable ones or use a DIY set!). 

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

You can use dried pasta as a manipulative for counting. I presented a small mat, our sandpaper numbers, and dried pasta for counting. 

All Y had to do was place the corresponding quantity of pasta underneath each number. It's a very simple type of activity, but a very effective way to practice number quantity and number recognition. Bonus: if you use the sandpaper numbers, it's a great pre-writing exercise! 

Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

Tweezing

Tweezing is a fantastic work for children. This type of exercise prepares the hand for writing because it strengthens hand muscles, targets hand eye coordination and increases concentration. These are all very important skills for children! 

For this exercise, again, we take our dried pasta, two identical bowls, and a pair of tweezers. For the presentation, be sure to place the utensil in between the bowls. 

Place the pasta into the bowl on the left side. This is important as the child will work left to right, taking pasta from the left bowl and placing into the right one with the tweezers. Again, this prepares the mind and eyes for reading later on! 


Easy to set up Montessori style activities for toddlers or preschoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #preschoolactivities, #montessoriactivities, #montessori, #homeschool, #toddleractivities

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