Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Activity 1- Montessori

     I have given Austin the activity of putting the straws into a container and I am happy to let you know he was so interested in it!  He stayed playing with it for about 20 min.  Once I noticed that he wanted to get up and play with other things I just picked up the container and straws and put it away for later.  I do not want him to use this along with playing with his regular toys. 

     When I first introduced it I gave him the container with the lid on but with the top with the little holes open.  I showed him that you can get the straws and put them into the little holes.  This was a little too hard for him so instead I opened the other side of the top that has the big hole.  He was able to put the straws in there.  Once he put all the straws in he would close the top and shake the bottle then try to open it and dump them all out.  He made up his own variations of this by the second time I gave it to him.

Here is the first time he played with it:
The good thing about these activities is that you can let your baby explore them.  As you see here he was playing with the straws without putting them in the container.  He was feeling them and tasting them =).

The next day I gave it to him I noticed him trying to take off the top completely so I helped him.  This time he would put all the straws in the container without the lid then close the top himself.  He would actually turn the lid and close it.  However, when he did this he could not open it again.  This gave me the idea of next time trying to show him how to open the container.  We will see how that works out.

Remember, every experience is a learning experience!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Montessori intro

Oh the world of Montessori!  Call me weird but I get a rush of excitement of all the things I can do to teach my baby new things.  I felt the same way with my oldest and still do!  I always seem to gravitate to the world of Montessori learning.  This is a philosophy that fosters independence in a child.  It allows the child to grow and learn at their own pace while challenging themselves.  The teacher (or parent) just guides them and introduces things for them.  This belief fosters the idea that a child is a self-motivated learner and they will gravitate to learning new things.  I don’t know about you guys but to me that is a fascinating thing to promote for the real world. 

I am going to start trying to set up a Montessori area in our home.  I would like get Austin to engage in an activity about 2 times a day for maybe 10-15 minutes.  I will try while we are alone in the morning and then again in the afternoon while the older kids are working on homework.  This has been a challenging time for me since, the older ones not only need help while they are doing homework but I like to teach them a little extra while their minds are still in the learning setting.  However, the baby also needs my attention during this time.  I am hoping that doing Montessori activities with him that I can do both at the same time.  (Wish me luck!) 

The first activity I will be doing is good for fine motor skills, picking up items with a pointer grip, inserting items into a container… Within a small little DIY toy a child learns so much!  It can even be used as a musical instrument by shaking it.  Also, this activity can be used for harder things in the future like taking things out of the container.  I got the idea from Pinterest, the link is below:
Putting straws in a container

I will be tracking my experience with this here on the blog!  Please let me know if you have any ideas for a 14 month old.