GEMSTONES ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLER SERIES – Part 1.

We love stones of all sizes, colors and shapes as I already have mentioned in my Gemstones activity for child post. 😛

I put together few more easy activities. Adding stones into any play will just offer different way of perception and lot of fun.

I am pretty sure this is just the first part of our gemstone series 🙂


Have fun 🙂

Make colors at home but listen to your child!

Today I spent my son’s nap time preparing edible paints, pasting huge papers on the floor, thinking about all the activity over and over so it’s perfect…and then…he woke up and hated the color :/ Not as expected. He just didn’t like the feeling of color on his fingers and he hated to become dirty (this is something new) 😀

The recipe for the homemade edible paint:

As he didn’t enjoy new paint I offered him our regular tempera colors but he did’t get into that neither.

I left and came back with his favorite markers…and yes he got excited, he just wanted his foot outline on the paper and left the activity again.

So I came up with ‘drawing on the windows’ idea. We have super cool Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 Colouring Pencils become Water Color become Wax Crayons, that you can use for paper, black board and glass too. What’s better, you can also remove it 🙂 Heaven for all creative souls and my son enjoyed cleaning the window more…

I guessed he is just not in mood for art and listened to him…He wanted to see his new Universe Flash Cards I made few days ago.

Dear mommies, I failed to listen to my son today to get nice post about the homemade colors. Just a quick reminder for myself: Listen and follow your child! 

 

How to survive with your toddler in the grocery shop

Day by day is shopping becoming one of little one’s favorite activities. Now his eyes shines whenever we come near park, near coconuts, near our restaurant and near our regular grocery store 😀

Shopping with toddler is not easy thing. He usually gets very much overwhelmed by all the cool stuff around and picks up everything and keeps it in basket. I have observed when we shop in small local shops he can focus on his task, he can pick up tomatoes only, he doesn’t jump from tomato to mango to pastry to chicken…

I just need to keep his small hands and brain busy doing something needful so he is happy and shopping becomes fun for everyone.

From now on our 17 months old boy is pushing the basket by himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping is really great opportunity for great motor development (mainly balancing), eye-hand coordination and language. Children at this age love to carry heavy stuff, heavier the better. So why not to help ourselves and develop little ones at the same time? 🙂

What to do in the shop with a toddler? Give him a task.

  1. Ask him to push the basket
  2. Ask him to bring the apples (one by one)
  3. Ask him to put things in the basket for you (keep it a bit away from you so he enjoys walking or running)
  4. Let him pay for the stuff you bought (if you use credit card, let him type the password or at least press the ‘green button’)
  5. Ask him to keep the basket at it’s place
  6. Ask him to help you with a bag (if the bag is very heavy ask for extra one and keep light things inside).

Happy shopping 🙂

Interview with Montessori mother – Katerina Vosatkova

Dear mommies, today I would love to introduce to you one another great Montessori
 mother – Katerina Vosatkova from Czech Republic. Her daughter is 30 months at the time of writing this post and they practice Montessori since she was 6 months old. I love her work and I follow up all her post on facebook. Reading her story might inspire
someone 🙂 Make your coffee and enjoy yourself.

Hi Katerina, how many children do you have?

Hi, I have one girl, Natalia.

How did you get into Montessori education and philosophy?

It happened so naturally through babywearing and attachment parenting. I remember I got very fascinated after getting through the article about guiding kids towards independence. I loved the idea of opened shelves with trays so I immediately started browsing the internet.

Which Montessori’s thought is closest to your heart?

I personally perceive Montessori as a whole. It became our life style and it is providing opportunity for never ending work on myself.

How does your day look like?

Lot of moms are giving me this question 🙂 It is so individual that I can’t provide you with our plan of the day. We sleep in one bed, after waking up Natalia uses toilet (we have toilet downstairs), picks up her underwear and together we wear clothes. She chooses what she wants from the fridge and meanwhile I prepare all material needed so she can prepare her breakfast by herself. After breakfast she does her activities and plays and I clean house and prepare lunch we decide together. Before lunch we go out to garden or forest and after lunch she sleeps for 1,5-2 hours. After nap we usually don’t spend time at home but if we have to then we make something creative. I give Nataly all the freedom in touching, preparing, trying out the things around us without any obstacles. We take care of our animals – hens, rabbits, cat and dog and lot of other
animals we visit in our neighboring areas. When the season is there we grow our own crops and because we live in the beautiful forest everyday nature walks, activities, mushroom, herbs and fruit collecting is must-to-have.

Do you have prepared environment at home? And what about husband, does he educate Nataly Montessori way?

(laughing) When I read about Montessori for the first time, Nataly was 6 months old and because I was studying The Design and Construction of furniture immediately I started to prepare the environment. Our space is one room of 7,5 x 3,5 m size where we had kitchen, sofa with conference table, in the middle there was space for play, bed with attached cot. It started slowly. I made 2 low shelf cupboards for toys and ordered 6 trays. I can still remember how my partner was asking me why we needed it and I didn’t meet with understanding (laughing). From that time on I was nonstop moving the furniture here there and tried to do my best. We exchanged few furniture pieces for opened shelves and furniture that I designed by myself.

My partner takes care of Nataly intuitively, he tries to talk to her, explains her, lets her touch and feel. For “the male” activities she is still too young. They cooperate together mostly during shopping – selecting the groceries, putting them in basket, taking them out, keeping them in the fridge, preparing meals…

Do you have non-montessori friends? Do you change the environment before their children come? Can non-montessori kids work with material?

Yes, I have few friends who come to visit us with their kids and I must say they love to work with Montessori material and toys. Before I open the door I always remind them our rule – once the play with material is over we always keep it back at it’s own place. I really have good experience. Of course I can see big difference in fine motor movements, patience and concentration.

Do you Montessori outside home also? Do you shop for original materials or are you DIY Montessori mother?

I am housewife, I spend my time designing the furniture for prepared environment of rooms, preschools, day cares and I offer online guidance. From the start of new school year I would like to start working in Montessori day care.

The materials we bought till the age Natalia is 3 years old. After that I don’t have plan to continue as she will be working with montessori material in preschool. If talking about DIY materials, I love them. The most I love to prepare thematic activities.

Which material is your favorite one and which one your child loves the most?

I love all of them. It’s that simplicity and timelessness which makes them special. Natalia’s favorite are till now coin box, cylinder blocks, animals and continents (cards) and of course all the practical life activities.

What gift would make you – Montessori mother – happy?

I am most happy to see the parents working on themselves to become better example for their kids.

Does your child attend any preschool or day care?

We have a beautiful Montessori day care,preschool and school in our neighborhood and right now we attend day care once in a week together for 1 hour. From September she will join preschool for 3 days a week and if everyone will be happy we will continue.

 

Your favorite Montessori book?

Maybe it will sound weird but till now I didn’t read any. I prefer to use internet where you can find lot of amazing and useful information.

Is Montessori way of education according to you only about laminated cards and wooden materials?

No, not even one of that.

What would you recommend to new Montessori mothers and families to start up with?

I would really advise everyone to find some nice Montessori parent who can help them and guide them. That would be very helpful at the beginning.

Thank you for lovely talk Katerina, wishing you and your family beautiful life ahead and easy start of “new era of preschool” 🙂

 

 

I KNOW MY CHAKRAS – EDUCATIONAL KIT FOR KIDS

After few months of hard work finally coming up with new educational kit for kids (and adults too) 💜 I just love it. It can be used by all the age categories in lot of different ways of presentation. We use them in 16 months also 🙂

I KNOW MY CHAKRAS
Teach your kids about chakras,energies and their strength through play.

“To stay healthy and strong we need to take care of ourselves.
You eat so you stay active and you grow up. You exercise so that your heart is healthy and strong. And in the same way… Your energy body needs nourishment.
Our bodies are not only physical ones but also energy ones which protects us and cover us in coat of health, happiness, joy.
Chakras are those responsible for our coats… “

Kit contains :
1x wooden chakra puzzle
7x semi precious stones
1x chakra cards
1x chakra daily planner
70 cards for daily planner (21 empty for own creations)
7x essential oil
7x color pencils
1x DIY chakra bracelet set

Developmental activities included:
* puzzle solving (with round shapes)
* color sorting
* drawing
* creativity
* threading
* sensory development (touch, smell)
* knowledge

GEMSTONES ACTIVITY FOR TODDLER

I just love stones…Stones of any shape, color, size. I collect them everywhere I go because there is never enough stones at woman’s home 😛 I was using them to make jewelry but now they got completely different value! They are our most played material since Agastya was born. He got his first big piece of tumbled ametrin from his great grand mom when he was 2 months because he just starred at it without a movement 😀

So today we have around 100 semi-precious stones in our collection and we love them. I will post more about how we use our crystals in my next post.

This activity is great to develop:

  • hand-eye coordination
  • concentration
  • patience
  • pincer grip
  • strength in writing fingers
  • writing skills
  • language

TIP (colors)

Following activity is prepared for 16 months old toddler who doesn’t show any interest in colors yet. But if you have color maniac toddler at home you can improve the activity and add on color sorting. Just keep different colored bowls to sort the stones in or just simply keep sheets of color papers on the table. If you are just introducing colors don’t forget to start with 2 opposite one (e.g. red & blue) and after your toddler becomes master add on another color. Only after introducing all the colors you can proceed ahead with shades.

TIP (language)

When telling your child names of the stones, make sure you know all before you sit with him, otherwise he will become bored while you search for the exact name. Use only proper names and if you don’t know, don’t try to come up with something, just say “sorry I really don’t know but I’ll search it for you after we are done.” This part is essential for even smallest kids, if they don’t speak, doesn’t mean they don’t learn and don’t understand.

TIP (educational set)

I will slowly start presenting Chakra educational set (click to see) which I made that includes cards, stones, different activities. It’s not yet for 16 months old child but there are unlimited ways how to present it to little ones also.

Agastya loves books. Every time and everywhere 🙂
Practicing pincer grip and eye-hand coordination.
To make activity exciting even for longer time I offered another way of presentation.

 

ONE OF OUR MONTESSORI DAYS

Lot of people are asking me, how does our day look like…It is really not easy to answer this question as every day is different as we go with the flow. Although we try to keep the structure same so order is there. The most difficult part is to find a time to prepare the activities so little one can do all by himself. I try to prepare all while he is having his nap but lot of times it’s not possible and then I end up preparing with him which is stressful for me as I can’t focus. Planning to do some nice time management table to hang on my fridge 😛

Our day starts with brushing the teeth and washing (which is for now fun). And immediately continues in kitchen where we usually spend a lot of time. In the morning Agastya prepares masala tea and coffee. Then sits at the table and eats.

After food and washing (he eats by himself so washing of whole body is more than necessary) he searches for some playful time and most often plays with his montessori inspired material on his shelves in the room.

From 9am you can see him only with the broom and mop in his hands, cleaning, brooming.

Before his nap he loves to do flash cards. First my turn and then flashes by himself. In the mornings we also listen to the music and dance.

After nap we have have lunch or if the nap was ultra short we cook together. Till night he doesn’t sleep so we utilize the time to do some outings. Shopping, garden, sand pit, visits. Every day he spends some time doing gardening on our terrace and playing with water.

…and again brooming 🙂 very famous activity these days.

And we do some gardening also at our friends place.

Before the day finishes we always go to our restaurant for a coffee and apples. He knows how to put the sugar in my coffee and stirs it every time. After coming home we play and get ready for bed. In the bed we read 2-3 books (or better said we go through pictures and we search for animals on the pages) and I make him sleep in the bed.

10 COOL GIFT IDEAS FOR MONTESSORI MOTHER

Everyone loves the gifts, isn’t it? Same as children mummies also do. If you are Montessori mom, you have your birthday (or you are just awesome) and your close ones really don’t understand your taste, now it’s the time to discreetly share this post on your facebook wall so maybe they will read it 😛

You can find lot of tips for Montessori gifts for our children but what about us? Here is my list of ‘have to have’ gifts…And my birthday is coming 😛

MONTESSORI JEWELRY. Neat and clean montessori inspired jewelry designs for monte freaks 🙂 Isn’t it just cool to wear something so special and with real meaning? Click on the photos to get to websites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAMINATING MACHINE. Oh yes, this one is my top. Montessori parent just needs laminating machine. So many 3-part cards to make…Go for A3 size with both hot and cold lamination. Of course let’s not forget to mention bulk of lamination sheets.

                 Illustration photo.

ALL THE ACCESSORIES THAT ARE NEEDED FOR LAMINATION OR GIFT VOUCHER TO NEAREST SHOP. Yes,we can’t forget about all that ‘wow’ stuff we need to work with laminating machine. Namely, round corner cutter, cutting board, cutting knives, would be great to get paid version of your favorite photo editor to finally get all those awesome features they are offering.

BULK OF ART PAPER, CELLOPHANE, RUBBER PAPER, SAND PAPER. White, colorful, plain, with design, in different sizes and grams. We are always in search of papers, papers, papers. It will really save lot of our time.

DR. MONTESSORI’S OWN HANDBOOK. Like a book of magic incantations. You can get it easily online for free but I always love the feeling of turning the paper pages and seeing my books in the shelves. 

GIFT VOUCHER TO SHOP WITH CREATIVE MATERIALS, WOOD WORKSHOP OR BOOK STORE. If people just can not fit your taste it’s best to give gift vouchers. Montessori mother really spends in shops with creative stuff more than half of her life and other half in book store.

GIFT VOUCHER FOR SEMINARS, COURSES, WORKSHOPS…of course with Montessori topics.

MARIA MONTESSORI DOLL. I am sure every mum or montessori teacher will be pleased to receive something so special like Maria Montessori doll. 

MONTESSORI MUGS. There is great variety of Montessori mugs out there but you can always design your own special ones and make them done in nearest printing shop or even become a bit creative and learn about ceramic drawing.

 

 

 

 

 

MONTESSORI HOMESCHOOL PLANNING CALENDAR. I really wish to have one. Oh, I just need to organize all my thoughts and start getting used to preparing homeschool classes but am so busy with doing other important things that to buy one is better and faster option as to make one..But as I just love creating and working with my hands, I might prepare one.

Happy shopping 🙂

With toddler in the kitchen – Our Montessori Prepared Kitchen

A play kitchen for Agastya (16 months). He can open all the kitchen doors independently now. Few weeks ago he couldn’t reach to upper portion but now he can manage himself. Kitchen has “growing legs” so can grow together with him.

All his cutlery, plates, bowls and food table mat are arranged in places marked by red tape. Like this they have they stable places and it is much easier for little one to remember what belongs where. It took him one day to absorb new information and apply it in real.

He can get his small glasses from top left shelf and glass jar from the right one.

Upper wardrobe works as storage for some of his snacks that he can take independently.

“Growing chair” is best for the child to teach him table manners and socialize. We can just move the seats up and down according to our convenience so he can climb up and down independently. Till now he didn’t find out the exact way of doing so but I give him maximum 2-3 days and he will be there. This chair doesn’t have table which is allowing him to enjoy the meal times and gives him feeling of importance.

Table mat you can make very easily by yourself. It again helps to define the space. He was very happy when he found out that spoon fits in its outline.

We have also small stand with two upper shelves for us and three down ones for Agastya. He can come, serve himself, use ingredients for his play cooking (which is not so often as he wants to cook in real on real gas with me) and on low shelf he has his basket with cleaning stuff. We do not keep toy food for play. Instead he plays with real pasta, walnuts, cinnamon sticks, dried grapes…

Learning tower is one of the best inventions in the world. We have it from the time Agastya was 12 months and it is one of the most widely used item in our house. As he has “kitchen fever” or “dry-liquid-pouring-stirring-mixing sensitive period” it is most often utilized in the kitchen but we already used it everywhere. Only two days ago he found out how to get in and out by himself.

 

25 PRACTICAL TIPS HOW TO START MONTESSORI AT HOME TODAY

Ok, so let’s say I have the idea who was Maria Montessori, what was she doing and what she aimed for. I know the basic principles, I know the respect for child is the most important and I also know that me as a guide of my child I should provide him the safe space where he can discover and thus learn independently by himself. 

Yes, theory – check.
But how to put all these information into our everyday life? How to incorporate them into our home environment? 
I find myself scattered lot of times. My mind is wandering from thought to thought from kitchen to bathroom and to bedroom and to creative space and and and… I had to (still have to) learn how to focus on one thing (and my son will not have same problem as we follow Montessori that’s teaching that mostly, isn’t it :P)
I got a baby to teach me what I was not taught in my childhood. He came to me to show me how to enjoy the moment to the fullest and focus focus focus.
 ♥
The one can not teach kids how to swim, how to climb the rock or how to focus on one task if the one can not do it by herself/himself. That’s what I recently discovered. Wah, that’s great, but what to do with this information?
 ♥
Learn to swim, learn to climb the rock or become Montessori in the core of your personality.  
 ♥
There are lot of information about Montessori method available on internet, in books or you can join training centers, preschools or mother toddler classes.
Only once I am sure THIS is my way, this is what my child and ME (along with him) need I can prepare our space and start our Montessori life, isn’t it?
 ♥
How to start Montessori with your child? 
1) Be sure you are not going to be disturbed, everyone is sleeping or out of house. It is difficult to think constructively with toddler hanging on your leg.
2) Take a pen, notebook, make a coffee and sit down. Get ready for some serious thinking.
3) Take a deep breath and focus!
4) You are going to write down the list of things that are the spine of Montessori method according to you. Try by yourself… You can check with my list below to get an idea of prepared environment (we don’t get into materials yet).
5) Now think! Write next to each and every point you mentioned how you can achieve that.
a) ADAPTATION OF SPACE
b) CHANGE OF APPROACH
6) When thinking about change of space,  think from the child’s point of view. Literally!
Go down on your knees, belly (depending on age of kid) and see what can he see. Can he switch on the light? Can he wash his hands? Can he choose his clothes? Can he lie down on bed once tired?
If you found out the answer is NO you just started the Montessori journey.
Now you see how much the child must be stressed when he has to rely on adult all the time he needs something.
7) Try to work with whatever is available. If you decide you need to buy something first you will never start. I will show you our Montessori home in next post.
8) Think about all the changes IN DETAIL so you don’t have to change it again and again. Children love the order and they just don’t cooperate when our house or we are in mess.
9) After all the changes done keep the house clean and neat. All should have it’s space so child learns. Order equals to clarity. Clarity equals to focus. Focus equals to peace.
10) When I find my boy disturbed, running from activity to activity, messing around I stop. I stop myself, let everything be just as it is (means lot of days without home made food) and clean the mess in my head.
11) Work on habit to clean after yourself. Not talking about toys or materials only. Our kids are watching and absorbing all they see.
Today I got amazed,my 16 months old took out CD from drawer and CLOSED THE DRAWER like it’s completely natural thing! 
12) When you think about your approach to child,  being Montessori mother (click to read When to crown yourself Montessori mother?) means to respect the child as human being, give him choices and respect the final choice (even if you don’t agree). Give him safe and prepared space to do everything by himself so he gets the feeling of independence and importance. Ask him to help you (provided he wants to) so he feels important part of your family.

13) Get rid of all the plastic toys. Go for soothing natural materials.

14) Learn about and apply minimalism.
 ♥
Tips on changes in the space:
1) Bathroom – stool to reach sink, soap, toothbrush available, towel on low positioned hook.
2) Toilet – potty at one place (can be marked by tape so child always knows where it is)
3) Bedroom – bed on the floor. 2-3 books available at the height of child. Space for his clothes,easily reachable for him with choice of 3 different shirts, pants…His dressing table should contain hairbrush and mirror also.
4) Kitchen – shelf for snacks and water, space to keep spoons, forks, plates.
5) By the door – keep a chair so he can wear his shoes, hanger in height of his shoulders and space for shoes.
6) Learning tower (I will blog about this point in few days).
7) High chair without table
8) Small table with chair for eating, working
9) Creative space
10) Reading space
11) Cleaning material space
Take these tips as a guideline as for every family there are different ways of how to do and what to do.
Just remember it really doesn’t have to be lavish and most cool Montessori furniture the world has ever seen. You can come up with lots of creative ideas once thinking about it.
 ♥
HAPPY MONTESSORI