Easter Eggs Montessori activity for toddlers

Easter is coming and I was thinking how to make it special for my little one who does not yet fully gets the meaning of Easter. And I got it! EGGS of course! So creative isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜€

My son is just in that phase of life when we have to have scrambled eggs every day, well I have to have as he just loves to break and cook, eating is not that exciting.

So we bought 12 eggs from the street (yeah, here in India, you get eggs on the street)really cheap and rushed home. That happiness in his eyes when after breaking first 6 got another 6 eggs… ๐Ÿ™‚ Once all broken he enjoyed making scrambled eggs which we gave to street dogs in the evening. Win – win situation for everyone. Mom has few minutes off, child learning experience and dogs food. Will surely repeat it in coming days.

IN THE KITCHEN WITH 17 MONTHS OLD TODDLER

We love to cook…Actually the truth is I don’t like to cook so much but as my little one is big fan of kitchen, all the utensils and specially gas stove we really spend majority of our time there. What one loving mother doesn’t do for her child ๐Ÿ˜€

Whenever my son is sleeping and I have some time I always think what to do. Is this the activity my little one would love to do or it’s still too difficult for him? Most of the time I answer to myself…”This he would love to do. This you can do with help of child. This is his favorite. This he would love to learn for sure.” So I end up writing blog and leaving all the work to my toddler at home. Child labor? What to do, he just loves all that adults hate, so as the best mother, I allow him to learn. ๐Ÿ˜›

There are lot of practical life activities we do at home and I would like to sum up all we did in the kitchen in his 17th month (yesterday he turned 18) ๐Ÿ™‚

He loves to put things in pots and stir and stir and stir.

Pouring the rice from small jar.

First he breaks eggs and then adds pre-cooked homemade pasta.

Adding some food color to our homemade non-toxic play dough. You can read about it in the post Make super easy non-toxic play dough in 10 mins.

Dry spooning.

Officially this activity started as spices smelling activity but little one decided to make his own spices mix which we now use in kitchen.

Peeling the onion is awesome activity to develop fine motor skills.

Play dough cooking. How? See in older post.

Every morning preparing tea for dad…

…and coffee for mum ๐Ÿ™‚

Another great activity for fine motor skills development.

 

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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 pastryย 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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Interview with Montessori mother – Katerina Vosatkova

Dear mommies, today I would love to introduce to you one another great Montessori
ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 perceiveย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 –ย 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” ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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

TIPย (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 ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.