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.

 

Montessori apparatus – abstract concept made into concrete material.

Few days ago I got into conversation about Montessori toys…As I think about it deeper, the term ‘Montessori’ became just fashion and label for all educational and cool stuff out there but Maria Montessori’s philosophy and her material is about something else.ย 

Photo source: www.montessoricircle.com
What is Montessori material?ย 
Montessori material was designed by Maria Montessori herself. As she first worked with mentally handicapped children the apparatus was primarily made for their use. Some of materials were taken from Itard and Sequin and adjusted by Montessori according to the needs of the children in her House of Children.ย When she made her own apparatus for the normal children she had let the children work with them and she observed the frequency of use and the advantages derived from them. Through the trial and error method she modified her apparatus that allows to detect the defects at an early stage and correct them. For example the sound boxes can detect deafness and the color boxes can detect color blindness.
Maria Montessori is not talking about the toys. According to her, child in process of play works and that’s why she is talking about materials. Materials which have to be presented to child in such a beautiful and organized way that it feels like getting the gift. Only beautiful things attract our senses, allow the brain to work and create millions of new neural connections.

Characteristics of Montessori material:
* Natural materials
* Beautiful – all of the material is aesthetically pleasing.
* Neat and clean
* Complete – all of the material must be complete. This allows the child to finish through the entire piece of work without having to stop and find a missing piece.
* It has control of error – this calls to the child to make the corrections himself.
* Each material isolates one quality – this allows the child to focus on that one quality.
* Limited -there is only one of each material in the environment (building of patience in other children present) and only few qualities are presented to the child. The child is not given every color in the world, but only a selected few. This gives the child the key to the information so it peaks his curiosity.

“The technique of my method as it follows the guidance of the natural physiological and psychical development of the child, may be divided into three parts:
Motor education. Sensory education. Language.
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The care and management of the environment itself afford the principal means of motor education, while sensory education and the education of language are provided for by my didactic material.” M.Montessori

Montessori categorized the Sensory Exercises into eight different groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic. The material she developed has either never been seen or never been used by the child in his everyday life. With this said however, the child will receive no new experiences through the use of the material. This was purposefully thought through in order to give the child what he knows, but might not yet realize, and to then refine his knowledge. In order to do this, the material is presented in a specific way or in a specific pattern.

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“The didactic material for the education of the senses consists of:
(a) Three sets of solid insets.
(b) Three sets of solids in graduated sizes, comprising: (1) Pink cubes. (2)
Brown prisms. (3) Rods: (a) colored green; (b) colored alternately red and blue.
(c) Various geometric solids (prism, pyramid, sphere, cylinder, cone, etc.).
(d) Rectangular tablets with rough and smooth surfaces.
(e) A collection of various stuffs.
(f) Small wooden tablets of different weights.
(g) Two boxes, each containing sixty-four colored tablets.
(h) A chest of drawers containing plane insets.
(i) Three series of cards on which are pasted geometrical forms in paper.
(k) A collection of cylindrical closed boxes (sounds).
(l) A double series of musical bells, wooden boards on which are painted the lines used in music, small wooden discs for the notes.

ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  Photo source: http://julianagroup.com
Didactic Material for the Preparation for Writing and Arithmetic:
(m) Two sloping desks and various iron insets.
(n) Cards on which are pasted sandpaper letters.
(o) Two alphabets of colored cardboard and of different sizes.
(p) A series of cards on which are pasted sandpaper figures (1, 2, 3, etc.).
(q) A series of large cards bearing the same figures in smooth paper for the enumeration
of numbers above ten.
(r) Two boxes with small sticks for counting.
(s) The volume of drawings belonging specially to the method, and colored pencils.
(t) The frames for lacing, buttoning, etc., which are used for the education of the movements of the hand.
(u) Beads material.
(v) Binomial cube. ” M.Montessori
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Most importantly, all of the material could be called โ€œmaterialized abstractionsโ€. This means that in Montessori materials, abstract concepts are made into concrete materials.
If above written is Montessori material then remaining toys can be called Montessori inspired or educational materials. ย 

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.