Thursday, September 3, 2015

Montessori-style Toddler Activities

On my quest to find more structured activities for Weston, I've been putting together some activities he does at Montessori for home use. His teachers tell me that he loves the "practical life skills" shelf which includes pouring water from cup to cup, sorting beans and other things that involve tactile movement. He also loves these little animal figurines that they have in class.  So these are the first two activities I've put together.

Animal Matching Game

This has turned out to be one of Weston's favorite games.  I don't have any pictures of us actually playing it because I'm usually holding the flashcards while he picks out the matching animal and we don't have a professional photog following us around all day.  I found some free flashcards at KidzClub  and downloaded all of the sets. So far, I have only put together the Farm Animal and Wild Animal sets. I printed them out on some old cardstock I had laying around, laminated them using these self-laminating sheets (which are super easy to use), and cut them out.  I also purchased a Farm Animal Wild Animal and Woodland Animal set of figurines from Amazon.  Side note: the size of the animals in the wild animal set are much smaller, but other sets were a little expensive for what I needed them for.  When we play I usually hold up a card, ask Weston what the animal is, and then ask him to find it in his figurines, which I've laid out on the floor or table.  Of course he gets a lot wrong so Dennis and I work with him on identifying the correct animals and it's fun to hear him pronounce animal names.


I am sure this has an appropriate Montessori name, but I just call it beans.  I filled two empty containers with two different types of beans.  I also gave Weston a funnel and some other empty containers to play with.  This kid sat for almost an hour and just poured beans back and forth, picked them up and put them in the containers, and poured them into the funnel. I set up a little table with a tray to capture any bean spillage near the kitchen and I was able to make dinner while he played beans! When he was done, he promptly spilled the beans on the floor instead of the there is a little downside to this game. But he did help me clean them up. So there's that.

 This last one is so blurry, but I just love the look of concentration on his face! Hah!

Let us know if you try out one of these activities and how they work for you!  Happy Learning!

*Affiliate links used for figurine supplies.

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