Category Archives: montessori

“Let’s Compromise Mom.”

Probably not what I was expecting my then two year old Sweetpea to say.  I remember looking at her and thinking who. are. you???????? Oh yeah that’s right, you’re echoing things I say.  As Sweetpea has grown, so has her logic, her vocabulary, her curiosity, and her capability.

The Body
Mom, Can you tell me what this does?

This past week preschool had a “wear your favorite color” to class day…Sweetpea’s response, “Mom, I need something spectacular to wear tomorrow.”  We ultimately settled settled on a favorite dress…Then follow this by the excitement that it’s her day to do her laundry…It’s moments like these I remember but also forget Sweetpea is 4.  I forget what 4 is supposed to mean.

Sisters
Sister Playing

Then I slow down from the hundred other things I’m supposed to be doing and watch a quiet moment between sisters.  I look at what they’re playing with and realize four and one are….four and one.   It’s me calming down and being patient.  It’s realizing that though I told someone to put their toys away (seventeen hundred times), someone probably didn’t register it or see their toys on the floor.  It’s realizing that the “water on the stone” still applies.  It’s remembering that Daniel Tiger is still an interesting show.

Stacking toy
One day this won’t be a major accomplishment or even a toy in our house
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It’s Been a Minute!

We recently moved from our fun city-town to new country-town.  This new, wondrous, scary, different, amazing, curious place has had me spinning since the move process started.  But we’re settled now!

I plan on learning how to It's Been a Minute!cook with a pressure cooker soon (sale notice compliments of http://www.mamainsticts.com). Sweetpea started Montessori preschool, I now work part time, and baby-to-be is doing great!    I’ve started freezing new slow cooker recipes so I’m hoping to post a bunch of winners soon!  We recently tried a slow cooker Strogonoff…it was good but just not Strogonoff.  So back to the drawing board on that one.   More to come!

One…Two…Three…Four…Matching Style

Or rather…4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Said with the most pride possible. Who could correct that! Excellent counting Sweetpea! I am so glad you are interested in your numbers! I say. As Sweetpea taught Kitty Bear how to count, I thought of a new game!

Use Paper Towels!
Use Paper Towels!

Using 5 paper towels, we wrote the numbers 1-5 and also some correlating circles. Then the goal was that we put the circle from our count game on the right paper towel. Sweetpea sort of got the idea but was more or less excited to hop on the towels. In the end it’s about exploration, learning, and curiosity (in my opinion). She has since asked to do “Counting” several times so I’m excited!

I am trying to remember if I did this or she did. Probably me.  It's the goal :)
I am trying to remember if I did this or she did. Probably me. It’s the goal 🙂

2 Year Old: I Can Do It Activities

1. Easel Time
In case you didn’t know, I’ve condensed from 1200 sq feet to 700! It’s amazing! We’ve discovered all types of ways to explore.

Portable "Easel"
Portable “Easel”

With a pink picture frame from Michaels (or something like this ) and a “chalkboard sticker” (which I also purchased from Michaels but cannot find online) I slapped the two together, and mounted with an adhesive hook.

Sweetpea loves it!

2. Cleaning
Somewhere along the way, our lovely lady has found a passion for cleaning. In an effort to make her feel empowered to clean whenever she’s interested…we made a 2 year old sized cleaning bucket.

Water bottle, bucket and towel
Water bottle, bucket and towel

All of which are from Amazon:
Bucket
Red Spray Bottle
Cleaning Cloth, Reusable & Biodegradable

3. Sequencing
Small…Medium…Large. I’m still clarifying this one. Using these wall stickers recommended by http://www.mamainstincts.com we decorated Sweetpea’s play area and bedroom (we’re sharing a room). I realized half way through that I could incorporate counting and sequencing into this idea. So I tried using the leaves for numbers (I need to take one off the smallest one) and then spaced them out so she could look at them to determine which is the smallest etc.

What is the largest? Smallest?
What is the largest? Smallest?

4. I Can Do It
I am a major proponent of independence and helping when asked. In an effort to support this we’ve been doing things like opening/closing her child sized umbrella or opening the wrapper for individually wrapped string cheese. It’s amazing to see what she CAN do!

5. Counting

Teaching Kitty Bear to Count
Teaching Kitty Bear to Count

6. Pouring, Cooking, Sensory Fun

Our Work Station
Our Work Station

Quite honestly, this activity was composed of candle holder glasses, IKEA utensils ($5?), an old pitcher, an old pot we don’t use anymore, a plastic container we had on hand and a bag of lentils. And the table and chairs are from IKEA for $20 (great purchase)

Pouring, Cooking, Sensory Fun

I’ve had some additional free time in my schedule of late due to some changes around our daily routine. Since we have additional “free” time — we’ve had more time for activities! Some of our activities include using tongs, pouring, and cooking.

Our Work Station
Our Work Station

Using lentils, which from my reading are not poisonous raw but can cause some tummy upset, we played in our “kitchen.”

Pouring Goodness
Pouring Goodness

Yes. Later on, we decided lentils belong on the floor…

Counting

As I mentioned in my March Madness post, our mornings have become mad dashes to get out the door at some “reasonable” hour. The reasonable part is often before the sun is up, so I question reasonable. However, I have been trying to think of activities for the morning (and evening) where Sweetpea can have some meaningful work. I’ve spent my requisite time researching (read I looked on Pinterest) and found that good tools for people her age are: matching, counting, sequencing, sensory goodness. In an effort to incorporate these concepts into our daily routine, we have instituted teaching time.

Teaching Kitty Bear to Count
Teaching Kitty Bear to Count

Or more specifically, as I am getting ready for work, I often ask Sweetpea if she would like to teach Kitty Bear how to…this morning it was count (with a matching freebie). The actual toy said 18 months and up (as I recall), but I think it’s a great counting and matching tool. We have an interest in counting which usually goes like this: 4, 6, 7, 8, 9. 10, 11, 12 repeat.