Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Felt buttons

This activity is made with a piece of felt backing with some buttons hand sewn on. Felt shapes cut out with a simple slit that is long enough for the button to get through. Trace the outline of the shape with marker so your child knows where to match the shape
Firstly show the child how to take off the felt around the button and make a pile of all the shapes

Then take the first shape and match the shape to the outline and continue to button on the felt
For easier button work use big buttons and for older children use smaller buttons

Dressing Frame Zipper

I made this simple Montessori dressing frame with an old square frame and used one of Tara's baby hoodies fitted around it. It is much easier for children to learn to dress on an object before they dress themselves although i have the secret of getting Tara dressed all by herself in under 5 minutes-i simply say "We cant start our home school activities until your dressed for the day" Magically she appears ready to start her work, even if it is in a fluffy winter vest and some mittens lol

To be able to pull down the zipper she had to hold the top of the clothing with one hand and the zipper with the other

Then closing it up she learnt to hold the bottom of the clothing and pull up with other hand

Sound Eggs

I love an activity that uses senses other than sight! We had these plastic eggs that i was getting ready for our spring activities when i thought of a quick fun activity to set up
Tara took an egg from the bowl, gave it a shake next to her ear and placed it in the sound or no sound tray. Great word recognition and she giggled the whole way through it.
When all the hard work was done i let her open the sound eggs to find a treat
....a veggie buddy
These are her treats she enjoys but you could replace them with whatever your child likes as a treat!

Water shades

I made up these small containers of blue and green colour shades with water and food colouring by increasing the food colour drops in each container.

I mixed them up and showed Tara how i placed the lightest shade on my left then progressed to the darkest at the end of the line then asked her to repeat it.
When showing any task to a child ensure that you are placing the items left to right which has been proven to aid in reading skills.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rolling marble painting

With the weather warming up here in Sydney-finally!, its all about painting, making up for lost time during winter maybe?
First use a tray with high sides (we used a roasting tray), place your paper flat down and add blobs of your favourite colours
Add your marbles-we used four
And start moving your tray, across long ways
And back and forward side ways
Finished artwork....

Road sign Bingo

Tara has been very enthusiastic about road signs when we are out in the car. Asking me what they all mean and reminding daddy what they mean when she is out with him lol
So i downloaded the RTA drivers handbook online
and cut out the signs that were common in our area. Drew up a bingo card and laminated it. Now i keep the bingo sheet and a whiteboard marker in the car and as we are out she puts a cross on any of the signs she sees that is on her bingo card.

Process not Product

I wasn't going to blog about this activity because well...you will find out by the end of this post but i think the reason why i love doing what i do is reminded to me when we did this activity and id love to share it with you...
We had this frangipani mirror from my teenage years stored in our shed and i had been thinking of what i could use it for. Tara has been very excited about her dress ups lately so i thought id let her decorate a mirror to go in her dress up area of our work room. We started by using a chisel and hammer to remove the frangipani's and saved them for another activity prop.

We covered the mirror with paper so the paint wouldn't get on the mirror and Tara mastered the sticky tape all by herself. Using tape to hold down the paper and also making lines over the frame to pull off later to form a pattern
Then we chose some bright colours to brush,roll and dab all over the frame

Tara asked for sparkles as well so she finished it off with some glittery paint and it dried in the sun until.....the wind came up and it fell,smashing the mirror into pieces :(
I think i was more upset than Tara. We had spent all morning preparing and all afternoon painting.Trying to be environmental and reuse instead of purchase and yet it all amounted to nothing. It took me a few minutes to realise that not only had i enjoyed a glorious day with my daughter, making memories and sharing a special mother daughter bond, she had also mastered a new skill of sticky taping alone and we shared the disappointment of things not always being the way that we want them to be and as the Montessori method teaches the importance is on the process not the product!

National Geographic matching

I bought these gorgeous Austrailian marsupials and birds from the National Geographic shop


They are beautifully handcrafted and very realistic. To make a matching game i googled images of the animal in its habitat and wrote its proper name underneath.

Tara matches them to the correct card

At the age of 30 months she is now really enjoying pretend play and making up little voices for all her animals which is really lovely

Alphabet Gems and Rocks

These gems are from the dollar store that you use in vases but for this activity i used them along with some rub on letters from a scrap booking shop to make alphabet gems. So many activities these can be used for depending on the child's age. I asked Tara to help me line up the alphabet singing the A.B.C. song to remind her what comes next. Every little girl loves gems don't they???

Tara seemed to think they belong in her sand tray so she picked out one letter and placed in in the sand then she made that letter in the sand. "S"
I also made lowercase alphabet on tiny river rocks and although i don't think we will be using these yet as we are just concentrating on capitals this year I'm sure they will come in handy later on. Too cute not to make them!

Egg peeling/slicing

Need 5 mins to make a phone call or to unpack the dishwasher but kids are wanting mummy to play? Egg peeling and slicing might not be the first thing you think of but it works!
With a bowl underneath and a full egg needed to be peeled, Tara spent a good 15mins carefully taking the shell off her hard boiled egg she was about to eat for morning tea. Perfect for developing those tiny growing fingers and focus!
Then her favourite part is the slicing..all ready for some crackers and a drink.

Colour shade pegging

This activity i found on an inspiring website

I found our colour shade samples at "bristol" paint store. Just use two cards of each colour sample with one being your colour chart which i backed with a harder cardboard to keep it stiff while the peg was going on and the other sample card is cut up into strips and glued onto a peg.
Tara matches the shades together while practising the important skill of squeezing pegs open.
Then self checks her work by turning the card over and seeing if her stickers match. Great activity to not only use fine motor skills that are so important for school readiness but opens a language opportunity for colours with light and darkest.

Match sticks posting

This activity shows you it doesn't have to cost a fortune to set up work that children will enjoy for years.
A sugar/salt shaker from the dollar store and some coloured match sticks inserted into the holes requires patience, fine motor skills, and concentration. Great skills for little minds to learn!

So many toddlers struggle with trying to keep focused on one job and seem to buzz around from one thing to another, making mess for mum to clean up and never completing a task. Make an activity that is simple and short then the child can get through an activity and feel that sense of accomplishment that they did something without any help and finished what they started. Independent and self confident children is what Maria Montessori and i believe we should be working towards!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fruit bowl matching

This was the first ever Montessori activity i made for Tara when she was 18 months. I found some big fake fruits from a dollar store and then googled images that looked the same but with an added information. The pumpkin was growing on a vine, The lemon was cut in half, The capsicum you could see the insides, The apple growing on a tree etc. I printed and laminated the cards so they would last.
Tara takes her "fruit bowl" off the shelf, places the cards out in lines and matches the fake fruit to the correct card. It has been a favourite that hasnt left our rotating shelves much at all. Even at 30 months now there is always new language opportunities to talk about with food. We started at 18months with the colours,shapes,texture and now we are talking about fruit vs vegetable, sweet vs sour, seeded vs seedless.

Flower arranging

Flower arranging is a classic Montessori activity when done within these guidelines
But today we just had some fun with some leftover real and fake flowers to expand Tara's knowledge on living and non living.
I set up a tray with a small terracotta pot filled with soft play dough and cut some living flowers stems and added some non living flowers to the pile.

As she picked up a flower i asked her if it was wet or dry and if it had a smell or no smell. She looked at the stems and we spoke about non living and living flowers. What living flowers need and that non living flowers can last forever. Although we missed the Montessori practice of flower picking/pouring/presenting we enjoyed the appreciation of beautiful things in our environment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sand Tray Prep

I had planned on starting the Montessori sand letters tray next year when we start a "letter of the week" program but while in the sandpit today she seemed interested in drawing an 'X' and 'T' so i made up a tray to just get the idea of using her pointer finger in the sand.
I asked her to help the marble find the other marble only using her pointer and following the track.
She then did the opposite way going up this time

I gave her a blank canvas and she told me this is number one..

I guess this proves the point of following your child. I didnt want to rush into learning to print letters but if that is where the interest is im happy to go along and see where it takes us!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rice Find it Bottle

fter our success of our sand bottle, we decided to make another that we will keep in the car for long trips. This one we made with coloured rice. Tara added a cup of long grain rice, 2 tbs of white vinegar and a good amount of food colouring into a snap lock bag.

Close it up and start squishing the rice around to mix the colour
Give it a good shake to make sure all the rice is covered

Then spread the rice of on baking paper in the sun to dry for a day or if you have an impatient toddler you can cook it in a low temperature oven.

Mix the coloured rice and special treasures into your bottle and photocopy your find it card-i copied a few times and filed them just in case the card goes missing so i wouldn't have to pull the bottle apart.
Shake,turn and happy finding!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sensory Racetrack

I got this idea from the book "child's play" Maja Pitamic. Its a lovely Montessori book full of ideas for play. I used some plasticine in different colours to make a curvy racetrack then chose some materials to create different sensory awareness in each colour. We found felt, soup mix seeds, shoelace, cut up sponge, matchsticks, marbles and rice.

The bumps and the bends made for some important language skills about smooth,rough,bumpy,rocky and zig zagging.
Tara made some quick road works to fix our racetrack

I decided to put a tree in the middle of the racetrack to made an obstacle that she would have to switch hands to maneuver around. Lots of fun and one activity that even daddy will be excited about exploring!