Monday, May 19, 2014

Montessori Moments: 3 Year-Old & 10 Month-Old

These "Montessori Moments" posts are meant to highlight some of the ways we implement the Montessori method in our home. Many of the activities that are featured--cooking, cleaning together, going out into nature, etc.--overlap with other parenting philosophies or might seem like things that parents just do with their children intuitively. I've still chosen to highlight them here because they are integral to the Montessori approach to parenting and education and fit within a comprehensive continuum of activities that support children as they undergo the important work of forming themselves. For more information about incorporating Montessori into the home, I recommend How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way for a basic overview. For more insight into Montessori as an educational philosophy, I recommend Montessori Today. When trying to implement Montessori with infants and toddlers, I recommend Montessori from the Start and Joyful Child, as well as my favorite resource, which is a DVD documentary of Montessori at home with a 20 month old called Edison's Day.

It's amazing watching a baby play with a simple ball and box toy. Babies are just amazing. I never had this Object Permanence Box (featured above) with Henry (I tried using this one from Amazon instead by pulling out the rubber and putting away the mallet), but my friend lent this one to me for Tate, and I love it. He is so engaged with this work. I highly recommend it. 

I love that baby stage when they start pulling up on everything and trying to use everything and anything as a walker. Take has been using his walker wagon like crazy these days! Rather than lead a child by their hands to "walk" them, in a Montessori environment we teach them how to pull up on their own and direct the walker wagon to walk themselves. They start to build their confidence and their sense of self through their interactions with the environment. It's amazing to watch. We purchased this walker wagon for Henry (and will donate it to the Nido environment at my school when we're done with it), but in retrospect I wish we would have purchased the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon. It serves the same function of being super sturdy so the youngest ones can pull themselves up, but it has the added benefit of being able to (comfortably) fit older children, so its use is extended a lot longer.   

Henry and I have been doing a lot of puzzles these days. Our favorites are:
  1. Farm puzzle
  2. Firetruck puzzle
  3. People of the world puzzle
I feel like Henry learns so many life lessons from such a simple activity. He learns persistence, patience, delayed gratification, the need to try different strategies when something isn't working, visual discrimination, hand-eye coordination, fine-motor skills--the list goes on! 

That's a little of what we've been up to around here! (And just hanging out outside.)

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