First of all, it really helps to designate an area that’s devoted to only special learning activities. It could be the corner of a room (as we have, shown above), or an entire room. Second, it helps to have low shelves and a small table and chair for child (but a mat on the floor is fine). However, you can skip having an area all together and just set up an activity at the kitchen table when it’s activity time. So, moving on, the idea is to intrigue the child by setting up activities on their own tray (or basket or container), and that look attractive. For example, place the same old box of crayons that have been laying around for months on the kitchen table and see what happens. Probably nothing. Instead, try taking the crayons out of the box and placing them in a glass cup. Place the crayon filled glass cup and put it on a tray or dazzling place mat, and set a ruler along side a crisp piece of paper. Or maybe a mysterious notebook. You could strategically set up a stencil to the left. Maybe a single rubber stamp. Try not to make it too busy. Then! Watch your child walk by… Will they not turn their head and wonder, “hmm… what’s going on here? A glass cup? Why are there crayons in the glass cup?”
By the way, during preschool years, drawing is learning. The more your child scribbles around and is encouraged to do so, the easier time they will have developing writing abilities later. I suppose during the preschool years almost anything hands-on is learning.
Anyway, the idea is to make an activity using beautiful or unexpected items. Make the activity inviting. Most of the classic Montessori materials are hands-on, beautiful materials that invite the child to use their senses to explore. That same idea can be applied to setting up almost any activity. Anything that is tactile a child will love learning with. Switch up materials to learn counting with (when she tires of counting with beans try cotton balls) When a child sees that something is special they will naturally show it more respect and care. Having an activity neatly displayed on a shelf is inviting. Having things jumbled in a bin or box is forgotten.
Throughout my blog I provide many photo examples of ways to simply set up activities that are inviting. By just looking around your house or going to thrift stores you can find many interesting containers and trays that will make any activity more compelling.
~Thanks for reading and feel free to share thoughts~