I’ve posted about sensory bins before (No Mess Sensory Bin) but now that my youngest daughter is older we are re-visiting a lot of the same activities that I did with my first daughter. My oldest is enjoying everything again too.
For this sensory bin I just threw in a lot of small items and spoons to practice scooping and pouring. There’s smooth gems, and puffy cotton balls, etc. Throwing in some scented objects (like the tea tree oil toothpick container) is fun too. I save all tiny random objects around the house (like nuts and bolts and twist ties, for example) to switch out. Keeps them entertained in different ways for a quite a while!
My almost-three-year-old could cut paper all day long. One of my favorite items I’ve found at the Dollar Tree are these children’s scissors. I initially thought they were cheap and would break right away but they’ve held up so well I went and bought more. They aren’t sharp enough to really cause an injury but I always make sure my kids are sitting while using them. They work best cutting construction or thicker types of paper.
In an old post I mentioned that I save their old drawings and scribbles so that they can recycle that paper for cutting practice instead of wasting it. Cutting is really fun and even a two-year-old isn’t too young to begin with close adult supervision. They get a huge kick out of it and feel so proud of themselves at that age.
Sometimes painting on paper gets old for a preschooler, I’m afraid to say. So, we have to spice up the activity a bit! I found a couple of wooden boxes at Target for 3 dollars. My first intention was to use them as-is for activity trays, but as they just sat around empty I realized maybe I could spare one for an art project. I said, “Hey, you wanna paint a box?” My daughter was all for it.
Once the paint dries I will let her have at it with glue and sequins and glitter and whatever else I find laying around. I might not want to use it as a decorative piece when she’s done, but she’ll sure have fun. 😉
Also, this project got me to thinking that I could probably let her paint other unconventional things and objects for fun: plastic bottles, tin cans, and the sky is the limit. In the end, all of this painting practice helps advance her dexterity and fine motor development. And it’s fun!
I originally thought that having only basic Legos required a child to rely more on his/her imagination, but I was wrong. We got a couple of Lego kits. They are really awesome, fun, and inspire endless creativity! They are great on rainy days, and to get your kid away from the TV.
I have barely scratched the surface in trying to teach my three-year-old all of the different Montessori methods, and yet I’m already seeing progress. The video below is very informative about the Montessori language program, and is part of what inspired me to go ahead and try and teach her how to read (something I previously hadn’t realized as a possibility at her age). I have been surprised at how interested she has been with learning letters, letter sounds, and words. All day long she goes around sounding out simple words, and a lot of times makes up her own goofy spellings (and thinks it’s hilarious). In the video, it is mentioned that younger children, around 3-years-of-age, are actually in their prime to introduce the concept of reading. This is because at this age children have “absorbent minds”, and desire to repeat things over and over (a key to learning).
Anyway, you’ll notice that in the video the children are taught cursive handwriting. I don’t intend to begin by teaching my children cursive, but I definitely think it should still be introduced in schools. The particular Montessori classroom in the video looks wonderful. I wish I could send me daughters there!
*If you have a baby, you should bookmark these videos. If you have a 3 year old, you should bear through and watch them*
I haven’t uploaded any new activity photos yet so I decided to share some very thoughtful videos on discipline and raising children. There are a couple of things in each video (Part I and II) that made sitting through and watching them completely worth it, because let’s be real… sometimes we all need a little advice when it comes to 2 and 3 year olds. 🙂
~Thanks and check out some of my other posts for do-it-yourself Montessori inspired activities~