This one is super easy. We have a bag of blocks that are starting to get old and rough. I decided to do a tray with sandpaper and blocks as a practical life shelf activity.
Most of us familiar with the Montessori method of education know that Practical Life activities (learning how to help with everyday cleaning, self-care, etc.) are very important to establish in the early years of life. Part of this is having items necessary for a child’s growing independence accessible. One very easy way to do this is to give your toddler or preschooler a cupboard (or drawer) of their own in the kitchen that they can access themselves.
As you can see above, I have cleared out one of our bottom cupboards for my 3-year-old’s dishware, so that she can grab a bowl, cup, and silverware all by herself during snack and meal times. We have had this cupboard for her for over a month and she has loved it! She enjoys being able to choose from what she eats out of and with. She also usually has napkins in there, and a pitcher for practicing pouring. Unfortunately, she has a lot of plastic stuff in her cupboard. My goal is to eventually replace those items with non-plastic items. The Sippy cups in the back of the cupboard are stored there for her 15-month-old sister. We have graduated my older daughter from Sippy cups, even though they sure were a lot easier. She does like to sneak her sister’s Sippy cups when I’m not looking.
If you can’t spare a cupboard or drawer you could always try a tiny shelf in the kitchen or dining area.
The beauty of having accessible areas for my daughter is that it does make it easier for me, too! 😉
spice jar sorting
For the activity above, I simply repurposed some old spice jars and their lids with various items that fit through the holes (Q-tips, tooth picks, skinny pieces of paper, and even a broken necklace chain). Also, an added challenge was that not every spice jar had holes big enough for the Q-tips, so she had to figure out which items fit where. My three year old really enjoyed this activity for a few days but now she definitely needs some more challenge!
Her baby sis loved the activity too (below)
This “sand” stuff (above) is great. My daughter received it as a gift over the holidays so I’m not sure where it can be purchased. Basically, it is sand that is somewhat moldable and feels very soft, and never dries out. A great sensorial activity! She plays with it for at least an hour at a time! Here are a few photos of the fun stuff she does with it:
Hand prints ^
Poking holes in the sand ^
Burying coins ^
It would also be good to practice writing letters in, but we haven’t done that yet.
~Feel free to share ideas, thanks~