Sunday, June 26, 2011

Montessori Monday

We have been up to a lot this week...more than I realized untiI started to put this blog together, and this isn't everything! Though we have another pretty sick feline member of our family at the moment, we are pressing on while also giving him tons of love and care. Hope these ideas are helpful!


We colored on sandpaper this week to explore crayons on a textured surface. Ty liked coloring on something so different, and it led to us exploring the smoothness of his table and the rough feel of the sandpaper.

After seeing a $16 rough and smooth board while browsing Amazon the next day, I decided this would be an easy thing to make on my own to expand upon our sandpaper coloring. I simply used a scrap piece of wood, sanded it down and glued strips of sandpaper to it. We worked on identifying rough and smooth. He's very tactile and enjoys this quite a bit!


Another woodworking project I found a moment to work on was making a ramp. I simply cut a board and glued two dowels to each side to ensure that objects would stay on the board. A couple months ago I was devising plans to make a toy that held several ramps at different angles, then decided that this would spark more creativity and exploration.

This was built just yesterday, but already we've explored by putting cars, planes, blocks, animals, balls and puff-balls down the ramp. We've laid it flat on the floor and had it at all sort of angles, using furniture to prop it up on. We notice the speed differences at each angle and how each different toy goes down. Ty finds the lower, slower angles especially interesting. So much learning for such a simiple toy!


We also have started using this Jr. Ramp Racer from EverEarth. I bought it a couple months ago but Ty had no interest so I put it away until recently. He now enjoys it quite a bit!


These are the contents of an open and close basket that I put together. He didn't care for it at first, then I realized that he couldn't really see the contents of the basket (the basket was much too large) and put the objects in a smaller basket. He immediately went to it and it's become a favorite, even over his jars the past couple days!

This is a personal care basket for Tyler that holds his toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb and a brush. This is kept in the bathroom in his reach. He enjoys brushing his hair (and mine!) as well as brushing his teeth (especially with his new vibrating toothbrush) so this has been very well received!

One rainy afternoon, looking for something new to present him with, we tried scissors for the first time. He needed considerable help to get his fingers and thumb in the right places and he didn't care to hold the paper with his other hand, but he did make several cuts on his own! For some reason afterwards he kept staring at and exploring his fingers as if they were completely new to him; it seemed to open up possibilities for their use in his mind!

Ty has really taken to putting on shoes. We typically put our shoes in the closet upon entering the house, but it seems that we've gotten lax about this for some reason lately. I'm glad though, as this has prompted Ty to want to put shoes on by himself...his own and ours! He was so proud the first time he got his sandals on himself...he came walking into the kitchen, got my attention and pointed at them with a big smile! I have now taken his lead and created a dress-up area for him, but I'll talk more abou that in another post.

For a couple weeks I've been asking Tyler to put his dishes in the sink, which he's great about, and I've found now that if I open the dishwasher, he'll put it right in!

Ty has also enjoyed helping us put away groceries, mostly in the fridge as our other food is kept in higher cupboards.

The step-stool that I purchased for Tyler to use to get a better look out the window has come in quite handy for other acts of independence. We recently decided to use take the tray off of Tyler's chair for meals and to push him up to the table instead, shoving a phone book underneath so he can reach. If we say it's time for a meal, he will run and grab his step stool, pull out his chair and proudly get himself in. He also does this if dinner is taking too long to cook and he wants to eat now...hint, hint...
Ty quickly discovered other uses for his stool. If his dinner is cooling on the counter, he realizes that he can use his stool to try to get it when he's too hungry to wait. He also found that when I'm filling our Brita containter, that he can use the stool to get up and play with the water! I didn't know he knew how to use it! I've tried to let him stand on a chair to play in the sink, but he knows he isn't supposed to stand on chairs and refuses! A Learning Tower is a big want right now.

I've managed to remember to involve Ty in more of our meal preparation time this week, letting him help to mash a banana for his banana oatmeal with a fork.

We tried spooning beans for the first time this week, which went well! After a while he also enjoyed transferring from bowl to bowl by dumping which was fine too.

I've done some rearranging in the house and decided to move this table, which was in his quiet room holding his single shape sorter before, into the kitchen to use as a Montessori activity table (along with his Montessori shelves which are also in the kitchen). I left these beans out for him on the table yesterday for spooning.


We bought this scooter-board for Tyler for Christmas. He enjoys running around with it, pushing it (sometimes giving his safari animals rides), and this week I bought it outside and taught him how to sit and move it forward with his feet. He thought this was pretty neat!

This is Ty on his Kangaroo Climber (highly reccomended). He has always enjoyed pulling himself up the landing to slide down, walking up the slide and using the tunnels underneath, but more and more he's also been climbing on the outside to get in. Better than climbing over the back and sides of the furniture, but he still does that too.  :)

Linking-up with Tot School and One Hook Wonder


  1. I have to try the ramp. Thanks for sharing

  2. What a busy week! We love to play with our ramps here too.

  3. What a fun week! Love all the step stool ideas. We have one she uses to look out the window and that she used until she could get on the couch by herself. I should teach her to get in her chair by herself too! Love the sandpaper coloring as well!

  4. Ive just started teaching Michael how to use scissors..He doesn't quite get you need to use 1 hand for cutting, he thinks he needs 2! Well..Just the other day..He was behind me, My sister and I heard this loud,Cutting sound.
    I turned around only to realize he had the scissors in his hands and he had cut off a chunk of my hair! It was hilarious..

  5. Thanks everyone!

    He enjoys touching his sandpaper drawing when he walks by it as well (it's hung on a low cork board). It's a great little sensory activity!

    obubbleteao: Ha1 Oh my! I'm glad you were okay with it! You must have nice long hair!

    [Jen: Blog Owner]