Saturday, August 6, 2011
Introducing New Works to Active Toddlers
When he's not looking at books or listening to music, Tyler is quite an active, squirmy little guy. Mostly though, he's impatient and controlling (i.e he's a toddler!). When I sit down and place a new activity on his rug he rushes over immediately and with excitement, which is great, but he often doesn't often wish to sit and wait for me to demonstrate. He dives in, especially if there are several pieces to work with. From the first glance, he thinks he knows what to and goes for it, or at least has his own ideas (which I do admire). Stopping him to let me show him what he can do usually leads to frustration and Tyler simply walking away lately, which isn't what I want either.
My solution to this has been to demonstrate new works while Tyler is having snack at his little table. His hands are too busy with his food to grab at what I'm doing and his eyes and mind are open and focused on what I'm up to. It has worked so well! He typically starts the work while still snacking or soon afterwards if he's interested. When I feel that he's ready, I move the work to the Montessori shelves and he understands that this means he will need his work rug. It isn't what Dr. Montessori had in mind at all, but in order to demonstrate anything properly at first, it's what has to be done!
I do plan to continue to try introducing works on the rug here and there so he may learn the role of demonstrator and student. I won't allow my expectations or faith in him to drop, as I believe children live up to what we believe almost every time, but I will also do what needs to be done for him to feel success. He's so curious and wants to learn, he just doesn't always want to take the time to stop for a moment and watch!
Any other parents or teachers have advice or tricks on introducing works to young children?
Oh, and by the way, the pattern activity that's pictured here is one of the many things that I purchased from a neighbor's garage sale recently. Ty was so bored with the lacing beads and pattern sheets I made him, but using these bugs has been much more fun for him! I believe it was made by Discovery Toys and it came with several different pattern strips. I'm starting easy right now with just two colors at a time but I think he'll be ready to advance soon. He enjoys making the dragonflies fly around as he's playing and pushing the caterpillar along the table. I love wonderful garage sale finds like this!