Sunday, November 20, 2011

The week's other Montessori moments!

This last week was kind of a rough one for my little guy. He has had some troubles sleeping the past couple weeks and has tended to cling to me a lot, but his fears of the dark, nightmares and being away from his Mama have really reached a peak. As a result he isn't getting nearly enough sleep (no matter what we try to ease his anxieties) and his frustration tolerance and ability to "use his words" are both pretty low at times. Regardless, Montessori activities always hit the spot with him and he tends to be calmed when working. I noticed this about nine months ago with him and its still just as true. Thank goodness!

These are some of the activities that didn't make individual blogs over the week:


Tyler has never used two of the mini cylinders at once, but since one block is so easy for him I figured that he could handle it. I gave him one block with cylinders differing by diameter and another by height.
He did great! These two are now together on his shelf.

I took out all ten of the Pink Tower blocks rather than using every other one. This was his first close! He was really happy to use them all again and labels them small, medium and big as he goes along.

Coming in from playing outside, still in his helmet, Tyler rushed to use a newer work I had created. He just started using tongs and was simply dropping them into a bowl. Here he works on putting one in each spot for 1:1 correspondence as well as working those small motor skills!
He then wanted to tong other things, and grabbed buttons from his button sorting work. He first tried to tong them from the floor, then quickly realize it wouldn't work and put each button on his pants. I have no idea how he thought of this but it worked much better for him (though still kinda tricky). 
In order to decrease his frustration and allow him to be a bit more successful, I grabbed his Educo Baby Connects from the shelf and offered him these to tong. He appreciated this very much! He tongs these all the time now along with his puff balls.

I gave Ty a three period lesson with these letters before the following activity to be sure he remembered them. He did a really great job tracing and saying sounds at the same time...

...but the activity itself was pretty much a flop. He is getting into letters again, saying the sounds for 22 letters in an alphabet book (lowercase and uppercase) after just a few days of reading it and wanting to have us read many other books with letters. I wanted to do something creative (because three period lessons are kinda boring to him lately) and figured because he loves colors and to say them, he could match the colors with their beginning sounds. He kinda did it, but it was easy to tell that he was really confused and that it wasn't working for him the way I had imagined. If he had the verbal skills I think he would have said something like this: "You want me to take these white objects and put them on a pink card? And and orange object on blue? What the heck are you talking about?! No...really?!"

He has gone from ten to fifteen memory cards. I also made sure that they were all words he can say as we're working a lot of speech clarity. He says the name of each as he finds them.

I can't think of any new Practical Life activities that haven't been posted this week, but I do have to say that Ty is great at helping bring the garbage can up from the curb!

Pretend Play

Ty has been quite into his stuffed animals lately. Feeding them, piling them, feeding them, naming them....and he's also been quite fond of jumping on the mattress on the floor (which would be his low bed if he slept by himself). So it seemed natural that he would want to make his animals jump too! He makes every last one of them (there are about 25 of them on the bed) jump, and sometimes wants me to sing the Tigger song for each animal. It's a lot of fun! Then it's usually Mama and Ty's turn to bounce!

Another game we're playing with his stuffed animals is really a literacy extension. He recently bought "Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?" (Eric Carle/Bill Martin Jr) with some Halloween money Grandma and Grandpa sent him. So we follow the pattern of the story with his animals (it's the same as Brown Bear, Brown Bear). This picture doesn't show much, but here We were saying "Cheer Bear, Cheer Bear what do you see?" and then, in a different voice said "I see Ernie looking at me" and on to "Ernie, Ernie what do you see" etc, etc. He thinks is quite amazing!

Gross Motor

We took Ty to Open Gym for the first time in over a month. He is a mastered two-footed jumper now and went nuts on the floor tramps. I love having this place available for him to safely practice movement!

We have had fun pretending to be different animals! Here Ty is slithering on the floor like a snake. His other favorites are being a bird and an elephant... well as a bear! He was going backwards all over the house, then decided to go forwards and chase me all around, giggling! This is now a favorite activity.

This day I watched him back-up bear crawl style to the wall and start to walk his feet up it. My husband spotted and helped get him into a handstand. Instead of telling Ty something is dangerous (unless it truly is) and that he has to stop, we spot and assist when needed. I trust that his body and brain know what they can do and what they want and need to work on.

In the same light, that's also why I allowed Ty to run (and once or twice jump) off of his slide the other day when he started to try. He happened to have the helmet and pads on from his trike and scooter board so it kinda worked out. If you ever thought, for some silly reason, that I'm a "perfect mom" I'm sure you're not thinking so anymore! My husband I think Ty may be hoping to participate in the 2025 X-Games so how could we hold him back?!

What you may have missed this week:

Linking-up with the usual (wonderful!) blogs. Check them out for more ideas!

New link-ups: Tots and Me


  1. I love these posts for ideas. I have been looking back at your posts from when Tyler was my sons age (22 months) and love this blog.

    I have linked to this post on my blog today, as we have just received our mini-cylinders & Cameron was chuffed to see someone else with the same activity :)


  2. Great window into your home activities, Jen!

  3. Great activities, and your boys are adorable.

  4. Hi, I've just found your blog and am looking forward to reading through it. It is wonderfully detailed and informative.

  5. I was away from the computer more than normal to spend extra time with my family last week, but I shared your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page last Saturday. Great activities as usual - and I love hearing that Montessori activities work so well for Tyler! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)