Montessori Tip for Parents:
Praising your child’s hard work, rather than their results, helps instil a growth mindset where they believe they can improve through their own efforts. Instead of telling your child, “You’re a good boy,” tell them “I noticed you being kind to your little brother yesterday when you shared your truck.” This shows them you see their good behaviour, without placing judgments on them. Instead of telling him, “You’re such a good artist,” try, “I noticed you kept working on your picture until you got it just how you wanted it.”
Button Sorting (not for children under 3 years old)
Give your child a stack of buttons differing in size or colour and little bowls to sort them in. For example, if you give them red, blue, and green buttons, give them three little bowls to sort them in.
Montessori Pro Tip: Any type of object your child is interested in can be used for sorting, eg: shells, rocks, beans!
Working with patterns helps young children develop mathematical minds. Take a strip of card stock and create a pattern with stickers. Encourage your child to recreate the pattern, and then to create their own patterns.
Small to Big Matching
Take an old calendar and cut out the little images on the back. Cut out the big images for each month. Show your child how to match the small images to the big ones.
Montessori Pro Tip: Discuss the calendar content using rich vocabulary! Try using colours like magenta, violet and turquoise rather than pink, purple and blue.
Fill little bottles or jars (paint or cover if transparent) with little objects like rice, beans, beads, acorns, tiny bells, etc. You’ll need two bottles, each a different colour or marked with a coloured sticker (one with a blue sticker, one with a red sticker) for each filling. Let your child try to match the sounds.
Montessori Pro Tip: Children need to be able to determine the direction from which sounds are coming (auditory spatial awareness) and to split words into smaller parts like syllables (auditory analysis) and put them back together again (auditory synthesis.) And they need to be able to remember all these complicated stimuli and sequences (auditory memory.) Each of these skills requires discriminating between individual sounds, sound activities support this development.
These help children practice the up-down pattern of sewing before they’re ready for a needle. If you don’t want to buy them, simply punch evenly spaced holes around the edge or a card stock shape and let your child practice with a shoelace.
Montessori Pro Tip: For older children, you can use a large yarn needle with some coloured yarn!
Visit NASA’s website to view a collection of stories, games, videos and at-home activities for children in grades K-12. https://www.nasa.gov/stem/forstudents/k-4/index.html
KateMessner.com: A collection of favourite authors and illustrators share resources that include video read-alouds, drawing and writing lessons