As our weather is beginning to show signs of summer, we are spending lots more time outside. This would be a wonderful time to cook some ‘cool’ treats with your child. As a Practical Life skill, we suggest you read the recipe aloud to your child and have them help you gather the necessary ingredients. Then, show them how to use the needed appliances and give them a chance to try them out. All of these important cooking skills will help your child to feel like a contributing member of your family. When it is time to eat your delicious treats, your child will beam with pride, having helped make them!
Geometry is all around us. Squares, circles, rectangles . . . This is a great time to practice learning the names of the basic geometric shapes. A beginning activity would be to use cut out shapes (coloured paper, felt, cardstock) and a control. Have your child choose a shape, and then find where on the control it belongs. Teach your child the name of that shape (it is best if the cut-out shape and the control shape are the same size). If you have a large piece of paper, you can play the Find the Shape Activity. Or, you and your child can create pictures using the geometric shapes they’ve learned.
Last week, we introduced butterflies through The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This week, why not learn the names for the parts of the butterfly and learn about the life cycle of the butterfly? Maria Montessori, all those many years ago, discovered children’s fascination with the correct names for things. She was amazed by the ability of young children to learn and correctly use words that, to an adult, would seem too difficult to remember. In giving children correct terminology for the things in their world, we give them the power to be able to communicate clearly and accurately. We’ve included lots of resources for you. Try learning the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle, or learning the actual names for the parts of a butterfly. If your child is older, they might want to make a book of what they’ve learned! You might even have a local source of butterfly larvae that you can raise to see the whole process in person (try searching Painted Lady Butterfly Raising Kits)!
Last week, you and your child worked at grading different colours. This week, you’ll mix different colours of modelling clay to make a new colour. For this activity, you’ll need yellow, red, blue, white and black modelling clay (Your local dollar store is a great source for this). At first, mix a small amount of red and yellow modelling clay together. Have your child predict what colour will be made. Then, try blue and yellow. The last combination would be mixing red and blue modelling clay together. Your child will need to be a bit patient, as the modelling clay takes a bit of time to get warm enough to truly mix. Your child will be delighted with the results. If your child is interested, help them make a secondary colour again (green, orange, purple). This time, add bits of white and note what happens to the original mixture (this is called a tint). Or, you can add bits of black and see what colour emerges (this is called a shade).
Now that your child has a variety of different modelling clay colours, why not use them to create a ‘painted’ butterfly of their own? For this activity, it’s best if the clay is soft and pliable before putting it on the paper. Cardstock and cardboard (or something very stiff) will work the best for the base.
Try this website for budget-friendly Montessori activities to do with your child. The site includes motor skills, practical life skills, play activities, fine motor skills, language and math activities and arts, craft and music ideas.
Head to this Active for Life website to find 49 fun physical activities to do with your 2 to 4-year old. You can also find some resources for parents and articles to read. A couple of titles that might be of interest at this time, “42 Easy Activities to Keep Kids Busy While Parents Work at Home” and “School’s Cancelled—What Now? Here Are 200+ Activities You Can Do with Kids at Home”.