22 October 2011

montessori - the second


another, & so soon? oh dearest kat, you did say you would not become a montessori blogger! easy now tiger, i photographed both activities on the same quite overcast, sorry for the dark photos day, so am merely posting the second before i forget the photos exist. see? i would not lie to you.

this installment: sorting! elfling thinks this activity is the most fun ever. he will play & play & play with his sorting kit for toddler-eons. i did learn early on that i have to watch for signs that his attention is waning; if i let him end this activity on his own, he will start tossing the pieces into their baskets, which quickly leads to throwing them. occasionally at things. more specifically, brother-type-things.

according to the books i've been reading (a post for another day), they can sort bits by: color, size, shape, & so on. i wanted to test the activity before spending money, so just pulled wooden things from my shop's supply bins. now that i know he loves sorting, i am on the hunt for the perfect objects & containers.

you set out a few small containers, (you'll need one for each kind of object), & one larger, filled with the assorted bits. to show elfling how to play, i placed one different item in each basket. it did not take long at all for him to catch on. by the way, elfling calls this activity same-same. i took his cue, & began asking same-same? when he'd put a bit in the wrong basket. if he says it is the same, i don't correct him. i just say ok. he usually sees his mistake later.

once all the bits are sorted, elfling pours them back into the larger container, & starts again. he keeps at this until an object gets tossed - which is when i tell him it is time for clean-up. without (yet) making a fuss, he: stacks the baskets, places the stack in the bigger basket, puts the sorting bits into the top of the stack, shuts the lid, & slides it back on its shelf. all on his own! ok, i do help with the latch, but honestly, that's the extent of my aid.

this is not unique to my toddler. in fact, i did not fully believe it would work beyond a few oh this is interesting times. but it does work! the more i ask him to help me with things, & the more jobs that are specifically his to do, the happier, & calmer he seems. too bad it doesn't work with teenagers.

a few notes on this activity:

* i use smallish objects, because 1) he is not known to put things in his mouth, & b) this is not an activity he's left alone to do; someone is always in the room with him. opt for larger bits if this is not the case with your toddler.

* objects for sorting: blocks, wooden shapes, pom-poms, acorns, smooth stones or shells, & so on. decide how you want to sort, consider the ability & age of your toddler, & pick what you like. i only went with all wood, because it's what i had on hand.

* if you decide to use small baskets for your sorting bins, i recommend sturdy ones. the ones we are temporarily using are from my kitchen (small ceramic tart pans sit in them, when serving), & not meant to take the wear & tear of a 2 year-old.

* there are a lot of pieces to this activity, so make sure your box/basket/bag closes securely. the cute basket you see in the photos used to hold a small ceramic picnic set. i like it for this kit, because it's lightweight, large enough hold everything, has a latch & handle, & can double as the larger container.



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