If I could have afforded it, I would have completed 3 majors while in college. Fashion design, teaching, and accounting. I went with fashion design. Probably not the smartest decision in this economy BUT it still helps me bring in extra money these days and I enjoy it. Accounting probably equals more money but not as fun. And, I was able to do a little teaching at FSU while getting my Masters. Being a stay at home mother requires me to do all the above (sewing, bills and teaching babies). So maybe not such a bad choice after all!
I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on different teaching methods and trying to find something that feels right for my two boogers. My girl is walking now so I officially have two toddlers in the house. They are able to do so much more together and are really enjoying eachother’s company. I’ve been itching to start lessons with them outside the daily “dont do that… here’s how you do that… lets try this…”. Something with more structure. In my research I have fallen upon the montessori method. Which I am loving and found we already do a lot of similar practices. I want to combine montessori methods, bible study, art and learning through play all into one awesome at home preschool experience for my children. I’ve even thought about home schooling once they are of age. But for now I’m taking baby steps. We will see how this goes.
The only thing that has bothered me about my children not being in a typical preschool setting is not getting the social interation with others. I’m on the shy side and definitely not a social butterfly. My son seems to be more reserved as well and my daughter is more outgoing. So I try to give them both opportunities to express themselves in ways they feel most comfortable. We get out of the house about every other day. I’m finding lots of opportunities for my kids to be around other kids. Whether it be the park, a playgroup, the library, the museum, gymnastics, or mornings with mommy at a local church. Then on days we stay home, I try to have a learning activity for them to do. And we do more quiet one on one time that I think is just as important as social interaction. They enjoy having some down time just as much as we adults do!
Today we tried out the montessori pouring activity. They have actual pouring sets you can buy to do this but I found measuring cups or tupperwear work great too. Whatever you choose, you want it to be clear, so your toddler can see how much they are pouring. Start out using pasta, beans, or cereal. Then graduate to water. We hope to eventually have a drink station set up where my kids can pour themselves water whenever they get thirsty. I know…GENIUS. I feel like all I do is refill sippy cups once I finally figure out what my toddler is fussing about.
I gave my two year old son two measuring cups and some dry alphabet pasta to pour. I set it inside a box lid to help catch the spills. I want to find him a tray that he can transport around the house, but we are still new to this montessori stuff. He abosolutely loved this. He could have done it for hours. And he enjoyed cleaning up his little spills and starting over. He loves games and this was defintely a game to him.
I gave my one year old daughter some plastic tupperware in different sizes. I filled hers with cheerios because I knew she would end up eating most of it. And she did! She also loves to transport things so cheerios were placed all over the sofa. She also enjoyed stacking the cups more than pouring. Or using a spoon to move things around. Which was totally age appropriate.
She was curious about what her older brother was doing but I knew if I handed her his measuring cup, pasta would be everywhere. Which I need to get better at and learn to let go. The montessori method is all about giving kids freedom to explore. So these little lessons are helping mama grow as well!
We finished the morning painting pumpkins. Which she ate too. Cheerios and finger paint… yum!
Do you have any great toddler activities to share?