Thursday, April 30, 2009

Montessori and Early Math Ideas

When your infant or toddler is eating or playing, you can take the opportunity to introduce counting and quantities in a fun way that integrates math and language with overall fun.

For example, you can put three berries into your child's oatmeal. As you help your child with the spoon and oatmeal, you can count the berries as they go onto the, two, three!

If you and your child are sitting on the floor, you can roll three soft balls his or her way as you count them, too. You can also add in the name of the item -- one ball, two balls, three balls.

Just look for opportunities to mix touch, sight, and the use of language to the exercise and remember NOT to take the counting part seriously at all right now. This should all be relaxed and enjoyable parent-child time with no thought of actually having your infant or young toddler really remember the counting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Refined Hand Movement Exercises for Toddlers

Large-sized nuts and bolts are one of the most popular toddler exercises in the Montessori program for toddlers!

* Material needed: Six large nuts & bolts
* Two small bowls and one larger bowl
* A small tray

Put the bolts on the nuts, place the sets in the larger bowl, and put all the bowls on the tray. Keep the tray in the Practical Life section of your home classroom so your child can return to use it whenever he or she likes.

1. What to do: Invite your child to try this exercise.
2. Take the tray from the shelf and place it on the table.
3. Sit on your child's non-dominant side (on the left of a right-handed child).
4. Pick up one nut and bolt. Hold the bolt with your left hand and unscrew the nut with your right hand (if you think your child is left-handed, switch hands).
5. Put the nut in one bowl and the bolt in the other.
6. Ask your child if he or she would like to try.
7. Let your child tinker with the process and work alone (sometimes it is easiest if you excuse yourself and wander off a bit).
8. Your child can put everything back together and put the tray on the shelf.

Younger toddlers and infants who are still putting things in their mouths can work well with wooden or plastic (depending on your feelings about plastic) versions of nuts and bolts, too.

Learn more about teaching your child at home with Montessori with our curriculum newsletters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Infants and Language Development

All exercises in the Montessori class are designed to incorporate an element of language. Whether your child is working with sweeping, counting beads, or using the musical bells, your use of language is important.

Focus on succinct phrasing along with rich and precise vocabulary. For example, use the word "thin" to describe something that is thin, rather than using the word "small" as you might be tempted to do because you know your child knows the meaning of the word.

Learn more about using Montessori with infants and toddlers by signing up for our Montessori at home curriculum newsletters.

Montessori for Infants and Toddlers!

We had originally moved this blog to one on our site here, but since we had a lot of readers coming to this initial blog, we decided to devote this one to infants and toddlers.

If your child is over the age of three or you are looking for general Montessori and early childhood information, please do take a peek at our Montessori House at Home blog.

Are you new to Montessori? Maria Montessori's original book, the Montessori Method, is available for free online at The Celebration of Women Writers site.