Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Montessori Classroom at Home: Active Play for Infants and Toddlers

(image courtesy of Trike Balance Bikes)

The importance of recess and active play are often discussed for school-aged children, but not as frequently for younger children, so we have a few quick tips for everyone working with their children this winter.

At home ideas:

1. Make a safe carpeted space on the floor for rolling and playing. Everyone removes his or her shoes first.

2. Using this indoor space, make movements that your child can imitate. For example, clapping your hands, clapping your feet together, rolling like a log, kicking your feet in the air, making bicycling movements with both hands and feet, tossing a bean bag back and forth with a partner, and other age-appropriate movements.

3. Incorporate simple movements from whatever exercise or sport you know yourself. For example, basic yoga postures (see the camel sample below), pushing around a basketball, or playing with a tennis racquet can provide lots of good exercise and fun as well as developmental practice for your child.

4. Look for simple wooden wheeled toys that your child can push, pull, or ride.

5. Bundle up and go outdoors to walk whenever possible. Take your toddler out of his or her stroller, allowing him or her to enjoy walking on the snow or toddling in winter boots.

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