There are multiple blogs I follow and I have been most influenced by 1+1+1=1, Living Montessori Now, Confessions of a Homeschooler. I love these sites because they have comprehensive lists of lot of tot school ideas.
In a bid to have some time for intentional playful learning, I have been doing tot trays with him for sometime. I read this post that Carisa from 1+1+1=1 had written. It is comprehensive and very beneficial. Carisa has also created a Tot School Page, which has everything in one place, so you can have access to all of it. After following lot of her ideas, I read her Montessori posts and I read this one in particular titled Montessori Minute ~ Where Do I Start?, which was my introduction to Montessori and everything Montessori. I loved it totally. So I started reading other blogs and lot more stuff, all online. And that is how I found Living Montessori Now. Her post on How to Set up a Montessori Homeschool, is by far the easiest and the most thorough and helpful post I have read. And I just follow a lot of her ideas as well.
I like to remind myself of 2 things –
1) Follow the lead of the Child ( Thanks to Carisa for reminding me that)
2) Do not do things for my Child that he can do it by himself. (Help him be independent)
So now on I will be sharing all that we do together. This is for keeping me accountable and have an idea of what I have done thus far. Here are some tot trays we did from this past week.
I bought a Creatives Pattern Match Card game a few months back but Aarya was barely interested in it. So I converted it into a more easier version. I gave him 2 cards and just enough of his wooden block pieces to get the images right. The train image is intentional as he loves trains. I was right, he jumped into this one headlong. But he needed some help as I am doing this for the first time with him.
Next I added a spooning activity. I gave him marbles, because he loves marbles. But he did not like this tray at all. There was no free-play with marbles and spooning was a very “restricted” activity. He did it 3 times before pushing the tray aside. I asked him if he wanted to take turns and do it. he bluntly told me “No!”. It was not very sweet and I am not a naturally happy-go-lucky, patient- as-a-rock Mom – and I felt very sad and angry(built over time due to several reasons).But I let it go, this year I am trying very hard to do scream-free parenting. I just chant ” follow his lead” to myself all the time.
This tray got dumped on the table before I could get a neat picture of it. We are still working on keeping everything on the tray and not “dumping” it out all at once. He could not get these done, got frustrated and left. We tried to do it again the next day, he succeeded with my assistance but was not interested in doing it at all. I think we will do this again next week and see what happens.
This tray is inspired by some activities I saw at Living Montessori Now. I am sorry I do not remember the exact post though. The cards are Counting Flashcards Garry Fleming’s World Animals 123. I found these at a local store, but they are available online to buy via Hoopos.com. He completed this activity but was sad that his “Cheetah” was not there.
This next activity was a simple activity in which I made some circles with crayons and converted them in to balloons. Aarya had to use the correct color to color the balloons and he did this one as well. He just scribbled inside the balloons with the right colors and finally filled the whole page up.
Last were the Disney Pixar Cars Movie puzzles which are his all-time favorite. I got the Eichhorn Cars 4 Styles Puzzle (12-piece car puzzles) from Flipkart.com, which were a HUGE hit. He cannot do them alone yet, but loves to do it nevertheless.
(Aarya is 2 years 8 months old.)
Linking this post at Tuesdays Tots hosted by