I have found it helpful to go back and look at the
posts I did of Solu at different ages. I wish I had kept up with them and want to try to catch up if I can. I’ve decided to start where Metu is now.
Some context… Metu was one month old and we and had just moved to Italy to start my AMI 3-6 training so it was very important to me that Solu was engaged and able to play a lot by himself. Anyways here are the activities… List and then pictures with some notes as needed.
Creature Cards while an adult provides the name for each one Matching
Schleich Animal replicas to Creature cards Matching Lakeshore learning animal replicas to
Creature cards Matching
Schleich and Learning resources animal replicas to Polar bear polar bear book Matching
backyard birds to Exact matching cards Matching Adult animals to children (from
Lakeshore Learning) Completing 2 piece puzzles (similar:
Fruits and vegetables, vehicles, animals) Cutting Cardboard/Cardstock strips with scissors (we like this
scissors) Sewing on Cardboard/Cardstock using embroidery needle and knitting thread (
blunt tip embroidery needles) Matching Animals to skin pattern
Scooping quinoa one bowl to another using
spoon Loading and unloading grocery cart
Painting (I bought this
box of paints before Solu was born and we are still using it.) Putting on socks
Sorting and stacking by color and shapes
Bird watching and Listening to Music (We were all the
my little bird CD during this period) Reading to brother
This Schleich set also matches well with the Hello, Zoo
We really enjoyed this cards and I now use them in my classroom. Solu liked taking them out one by one and examining the pictures. On one side there is a full picture of an animal with its name and on the other side is a close up with the first alphabet in upper and lower case. When I or my mum where nearby, he would show us the card and we would say the name. Other times, he would go through by himself and just say the names he knew.
This was spontaneous by Solu. I had set out the Shleich animals with the Polar Bear book (See below) and as he was looking through the cards, he saw the Zebra and Giraffe and matched them.
From around 18 months, Solu was really interesting in matching objects to similar objects or to their picture. I found several of the replicas from our Lakeshore learning “Animals from around the world” and “Classic Forest Animal Collection” match the Creature cards. We had mostly done familiar animals before now so it was nice to encounter new animals and their nomenclature. Mandrill, Hyena, Eagle, Kangaroo, Tortoise
This was one of his favorite books at the time and I realized we had several of the animals so I set it out so that we could dramatize when reading the books or he could match them if he wanted.
This set was a gift from Amy at Midwest Montessori. We received it when Solu was 18 months old and it kickstarted his interest in matching. He enjoyed making sure each bird was standing and would have to try so many times with some of the birds. He still loves them till today and we have used them in different ways. Metu and all the toddlers I have worked with have also loved this activity. I have linked to Amy’s free download on the list
Another very loved matching activity. This is actually a mixture of Lakewood Learning and Shleich Animals. He enjoyed saying their names and lining them up in different ways. This continues to be a loved and very used material in our house.
So that was a lot of matching! I follow his lead and his interests. Matching might seem so simple but it provides opportunities for movement and exploration, visual discrimination, vocabulary enrichment, creation of order – when the child lays out the pictures or lines up the objects. It can also be used for memory games. We did this a lot where he would set up one set of objects or pictures and go to another location to bring the match.
Solo’s love for puzzles was at a high around 17 months and then I think the ones we had became to simple for him over time. I offered his this 2 piece puzzle at 20 months and they were a hit. I started with 3 sets and eventually gave up to 16 at a time.
This was definitely a favorite for a long time. I will have to find some videos. As always they also provided opportunities for language enrichment
I had offered Solu a scissors at 18 months but he did not really seem to get the concept. He showed interest at 20 months and just got it. It was most definitely his favorite activity and this stage and he would cut for up to 20 mins. We used thick cardstock cut in thin strips. I had originally tried the Nienhuis scissor from my training with two of the same finger holes that fit the thumb on one side and the pointer or middle finger on the other side but it was really hard for him. he need two or three finger on one side to control the scissors properly.
This was another favorite. I was quite surprised that he was ready for this but he loved this and focused so seriously. Fine motor, skills, concentration, eye hand coordination, practical life skills, the list goes on!
I found this at a bargain warehouse store. I don’t remember the brand. I liked the idea but was never really a hit with Solu. The tile with the hole is supposed to be put on top of the tile with matching patter and that would complete the animal. He preferred to put them side by side. I still think is a great idea and can actually be DIYd.
He actually like this a lot and would focus but then lose interest and spill the quinoa all over. After a while I decided to save myself the trouble and took it off the shelf.
I love how my mum is just standing in the background and letting him unload the cart. This is such fun for a toddler and going to the store became one of Solu’s highlights of the week. Why is this an activity? Think about it. Standing, bending, lifting – gross motor, repetition, language, grace and courtesy…
Practical life. He probably spilled some quinoa. I thought the carrots were hilarious! Do you have child sized cleaning supplies? You should. It can be as simple as cutting down the handles on some adult sized ones.
Dancing with his Nnenne. Music and dancing are so important and often don’t get as much emphasis as they should. So much joy to be shared through these media plus Gross motor coordination, rhythm and language development
We were renting the apartment so I was nervous about painting but didn’t want to deprive him so I tried to contain it with a box and trash bags.
He had mastered putting on socks on his feet and now enjoyed putting them on Metu or any other willing adults.
He enjoyed stacking this more than putting then in the holes. He was not grading them by height at this stage just putting all them in the correct shaped hole.
Dr. Montessori writes in her books about how much the child between 1.5 and 2 loves to walk and can walk for very long distances if left to walk at his own pace. This was so very true with Solu. He loved to walk and would never get tired even when we did. He would stop to look into store windows or watch a pigeon and then keep going. Taking walks with my children has been one of our favorite shared activities. So much learning happens.
Walking up stairs
He was still in the period for exerting maximum effort and loved to carry big things. I was so surprised that he carried this blender from the taxi and up 3 flights of stairs! If your child insists that they can do something, give them a chance. you may be surprised!
Our windows opened up to rooftops that always had pigeons on them. Solu spent many hours just watching them. Children love to observe and should be encouraged and provided with opportunities to observe. A stool or chair by the window that the child can climb and look out makes such a big difference.
A video of Solu threading beads
It has been fun to look back and I look forward to doing more of these posts. Did you find this helpful? let me know!
Our beautiful apartment in Perugia. It seems like so long ago now 🙂
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