dinsdag 9 februari 2016

Adam`s 10 favorites at 14 months

Practically all of our activities the past month have been Montessori-inspired. Parenting for me is an incredibly enriching journey in which I`m always learning! As I gradually read and learn more about Montessori education, I`ve tried to implement some of its principles into our activities. There are some great Montessori blogs out there from moms and educators with far more knowledge and amazing looking tools and home made *toys* than the ones I`m presenting here, but what I try to do is show what you can do when you 1) Don`t have easy access to all of these kinds of fancy materials (When you`re living in the desert, wooden toys and tools are not exactly easy to find, let alone reasonably priced.) or 2) You don`t want or are able to spend a fortune on buying all of those fancy tools and toys. (Because wherever you live, this stuff can get expensive.) :-)

In general, I like to create a lot of activities for Adam from stuff we just have lying around the house or from cheap craft materials. I`m honestly surprised when I enter most kid`s homes and I see so much (electronic) toys my head starts spinning! (Imagine what all of those toys would do to a child: sensory overload!) So my motto is: less is more! 

I am thankful for all of the fun we`ve had the past month and the new skills I saw Adam acquire with these easy and budget friendly activities... 

1. Pompon drop

When my husband went for umrah last year, he brought soms big bottles of Zamzam water home with him. I knew at the time one of these bottles would come in handy one day, so I kept it stored away and I`m so glad I did. Dropping pompons in the bottle has definitely been Adam`s favorite activity throughout the whole month!

2. Home made play dough

This month I`ve introduced Adam to play dough! It`s so easy to make and we`ve had some fun exploring the texture. Adam especially loved pushing his fingers down on the dough and of course he tried to eat it. ;-) Luckily our play dough was home made!

Here`s the recipe we used: 

* 2 cups of all purpose flour
* 1 cup of salt
* 1 cup of water
Mix flour and salt. Gradually add water and knead until you reach the proper texture and the dough isn't sticky anymore. 

3. Sensory play with dried flower petals

This activity consisted of 3 parts: 
1. Exploring the dried flower petals in a sensory basket. 
2. Adding the dried flower petals to some water for sensory play. 
3. Making a sensory water bottle with some dried flower petals.

I used dried rose and hibiscus flower petals that I found in the spice section of our local grocery store. Adam was really fascinated by the petals as he had never felt or seen this type of texture before! He was really engaged through out the whole activity.

I loved it as well as there was so much sensory play involved and we really stepped outside of our comfort zone with this tone. :-) 

4. Smelling jars

Adam has been really fascinated by these smelling jars I made for him, although he didn`t really seem to get the *smelling* part that much yet. I`ll be introducing this one again in a couple of weeks, but wanted to share it anyway. I got the idea from this amazing Montessori blog. 

I filled up our smelling jars with fresh mint, cinnamon, clove and oudh. 

5. Opening and closing boxes

This has been a daily activity for Adam the past month: opening and practicing closing boxes and jars. Throughout the month I introduced boxes in different materials: cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, ... Practically all of them were boxes that I had lying around the house or recycled from cream or cheese containers. 

6. Mess free painting

Adam and I did some painting before and although it`s such a fun activity, I, -like most moms- don`t really look forward to cleaning the mess afterwards... That is why I loved this idea!

Here`s the recipe we used for the paint: 
* 2 cups of water
* 1,5 cup of flour
* 1 tsp of salt
Whisk everything together.
Divide into equal parts (f.ex. 4)
Add a few drops of food coloring to each part. (f.ex. 4 colors)

(Unfortunately, I don`t remember the source!)
We used just 2 colors in this activity. 

7. `Coin` collector

For a while now Adam likes to *drop* things into a container of sorts. He absolutely loves his pompon drop, but I decided we needed to change things up a little. I have a little coin collector for toddlers and Adam loved it, but dropping actual coins in there is still too difficult for him. So we recycled a tin can, some lids and made a toddler-sized `coin` collector! 

8. Pens

9. `Soccer`

All you need is a ball. :-)

Adam and his dad (and sometimes me and bump included.) have had loads of fun playing `soccer`. Adam isn`t walking yet, but just like last month he loves chasing after balls and throwing them to his dad who then scores goals! (With our front door being our `goal`) 

10. Books

One of my plans for the following months is to create Adam a reading nook: a little cozy and comfortable place in his room where all his books are displayed and he/we can read! This child seriously adores books. He loves to be read to, he loves to read small board books himself and he also loves flipping through big books. (Which results in a lot of shredded pages, woops.) `The Very Hungry Caterpillar` is one of Adam`s new books this month. 

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