Sunday, September 9, 2012

Montessori-Inspired Toddler Activity Trays

According to the sun, the moon, the stars and the school-supplies setup at Target, it's back-to-school time! I'm feeling the peer pressure to get back to work, so for the first time in months I put together some Montessori-style work for Jackson. Herewith:

Jackson has never evidenced even the least interest in threading anything, but I'm trying again. This is a plastic lanyard string from the dollar store and plastic spools I ordered from S&S Worldwide. Orange is his favorite color right now, so maybe that will entice him to play with these a little.

Inspired by an excellent Montessori Minute post about using the hardware store as a resource for DIY educational gizmos, I hit Culver City Industrial Hardware today for a collection of hex nuts in different sizes. I was skeptical about the value of this exercise at first, but as I was selecting the nuts, I realized was straining to distinguish the sizes and that I was naturally drawn to stack and sort them--hopefully J will have the same reaction. Then I took the collection to FedEx Office and arranged them on a photocopier and then laminated the copy. That way (a) J has a matching activity to work on, (b) when pieces are inevitably lost and roll under the couch etc. I will have a reference with which I can determine the missing pieces that need to be replaced!

I had every intention of this activity being cutting straws, which I read somewhere is the first step in developing scissor skills, but then I discovered I'd thrown out our straws during a decluttering binge. Bah. In lieu of that, I turned to the printable cutting worksheets page on the School Sparks site. This should make a fine mess and he might even get a fine-motor workout in the process, which is just the way I like it.

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