Last week we moved to another house - at least we didn't move to another country :-). This is our third move this year. Although moving is part of our lives, I always get stressed and so does Ian of course.
As you can imagine, I could not prepare any material for Ian. I trusted him (or begged him, to tell the true) to find something interesting to do just exploring the house.
We have a big outdoor area, there are trees of mangos, avocados, coconuts and lychees. He found the lychees interesting and that gave us a great opportunity to have fun and learn.
We picked up lychees and put them in a glass basket. Ian carried it gracefully - even when he was descending stairs - to the border of a tree that he chose as his “work bench”. There, he peeled all the lychees. I broke a bit of the shell of them first. He put the shells in a fun car-basket and the fruit core in a bowl. Then he enjoyed discovering the new flavor of the lychees - and so did I.
After our delicious snack, we used the lychee shells to learn how to transfer water using a ladle and how to pass the shells using a small sieve and a big sieve.
First, we filled a bowl with water and Ian carried it very slowly watching not to spill the water.
Then Ian poured the shells into the bowl and we were ready for the lesson. I have to say that I was very happy because I’d been looking for something that floats to set up this activity for a long time.
Although the ladle was not child-size, Ian grasped it correctly and twisted his wrist to pour the water on the sieve. Well, he did so until he discovered it was easier if he used both hands to twist the ladle. I tried to correct him but he just said “chau” (bye in Spanish) that means “let me do it by myself”. I got the message and left him to have fun. After he got the sieve full he poured the shells and the water back to other bowl and started again.
When he got bored I gave him a bigger sieve and he had to pour the water from the bowl. As it was big and a bit heavy he had to control his movements so as not to spill the water.
Next day we gathered some flowers, leaves, mangos, avocados and rocks (there were geologist living here before, so we have plenty of rocks everywhere). He had fun arranging his natural stuff on a table. Wow! That reminded me of some natural tables I saw in many blogs and didn't pay attention to them at the time. Again, my son is more advanced than me; I better follow him.
Next day Ian found a water dispenser in the house (of the former tenants), carried it to his play zone and asked me for water. He seems to be more creative than his mom :-) then, I followed him and ran for bowls, glasses, jars and food coloring for more pouring activities.
I poured a bit of food coloring in the dispenser and Ian filled the dispenser after various trips.
When the dispenser was full, Ian filled a pitcher from it and poured the water into various glasses and jars.
And finally, he decided to sink all the things in the dispenser. I saw the opportuniy to talk about things that float and things that sink, but who knows if he was paying attention to my lesson :-)
Next day Ian had some practice filling a glass to a line (I used a rubber band to mark the line). It was easier using the dispenser than the pitcher. Actually the pitcher is a little big and Ian could hardly control his movements.
I know this house has made a great difference for Ian. He is always ready to go outside to play and, for now, that is the way he is learing more. Certainly, I love to see other toddlers in a classroom doing the activities by themselves (see The Work Plan) and I would like to think that Ian is willing to take formal lessons and work independently, but for now I am very happy to see him growing and becoming more independent.
I am sharing this post in One Hook Wonder where you can see other toddlers learning according the Montessori Method.