Sunday, August 8, 2010

A spirited boy at work

Ian is revealing to us his spirited personality. He is very sprightly when he plays. He is very much into jumping, climbing, rolling. He is challenging his body and …. his luck also. He’s had some accidents recently: his face is full of bruises, his lips are cut and a big toe lacks of nail, but it does not seem to matter to him. He just keeps going nuts and driving us crazy.

Fortunately, that naughty boy of two weeks ago received the attention he was begging for and, even when he is very resolute when he is playing riskily, he is not behaving aggressively anymore and this week he was very enthusiastic at work. He was very animated with most of the activities I set up for him. And he finally found a place where he feels comfortable to work: the dining table. There he has his materials all around the table.

Well, here is what we did:

Practical Life

Using a hammer. I'd put out this activity a number of times and it never enthused Ian until this week. The hammer was one of the objects included in a matching activity (see below) and the most attractive for him. He gets very excited when he finds something whose name he can pronounce (even incorrectly). I was happily obliged to gather together the hammering activity again and this time Ian was ready to do it and enjoy it. His motor skills were quite good to hammer the golf tees until they were completely nailed into the styrofoam. Another thing he liked was to push down the golf tees with his fingers. I was so happy Daddy was at home to share with Ian, what a lovely picture they presented me. Ian, of course, tried to interchange his hammer with Daddy's :-) but he didn't have luck this time :-)

Making bubbles with a whisk. The Work Plan reminded me I was waiting for Ian to get some skills with the grater to set up this activity. He enjoyed every step of the activity: grating the soap bar (a wet one to make his job easier), feeling the texture and smell of the grated soap, observing how it submerged in the water, beating the water with the whisk and watching the bubbles. He needs more practice with the whisk, he did not move it in small circles in the water, but moved it in and out :-) I helped him to make the bubbles.

Tweezer. The tweezer was a thing that was in the science activity of the week (see below) and he grabbed it with thumb and fingers and started to clamp his toes with it :-) I took that as a sign he was probably ready to transfer objects with the tweezer. He did it, he transferred pom-poms! ... but, the next time he attempted to grasp it in a different way (maybe looking for a easier way) and it did not work, he gave up the activity. As he is very obstinate I decided to rotate this activity for later.

Buttoning. This is another old activity that captured Ian's interest for the first time. When I made this mat Ian had not developed visual discrimination skills yet and he just pulled the pieces of felt off the buttons and threw the mat away.  This time, as usually, he did not let me present the activity and went directly to what he thought the activity is about: matching colors :-) He did it perfectly. I helped him to button, but he was so focused on matching and unbuttoning that he did not pay attention to my demonstration. Once more, I have to step back and wait for his own due time to start buttoning.


Object-Silhouette Matching. Ian is very much into matching. He is not interested in matching objects to objects or pictures to pictures, but rather objects to pictures!!! This week we moved to matching objects with silhouettes and it was a hit. He loves to work with familiar objects and learn their names.


Exploring with magnets. This was the winner activity of this week!!! Ian did it every day over and over again, so I had to set up some variations to satisfy his curiosity.

Well, Ian is not interested/ready for categorizing activities, but this version seemed perfect for him. As Ian is enjoying matching I used pictures to help him know how many more objects are left to find in the oatmeal tray. I've never seen Ian so amazed and interested in something than the power of a magnet.

When Ian discovered that magnetism travels through objects, he spent a long time gathering everything together. I gave him a screwdriver for further experimentation.

As he mantained his interest in this activiy I added objects to the tray and printed the corresponding pictures.


Oats tub. I've seen lots of sensorial tubs over many blogs and doubted tha Ian would be engaged with them, besides I do not have any "interesting" things to put inside them. Well, I was wrong. The science tray not only captured Ian attention to accomplish the magnet experiment, but he enjoyed exploring it with his hands too. So, I put the rest of the otameal in a tub and he spent a fun time making mountains of oats with his hands (he did not want to use the scoop). When I showed him how to drop them, he was very excited doing it.

Big and Small.  This is our official first activity (not counting the Pink Tower) to learn about big and small and it was not very appealling to Ian, at least not to discrimate size. Well, what is this activity about? I gave Ian farm-related stickers to stick the big ones in one column and then match and stick the small ones in the next column. I hoped that he would be interested in the contrasting size of the stickers, but he was loyal to his current interest in sticking, peeling, matching and naming the stickers.


One-to-one correspondence. Daddy and Ian usually read at bedtime. Lately, they've been counting together anything in the books while reading. Daddy asks Ian, "how many ... do you see? Let's count!" and Ian points one by one to all the things only once. It is a great advance. For now he lets Daddy count the numbers, even though he knows them.

I am sharing this post in One Hook Wonder where you can see other toddlers learning according to the Montessori Method.


  1. What a great picture you were able to take of Ian dropping the oats! All Ians'activities were wonderful, I especially like the buttoning. Thank you for the link up. Nice blog design.

  2. such concentration. Wonderful organization. Makes me long for the day I prepare our own environment better. Until then, we will continue to do as we go, one day at a time!

  3. He is so so cute! Love the activities. And, somehow his demeanor really reminds me of my are making me mis that age already!

  4. Great ideas!! Thank you for sharing..I need to prepare some of them..Enjoy nature.



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