I love the ideas of Maria Montessori! You can find out more about her here. When I’m working one-on-one with my oldest, I like to have activities available for the little ones based on her ideas (and adapted from Barbara Curtis’ book, Mommy, Teach Me! Preparing Your Preschool Child for a Lifetime of Learning). I can’t recommend this book highly enough. On Mondays, I would like to share some of our adapted ideas!
I like to store the exercises in plastic containers accessible to the girls, so when I am working with my oldest, the other two can independently use the activity. Of course, you need to take time to teach them how to set-up the activity, do it, and then clean it up.
Here are two simple ideas:
You need a basket or tub full of clothespins.
Show your child how to open and close the clothespins. Place the clothespin on the edge of the basket or bin. Show your child how to remove the pins and place them back in the bin.
For variety, you could put different items to clip the clothespins to in the basket (cardstock shapes, fabrics, hats, etc.). Later, when the child’s pincer grasp is more refined, you could use the smaller, office-type clips on a cup or other small object.
Rice and Noodle Scooping
Fill a container with rice or noodles (or both!). I like to put a shower curtain or floor mat under the container.
Show your child how to use a scoop and/or spoon to place the rice into a cup or other container. Have them practice keeping the cup and scoop inside the bin. Teach them to pick up any stray rice or noodles that fall outside of the container. You can easily change this activity by putting in measuring cups, smaller containers, bigger containers, bowls, plates, etc.