Wow! What a March it has been with all the birthdays and parties we have attended this year – I am pooped and just about all birthday’d out and next weekend is L’s! 3…how did that happen? We have had a lovely time celebrating with friends and their little ones though and thank each and every one for inviting us to be with them on their special day. L has built on existing friendships and made new ones as well. At L’s age especially all these social events are wonderful learning experiences, not only for social interactions but learning about culture and customs, how to play games, teamwork and so much more. Yesterday’s party was chock a block full of lovely kids from tiny babies to teens as well as plenty of adults and our friend K had a number of great games for the kids to play from Egg and Spoon races, to Treasure Hunts and Pass the Parcel. There was plenty of opportunity for free play and all the games were of course optional too.
The one thing about L’s birthday being the last of them all is all the present giving, it’s the ultimate toddler test of patience and willpower I think and L LOVES presents. K, bless her, had a gift for L yesterday which she was delighted with. We’d been making plans to see each other for over a year now and hadn’t managed due to one of us having to rearrange – illnesses mostly! It was really great of her to hold onto the gift and L opened it with much enthusiasm to a beautiful big craft box! Perfect! L couldn’t help her exclamations of “OH WOW!” When we got home yesterday she wanted to get right stuck in, so we did.
She made me a beautiful Mother’s Day collage picture which I will hang up later today as it’s so bright and cheerful. Just what every mummy needs.
Tot School on Friday had L trying new works alongside some of her favourites. Most of them were Practical Life based but there was a small range of Language based work as well and some Sensorial.
Usually L makes a beeline for the water tray works, but on Friday she spied this beautiful red bus, which we hasn’t seen before. L recognised almost all of the pictures, tricky ones were Gate and Van. We talked through each tile and the corresponding letter together. Interestingly the letters L knows now, that she can match sound to symbol are S, O, W and X. A and B are hit and miss. I’m not sure why or how that order of recognition has come to be, as with her Sandpaper Letters we have the basic starter letters followed by Montessori. Actually, tell a lie, I’ve just talked it out with my husband there as it was puzzling me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that she has picked up on those letters through other means. Now, X, L is very interested in pirates and X Marks the Spot is often used and I think this is the root of this letter recognition. O, circles were the first shape L could draw and recognise and I would often say, “it is also the letter o” and think that’s come from that. W is an interesting one. J and I are both gamers on the PC and W is the key that us most used to move a character forward and over the last couple of months, L has shown some interest in playing with us and we often say “push W” so she can help us. S…is part of the Montessori letters we use and I often associate it with the work Snake and she likes hissing and crawling around pretending to be a snake that I think it’s just stuck…Well, those are my musings anyway.
More language work involved the Schleich animals again, discussing the families, from Bull, Cow, Calf etc and naming breeds where we could as well.
The water trays did make an appearance and she really does get better every time, testament to the fact that practice improves skills.
One of the works I enjoyed watching her work with was a colour sorting tray using coloured balls, a sorting tray and some little tongs. It’s one thing at home we don’t have is little tongs, but that didn’t slow her down, she was shown very quickly how it works by L2, also 3, and got straight to work. Amazing! It’s always enlightening to watch one of the other children demonstrate a work they are familiar with and L watch and learn.
The lovely thing about this work is not only the development of hand eye coordination, but the fine motor skills needed as well as sequencing and order. So many things in one small activity. If you’d like to see L in action with this one, head over to our Facebook Page and check out the video!
Another work involving sequencing and some hand eye coordination, but for a younger age than L (it’s never bad to let them use a work that is easy for them and they have mastered, it lets them continue to enjoy their work cycle with a little rest of the mind as they do and can also be a confidence giver).
Puzzles, of any kind, are enjoyed by L. Jigsaw type puzzles have become a bit of a favourite lately, whether she’s doing them on the carpet or on our phones. She completed this simple one at group, but she’s been trying increasingly more complicated types on our phones, from 8-10 pieces and also some that are more unusually shaped like those in the photo, but with more pieces. I’m going to have to keep my eye out for some today when we hit the shop to add to her birthday gifts. I’m sure she’d just love a new puzzle! You can watch L complete this work over on our Facebook Page as well.
L finished up her work cycle with some Science Investigations. She really loves the way Magnifying Glasses work, and spends some time on this tray looking at all the nature pieces. With the nicer weather coming now, I think it’s time to start doing some more outdoor work from bug hunting to den building and more.
Look out for my birthday post coming this week – What to buy a 3yr old Montessorian!