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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A few Montessori activity links - to keep little kids busy!

A friend called Sunday and said how interesting she found my recent Montessori post.  She has 3 young children and is interested in activities that are quick and easy to set up and can keep the children occupied for a bit.  I have been finding, that if only I invest a few minutes in prep, it can keep the children happy and busy for quite awhile.

Recently on a hot morning, I gave my boys each a spray bottle of water and sent them outside on the deck.  They ended up squirting those water bottles for well over an hour!  And they wanted to repeat it for the next two mornings.  Nice!  :)

Here is a very interesting - and telling - quote from Montessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen:

"Parents in the early half of the twentieth century were primarily concerned with the development of character in their children.  They wanted to be certain that their children were ready to cope with adversity, for it was surely coming to them one day whether in personal or natural life.  The development of character involves self-discipline and often sacrifice of one's own desires for the good of self and others.  Montessori education, developed in this historic period, reflects this emphasis on the formation of the child's character. However, parents today are more likely to say their primary wish for their children is that they be happy.  In pursuit of this goal, they indulge their children, often unconsciously, to a degree that is startling to previous generations.  All parents need to remember that true happiness comes through having character and discipline, and living a life of meaningful contribution--not by having and doing whatever you wish."  (p. 187)

My husband can confirm about modern parents just wanting their children to "be happy."  He is the middle school administrator at a private Christian school, and when he conducts new family interviews, he will ask parents what their goal is for their child(ren).  (I hope I am remembering that question right.)  He is always disappointed when parents respond "We just want our child to be happy."

Now I'm not saying I don't want my kids to be happy!  But ... if they are taught that their only goal in life is to pursue happiness exclusively ... well then, they are going to have a very disappointing and frustrating life.

Now, for a few links for activity ideas.  Through Pinterest, I found a blog where a mom posted a lot of Montessori activities, along with pictures of her son doing them.  She divided things up by age, which was a helpful guideline to me.  Here they are:

15 - 16 months:

17 - 18 months:

19 - 20 months:

21 - 22 months:

2 years:

Sunday night I read through Montessori Inspired Activities for Pre-Schoolers: Home Projects for 2-6 Year Olds by Jo Ebisujima.  This little book is packed with so many great ideas!  The author is a blogger that compiled her ideas of activities that worked with her son.  Each activity has a description and photo of her son doing the activity.  I can't wait to get Solomon started on them.  I think Hunter will enjoy quite a number of them too.

Solomon playing with dried Lima beans
Two final links for you.  One is a nice list on a blog called "40 Ways to Distract a Toddler."  Doesn't matter these aren't all Montessori activities.  There are a lot of easy things to do on this list.  You can see the post with pictures here.

The other is an e-book jam packed packed with ideas called Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places:  200+ activities for Young Children Using Common Household Objects by Angie Kauffman.  You can purchase and download this book at .  The cost is only $2.99.

Just a few minutes investment of your time can mean hours of happy and busy learning and play by your children.  ;)

Tabby and Solomon with their feet in beans - just like Lilly used to like to do!
I'll be posting more things like this in the future.

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