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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, September 23, 2014

Continuing Montessori activities with Solomon

I love seeing pictures of activities other children are doing so that I can get ideas for things for us to do.  For example, Monday morning I printed out a photo from the blog "Tesha's Treasures" of some leaf art pictures her children did.  I think it will be a fun activity for us later this week as a part of nature study.

Because seeing other people's postings helps me, I am going to post more of Solomon's Montessori type activities below, in case they help give anyone else some ideas of things to try with their children.  (My first posting of a week of activities is here.)  These are all things we've worked on since my last post on them.

Practicing with wooden screws and a screwdriver.  The block of wood has holes in it for each of the screws:

Solomon liked this in spite of the fact that the screwdriver seems a bit big for him to work with it easily.  This is an activity he has repeated a lot.

Tossing bean bags into a laundry basket.  Throwing them from different positions:

Solomon really likes this and makes up his own variations, like throwing the beanbags into the trailer of his tractor.

Wooden puzzles.  One day I gave Solomon several wooden puzzles and he is enjoying them:

His favorite is a John Deere tractor puzzle.  No surprise!  We do have a couple puzzles that were a bit too advanced and frustrated him.  I put those away for now.  Challenge is good - but not TOO much of a challenge.  :)

I've noticed that flower arranging is a Montessori activity I frequently see.  I find that interesting for some reason.  I don't think I ever thought about flower arranging as a kid.  So one day when Hunter asked to gather and identify wildflowers for Nature Study, I thought that would be fun for Solomon to join us.  (He's usually napping during part of our school time.)  The boys hopped on their tractors and drove out to the road:

Our area is full of wild sunflowers growing along the roads:

Solomon just couldn't get the concept of picking flowers and leaving some stem.  Oh well.  When we got back to the house I gave him a little bowl of water and he floated his flowers in it.  We put the bowl of flowers where he sat at the table and he was just so proud of the flowers and pointed them out every time we sat down to eat.

I picked some flowers for my kitchen window sill.  I have a little booklet called Sparky's Guide to Roadside Flowers and it is a fantastic little book for identifying all those flowers you see along the sides of the road.  Nice color pictures - my kind of identification guide.

Magnets.  Hunter and I were doing experiments with a magnet set he has and Solomon was fascinated.  So the next day I put the magnet set on a tray for him and he stayed busy playing and experimenting a long time:

Pouring.  I gave Solomon two containers and he poured chick peas (garbanzo beans) back and forth:

Whenever he spilled some, he would carefully pick them up and put them back into the container.  (Another good thing about having the tray under where he's working - it kept the beans from going far.)  Solomon really really liked this activity and worked at it for a long time.

Then I blew it.  I said "You're doing such a good job pouring!   When you get really good you can practice pouring water."  Solomon's concentration was broken.  Then he started getting upset that he couldn't try pouring with water right then!

A big thing in the Montessori approach is to let the children work and focus and NOT to interrupt them!  It's sort of ironic that here in the U.S. parents are encouraged to be cheerleaders.  "Oh you're doing a great job!" "Keep it up!"  "Way to hang in there!" etc.  Yes that has it's place - to a certain degree.  But not when we're pestering or even falsely building them up.

Sort by colors.  Lately Solomon has become very interested in what color things are.  I have been in the habit of telling him colors of things throughout day.  (Ex.  "Please put the blue plate on the table.")  But since he keeps asking, I thought maybe some color sorting would help.  We're started with blue and green.  I found several blue objects and several green objects and showed him out to sort them on the colored foam.

It took him a few tries to get it right.  (And me wondering if he was color blind!)  But then he did it.  Then said "Again!" and put everything back and did it again.  And again and again ...  Finally he sorted the colors into little wooden bowls.


  1. Wow you have really sold me on these activity trays! Maybe it's the cute pictures and I am imagining my Jojo sitting still for long periods of time, LOL:) Where did you get the trays and ideas... I know you read a book but are you buying the activities or just using stuff you have? It is so appealing to me because Jojo is into EVERYTHING when I am homeschooling! I agree it helps to see what others are doing to get inspired!!!

    1. I got the trays at A.C. Moore which is a big craft store here. They are just really cheap wooden trays. I've only bought a few things but for the most part am using stuff we have. Sometimes Solomon sits for a long time - other times he doesn't and then he constantly interrupts school. So I know how hard that is! Here's an idea - go onto and request a free catalog. It has lots and lots of great ideas in it - and most of their items (like trays) are very reasonably priced. Just ignore the ridiculous page with books on the "Big Bang" and "early humans." ;)