Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ocean (or sea) themed activities for toddlers

This week has definitely been Toddler focused. Since we're living with my in laws and since we still haven't officially bought the new house, I've found myself having loads more free time than before. We share all of the household duties, so I have been loving all of the extra attention I have been able to give the Toddler. 

Not only have we been amping up the 'formal' Tot School activities, but we've been spending loads of time outdoors, playing with the neighbour kids (4 little girls ranging in age from 4-10ish that the Toddler can flirt with), and toilet learning! Overall, this week has been a lot of fun and I can finally see the 'fruits of my labour' as the Toddler has been blowing me away with his new skills. All of the sudden, his language has taken off! He actually strung together two words this week - a first! I am just so impressed with how sponge-like kid's brains can be. 



Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood




Math activities 


Sorting small and large


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood


Sorting fish and crab 


I am so, so excited about this! The Toddler straight up sorted this one! He didn't do all of the crabs, but he actually sorted! Yaaaaaaayyy! 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

I've been putting out sorting activities for what feels like a very long time, but have had zero to very minimal success with them. This time, the Toddler simply did it. 


Counting with seashells 


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

The Toddler is still pretty young for this activity, but he can do it up to three. Usually, we do it together, and I lay out the shells (or other manipulatives) onto the circles and count each one as I do it. After we did that, we also laid out the corresponding quantity of shells underneath each card. 


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Usually, we are done with this numbers grid or cards after a few minutes - as soon as I am done laying out the manipulatives. This time, he was so interested and so intrigued that we worked on it for about twenty minutes. 

We also did this variation during the week:  

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

This then became a one to one correspondence activity. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

For this activity, I presented both our dot cards and the numbered seashells to symbolise how many pebbles needed to go into each hole. I gave exactly the amount of pebbles needed. We went on through our cards and numbered shells. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Bead sorting 


Blue beads are water and green beads are land. I should have made little signs to put in the bowls. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Turned into:

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood


Practical life


Pouring water


This happened multiple times throughout the week. The Toddler is currently just obsessed with this work. I don't actually set it up for him - he just gets his cups and a towel from our Toddler accessible cupboard in the kitchen, and then goes to the sink where he waits for me to pour him some water. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

It also tends to happen with each meal so I don't actually have a good, pretty Montessori set up for him. He does it all on his own.  Next week, I hope to get him to pour from one pitcher into two cups.

Pouring seashells


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Scooping out crabs and fish 


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Sweeping seashells


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

He loved it! He actually didn't really want to sweep too much (something we'll be working on again later, but he adored exploring his new tools!  

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

After getting this far, he ran away. He did return to this work a few times though. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Washing seashells


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Language


We read a sea/ocean animal themed book. This one is in Dutch, so I just translated it as I read, explaining that the letters are Dutch but I'm going to read in Russian. The Toddler liked it when I pointed to each of the animals and said their names. (But I will be placing a ridiculously huge order of Russian language books sometime soon-ish. The particular internet store also has a few Montessori books for Mommy that are actually in Russian!) 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

I also compared those animals with the 3 part cards I had made. 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

I also showed him the cards during a meal - simply went through the name of each animal on both the cards with a photo. He was amused and it only took a few minutes, but I figure, he can learn more words. 

The problem is that we lack very many manipulatives, and don't have little versions of these animals. He has no idea what some of them are, but still enjoyed seeing them. I think we'll have to go to the zoo sometime soon, and maybe even watch some clips about these animals. 

Just for fun


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood


Arts and crafts 


Seashell painting


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

His masterpiece completed: 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood



Pipe cleaner fish 

This activity was not my idea, but I had seen it out in the internet so many times, I have no idea to whom I should give credit. So whoever you are, thank you!

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

This is also a great fine motor work, but sadly my son wasn't too interested in it, nor was he amused that I showed him that the pipe cleaners can be made into a fish shape. He just went to play with the fish we used for sorting. At least he knows what a fish is. 

Sneak peek

I think this theme will carry over into next week or we'll be picking it up the week after, depending on how things go. Mostly because, we just didn't get to all of the activities/works I had planned. Like these printables: 

Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

After I finish making up all of the ones I have in mind, and we get busy with them, I'll be sharing them for free so make sure to come back to get your own copy! This should be happening sometime within the next two weeks, depending on whether I feel like having a Father's Day unit next week or not. 

How's Tot School Going?

I'm really surprised at how this week went. I was starting to doubt a lot of the activities that I had been preparing for the Toddler as they just seemed to be too advanced for him at 20 months old. 

However! This week, he has really just started talking so much more, and doing really well with the more difficult works. I never force him to do any of the activities I present, but simply like the idea of showing him that we can sort, or we can count, or what letters are, etc. I don't want to push him to do things he doesn't want to. 

I like to set up the basic activities for the week on Sunday or Monday, and then leave them out through Thursday or Friday. I will also add activities as we go, depending on his interests/moods. I am also okay with putting activities away, unused, and simply saving them for later. I guess this method has been working as he has started showing interest and completing activities that previously seemed too difficult. 

I also think that part of the reason for this newfound enthusiasm is the lack of action shots - the Toddler loves to explore technology and the camera or my phone have both been huge distractions. I like the documentation, but I prefer to be able to focus on our works rather than the camera. 

Well, that's about it. I'll just leave you with this photo of an exhausted, all 'learned up' toddler: 


Oceans Unit Part I: Montessori activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood

Don't worry! His rest only lasted a minute before he grabbed another tray to work on!

For more tot school inspiration, stop by my Toddler Activities page and my Tot School page. Also, be sure to visit my first oceans/sea animal unit post.


Welcome to Mommyhood: under the sea toddler activities

This post may be linked up at any of these awesome parties: Tot school linky party hosted by 1+1+1=1Pinning Party hosted by Sharla at The Chaos and the Clutter and Angela at Teaching MamaWe love Weekends hosted by Emma at P is for PreschoolerJolanthe at Homeschool creations, the Sunday Showcase Share it SaturdayHip Homeschool Hop, Tuesday TotsSharing timeand/or Montessori Mondays.

Happy Friday! 
Yuliya