This weeks rhyme:
Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook,
Goodmorning Ms. Hen,
How many chickens do you have?
Madam I have ten!
Four of then are yellow,
Four of them are brown,
Two of them are speckled red,
The finest chickens in town.
It is such a pleasure to observe the purposeful play, and concentration that comes from self directed play/work. There are definite times in the day when the childrens play is far more directed by myself in terms of story time and planned activities, and it is clear that the children thoroughly enjoy these times and benefit greatly benefit from this, however, there is no greater joy than watching a child engaged in an activity demonstrating their interest and absorption.
This week we have been talking about brushing our teeth and general dental hygience. To illlustrate this point, I made each child a mouth with yellow teeth, then using a tooth brush and white paint I illustrated how we brush our teeth and how this makes them white. They each then took turns at this activity, resulting in some ‘colgate’ smiles 🙂
Children love to explore new textures, even adding the simplist activity, such as playing with flour instead of sand, or drawing on stones rather than paper, adds an element of interest for the children. They spend a great deal of time exploring the new textures, which forms an important aspect of sensory experience and integration.
The reason for practical life activities, which include activities which are purposeful and useful for everyday living such as clearing a table and tying shoes, is to aid children in gaining confidence for day to day living. Children are naturally interested in activities and tasks they see performed on a daily basis, practising these gives children a sense fo independence and mastery over their own environment, it also serves to improve co-ordination and concentration. Activities which focus on grace and courtesy, such as blowing noses, or eating at a table, prepare children as functioning members of society. They learn through these exercises how to respect one another, and to work together. The great part of this aspect of montessori learning is that it is easily mimicked in the home environment, and you will be happily surprised as to how long such activities keep children engaged. Since the goal of these activities is to represent real life, the materials used should real, functional and complete. So, when doing these activities at home, try to resist temptation of over child proofing the material. Over the next few months I will be posting weekly examples of practical life actvities we are doing at nursery; try to do these at home as well.