I introduced three new works today- folding cloths, zipping a jacket, and "getting water". The folding work is something I know will be used, and it is a stepping stone to other folding activities (i.e. folding paper, or folding clothes)...I have often tried to get Gene and Lucy to help me fold the laundry, but only occasionally are they interested, so we'll give it a shot on the shelf.
This is the basket of folded cloths.
The first step is to take them all out of the basket, and pile them up.
Then, select one cloth, spread it out on the mat, and fold it. The kids can choose to take out and fold all ten cloths, or if that seems too challenging they can just take out one or two.
"Zipping a jacket" is something I've wanted to put out for a while, because none of the children can get their own jacket zipped, and with jacket season beginning I am going a little crazy getting everyone ready to go outside. Once they can zip themselves, they will be able to get completely ready on their own...good for all of us! I also want to put out a jacket with buttons on it, but that will have to wait until I find a good one. I found this pink jacket amidst all of my youngest daughter's outerwear (she was given about 20 jackets and sweatshirts and sweaters, not kidding!) and it has a little hood that completely unsnaps...a fun bonus!
"Getting water" is also something I'd wanted to put out for a while now. There are a lot of Montessori water activities that are very fun, but they all involve the children getting their own water to use. Stepping up on a stool to get water from the sink, and then stepping down again, is fairly difficult to do without spilling, especially for the younger children. So, a water bucket is a way that many schools use to make water accessible to everyone. The children scoop up some water from a full bucket on the floor, use it for a certain activity (such as pouring water between two pitchers, or using a sponge to transfer water between two containers). At the end of each activity, the water is disposed of (I think we'll have a "used water" bucket). And that means we don't have to keep water in the containers on the shelves...a good thing when a curious toddler is living in the same house.
Here's what we were up to today:
Norah worked on playdough (first this time), the butterfly puzzle, and the bean bowl. She is very consistent. But she feels really comfortable doing these activities, and needs a little encouragement to branch out, I think. But, in the meantime, she is learning how to get out, clean up and put away what she does choose to work with. And she is definitely observing what the other children do...watching someone else do an activity a few times makes doing it oneself much easier.
Gene worked on folding cloths (before I even gave a lesson on it- he was that interested!) He drew a few pictures with a pencil (one of his "comfort works") and then moved on to pouring beads, the duck floor puzzle, a sesame street puzzle, and reading books. One of his accomplishments was writing his own name on one of his pictures. I told him I wouldn't do that for him any more, now that I've seen him do it a few times...and he remembered to do it by himself today.
Lucy learned a new sandpaper letter today (f) and was then able to get a lesson on "object box #1...an activity that matches up letters and objects that begin with those letters. There are four objects and letters in the box, and after she had four letters in her sound book she was excited to match up the objects. I'll try to take a picture of that work, as well. She also did stamping for a while, and copied Geno's name with letter stamps that I had put out. Maybe she'll do her name sometime... She did the duck floor puzzle as well, and the butterfly puzzle. I was amused to see that she had sorted the butterfly puzzle pieces before putting them back in the puzzle...she has been sorting everything lately!