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Parenting Hacks: 25 Fun And Inspirational Montessori Activities You Can Do At Home

Parenting Hacks: 25 Fun And Inspirational Montessori Activities You Can Do At Home

Montessori education was developed to encourage children to think for themselves. Children are provided every opportunity to engage in their world and are enticed into learning. In other words, learning is more like play time. Children learn without knowing they are doing far more than playing.

The system of Montessori education is denoted via:

  • Children in mixed age classrooms
  • Children provided blocks of time in working on projects (up to three hours)
  • Children have limited choices in there activities
  • Children are free to learn concepts through exploration of materials rather than ‘direct’ instruction

The Montessori model of education was introduced across America in 1911. These activities may be used to prepare a pre-schooler for school or for home schooling purposes. The techniques are devised to assist a child in exploring, measuring, and observing the world around them.

1. Counting Objects & Matching Numbers

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    A great way to introduce mathematics to a toddler. Make a game of it through using everyday objects that are familiar to the child.

    2. Scrap Alphabet

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      Build tactile skills by letting children glue fabric scraps to cardboard cut-outs of the alphabet. This activity builds up the muscles needed for writing/holding a pen or pencil.

      3. Discovery Baskets

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        Discovery baskets filled with like items or from different rooms of the household is a good way to keep a toddler’s mind active.

        4. Miniature Weaving

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          Miniature weaving is an activity that will unleash an older child’s creativity and more than a little imagination.

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          5. Cosmic Nesting Boxes

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            Cosmic nesting boxes are a fun and creative way to teach about the solar system or a particular state.

            6. Nature Scavenger Hunt

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              Throw a nature scavenger hunt for you kids and their friends. Glue what kids are looking for onto paper bags or empty plastic eggs.

              7. Observation Trays

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                Add a magnifying glass to observation trays. Allow your child to explore up close vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The magnifying glass gives children a real sense of observation and satisfies their notion toward exploration.

                8. Clothes Pin Words

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                  Clothes pin words sparks creativity and letter recognition in a small child’s mind. These are so easy to make and is a wonderful way to teach the connection between the alphabet and words.

                  9. Button Snake

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                    I found the button snake on several different sites. The child is tasked with ‘buttoning’ through felt squares with a button attached to a ribbon. Builds fine motor skills while teaching about colors.

                    10. Play-Dough: Fine Motor Skills

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                      Make it yourself playdough is far cheaper and more fun to make than the store bought kind. The kids can even help make it! Younger children build and fine tune motor skills, while older children get a boost in their creativity.

                      11. Taste Bowls

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                        This activity teaches a child about the four senses of taste. Have the child close his or her eyes or use a blindfold. Use a spoon to feed the different tastes to the child.

                        12. Number Clip Cards

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                          These counting cards are a great way to teach numbers the Montessori way. The child simply ‘pins’ the correct number and learns number recognition at the same time.

                          13. Shark Bingo Game

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                            Shark bingo is a fun way to teach kids about sea life, especially if gummy fish are used to mark the sited sharks!

                            14. Fiddlesticks

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                              Teach a pre-schooler to recognize sight words and the sound of letter combinations with fiddlesticks. Use popsicle sticks and a sharpie to create the words and letter combinations.

                              15. Miniature Tree Table

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                                A DIY Nature Tree Table to spark a child’s imagination and to teach about the outdoors. Children can use toys on hand or the items found in their nature scavenger hunt.

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                                16. DIY Coin Box

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                                  The DIY coin box builds fine motor skills and teaches counting. Little hands are sure to stay busy. A sharpie pen can be used to mark the chips with numbers, in order to help with number recognition.

                                  17. Mystery Bag

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                                    A mystery bag should be filled with 4 or 5 familiar objects. The bag heightens a child’s sense of touch and tactile recognition.

                                    18. Colander And Pipe Cleaners

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                                      This is a fun and quite simple activity. Have your child thread pipe cleaners through the holes in a colander. The unique designs awaken your child’s creativity and imagination.

                                      19. Pom-Poms Into Cardboard Tube

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                                        Kids will love the disappearing and sudden reappearing of the pom-poms in this activity.  Tape the tube to a nearby cabinet for close supervision.

                                        20. Matching Animals

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                                          Matching games teach hand-eye coordination and are the beginning of learning word match and recognition.

                                          21. Thread Spools And Chopsticks

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                                            Threading thread spools happens in three stages. First chopsticks, then pipe cleaners, and finally shoe laces. Each stage teaches finer and finer motor skills.

                                            22. Magnet Play

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                                              Magnet play is great even for older children. Kids can wave the wand over both magnetic and non-magnetic items, count what is magnetic and what is not.

                                              23. Letter Recognition

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                                                Play with letters leads to familiarity with the alphabet. Children can start with simple words, their name, and move on to complex letter sounds.

                                                24. Geoboard

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                                                  The geoboard may be used in a number of ways. The bands can be used to imitate simple shapes or for letter recognition.

                                                  25. Ping-Pong Ball Scoop

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                                                    Teach hand-eye coordination with this DIY ping-pong ball scoop game.

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                                                    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                                    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                                    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                                    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                                    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                                    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                                    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                                    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                                    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                                    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                                    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                                    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                                    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                                    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                                    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                                    4. Feed Your Brain

                                                    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                                    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                                    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                                    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                                    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                                    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                                    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                                    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                                    6. Write it Down

                                                    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                                    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                                    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                                    7. Listen to Music

                                                    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                                    8. Visual Concepts

                                                    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                                    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                                    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                                    9. Teach Someone Else

                                                    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                                    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                                    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                                    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                                    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                                    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                                                    More About Boosting Memory

                                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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