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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 19, 2019

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                                                    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                                                    1. Create a Daily Plan

                                                    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                                                    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                                                    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                                                    3. Use a Calendar

                                                    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                                                    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                                                    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                                                    4. Use an Organizer

                                                    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                                                    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                                                    5. Know Your Deadlines

                                                    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                                                    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                                                    6. Learn to Say “No”

                                                    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                                                    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                                    7. Target to Be Early

                                                    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                                                    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                                                    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                                                    8. Time Box Your Activities

                                                    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                                                    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                                                    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                                                    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                                                    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                                                    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                                                    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                                                    11. Focus

                                                    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                                                    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                                                    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                                    12. Block out Distractions

                                                    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                                                    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                                                    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                                                    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                                                    13. Track Your Time Spent

                                                    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                                                    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                                                    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                                                    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                                                    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                                                    15. Prioritize

                                                    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                                                    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                                    16. Delegate

                                                    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                                                    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                                                    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                                                    For related work, batch them together.

                                                    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                                                    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                                                    2. coaching
                                                    3. workshop development
                                                    4. business development
                                                    5. administrative

                                                    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                                                    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                                                    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                                                    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                                                    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                                                    19. Cut off When You Need To

                                                    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                                                    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                                                    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                                                    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                                                    More Time Management Techniques

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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