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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 September 10, 2019

                                                    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                                    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                                    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                                    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                                    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                                    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                                    1. Gratitude

                                                    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                                    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                                    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                                    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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                                                      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                                      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                                      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                                      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                                      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                                      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                                      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                                      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                                      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                                      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                                      write down goals

                                                        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                                        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                                        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                                        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                                        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                                        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                                        6. Rise Earlier

                                                        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                                        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                                        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                                        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                                        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                                        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                                        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                                        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                                        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                                        More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                                        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                                        Reference

                                                        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                                        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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