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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 March 13, 2019

                                                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                    1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                    2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                    3. Upgrade yourself

                                                    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                    4. Talk to a friend.

                                                    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                    7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                    8. Have a quick nap.

                                                    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                    9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                    10. Find some competition.

                                                    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                    11. Go exercise.

                                                    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                    12. Take a good break.

                                                    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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