Monday, November 17, 2014

What we're doing this week

At the moment, I try to do at least an hour of structured activity time with Little Bean each day. Usually, we do more. Over the course of the day, we do several short sessions, and the length depends on his mood and interest level. Some days, 10 minutes is difficult and other days, an hour is easy. His structured activity time includes Montessori activities, reading books together, singing songs with actions and drawing. I also try to include him in daily practical life tasks such as passing me clothes pegs, sweeping the floor, wiping his table after eating and packing up after activities. More on that in a later blog.

This week, we have lots of new activities and toys. I am also introducing a more structured learning environment with activity baskets and a floor mat. I will encourage Little Bean to keep his Montessori activities confined to the floor mat and to pack them back into the basket and return them to his activity shelf when he's finished with them. I foresee that patience will be a virtue sorely needed while we adjust. Patience is not something that either of us has in abundance, so this will be a trial for us. I just need to remain consistent and we'll get through it. This floor mat has a non-slip rubber backing, which is perfect for his wooden floor. It's actually a thin cot mattress I bought from Con Cung baby store. Little Bean often likes to help himself to the activities and play independently, so for now, I will leave the mat out permanently so he can use it anytime. When he's older and is able to roll and unroll it himself, we'll put it away when we're not using it.
 Our sensory item this week is a cute floor mat. It's made of t-shirt fabric scraps. It is super soft and has an interesting texture. Little Bean was immediately a big fan. An awesome buy for a couple of dollars at the local markets.
This week we're revisiting jigsaw puzzles. When we tried previously, Little Bean was teething and just wanted to chew on the pieces. Hopefully we'll have better luck this time. We're using puzzles that have little pegs to hold on to. I didn't even manage to get them to his room or put them in baskets, before he woke up and decided he wanted to check out his new stuff immediately. He ended up sitting on my bedroom floor checking everything out.
 I have some soft drink bottle lids that Little Bean will place in the compartments of an ice cube tray. He quickly got the hang of this and repeated it several times before wandering off to check out the other new activities. Thanks to his "opening & closing" discovery basket, he can get the lid off and on the container easily.

Another fine motor skills activity this week involves an icy pole mould. Little Bean quickly learnt which way up to put the icy pole sticks in the holes, but is still working on getting the alignment right.

He decided that it might be fun to merge some activities and started putting bottle lids into the icy pole mould.
Little Bean is into pull-along toys at the moment. His crocodile pull-along toy doesn't get enough traction on his wooden floor, so I got him a pull-along train. It has three blocks that sit on the carriage. I think I might tie a longer string to it though so Little Bean can walk with it. The string it currently has is tiny and he can only pull it along if he crawls or scoots across the floor.

We are keeping his xylophone keyboard this week and adding some more musical instruments. His wooden xylophone is making a return and I added some metal cans and tins to use as drums.

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