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Posts Tagged ‘video’

The Hands are the Instrument of Man’s Intelligence

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 3:54 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Montessori believed the hands were the instrument of man’s intelligence.

I’ve been looking for the best way for my kids to use their hands in different ways. In our house, we never sit to learn ABCs or 123s, instead, we clean! If you have children, you know what it’s like to clean up after them. It’s a constant affair.  Since Montessori believed that our job as parents is to be their educators, not their slaves, rather than cleaning up after them all the time, I’ve been teaching them to clean up after themselves.  How on earth am I making this work, you ask? Well, the only reason is because children love to clean when given the chance!

Brooke loves to wipe so much that she will spill her milk on the couch deliberately so she can get a tissue, wipe up the spill, then throw away the tissue. She does this every morning.

Here she is wiping up the spill on the floor.

And again wiping the table with a rag after she eats.

Here is a video of Mackenzie when she just turned 14 months –

Children at this age can also help put toys away, set the table, clean up the table, throw things away in the garbage. I just introduced them to window-cleaning with a squirt bottle and squeegee. Get them involved and show them how it’s done. It still amazes me what they can do.

An Excellent Toy for a 12-18 Month Old

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 2:30 pm | By Stephanie Woo

For months now, I’ve observed how much my kids love to open and close things. And they also love to put things inside other things. Their favorite toy since they were 8 months is a little drawer with a ball inside that they can open and close.

With that in mind, when I saw this wooden cigar box at the Salvation Army, I thought maybe I could do something with it. A great Montessori activity for toddlers usually around 15-18 months is putting chips into the slot of a box. So I ask my very handy husband for help.  He broke out his power saw and cut a slot in this wooden box and screwed on the latch. Then we bought some plastic poker chips to put in it.

This is by far one of my kids’ favorite toys. They love the box; they love the chips even more. Watch what Mackenzie does in this video at 12 months.

Now that they are 14 months, they still play with this box endlessly. Of course we find chips everywhere in the house, including inside the VCR player, inside my file cabinet, inside baskets, inside other toys, in bed, in the bathtub, everywhere. It’s been an excellent investment: $2 box + $2 for the latch + $1.99 worth of plastic poker chips = fine motor skill development and months of fun!

Video: 14-Month Update

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 6:29 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Hello Moms, Dads and Montessorians!

Sorry I ‘ve been remiss in updating my blog. Why? Well, I’ve been spending my free time writing a book! Or a booklet, rather. Moms don’t have time to read, as I can attest, so the shorter the book, the better. With that in mind, I’m writing a short, but hopefully thorough, book on raising your child the first year the Montessori Way. I’ve written most of it, but it still needs editing. Watch out – it’ll be coming soon!

Meanwhile, I have so many photos, videos and stories about B and M from the last two months, I don’t even know where to begin!

The girls are now 14 months old – walking, talking and so much more grown up than the last time you heard about them.

Brooke has become a pro at using the spoon. She can eat entire bowls of oatmeal, yogurt or rice by herself. All those months of letting her feed herself (and the endless cleaning up that went along with it) is finally starting to pay off! A couple days ago, I decided to up the ante and give her some cereal and milk to eat on her own. It takes a lot of concentration and hand-eye coordination for a child to do this – but both of them love fishing out those one or two O’s with their spoon. They would eat cereal with milk all day long if Mama would let them!

In other news, Mackenzie is absolutely in love with the harmonica. I bought this when they turned one and Mackenzie immediately started blowing on it, but very lightly at first. In the last two months, she’s taken it to new levels. Here’s a little excerpt from my little traveling harmonica player. And I recommend it as a great instrument for little ones to make music!