I have done alot of studying recently on how to stimulate Little Bear. It is obvious that he is getting smarter and capable of learning much more than we have realized. This has particularly piqued my interest as I am certainly a teacher at hears (as well as an actual certified elementary teacher).
I have been reading about homeschooling as well as the Montessori method (which I experienced when I was a child and to this day still LOVE). Little did I know until today that you *can* actually set up a Montessori homeschool AND you can start with your toddlers and pre-toddlers.
I'm like a kid in a candy store with this new found knowledge! And now I'm anxiously looking to build my "classroom". Due to very limited living space in our home, it's likely his "classroom" will have to be creative and fit inside is own bedroom. I haven't exactly decided which of the materials I will buy first.
The Montessori way suggests using a child-size table and chair in order for him to properly do his "work". He can use the floor but he is likely to enjoy his own desk and chair best. In addition, his materials must be on his level. So, I am likely to need to buy a shelf.
The Montessori way is very structured. So, I need to decide which toys to include in this area and how/when I want to teach him.
I also need to decide which new "work" toys to create. Here's my list so far:
1.) Clothespin and Basket exercise (need clothespins and small basket)
2.) Coat hanging area (need a hook for coat)
3.) Folding cloths with basket (need several square clothes and small basket)
4.) Dusting cloth and basket (need a special dusting cloth and a basket for it)
5.) Diswashing bucket, small dishes, drying cloth (need small pitcher, plastic bucket, plastic dishes and a cloth)
6.) Rings on a post (some sort of stacking toy)
7.) Pouring using transfer pitchers (two small pictchers and cheerios)
9.) Hammering exercise
10.) Place a low mirror within reach
11.) Nesting bowls
12.) Stringing beads
Other ideas for Toddler Exercises in the future:
* Brushing Teeth/Washing Face
* Using a fork, spoon and nife
* Using a Table Place Mat (see: http://www.michaelolaf.com/1JC13FF.html)
* Helping with cooking
* Putting on shoes
* Putting away materials on low shelves
* Spooning: transferring items using a spoon
* Using an eye dropper. With the baster or dropper, transfer water from one container to another.
* Playing with Stickers
* Using Stamps
* Tearing tissue paper and paper
* Helping to feed the pet
* Carrying items on a Tray
* Painting with Water
* Musical Instruments
* Stacking blocks
* Climbing and Balancing
* Water Play
* Sand Play
* Learning Sign Language
* Using a Picture Dictionary
* Touch and Feel Books
* Sandpaper Alphabet
Here are some great Montessori resources I have found. I will continue to add to them.
Basic Montessori Learning Activities for Under-Fives
Montessori on a Shoe String