The question I am asked the most is about Montessori activities for children 3.5-4.5 years old. Otis turned four last month so he fits within this age group nicely. I will do my best over the next week or so to show lots of the work Otis has been doing at home. With the exception of practical life. I have so many posts on practical life and even though it is a major part of his work at home I will try to cover more of the other 'activity' side of things. So I'm hoping you might find these posts interesting.
Today I thought I would cover some of our not so Montessori toys. I'm not a big fan of plastic toys with the exception of Schleich or Bruder. But these three pictured have turned out to be favourites and well used.
They are construction based 'mediums' and all three are on regular rotation. If I leave any of these out for too long they will stop being used. They are all stored on a basket/tray/bowl on Otis' shelves. The idea is that he can take them from his shelves and work with them on his work table, outside or on the floor. He can independently get them out, then when finished easily pack them up and put them away.
The reason why these make it into our home is that I can see the educational benefits of all three. I see my child thinking as he uses them, I can see him concentrating. I can see him rotating his wrists, pushing, connecting, working his hands and fingers. I see him asking questions and answering them.
Concentration is such an important thing with a four year old - it's everything. If a child cannot concentrate they cannot learn. And there is a lot of imagination in use here too.
I also see my older son helping my younger son. Making spaceships or trains. Fixing, discussing, negotiating.
Sometimes only for a few minutes. Sometimes for a few hours.