Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


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God’s curriculum is Nature

Do you ever need a theme other than nature?

We have been enjoying our playtime in nature during the recent warm, spring weather.  It’s difficult to tell who enjoys it more, me, Noah (5 mon), or Boaz (3 yrs).  I can’t say enough good things about my toddler’s reactions to nature.  I enjoy incorporating nature (sand, ocean animals, more animals) into our shelf work (Montessori-inspired).  Sometimes my toddler needs a little encouragement as we drive by the playground and head to the beach, woods, or water areas.  The playground equipment calls to him.  We go there too, after we play in nature.  Since I talk it up so much, I thought I’d show some pictures to prove we really do it!  You’ll see some pictures of a scenic park off of a lake where you can walk along the water, through the woods, and down to a beach.  We discovered a pair of ducks and built (rather destroyed) sand castles.  At home, I made activities with sand and toy animals – matching games, words games, and sensorial activities – to bring nature into the house and continue the theme.

I think that God’s curriculum is Nature.

 

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Pairing Games for Toddlers

B has mastered several activities recently that have been challenging for months!  I’m excited for him but now I need to find more activities.  I introduced matching so that we could then work on sorting, which is a precursor to math.  A good icebreaker was sorting my shoes.  B loves my shoes!  He tries them all on, even my high heels.  One day I decided to mix them all up and have B pair them together.  He did not really get the concept at first but he liked the game.  A few weeks later I introduced an activity from a Busy Bag swap.  One mom had made pairing coins.  She cut and glued felt designs on wood pieces.  I brought them out several times but B did not seem interested so I put them away.  When I brought them out recently, he paired the designs together perfectly.  He went from seemingly uninterested to mastery!  It just shows how some toddlers learn – B absorbs information through observation until he feels confident in attempting the activity.  I’ve noticed his learning style in music class as well.  He observes quietly during class and then waits to practice clapping or signing or dancing when we are at home.

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I made another matching game based on B’s interest in transportation.  The First 100 Machines has always been a favorite book.  I made two copies of the front cover and laminated the copies.  I cut one of the pages up so that he could place the matching vehicles on the laminated page.  B really liked this game and had fun playing with Daddy.  I’m planning on trying this idea with other books.

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We are busy gearing up for the holidays!  B thinks it’s funny when I see “Jingle Bells” but otherwise does not seem to notice the holiday changes.  Amazingly, he has left the tree and the presents alone.  I’m sure next year will be different.  🙂

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