Sunday, November 8, 2015

Busy hands!

With a break from major holidays, the children have been busy engaging in the wonderful work that Montessori classrooms have to offer. After being presented with a particular tool or activity, a child is free to use it when the desire strikes. The practical life area offers plenty of opportunities for a wide variety of full-body movement.

Washing a table with utter concentration.

We have the tools accessible to clean up after ourselves - or after others - without a reminder from an adult. 

Practical life offers motivation for gross motor activity and controlled movement.

Carrying a steps tool from the other room means we can reach higher windows to wash.

A push broom challenges children to use their muscles and "follow the pile."

Practical life extends into our outdoor environment - loading and pushing a wheelbarrow of hay!

Fetching step-stools and decorating the fence absorbed an entire morning for this group of children.

And then in the afternoon, the scrub brush was there when they wanted to scrub it clean again.

Adding compost to our new flowerbed. We planted daffodil and crocus bulbs - hopefully we will have a beautiful display in early spring!

We use all our strength to shape our environment. These two wanted to move the logs that are commonly used a as table and chairs. At first they asked for help but then figured our that they could roll then if they turned them on their sides

It's been rainy and there really is nothing better than making mud pies in the sand box.

Raking straw out of the straw bale house. Soon the straw bales will fall apart and will be replaced with fresh bales.

Scrubbing gourds is a seasonal work that extends practical life out onto the patio. 

Picking seeds out of a pomegranate is tedious work, but it has a sweet reward.

Concentrating on adding dye to a cup for dip-dyeing work.

The gourds inspire lots of exploration and interest. Here they are a spontaneous provocation for drawing. 

The sensorial materials are also a great motivation for physical exploration.

The constructive triangles - how many triangles can we build? What other shapes can we make with these?

The large box of color tablets is a motive for repetition and order.

There are many ways to explore with the brown stair. Lately building up as high as they can is very interesting!

Baking biscuits has many steps and is a fun sensorial activity. One child cuts the butter into tiny slivers, while others measure out the other ingredients into the bowl. Then we each got a turn rubbing the butter into the flour for flaky, tender biscuits!

Once they are baked and cooled, the children spread their biscuits with strawberry jam.