Posted in Farm Animals, Fruit & Vegetable Activities, Montessori, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

Object to Picture Matching- Montessori Pre-Reading Activity for Toddlers

Object to Picture Matching is the next step in Pre-Reading skills. Like object to object matching, it develops vocabulary skills and also abstraction – toddlers make a connection, that the object they have in their hand is what they see in the picture.

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 What you need

  • Picture cards
  • Matching objects

How to

  • We have an animals book which is my LOs favourite. They always match the animals from toob to the pictures in the book. We have also done it with other books- shapes, fruits & vegetables, construction vehicles etc. Every time, they name the object before the match is made.
  • You could pick pictures and objects according to your childs interest – like cars, construction vehicles, birds, fruits & vegetables, animals, little people etc.
  • If you cant find pictures of objects you have, you can always click a picture, print it, laminate and cut.

Miss D(2.5) finds it very interesting to match the objects to the picture. Every time she makes a match, she gets so excited. We name each object as we make the match.Miss A(3.5) is old enough to match perfectly. So we have improvised the activity, by naming the animal sounds, where they live, what is their favourite food etc. Same with fruit & vegetables- whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable. If its a bird – where they live, on a farm or in wild etc.

Posted in Farm Animals, Fruit & Vegetable Activities, Montessori, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

Object to Object Matching – Montessori Pre-Reading Activity for Toddlers

Matching skills are very important. They help develop visual discrimination & concentration skills necessary for reading. Object to Object matching is the first step in Pre-reading skills. It helps in language development & is perfect for young toddlers.

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What you need

  • A basket of matching objects – i usually use animals toobs or pretend fruit and vegetables for this activity.

How to

  • Take out the objects one at a time, name them and place on a tray.
  • Let your kids repeat the names of the object.
  • Now take the second set of items and let your kids name each object and match it.
  • If your kids do not remember the name, review again.

I used to do this activity with Miss A(3.5)& Miss D(2.5) when they were around 2yrs. D still enjoys this activity. Infact, we did this today. You could introduce this as early as 15 months depending in your kids ability.A & D love to pair up their animals when they pretend play. They come up with stories about each animal family. If they have more of the same animals, the biggest of all becomes dad, the next becomes mom, then comes the baby animals. If we have just two of each, the big one becomes mom and the other baby. 🙂

Posted in Learn with Stickers, Learning Opposites, Sorting Activity, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

Same or Different – Developing Visual Discrimination

Learning Same or Different is one of the essential math basics for preschoolers. We always have enough stickers at home because the girls love stickers and they play with it all the time. We have done few learning activities using stickers before – it is easy to set up and fun to learn with. So i decided to go with stickers for this activity too – perfect for preschoolers, develops visual discrimination & vocabulary skills.

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What you need

  • Stickers
  • Paper
  • Scissors

How to

  • Pick the stickers according to your kids interest & ability to look and find the difference. I picked princess stickers- my LOs favourite. Made sure they were not too small and avoided stickers with same characters but different backgrounds. (would do that as we get to the next level)
  • Stick two of the same design or different designs next to each other on a white paper or cardstock.
  • Stick the pairs one below the other. Once done, laminate the paper for durability. Cut the pairs using scissors.

I wrote the words same & different on a cardstock, gave it along with the sticker cards to Miss A(3.5 yrs) and asked her to find which pair looks same and which looks different. 

She tried to identify the words same, different and placed the “Same” and “Different” labels on each side of a tray. Then looked into each card and decided if the pictures on the card are the same or different and sorted it on the appropriate sides of the tray. Every time i asked her, ‘how do you know it’s different’ or ‘why do you think it’s the same’. Then she would explain what she noticed. Sometimes she just replied, ‘because mummy, you see it looks same’ 😜. She found this activity interesting – kept repeating it for a while. Later this changed into a story telling activity – A & D(2.5 yrs) looked at each sticker card and made up very interesting princess stories. 

Posted in Fine Motor Activity, Learning Opposites, Montessori, Sensory Play, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

DIY Sound Boxes – Montessori Inspired

Sound Boxes are amazingly fun and very simple to make. It helps your LOs hone their auditory senses, practicing sound discrimination and improving vocabulary skills.

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What you need

  • Empty containers – i used drinkable yogurt bottles.
  • Pantry items
  • Hot glue (optional)

How to

  • I picked five bottles each with different color caps – red & blue.
  • Fill the bottles with pantry items. I used rice, black eyed peas, dry penne pasta, cotton buds and dry sago.
  • Fill each item in one red and one blue bottle almost 3/4th of it.
  • If you don’t want kids to open the bottle, you can choose to hot glue the caps. However i skipped it – read on you’ll see why.
  • Your sound boxes are now ready to use.

This activity was very interesting for Miss A(3.5 yrs). She thoroughly enjoyed it. Heres what we did.

1 – Contrasting Sounds

  • I shook the ‘loudest’ box near each ear – then A repeated the same. The dry pasta was the loudest.
  • I shook the ‘softest’ box near each ear – then A repeated the same. The cotton buds box was the softest.
  • We discussed about loud & soft sounds.

2 – Matching Sounds

I let A do this all by herself.

  • She picked one red box, shook it and observed the sound. 
  • Then shook each blue box, until the pair was found. Every time she said, same or different.
  • Once the pair was found, she put it aside. Repeated until all the boxes are matched.
  • After all the boxes had been matched, A checked them again.
  • Once she confirmed all are matched, i let her open each bottle to see which item made that sound – also checking if the boxes are matched perfectly.
  • She spoke about each item, what it was, how it felt and then closed the box. – this is why i didn’t hot glue the caps.

3 – Grading Sounds

  • I took red boxes, shook them to find the ‘loudest’, put it aside. A shook it to listen.
  • I shook the rest to find ‘next loudest’ and put it next to the ‘loudest’. A shook them & compared the sounds.
  • We continued grading until ‘softest’. 
  • Grading loudest to softest – Pasta, Peas, Sago, Rice, Cotton buds. Although rice & sago, pasta & peas were too close. Just depends how much you fill in the box.
  • Then, A repeated this with the blue boxes, using red as a key.

Miss D(2.5 yrs) loved to shake the box and hear the sound it made. She enjoyed opening the box, pouring the contents out then filling it in the bottle & closing it. That was a great sensory fine motor activity for her.

          Posted in Fine Motor Activity, Learning Opposites, Montessori, Sensory Play, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

          DIY Texture Balloons – Montessori Inspired

          Texture Balloons is a fun tactile sensory activity for toddlers & preschoolers. These are very easy to make and a great way to work on their vocabulary – language development. This texture matching activity is perfect to explain the sense of touch.

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          How to

          • Use a funnel to fill the balloon with any random items(pantry items works best) and tie them close. 
          • Fillers we used – Rice, Sugar, Black eyed peas & Water beads.
          • We used orange and gold balloons. Filled each item in one orange and one gold. 
          • Let the kids touch & feel the balloons to match the pairs. 

          Miss A(3.5yrs) squeezed one orange balloon and then squeezed all the gold balloons to find which matches the orange balloon. Once she found the match she put them side by side. She repeated this until she matched all the pairs. We then spoke about how the balloons felt – soft or hard, bumpy, squishy, crunchy, etc. Each time she felt two balloons she would say if they are same or different. She matched all the balloons perfectly.

          Miss D(2yrs) loved to squeeze all the balloons. She just liked to feel the different textures and talk about how they feel. We dint try to match the balloons.We then discussed about the sense of touch – how we use our hands to touch and feel things – one of our five senses.

          The water beads balloons were my LOs favourite pick. They simply loved squeezing it. Everytime they squeezed it, the water beads popped out. It was so irresistible, i had to try. We all loved squeezing & squishing the beads. It felt so therapeutic- much like a stress reliever.

          Note: If you dont use good quality balloons there are chances, the balloons might tear when you do this activity – the party balloons from walmart seemed to work fine. With a lot of squeezing and throwing, our balloons are still in good shape. We will be adding more textures to this activity.

          Posted in Learning Opposites, Science Activity, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool, Water Table Play / Water Play Activities

          Sink or Float – Preschool Science

          Last weekend we did a fun experiment! We put a bunch of items in a bin filled with water to see if they would sink or float. It’s a great hands-on science activity for preschoolers and really gets them thinking. Ever since we did this activity my LOs keeps asking me to do it again.

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          Whether an object sinks or floats in a liquid depends mainly on two factors: density and buoyancy. Preschoolers should be encouraged to observe whether the same objects will sink or float every time – that there is consistency in the way the objects behave. This activity helps kids categorize a variety of objects according to observable characteristics.

          Here’s how we set up our sink or float science experiment.

          What you need 

          • Container or storage bin
          • Water
          • Objects collected from around the house

          How to

          • Fill a large container with water. We used a toy storage bin.
          • Collect items to test out. 
          • We used stainless spoon, eraser, toy car, acrylic leaf, plastic scissors, plastic easter egg, plastic fruit, small bouncy ball, wooden block, lego, puzzle piece, toy happy man. I made sure to collect two of each, so both kids get to see what it does – float or sink.
          • Suggested materials for this activity – wood, metal, plastic, aluminum foil, apples, oranges, plastic bottles, toy blocks, paper, bathtub toys, plastic forks, rubber balls, soda-bottle caps, pencils, erasers, and sponges.

          Everytime Miss A(3.5yrs) dropped an item inside we tried to take a guess and observe what it did. We thought lego will sink, but it floats! This was really interesting for her. She learnt new words float and sink and knows what it means. 

            For Miss D(2yrs) its was fun dropping items in water. She did observe each item to see if which item went down(sinks) or which item stayed up(floats) But was more interested in dropping them in and picking it up back from water.

            We had a sheet with words sinks & floats written on it. A did this experiment all by herself and sorted the items in the respective columns. D & me sorted items by looking at which goes down & which stays up. Later the paper got wet, so we had to use a large bin. We kept repeating it for a while – rechecking by putting just the items that float and just the items that sink. This little science activity was a big hit with my kids.

            Note: Do this in a place where you don’t mind getting wet and easy to clean up. I used a tray below the water bin to hold spills, but we still got the floor a little wet. If the weather is good you might consider taking it out. We will definitely be doing this again on a warm day outside in our water table. 

            Posted in Magnifying Glass Activity, Math Activity, Science Activity, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

            Magnifying Glass Match Up – Free Printable

            I got a magnifying glass last year but my kids were not ready for it then. We used it once during Fall to view the details on the fall leaves and then totally forgot about it.  This year we plan to use it more. 

            I set up this Match Up activity for my LOs to understand the use of a magnifying glass. It also helps learn basic math concepts like comparison of size and matching, strengthen their vocabulary by naming the objects on the game board. 👍

            What you need

            • These printouts – 1 & 2 – free download
            • Magnifying glass – ours was from dollar store

            How to

            • Print out the cards and laminate.
            • Cut out the miniature pictures.
            • Use the large pictures as game board – do not cut them.
            • Let your LOs use the magnifying glass to view the miniature pictures and match them up to the large pictures on the game board.

            Miss A (3 yrs) liked this activity a lot. She kept doing it over and over again. The construction vehicles was a new lesson for her. She learnt the names of construction vehicles and tried to match the ones we have at home to the pictures. We will be doing a unit on construction vehicles soon. 😀