Posted in Montessori, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

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

Picture to Picture Matching is the last in matching work for toddlers. The first two being,

This activity is one of the important pre-reading skills. It helps kids develop vocabulary skills and visual discrimination in a completely abstract way. Because like other matching activities, there is no touch and feel here. Its done by sight. 

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What you need

  • Picture cards or flash cards

How to

  • I found the above picture grid online and printed 2 copies. Laminate for durability. 
  • Cut out one and use the other as is.
  • Pick one picture at a time, find the match and place it on the grid.
  • You can also cut both the sets and give the set of identical cards in a divided tray or get  two sets of identical flash cards.
  • Lay down one set. Pick one card at a time from the other set, look and make a match.

Miss D(2.5 yrs) was able to do this activity easily. She named each object as she made a match. We spoke about what it is, where we use it, how it looks and so on.Once kids have mastered this, there are so many ways to extend this activity. Cut up one picture into half and match it with the other, matching object  to silhouette, memory game etc. The Magnifying glass activity we did is also an extension to this.

Posted in Learning Alphabets, Vocabulary - Toddler & Preschool

Word Wall – Preschool

Recently I created a word wall in my kids playroom. Word wall helps kids learn the Names of letters – letter recognition, ABC Order and Letter Sound.

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What we used:

  • Alphabet borders
  • Alphabet flash cards
  • Painters tape
  • Sticky Velcro dots

How to:

  • Stick the alphabet borders on the wall at the eye level of kids.
  • Stick the velcro dots on the alphabet border under each letter.
  • Stick the other side of the velcro dots on the flash cards.
  • Let the kids match the flash cards to the corresponding letters. We will be adding more words to our word wall.
  • You can also write the new words on cardstock or construction paper and use double sided tape to stick it. 

    How to use word wall:

    • As kids use the word wall, they are building their vocabulary. Its a great way to learn sight words.
    • Every time a new word is introduced, find opportunities to use it throughout the day. 
    • Encourage kids to use the new word in a sentence.
    • Let the kids say the new word and put it under the corresponding letter that it starts with. Eg – Egg under the letter E.
    • I found that, if you add your kids name to the word wall, it makes it more fun & interesting for them everytime they see it.
    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.