It is no secret that young children love water. They love touching it, scooping it, pouring it, splashing it…you name it! In order to address this interest, encourage repetition, and support developing concentration in purposeful work at Studio June, we have designed a water transfer activity. For those of you who attended my presentation at MTIPs last summer, you saw this activity in action. And for those of who participate in our classes at Studio June, you know the joy your children experience with this activity. You can set up this activity in your kitchen, or outside.
Purpose: to fill the water jug with fresh water
Skills: carrying a pitcher with two hands, filling a water pitcher, pouring through a funnel, wiping up a spill
Points of interest: watching the water fill the jug, the sound of the water filling the pitcher and the jug, using the water source, finding puddles of water to clean up
Materials: 2 glass water jugs (1 sealed and unopened and the other empty), 1 ceramic water dispenser, 1 large tray, 1 funnel, 1 2oz. pitcher, 1 low table, 1 basin fitted with a grate on top.
Set-up: the empty water jug is placed on the tray. The funnel is placed in the water jug, the small pitcher is placed on the tray. You may want to add a rug under the tray to help with spills.
Across the room, the ceramic dispenser goes on the low table and the basin and grate go under the spigot. The sealed water jug goes on the water dispenser.
- The purpose is to fill the water jug and the idea is the children clearly see the purpose of the activity to keep the water source filled. I DO NOT use the water the children add to the jug as drinking water. I use this water to water plants after the children leave for the day. Many other things fall in to the water and the children sometimes drink it on their way to fill the jug, so in order to keep the water source clean, I only use freshly filtered water in the water source.
- I always keep a filled and sealed water jug on top of the ceramic water dispenser (the water source). To fill the dispenser, I take the sealed jug off, pour filtered water into the ceramic dispenser, and then place the sealed water jug back on top. The sealed water jug helps to weight the water dispenser, keeping it stable and controlling the amount of water used during class.
- Ideally, the children would fill the empty water jug from a low sink. The water dispenser is used because we do not have access to a low sink.
Children learn through play. It is important to acknowledge that the play that children create and participate in is significant to their development, so in Montessori we tend to call child’s play, their ‘work’.
At Studio June we insure that each week, children are learning through free-play. The Studio is filled with activities which specifically appeal to your child and his drive to learn. All of our classes offer opportunities for children and their parents to play, learn, and grow.
These are six characteristics of free-play:
- The time your child spends in the Studio is joyful and pleasurable. We can hear the joy from the sounds of laughter and giddiness as the children return to the Studio each week. Ready to get to work, some children seem to almost leap out of their mom’s arms ready to make the most of their time!
- There are no extrinsic goals. We know that just the opportunity to work with the toys and activities at Studio June will inspire unique learning. There are definitely probable outcomes, such as using a puzzle with small pegs will strengthen the pincer grasp and aid in the development of shape discrimination. However, if a child chooses to move the puzzle pieces across the table, building a ‘train’ or construct a ‘family’ of animals from the puzzle, his concentration and creativity is not interrupted…this is his time to play.
- Play is spontaneous and voluntary. Children choose what they want to play with. The only caveat is that they choose something from a shelf (and not take from another child) and when they finish, they put it back, ready for the next person. We do not dictate what a child finds interesting. However, we may offer a new lesson that we can see with appeal to a child’s senses. As we get to know your child we can see how he approaches play and can introduce new activities that will inspire creative play and deep concentration.
- Play involves active engagement. All of our activities are active, from finding hidden rattles throughout the cabinets and doors to discover to instruments large and small, water activities, trucks and trains, and even a mailbox with letters to mail.
- Play involves an element of imagination. Each child finds a unique way to interact with his toys. At Studio June he could be building with blocks, making animals swim in the ocean, climbing a bridge, or naming a series of nesting penguins, he is encouraged to use his imagination in his play. The toys and materials we offer allow for creative exploration and help build a foundation of imagination.
6. Play involves the whole child; mind and body. A space prepared for free-play must allow for a child to move and explore. At Studio June we offer such activities. From the work of an 8 week old under a beautiful mobile, to the exploration of a walking child who dances to music and beats a drum, Studio June is prepared for every child to have a unique and creative experience. This comes from the size of our Studio. Each piece of furniture is created to support the independence and movement of the children who play here—shelves to reach, chairs to sit in, cabinets to open and close, toys that appeal to the senses, and activities that build concentration—a Studio to support and optimize the development of the mind and body, simultaneously.
One of the things I love the most about this time of years is all of the wonderful opportunities to bake with my children. I always enjoy baking with them and at this time of year, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. As they get older, they take on more responsibility in the kitchen. Just last weekend E made a lemon meringue pie from scratch. It was wonderful to watch him work and to enjoy the pie together after dinner!
Baking with children when they are young is important. It educates their senses and connects them to their culture. As my children become more independent in the kitchen, I find myself offering more classes at Studio June to families with young children so they can bring this experience home too. Check out our new Bake with Me 3-5 years class at Studio June!
Bake with Me 3-5 years
Follow Studio June on Facebook for discounts and promo codes. HINT: There’s one up right now: BAKENOW
For those of you unable to join us for a class, here are some tips to help get your child involved in the kitchen:
- Work at your child’s level. Although a Learning Tower or a step stool has its’s benefits in bring your child to counter height, working at a low table can help your child feel in control during baking projects. He is better able to move around and stabilize his body for big movements like mixing and grating.
- Take your time when introducing each ingredient. Give your child time to smell the spices, feel the skin of the fruit, and even squeeze the dough. These are important sensorial impressions he needs to incorporate into his knowledge of these experiences.
- Take turns. Show him how to mix, and assure him that he will get a turn to try too. After you show him, invite him to have a turn. Then ask to have a turn again. Taking turns builds a great foundation of collaborative work.
- Have a child sized spoon (links to a great children’s cooking set!) and a adult size spoon for mixing. This way you each have the tool that fits your hand. Children learn to control their movements best when their tools are sized for their body. This also allows you to show your child how to mix properly with a spoon that is sized right for you.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let the little spills and drips go. You can keep a wet sponge near by and invite him to wipe up in between each step. Allow the bits of flour to fall on the table or the milk to drip from the pitcher spout. He will get more coordinated with experience and he will appreciate your calm demeanor while he is learning.
- Use a clear acrylic mixing bowl so he can see the mixture as you combine the ingredients. It’s like watching the polar bears swim from the underwater room at the zoo (or if you slip through the ice at the North Pole!).
Thank you to all who came out for our Toilet Awareness class at West U Wellness today. What a great group of parents! It was fun to meet all of you and share in your potty training journey. If you were not able to join us, it’s not too late to sign-up for Tuesdays webinar.
Infant and Parent Classes start next week!
We still have a few spots open. Here is a sneak peek at the classroom for class B.
Continue reading “Infant and Parent Classes start next week!”
Toilet Awareness Class (9/20/14, 2:30-4:30pm; Houston, TX)
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: West U Wellness, 5180 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 77005
Includes a free copy of the book, “Toilet Awareness”
The foundation of toilet Awareness is respect for the child and his own natural development. This class will show you how to support your child’s understanding of the patterns in daily routines. Participants will learn about encouraging children to recognize their body’s signals. Learn the method that keeps this toileting stress-free and child-centered.
sign up here