A handful of E's favorite activities this month:
1. color basket one
A homemade version of the traditional Montessori material, Color Box I. I made our color tablets by simply gluing paint samples onto rectangles of cardboard. Elise is able to successfully match all three primary colors, and she really enjoys checking her work by "telling the whole story:" red, red; yellow, yellow; blue, blue!
2. caring for a plant
Up until this month, our only house plant had been a small, happily-neglected cactus. When I saw these little daffodil plants at the grocery store, spring fever got the better of me, and I decided to bring one home! Although it's looking a little past it's prime, Elise continues to enjoy smelling the blossoms and keeping it well-watered. ;)
3. beginning sorting
While I drooled over a million and one awesome sorting activities on pinterest, I decided to keep this introductory activity simple. I put two different types of objects in a basket - cotton balls and wooden eggs, and showed Elise how to sort them into a divided baking dish. She caught on right away, and has has been getting a lot of satisfaction out of the activity - it must appeal to her sense of order!
4. matching animals to their babies
Elise has gone completely baby crazy, so this is quite possibly her favorite activity of all time. I tried to include both male and female animals - if you've ever examined a Schleich figurine, you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I'm glad I did because while Elise is very much a mama's girl right now, she is really drawn to the male animals, especially the dog - she calls him "Papa" and the puppy "Elise."
5. smelling jars
This is another homemade version of a traditional Montessori material, the Smelling Cylinders. I'll add another set of jars soon, so Elise can match the scents. For now, she is busy figuring out how to open the lids, and happily sniffing away at the essential oils I dabbed onto a few cotton balls. While this activity may seem simple, I think it's really increased Elise's awareness of aromas in the environment.
6. hot and cold cards
Elise continues to be fascinated by hot and cold. I made these cards out of photos I took of hot and cold things around our house - a steaming tea kettle, an ice cube, etc. (Thanks to Elsa for the idea!) Eventually, this will be another sorting activity, but for now we've just been talking about the cards and matching them to the environment.