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Montessori for Infants & Toddlers Article (Excerpt 1)
Language:  Speaking readiness

eye coordination.

What to do:
  1. Sit on a rug or mat with your child.
  2. Sing the words “Good morning” to your child as you hold his or her hands and swing
    them gently.
  3. Maintaining eye contact with your child will come naturally.
  4. When you sing the phrase, your child will likely smile or respond in some manner.
  5. Repeat the phrase several times.
  6. Sing the phrase “Good morning, good morning, good morning to you” as you hold hands
    and swing them to a gentle rhythm.

Remember that when you speak or sing to your toddler, remember that it is important for him or
her to see the movement of your lips during the learning process.  You can introduce new
phrases whenever you feel your child is ready.  Other excellent topics include various greetings,
days of the week, time of day, colors, and numbers.

You can expand upon the physical aspects of this exercise by changing the hand holding and
swinging to clapping, stepping, stomping, hopping, and many other movements.    

The nature of the exercise can be changed as well, for example, to the introduction of words in
a foreign language. For parents who are interested in raising their children to use two languages,
one parent can focus on singing activity in one language and the other parent can focus on
activities in the second language.  It seems to be easier for children to associate one person with
one language.  

Avoid cheap sound chips in toys or interactive books!  The poor sound quality is bad for infants.  
Substitute small drums or a pair of maracas instead!
Montessori for Infants & Toddlers Article (Excerpt 2)
Language: Mystery Bag Game

This is one of our favorite Montessori exercises because it provides marvelous developmental
practice for the senses as well as language skills.  One way to use this exercise is to have children
identify the objects only by touch, but younger children enjoy practicing their vocabulary by
interacting with the parent and learning the names of these objects.

Materials needed:
  • One cloth bag
  • A blindfold (for older children who already know the names of these objects)
  • Different objects such as:
  • A walnut in the shell
  • A tennis ball
  • A quarter
  • A stick of cinnamon
  • A feather
  • A crayon
  • A marble
  • A paper clip
  • A piece of ribbon

With children for whom small items present a choking hazard, larger items should be
substituted.  Such larger items can include a comb, a small book, a sock, and so forth.  The
younger your child, the bag should contain five to eight items that are already familiar.

What to do:
  1. Put everything into the bag before your child sees the items.
  2. Announce the game.
  3. Hold the bag as your child takes out an item and examines it.
  4. For older children wearing a blindfold, ask them to describe the item as they feel it.
  5. For younger children who do not know the name of the item, ask questions about the
    item.  Does it have a smell? Does it smell good?  Is it soft? Is it hard?
  6. Identify the name of the item for the younger child.  For older children, see if they can
    guess the name of the object by touching it and through question/response with you
    about the item.
  7. Continue for as long as your child is interested or until all of the items have been
    identified.     

The contents of the bag can be changed and updated as needed.  It is always fun for children
to discover new things in the bag.  
Montessori for Infants & Toddlers Article (Excerpt 3)
Language Arts:  Sounds & Pictures

This exercise focuses on creating and presenting a phonetically-friendly ABC presentation using
the sounds of the letters.  Feel free to substitute words,especially if there are other words that
would be more recognizable to your child, but try to use three letter words with short vowel
sounds.  Eventually, you will want to create cards for the whole alphabet.

Material needed:
  • Construction paper to use as backing for each of the pictures
  • Large size cards with pictures of an ant, a bug, a cat, a dog, an elf (or elk), and a fox
  • Red and blue magic markers
  • Glue or paste
  • A tray to hold everything
  • A small mat for floor work (the mat is about the size of a yoga mat) and a basket to hold
    the mat

Create a complete card by gluing the pictures onto the construction paper, labeling each of
the pictures using the blue marker for vowels and the red market for consonants.  Put the cards
on the tray in order, so that the ant card is the first one you pick up.  

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to join you in this exercise.
  2. Ask your child to please unroll the mat.  
  3. Bring the tray to the table.
  4. Pick up the ant card, telling your child “Ant. This is an ant.”
  5. Use two hands to pass the ant card to your child.
  6. Ask your child “Would you please give me the ant card?”
  7. Put the ant card on the mat.  You will arrange the cards with ant on the far left and the
    gum on the far right.
  8. Repeat the process with the other cards, going more slowly if your child wants extra time
    with each card.
  9. Once all of the cards are arranged on the mat, you can name them again, starting with
    the ant card, saying that “This is an ant” and so forth.
  10. If our child is moving through the cards and names easily, ask him or her“Can you show
    the (name of object)?” for each card.  When your child successfully identifies the card,
    say “You are right. That is the (name of object)".  If your child has trouble, go through the
    cards again, starting with the ant.
  11. You can stop for today or continue to the third part.
  12. Point to each card and ask your child “What is this?”
  13. You and your child can stack the cards in order.
  14. You can put the tray away as your child rolls up the mat.

With younger children, one or two cards at a time may be enough.  If you hand your child the
first card and he or she wants to pay attention to it for a while, leave the other cards for next
time.  On the other hand, if your child is eager to look at all the cards today, go ahead and
introduce them all.

If you have older children in the house, helping you choose the words and create cards is a
great language practice exercise!
Toddlers?
Getting ready
for preschool?
Teaching Tip
Use a full
vocabulary and
complete
sentences with
your infant or
toddler, even if
they are too
young to speak.   

Teaching Tip
Motion, motor
skills, hand-eye
coordination,
and refined
hand
movements are
key to early brain
and body  
development.  
Ignore the push
to early
academic skills!  
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