- Refrain from doing for a child what he can do for himself.
- Organise your child’s things in appropriate containers and on low shelves.
- Whatever your child is doing, encourage him to work with one thing at a time.
- Help him become aware of sounds. Eg what begins with ‘a’ (say phonetic sound e.g. a for apple, c for cat, e for egg) this will also assist him at our school when we play the I spy game or introduce the sandpaper letters.
- Teach your child precise names. eg hibiscus not flower.
- Talk about the colours, textures, and shapes you see around you.
- Provide paint, paper, play dough, pens, crayons, pastels for your child. Let your child explore with the different mediums.
- Apologise to your child when you have made a mistake.
- Understand what Montessori meant by sensitive periods. Know when your child is in one and utilise it.
- Tell your child what you value in them.
- Share interesting news from the newspaper. Eg a baby elephant born in the Zoo etc . Alert your child to upcoming events. E.g. in ten minutes, it will be time for bed.
- Help your child to maintain a calendar, or counting down to special events.
- Share your profession or occupation with your child. Have him visit our place of work.
- Teach your child the language of courtesy. Don’t let him interrupt. Teach your child how to wait after saying ‘ excuse me, please’
- Spend quality time with people of different ages.
- Give your child the responsibility of picking up after himself eg return toys.
- Hug regularly but don’t impose affection.
- When talking to your child, physically get on his level. Make eye contact.
- Talk to your child clearly without talking down. Communicate with respect and give your child the gift of language, new words and expressions.
- Sing with your child. Build a repertoire of your child’s favourites.
- Teach your child safety precautions. Eg plugs, how to dial 10111 etc
- Teach your child his address, phone number and your names.
- Count Utilise natural opportunities that arise.
- Tell and retell family based stories eg ‘ On the day you were born……..etc’
- Look at family pictures together. Help your child be aware of his extended family, names and relationships.
- Construct your child’s biography, the story of his life.
- Assist your child to be aware of his emotions and feelings, to have vocabulary for emotions and be able to express them.
- Play games together. Through much repetition children learn to take turns, to win and lose.
- Together do things to help others. For example: Take blankets to the homeless, give toys to underprivileged.
- Speak the language of virtues. Talk about helpfulness, kindness and point out those virtues when you see them demonstrated.
- Refrain from giving your child too much ‘stuff’.
- Talk about right, left, turn, straight, north, west, south etc so your child develops a sense of direction and the means to talk about it.
- Put up a bird feeder. Let your child have the responsibility of filling it. Together learn to be good watchers and learn about the birds you see.
- Express appreciation to your child and others and help our child to do the same. Send thank your notes for gifts. Young children can draw pictures.
- Help your child learn to eat healthy foods. Involve your child in food preparation.
- When food shopping, talk to your child about what you see – Talk about where food items come from.
- Provide your child with appropriate sized furniture: his own table and chair.
- While driving, point thing out and discuss – construction, bridges, trees etc.
- Read daily to your child and ask questions about the story being read. E.g. why did …..
- Get your child pet and guide your child to take responsibility for its care.
- Whenever you go somewhere with your child, prepare him for what is going to happen and what is expected of him at the doctors, restaurant, friends houses etc
- Eliminate or strictly limit TV watching and replace with activity orientated things.
- Refrain from offering material rewards or excessive praise. Let the experience of accomplishment be its own reward
The main aim of this game is to make your child aware of the PHONETIC sounds in spoken language and to make the process of exploring sounds and words fun and exciting.
Please teach your child with phonetic sounds only. Writing of letters must be lowercase.
- Choose 6 to 10 objects that will be easy for your child to sound out phonetically . E.g. “p” for pen, “b” for book, “c” for cup etc.
- Place these objects on a tray or table . Pointing to each object , name the objects e.g. this is a pen, this is a book etc
- Now you ready to start the “I spy game” with your child.
- Say “I spy with my little eye “something beginning with…. choose an object from the tray and say the first phonetic sound only.
- Allow your child to look at the objects on the tray and choose the object that begins with the correct sound.
- Prompt a guess if necessary and when you hear the correct answer acknowledge it by repeating the word and sound. “ a” for apple
- Remove the correct object from the tray and start again. “I spy with my little eye”
- Continue with the game until your child has guessed all the objects.
Once you feel your child has gained confidence and is familiar with the first stage, gradually start increasing the amount of objects and repeat the process.
- Make it less obvious by broadening the area.
- E.g.” I spy with my little eye “something in this half of the room beginning with ‘l’
- Continue making the choices more difficult until your child is able to find the required object anywhere in the room.
- Add a new difficulty . Your child is required to hear the sounds not only at the beginning but also at the end and in the middle of words. E.g. “I spy with my little eye” something beginning with ‘m’ and ending with ‘t’.”
- Ask your child to sound out each sound contained in the word.
- E.g. please sound out the word “… “ eg dog
heading to change – same as sandpaper letters
Extensions of the I spy game = same font as sandpaper letters heading(purple and size) See below
- Trace a letter on your child’s back and ask your child to guess the letter(remember phonetic sounds only)
- Place sand/sugar/ flour in a tray and ask your child to trace the letter (Please remember that the letter must be traced the way it is written ) Ask your the child to say the phonetic sound as he traces it and then ask” Can you think of any words beginning with the letter I have traced?”
- Clap out syllables eg c – an- dle
- Once your child recognises her/her sandpaper letters which is taught by the 3 period lesson she/he will start reading phonetic words (Pink and blue boxes, reading lists etc.)
- Your child will now be ready to presented with sandpaper phonograms eg “th” “sh” “ee” “oy”
- This is followed by the “puzzle word boxes” e.g. “ the” “once” “for” (3 Period lesson)
- And many more Montessori language activities.
- Don’t forget to read to your child daily and ask questions about the topic being read
- Remember to say precise words e.g. Instead of saying flower say hibiscus.
The joy of Art is everybody’s experience, the emotion of response, to visual art, the sound of music, the experience of dance and drama, art is all around us and will ever be so. Art is the chronology of social society like a mirror reflecting a history of creative expression. We are all part of it. Do we like what we see, hear, the emotional experience, and that of the personal involvement. Do we take responsibility for our emotional response to art whether we like it or not. Art is an exciting journey into self-discovery. A young child who has not at yet got full motor hand development will express themselves through drawing. Maybe initially drawing their arms in the air expressing themselves as in drama or drawing with their fingers in the sand. Later can come the drawing with coloured crayons with the challenge of which colour to choose. This is all personal expression of the self as the self develops. We experience visual art in art museums and art galleries; we go to theatres for drama, concert halls for music, cinemas for film, and all the arts now being brought to us through the electronic age. Through art we get to know ourselves. Our innate inner being knows form and space and what gives us comfort or distress. We are seekers of knowledge of the Divine and the outward expression of the Soul. The portrayal in art of the oneness, through diversity, of society, past, present and future is a record of the experience that is never the same. We are participators in art of the ongoing excitement of the discovery that we are an ever evolving civilization.
By Karen Mckerron
Karen Mckerron worked as an Art Guide at the Johannesburg Art Gallery from 1973 and established the Karen Mckerron Fine Art Gallery in 1983. She gained an excellent reputation for identifying and promoting many great contemporary South African artists. Karen retired in 2001 and lives in Hermanus . She is an active member of the Hermanus University of the Third Age and holds regular art support groups. Karen is the proud grandmother of 7 grandchildren.
You will need:
- A roll of plastic wrap paper
- Paints in bowls
- Spoons for each bowl
Place paper on the table and using a small spoon dribble different coloured paints.
Place a sheet of plastic cling wrap over the paint (make sure the cling wrap covers the whole surface).
Flatten the cling wrap with your hands on the paper until smooth.
Peel the cling wrap from the paper carefully and slowly.
Leave the painting to dry.
Outside play for children is vital. It enables them to enjoy their natural environment which provides them with exercise, fresh air and develops their gross motor skills. Children need to run, climb, shout, jump, release pent-up energy, hide, explore and have imaginary adventures!
- 150 ml castor sugar
- 375 ml sifted flour
- 10 ml sifted baking powder
- 125 ml full cream milk
- 125 ml oil
- 2 large eggs
- Tsp. of vanilla essence
- Paper cupcake holders
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Place dry sifted ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add liquid ingredients.
- Beat until smooth.
- Spoon mixture in cupcake holders.
- Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes until golden in colour.
- Remove and once cooled, decorate with icing and sprinkles.
These cupcakes are easy, quick and flop proof.
Perfect for any occasion!
You will need:
- Three tennis balls
- Three bowls of coloured paint (make sure the paint is well diluted with water)
- Newspaper for the table
Dip half the tennis ball in bowl of paint.
Holding the ball securely in your hand, slam the ball as hard as you can onto cardboard.
It should leave a large splattered effect.
Repeat the process using a new ball with a different colour.
- 2 cups sifted plain flour
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tsp. sifted baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 30 g melted butter
- Large spoon
- Large bowl
- Jam and butter (for serving)
- Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add melted butter.
- Mix ingredients until smooth.
- Grease a frying pan with a little butter.
- Heat the pan on a medium heat.
- Using a large spoon, slowly drop small amounts of the batter onto the heated pan.
- Cook until bubbles break on the surface and golden in colour.
- Turn and repeat.
- Remove pan from the stove.
- Place the crumpets on a serving plate.
Serve warm with butter and jam.
A vegetable patch will teach your child ownership, responsibility and how to care for plants. Plant your vegetable patch with your child. Pick a sunny location with good soil. Discuss where it will be, what vegetables will be planted and how your child will care for the plants.
Vegetable the patch
You will need:
- Small spade
Plant vegetables seeds that are easy for your child to grow and pick.
Recommended vegetables: Lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, carrots or mielies, beans
Recommended herbs: Rosemary, origami, basil, Italian parsley or chives.
For the garden:
Recommended flower seeds for easy growing in your garden: nastuim, marigold, foxgloves, and sunflowers are rewarding for children.
Buy packets of mixed flower seeds from your local supermarket. They grow quickly and look spectacular!
Visit a nursery with your child and choose colourful seedlings that you can plant together in the garden.
Moisten the soil with water, lift the soil and mix with compost. With a small spade dig small pockets. Let your child sprinkle the seeds in the pockets.
Cover the pockets gently with soil and water. Don’t forget to use safe gardening tools.
Water daily with your child and share in their delight watching the seeds grow!
“Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love “