The first is a how-to for those of you who want your children to become professional poker players. Bear's well on his way...
What? You're not in to that kind of thing?
Ah, that's OK because it turns out, using poker chips with small children teaches them many skills beside when to hold and when to fold.
To do this activity you will need a box with a removable lid. Champ made Bear's box out of wood, but even an old shoebox could do the trick. Cut out a slot in the center of the lid sized so that the poker chips can fit through easily. If you don't have chips, buttons could be substituted.
Fill a bowl with a small handful of chips and model for your child how to take each poker chip, one by one, and place it through the slot. Once all the chips have been used, demonstrate how to remove the lid, retrieve the chips and start over.
It's such a simple idea, but it teaches children fine motor skills, allows for them to practice opening and closing something, develops their pincher grip to prepare for writing AND because it's self correcting, it serves their individualism.
If you have an older kiddo, you can use this activity to teach advanced counting skills, or use a piggy bank and brush up on coin identification.
Practical Life skills are a major component of the Montessori education. We make homemade pizzas pretty regularly around here and since Bear loves to help, it's a great place for me to develop these skills. If you have children, you probably encourage practical life skills without even knowing it, but I thought you could use a little snapshot of how I incorporate them into pizza night.
I give Bear his own hunk of dough and model how to roll it out. I roll out my pizza while he "rolls" out his. He has his own little bowls of sauce and cheese and toppings to put on his pizza while I make mine. I talk about what I am doing as I prep my pizza and he preps his pizza right beside me.
I've gotta say, the first few times we had cheese and sauce everywhere, but he caught on quickly and now actually saves me time by preparing his own pizza.
Have a great weekend everyone, STAY WARM OR ENJOY THE WARMTH YOU HAVE!