It's a long weekend here in Canada and we could not have asked for better weather. It's been all blue skies and sunshine for the past two days and Kale wants nothing more than to be naked in the backyard, jumping in and out of his little pool. Since there was no way I was going to get him indoors to work on a Montessori activity for this post, I settled for wrestling him into a t-shirt to do a little work outdoors.
Activity: Outdoor washing station (practical life activity)
Age: 24 months
Materials: Three bowls (soapy water, water, empty), scrubbers & sponges, towel for drying
Part 1: Recognition of Activity
This one didn't need much of an introduction. Kale is a cleaning fanatic and is always begging us to do the dishes (I'm assuming this will stop when he's actually tall enough to stand on a chair and reach into the sink on his own). I explained that the materials were for washing and asked him to gather up a few things he wanted to clean.
Part 2: Recognition of Contrasts
I explained what the water in each bowl was for - one for washing, one for rinsing, and one to hold the clean toys. Kale got right down to business and dutifully scrubbed his small toy moose to a shine.
Part 3: Discrimination between Similar Objects
It didn't take long for the "rinsing" water to turn soapy and so asking Kale which was which was out of the question. We tried to ask him to show us different materials (sponge, scrubber, towel) and tell us what each was for. He was pretty good at doing this and was happy to do a little demonstration of how each "worked."
This activity was definitely a hit with Kale. He was really focused on each step of cleaning, rinsing, and drying and he was really proud of himself when he finished cleaning each little toy or rock. We left the station set up for the afternoon and he'd periodically return to it to wash new things. I think we're going to have to make the outdoor washing station a permanent fixture in our backyard!