“Now the little child who manifests perseverance in her work as the first constructive act of her psychic life, and upon this act builds up internal order, equilibrium, and the growth of personality, demonstrates the true manner in which humans render themselves valuable to the community” Dr. Maria Montessori During the month of October, we introduced several practical life activities to satisfy the toddlers’ natural drive to be helpers, have purposeful work and participate in the daily life of the classroom. The toddlers enjoyed individual work in food preparation, which we incorporated into our snack. The teacher demonstrated peeling a kiwi, then children cut the fruit with special tools designed to fit small hands.
The toddlers were given orange halves to squeeze on the juicer. They poured their juice into a cup for a special treat.
As a group activity, we gathered to make playdough from our own recipe. This involved scooping dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar). Everyone got to pour water, oil and food coloring from a small pitcher. We took turns stirring, then turned our mixture onto the flour covered table to knead and shape our dough.
In keeping with Montessori philosophy, Woodland believes participating in seasonal activities is an excellent way to enrich children’s education, grounding them in sensorial experiences of the natural world. Ambra brought us some dried corn from the Fall Festival Celebration. The toddlers have enjoyed long periods of concentration and fine motor work picking corn kernels from the cob and scooping them into small containers in the sensory table.
Now that everyone has settled in, we have witnessed the growth of social interaction and participation in group activities. The toddlers love dressing up together in the construction and firefighter clothes for a spontaneous burst of dramatic play.