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This art activity is very cute and is a good vehicle for practicing fine motor skills when breaking up pieces of polystyrene.

You will need:

-coloured card: one for the background, one red one for the top part and brown one for the bottom.

-glue – a glue stick will work well for sticking the card together but a wood glue works well for the polystyrene.

-polystyrene

-scissors

  1. Make a toadstool with your coloured card.
  2. Cut out pieces.
  3. Paste them onto the background card.
  4. Place glue on the top part of the toadstool.
  5. Let the kids break pieces off of the polystyrene and let them attach them.

The post Toadstool toddler art appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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Opposites may be a fairly abstract concept for little minds, but as teachers we are able to demonstrate the basic idea using different art materials.

You can teach opposites with gestures and placement of objects e.g. the ball is in front of the chair, behind the chair etc. But here are a few art lessons we used in our classroom this past week to demonstrate this concept.

First we showed empty and full by filling a picture of a gumball machine with little stickers. Great fine motor skills are utilised here when they peal the sticker off and stick it on.

Then we illustrated hot and cold by cutting cellophane and tissue paper. This was an excellent practice of cutting skills too.

Left and right we taught with handprints but was also reinforced in our gross motor time with songs – the Cha Cha slide song is a good one for “slide to the left, slide to the right.”‘

For night and day the children had fun pasting stars, sun and moon on different backgrounds.

The most fun was attaching a ladybug to a toilet roll to demonstrate in and out with a string.

Have fun with this theme. We would like to hear your ideas too!

The post Opposites theme for Preschoolers appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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We’ve written on this blog before about plastic bottle aeroplanes, but today we’re going to share how we made rockets from plastic bottles too.

You’ll need:

  • plastic bottle
  • card
  • paper
  • paint
  • glitter
  1. Print out the rocket fins. I fitted 12 of these on a A4 page. Then you cut out a harder piece of card for strength and put the fins on either side.
  1. Cut two slits on either side of the plastic bottle to slide the fins in. For variation you can make four fins instead of two.
  2. Use a circle for a point on top. Cut a slit in it and fold it into a cone and stick it on the lid of the bottle.
  1. Get the children to paint the fins separately and then the bottle. You can use silver paint for a rocket effect but yellow also works well.
  2. Decorate with glitter pens.

The post Plastic bottle rockets appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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This week our theme at school was bugs and the children had fun crafting different kids of bugs. We also made snails out of paper plates and made a fingerprint jar of bugs too. What was really outstanding this week were two very cute bugs which were created from egg cartons and a simple stick.

There’s a lot of things you can do with egg cartons, and there are some ingenious ideas from our local blogger lately: check out Harassed Mom‘s bugs (love the toothprick legs) and In These Stilettos firetruck and police car vehicles.

EGG CARTON BEE:

You will need:

egg carton (two compartments per bee)

paint (yellow)

koki (black)

pipe cleaners for wings and feelers (black and silver/ yellow)

Google eyes

Method:

Paint the egg carton yellow. Make two black stripes with koki.

Make two holes in front for the feelers and thread them through. Take another pipe cleaner and make a figure eight and thread it around the middle for wings.

Glue two google eyes in front.

STICK WORM

You will need:

A stick

A pipecleaner

Paint

Pom pom

Google eyes

Method:

Paint the stick.

Wrap the pipecleaner around the pom pom for the head and then around the stick.

Stick google eyes on the pom pom.

The post An egg carton bee and a stick worm appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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Written by Julia Gorham


Dr. Maria Montessori established that sensorial experiences begin right when a child is born. Children use their senses in order to study their environment. By participating in sensory activities, children can consciously obtain clear information that helps them classify their surroundings. These classifications serve as stepping stones to organized intelligence, which gives children the ability to adapt to their environment.

Montessori sensorial materials are materials used in the Montessori classroom to help a child develop and refine his or her five senses. Use of these materials constitutes the next level of difficulty after those of practical life.

Like many other materials in the Montessori classroom, sensorial materials have what is called “control of error”, meaning that the child not only works with the material, but has a way to check their work rather than seeking out the teacher if they have a question on whether or not they did it right. This is done to help promote independence and problem solving on the part of the child.

Why Sensorial Work is Important?

Sensorial activities are used in Montessori learning to help children in discrimination and order. They also help broaden and refine a child’s senses. When a child combines Montessori designed materials with sensorial work, it helps them become more logical, perceptive, and aware.

Dr. Montessori developed the concept of sensorial work long before sensory play was put into practice. In Montessori philosophy, the child is considered the “sensorial explorer” and learns to perceive qualities through sensorial experiences.

Sensorial Materials

Many Montessori materials, for example the Pink Tower is designed to assist in visual discrimination by allowing a child to recognize differences in dimension, length, width, and size. Montessori activities such as the Brown Stair, Red Rods, Knobbed Cylinders, and Colour Tablets can also enhance the visual sense.


 Sensorial Montessori materials in our classrooms



The post The Amazing Montessori Sensorial “Hands On” Learning Materials appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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Written by

JULIA GORHAM

March 2019

Our Weekly Sensorimotor Weekly Programme Held At Our School

Educators, Child Development Specialists, Physiologists, Neurologists and Paediatricians have proven that sensorimotor training can assist young children to a achieve more significantly in academic situations.

Our Sensorimotor programme incorporated in our preschool programme is based upon observations made by Heron, Piaget, Montessori, Getman, Gesell and others.  Statements about their findings would serve to point  that Sensorimotor skills is essential to young  children’s understanding of and adjustments  to the world of persons, things and ideas.

A promising feature of our Sensorimotor programme is the effect upon the child’s feeling about himself, whereby he is able to help build his self image. Our Sensorimotor  curriculum is designed to appeal to the child’s natural instinct for play, giving the child to succeed in an familiar environment .

“The Montessori Handbook”


If, indeed, learning  is predicated on movement … if interaction with the environment is essential for gathering information  and storing it in  experimental unit for future reference … if out of movement patterns comes a system of perceptual match , relationships pre-requisite to concept formation…. if spatial, form and time concepts are natured in the direct bodily movements through space and time in patterned directions in early life experiences , then revelation of pedagogical practices is long over due, and the translation of known psychobiological principles is actual with sensorimotor programmes  which is  crucial in the increasingly complex word.”

The post Sensorimotor Activities for Young Children appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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Written by Julia Gorham

Doing and thinking for young children will contribute to lowered self esteem and undermine their self-confidence. You will create opportunities for your child to develop a lot of self-doubt by sending messages showing that you do not think that they can do things correctly, or that they should not try because you beloved it is too difficult for them. Do not ignore the pleas of the young child “I can do it by myself”.

Children with high self esteem are those who are given the opportunity to be decision makers right from the very beginning of their lives.

Children need to take on responsibilities, rather than their parents doing things for them. They learn confidence by doing, not by watching someone else do it for them. They need to feel important, to take risks, to try new adventures and to know that you trust them, not so much to do something without error as to simply go out and give it an effort.

Children who learn early to be decision makers – to pick up their own clothes, to decide what to eat, to play with whom ever they choose, to be responsible without endangering themselves or others, learn very early to like themselves and feel positive about who they are. They begin very early to trust themselves with the daily age appropriate tasks that make them feel proud and worthwhile.

The post As Parents We Would Like Our Children To Value Themselves appeared first on Kids Fun | Art | Crafts | Outdoor | Activities.

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Julia Gorham an Educational specialist with over 27 years of experience, offers a Children’s Home Learning Montessori Workshop for children ages (18 months to 5 yrs.) for Caregivers, Au Pairs and Students!

These workshops will foster stimulating, fun activities for use in your home, giving understanding and guidance towards your child’s optimal growth and development

Course outline: Child development, setting up easy, fun stimulating activities in your home to develop your child’s fine motor skills, concentration etc, lesson plans, art activities, gross motor activities, sensory activities, language development, workshop practicals, including a Home Programme Manual and a certificate of attendance. ( More Information to be emailed upon request)

How to book: Please complete the on-line booking form and pay your deposit for confirmation  for attendance or email: Julia Gorham (gorham@mweb.co.za) Contact: 083 600 6833

Cost:  R 800.00 for a 3 hour workshop.

Location : Field and Study Park. 45 Louise Ave, Parkmore Sandton. Fields Montessori Pre-School.

Dates: Wednesdays 2 pm to 5 pm. Saturdays: 9 am to 12 pm.

  • Additional Home Programmes/Parenting manuals for sale.
  • Additional workshops to make your own learning materials.
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The Montessori dressing frames are an important part of the care of the self Practical Life Exercises in our classroom.

Each frame isolates one skill of dressing and offers the child the opportunity to perfect this skill by repeating the motion over and over, thus helping her to become independent in dressing him/her self.

Being able to dress and undress oneself is one of the major steps to a child’s sense of ndependence.

To help children learn how to dress and undress themselves, we provide dressing frames in our classroom on which all the different kinds of clothes fasteners can be found. It is very difficult for children to practise for example; buttoning their coat buttons when they are wearing a coat, but if you have a frame with the buttons on the table, your children can see the buttonholes.

Childrn are able to practise on the Montessori frames and when they learn to do them on the frame, it is not so difficult them to do  their buttons on therr own. Children enjoy doing things on their own which gives them makes them proud.

The Purpose

  • To develop finger control and dexterity
  • Develops concentration.
  • Self care
  • Developing a sense of independence
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Adults and children process grief very differently. Here are some tips from personal experience about what is helpful with a preschool child dealing with grief.

  • Be Honest. 

I was very open with Nicky about how things were going in hospital. As every doctor meeting arrived with worse and worse news, there wasn’t really a way to sugar coat it. I remember actually saying something along the lines of “when all these hospital visits stop”, and him asking when that was going to be and my saying “when dad dies.” And he accepted it. By that stage the months had taken their toll and I think we were all hoping and praying for an end to his misery.

When Brett actually passed it was during the night time when Nicky was asleep. He only found out about it the next morning. I told him very honestly that dad had died. No fancy language, but in a way for him to understand that dad was not coming back. He understood.

  • Let Them Attend the Funeral

I think it was vital for Nicky to attend the funeral. To be with the extended family and celebrate the life of his father. My niece Emma put together an amazing power point of his life which I am glad Nicky could see. Even when I gave my eulogy I included Nicky in some way, mentioning all the toys that dad had given Nicky just to make him happy. I looked at him when I talked about it and he agreed with me.

When I went up I also made sure that Nicky had someone to sit with, which was his aunt Debbie. Keeping him safe and secure was important.

You might want to make this call yourself on whether the child could attend or not. You know your child best and also if it would be best for him or her. For us we needed to do this.

  • Let Them Play

Children have a totally different way of processing emotions than adults. During the Blitz in London, children played out the trauma of the bombs. Adults talk, children play.

I made sure that I had Nicky’s bath toys all out for him to play with. He has a set of a family – Zebra and Lion are the parents and Horsy and Parrot are the kids. (Added to this Horsy always has diarrhea sitting on the toilet and Parrot is a bit of a mechanic and doctor and fixes things). We also have another horse and another little donkey.

The night after the funeral he played out a scenario where everyone died except the little donkey. And he had a funeral for them. My heart just broke because in all of this it left the little donkey so vulnerable, but he was expressing his emotions. I’ve also made an effort to let him know that he’s not by any means alone and that he has other family to support him. In fact I’ve drawn up a will that makes special provision for someone to look after him in the event of my death and I’ve told him about it.

Play therapy is a great addition to helping your child. Nicky went to the school psychologist who played and did activities with him. She also read a book to him about death.

  • Just Be There

Show yourself to be emotionally available to your child. You are grieving as well, and you can be open about that. Nicky has hugged me so many times when I’ve cried, I feel bad for him. But I’ve also been there for him to answer his questions, whatever they may be, and if he needed to sleep with me for a bit. This happened after my mom left for a week, having her gone was another blow for him (and us) and he needed to sleep with me and have that security.

Yes, there might be regression in your child, but that’s ok. This is a major life event, they’re allowed to take a step backwards before going forwards again.

  • Keep Routines in Place

When so much has changed in their lives, it’s good to keep other things the same. I think this is also why I am delaying selling the house and moving. I’m trying to keep some things the same before we have to change them, although Nicky might be more ready than I am to move. He’s quite excited to look for another place. Keeping his school the same and doing all the normal things we do is helping us keep sane in this new normal.

The important thing to remember is that there is no one generic timeline for grief – it affects everyone and every child differently. I know there will be more challenges to come in the future as we face certain milestones without Brett. But I know that together we will figure it all out, as long as I am there for him.  

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