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Therapy: The Montessori Way-Month 1 (Learn & Play Link Up)

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When the kiddos were toddlers and in some cases babies, all of them participated in speech, occupational, and/or physical therapy.  This continued into the preschool years for a couple of them.  At that point, I discovered Montessori and started introducing the curriculum to my kiddos.  Therapists would come to my home and made comments like,

"Wow!  You're doing my job for me."  That's when I realized that Montessori Practical Life, Sensorial, & Grace & Courtesy activities and lessons are therapy.  Since then, the kiddos have either been dismissed from therapies outside of the home and/or we've decided to use Montessori all the way, instead of other methods.  Since making this change for the kiddos, I haven't ever looked back.  They are happier and thriving!

Grace & Courtesy:
Last spring I read Deb Chitwood's book: Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy.  It was the first time I'd ever taken a close look at the grace & courtesy curriculum.  After only a few short chapters I was hooked.  You can read my review of the book HERE.  Upon completion of the book, I knew I needed to incorporate the lessons into this year's curriculum.  After all, the grace & courtesy lessons were the exact type of speech therapy my kiddos need most.  Today, I am thrilled to share with you activities and printables I've designed to go along with Chapter 3 of Deb's book:  Introductions.  The kiddos are thoroughly enjoying the activities and become so pleased with themselves when they apply the lessons as we're out and about.  I'm thrilled they're so receptive to learning grace & courtesy.  Little did I know they crave it.

When to Introduce People
This activity includes several cards displaying pictures of scenarios in which one needs to choose whether or not it's appropriate to introduce themselves.  The kiddos must decide to place it in the pile under the red glass bead if introducing one's self is NOT appropriate.  They place the card under the green glass bead, if they SHOULD introduce themselves.  Prior to this activity we discussed the rule mentioned in Deb's book about when and when not to introduce one's self.  As a control for this activity, I placed a green or red dot on the back of each card.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Grace & Courtesy Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Basic Rules of Introduction
The kiddos have been very intrigued by introductions, especially in situations where they are introducing one person to another.  Using Deb's book as a guideline, I created this activity to help the kiddos learn the basic rules of introduction.  The kiddos will choose two picture cards from the bag provided.  Using the Basic Rules of Introduction and Words to Use in Introductions cards as controls, the kiddos practice introducing people on the cards aloud.

Note:  The printable for this activity includes same sex couple cards.  Jason and I both have friends who are in same sex relationships and we love them dearly.  We know our children will one day be in a position where they will introduce a same sex couple and we want them to feel comfortable doing this.  I asked several people in same sex relationships how they prefer to be introduced.  Because every situation is different, I have gone with the simplest introduction possible which was approved by my gay and lesbian friends.  You may know others who prefer a different introduction.  For those who wish not to use these cards as part of the activity, you are welcome to remove them.  The inclusion of same sex couples in this activity is for the sole purpose of teaching my children grace & courtesy in ALL situations.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Grace & Courtesy Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Other Points of Introduction:  Titles
As I was reading the chapter about introductions in Deb's book, I realized that my kiddos have no knowledge of titles, especially when addressing others.  I thought it important to focus on this, as it is a large portion of grace & courtesy rules.  The kiddos will use these title cards as 3-part cards or in a memory game.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Grace & Courtesy Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy. click on the link at the bottom of the post.

Introducing Yourself
Other parts of our introductions study has been the practice of standing up tall, using eye contact, and a firm handshake when appropriate.  The kiddos have practiced introducing themselves verbally, and also in writing. This has been fabulous prep for our vacation coming up soon.

Practical Life:
Thematic Practical Life Activities

Our thematic practical life activities for the month can be seen at Bee Line Consulting.  They are described in detail in a guest post I wrote there.  The post includes sponge transfer, spooning, eye dropper, pouring rice activities and more!

Snapping
Also included on our shelves this month is a snapping activity.  What better way to practice than using your own raincoat.  I'm absolutely thrilled that all three kiddos have become proficient at this, just in time for our vacation!

Sweeping
My kiddos do not like sweeping. They find the task extremely overwhelming.  Instead of drawing a square on the floor and letting them use the unlimited space for the task, the kiddos are dumping their contents into this tray.  The smaller space is requiring them to learn how to move their hands and wrists more appropriately. It's also helping them understand the slant at which the dust pan must be at to collect contents.  Of course they're using a child size Dustpan and Broom set.  This has been such a success!

Sensorial:
Fabric Matching
Matching up fabrics can be done in several ways.  The activity above is an old Montessori material I repurposed using different types of red fabrics and materials. My kiddos LOVE using it, especially when blind folded.  I admit, I was quite surprised that Princess struggled with the activity initially.  Over time all of the kiddos have become quite proficient at it.  

Montessori Color Tablets Box 3
Colors are so sensory stimulating, especially for those who are sensitive to or crave visual stimuli.  I would have not thought that the kiddos would have paid much attention to this activity on our shelves.  To my surprise, they all LOVED it.  It made such a difference to have the actual Montessori Color Tablets instead of using paint chips from the store.  Dinomite enjoyed the activity so much that he decided to start with the red tablets and then added the pink tablets and then the purple tablets all in sequence.  He did the same with yellow, orange, and red tablets.  I can't say enough about this activity!  It teaches so many things.

Montessori Cylinder Blocks
My relationship with the Montessori Cylinder Blocks is one of love at first sight.  I saved and saved for these fabulous blocks knowing all four kiddos would love them and use them.  Sure enough, I was right.  They were completely worth the price.  The three older kiddos have progressed from one cylinder block to two.  Next month we'll be working on adding the 3rd and 4th blocks.  If you have a kiddo who loves putting items in and out of containers, this is the perfect activity for them!  It also teaches math and fine motor skills!

Montessori Pink Tower
If you're at all familiar with Montessori, then you're familiar with the Pink Tower.  It looks very much like a toy we've all seen for toddlers in the stores, except this one is solid wood.  Once the basic introduction to the pink tower has been made, and your child can successfully build their tower, as well as complete other variations, the Brown Stairs are added.  I can't wait to show you that soon!
    
Gross Motor:
The kiddos are all participating in extra curricular activities.  Dinomite takes therapeutic horseback riding and one-to-one swimming lessons.  Bulldozer participates in a one-to-one recreational program at a gymnastics facility in town.  He also plans to take private tennis lessons.  Princess participated in Kung Fu classes this month and continues with gymnastics.  Our biggest gross motor accomplishment for the month is the kiddos walking 4.2 miles a day consistently in preparation for our vacation in Disney World.  They are doing amazing!

For those interested in the free printables, click on the link below!


Be sure to stop back next month to see our next installment of Therapy: The Montessori Way with more activities and printables!  Helping your kiddos receive the proper therapy at home is so crucial to their success in the real world, especially when your child has special needs!

Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Up!
I'm super excited to feature some fabulous "therapy" activities for everyone to enjoy in their home!  Not all of the features are included in the image above.  Be sure to check all of them out.  They are absolutely wonderful!

Corn Kernel Measure & Play Sensory Bin from A Little Pinch of Perfect (Not shown in collage)

Apple Tasting Unit from Royal Little Lambs

Fall Themed Gross Motor from 3 Dinosaurs

Lacing Cards for Fall from Living Life & Learning


Including Sensory Activities for Your Toddler & Preschooler from Growing Hands-On Kids (Not shown in collage)

Learn & Play Link Up Every Thursday


Now it’s time for this week’s link party! This new link up is for all blog posts that include learn and play activities and hands-on education for kids. We are excited to read your blog posts and to see what you have to share! Please link up below and grab our button to display on your blog.
If you are a blogger, share your family friendly posts here. We are looking for things which include:
  • Montessori Education
  • Homeschool
  • Sensory Play
  • Tot and Preschool Trays
  • Fine and Gross Motor Activities
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Healthy Recipes for Kids
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Natural Living
  • Free Educational Printables
  • Family-Oriented Activities
  • Healthy Living
Your post will be shown on each host’s blog where we will individually pick features every other week. That means there is more of a chance that you will be featured!
Everyone, please meet our link party hosts:
learn and play party hostesses
Guidelines for Linking:
  • Please link up 1-3 posts
  • Follow each of the hosts on social media
  • When you link up, please add our button and place it at the bottom of your shared posts or link back with text link.
  • By entering a link, you’re giving us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit & links will ALWAYS be given.
  • Please visit a couple of shared posts and leave a comment for them
  • Remember that you must link back in order to be featured
Christian Montessori Network


6 comments:

  1. Thank you for the feature! This is an awesome resource post. :) You did an amazing job redoing that fabric matching set. Beautiful!

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  2. I love the idea for teaching your child to introduce themselves. So very important! Great linky party too. Thanks

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  3. Grace and courtesy lessons are virtually endless and so important! They range from sitting in a chair to table manners, introductions to serving a guest. Children love these lessons!

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  4. I'm so impressed with the activities and printables you created to go along with my book!, Renae!!! It's wonderful that you included how to introduce same-sex couples, too. I featured your post today as the Free Printable of the Day at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and on Pinterest. I'll love using your printables with my own granddaughter, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

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  5. Great ideas!! thank you for sharing!!!

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  6. Very interesting to read! This is very helpful to many parents

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