In a recently conducted Live Chat Montessori activities expert Kuhoo Gupta answered queries on how you can engage your super active kids and make it a fun learning experience for them and for you to bond with them as well!
Q. Can you suggest age appropriate activities for children aged 2.8 and 6 years? Both enjoy painting, pretend play and sand play. Can you also suggest when to start Math concepts?
For 2.8 years, you can have activities that enhance fine motor skills with things already available at home. For example play dough, free play, using tongs or tweezers to pick up things like pom poms or grapes etc, using clothespin to pick up cotton balls, using droppers with water colors.
For Math, at 2.8 years, you can start with pre-Math concepts if you haven’t started yet. They include matching, sorting, one to one correspondence
Q. My 3-year-old has good communication skills. What type of books can we read together?
You can go for Indian publisher books like Tulika or Pratham or NBT. Those books are available in regional language also, and kids relate to it nicely since the context is Indian.
Q. I have 13 month old twins. What activities I can involve them in considering they both get distracted easily seeing each other. Also I have heard a lot about structured play. Can you throw some light on how it can be started and from what age?
At 13 months you can go for simple posting jobs, like putting anything inside a hole in a box. It builds the concentration and fine motor skills which kids enjoy. You can use things like wooden blocks or pom poms and cut a hole in a scrap cardboard box and give it to kids to put the things in the box.
You can also give them home made finger paint to mess around with. Messy play is very important for babies and toddlers and they love it. You can mix food colors in curd and use as finger paint. They are safe even if they consume it.
Q. My little one is 20 months hyperactive kid. To make her sit and play is quite a task. How can I get her involved so that I can channelize her energy in the right way?
Twenty months is a time when they indeed have tons of energy. You should do a lot of outdoor activities with her. Lot of gross motor activities can be done indoor also like making obstacles in a room using cushions and ask her to walk or crawl over them or form tunnels using chairs.
Q. For 13 months what type of colours or points should be used?
At 13 months, they are still mouthing. So there are 2 options for edible paints - 1. Curd mixed with food colors (you can get them in any grocery shop, we also use it in baking) if you don’t have food colors, you can use haldi for yellow color, palak puree for green color, beetroot for red. 2. You can also take maida, mix water to get a paint consistency and add food colors. They are great for messy play and no tension of toxic stuff.
Q. I have a 19 month old boy. Could you suggest ideas on how to engage him in activities?
Eighteen months is great for involving them in household chores, they gain a lot of satisfaction in that, like loading unloading washing machine, watering plants, sorting veggies etc. It is a great sensory and language activity too.
Q. What is the right age to start activities like skating and writing?
I am not sure about skating. It has to do a lot about physical strength of a kid. Only a specialist will be able to tell this. For writing, we should give a lot of scribbling time once they start holding things...like from 14 months or so
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