How to Develop Your Child’s Brain: 17 Months
In this series, I share Montessori inspired developmental and fun activities (month-wise) that you can do with your child to help him develop his motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills. If you missed the previous one, read it here.
Painting – Any kind of painting is a great sensorial and visual experience for a child. Make sure not to interrupt the child. Don't force the child to color within the boundaries or to draw a specific object, unless the child himself does it. Let it be a free expression and don't mind the riot of colors! End result does not matter, the process does. This also helps develop their grip. Here in this picture, I got my son some squeeze and paint brushes and he happily created a messy-piece, oops, a master-piece out of it.
Fine Motor – Abacus that is meant for older kids can be used for this young kids as a fine motor activity. My son loved flipping the beads from one side to another one by one. It is a great exercise for those little fingers. You can DIY this easily using beads and a shoe lace and let your child move the beads from one end to another.
DIY Game – Kitchen items can become interesting play items when thought about creatively. You can see here a kulfi/popsicle mould that became a fine motor and pre-math activity. My son had to put the lids in each of the cavity. It is a one-to-one correspondence activity that is a precursor to Math. So go ahead and hunt your kitchen items to engage your child.
Nature Trials – It is very important for kids and adults both to get vitamin N (nature) dose often. On weekends, we go out to parks, long drives, treks etc when we get a chance. Kids see and learn about stuff that they may be just seeing in the books or things that they have never seen at all. We try to immerse into such experiences and make it a learning experience for our child.
Unstructured Play – Children need to stop and converse with themselves in order to be balanced and composed later. Unstructured play comes to rescue. This also gives them full control over what they want to do, which is very important for them on a daily basis. My son is fond of vehicles so I made this DIY parking out of cardboard boxes . You can try creating something similar, a cosy corner for your child with things that he is fond of.
Matching & Sorting – In my previous article (16 months), I introduced the concept of visual discrimination and how important it is for a child. You can now extend that to picture to object matching and then to sorting when you think your child is ready. In these pictures, I have taken prints of different sea animals and given corresponding figurines to my son to match. And then I have used colored blocks to sort based on the color. Do not worry if your child is not ready or interested, you can gradually take this up in the following months.
Like I always say, these moments are precious! Make the most of it while bonding with your child. Don't worry too much about the learning outcomes. Trust that they will happen!
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