Saturday, February 12, 2011

Practical Life Activities at home.

I just wrote a blog in Picasa but the page was expired and there goes my LOOONGG blog... Never write a blog in Picasa!

Anyway here's the blog again. :)

Threading Beads
Threading is one of the Pratical Life exercises of Montessori.
In Montessori, there's a reason and purpose behind every exercises.
For example: Why use a table mat to place the material?
Ans: To protect the material, to protect the table, to mark a work area, care of environment - care and respect another child's work space, rolling and unrolling a mat exercises fine motor skills and we are instilling a sense of order in the child.

Why threading?
Aims of threading: Eye-hand coordination, development of fine motor skills,preparing the child for future art and craft, learning patience, independence and concentration.
Age: Suitable for about 3 yrs onwards. (For younger children, get bigger beads with bigger holes and the bigger string)

First we introduce the material to the child. This is a mat, a basket, some beads with holes and a string.

Place the string horizontally and show the child how to thread the beads. Movement should be clear and easy for child to follow step by step.

Remove one bead at a time and place the other hand on the rest of the beads to isolate them.

In my course we have to demonstrate the whole process then let the child have his turn. But in reality that's probably not going to happen. So we can ask the child to wait and you show a few first and let him or her continue.

Cross Stitch

Why Cross Stitch?
Aims: Further refining fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, lengthening attention span, concentration, indirectly preparing child for mathematics (patterns) and preparing for future art and craft.
Age: The lecturer mentioned that it was suitable for 4 yrs old onwards, I was like- 'are you sure? you mean my 4.5 yr old can do it? I did cross stitch when I was 10!'

 I had to make one sample for my file (my homework). I went over to Tristan and asked him if he would like to learn how to do it? Then, he was playing with his Lego, and his reply was 'no thankyou'. Fine, I went thinking it's probably too difficult for him anyway.

After a few minutes he finished with his toys and came look for me. Saw me still with that piece of cloth and the needle. He asked me what I was doing. I told him cross stitch. I asked him if he like to try, he said '...ok.' I showed him how to make X on the cloth and how to go in and out of the tiny holes in between the squares. Then he did it. He made about 7-8 'X' and ran away to continue playing with other toys. SOooooooo.. it's true, a 4 yr old can do it if he was shown how and given the chance to do it. This is what we made together. nice? :)

Matching & Threading smaller beads
This is not exactly montessori, this is an idea that came up while clearing my storeroom. I found a lot of paper bags that I collected over the years and decided it was time to clear them. Seeing the strings still in tact, I remove them and recycle the rest.

I then realised that the string came in pairs and they were mostly different coloured. I could do a matching colour activity with Trevor.

And so I did, I ask him to lay the strings out neatly row by row. I chose a Black string and put it on top, I then ask him to find the other Black string and place it together with the first one. He enjoyed laying out the strings neatly and he repeated the colours after me. The colours were not exactly all correct but it was ok for a first try. :)

I then realised that there are knots on the strings and hey... I could do some threading.
I found a box of beads from my school days. and ask Tristan to sort them out according to they size and type. Then ask him to thread them. He did a pattern of Big bead and Small bead. There you go: he's ready for mathematics! AND they are kept occupied for some time!:)

My 2 boys occupied and I had a peaceful few minutes... :)
Will try to update more soon. :)

Is TV good for your child?

Thought I would have some time to blog during the Chinese new year break but 9 days of eating, visiting and hot weather have left me and the boys with flu and sore throats. We need another week to recuperate!

Kids with flu and no where to go, we need to keep them pretty occupied if not it's a disaster! Tristan is always bored and looking for things to do. Now that he can operate all the tv, cable tv, computers & laptop around the house, he cant help but watch tv and play computer games all day! After much reminder, I've decided to confiscate and hide the tv and Astro remote control. A bit of TV a day is fine, I love some of the quality program. Cailou, Sid the science kid, Curious George are good quality programs. Most are from Which Tristan has already mastered how to go to the website's game corner and he plays most of the games there without assistance. Well I let him play about half hour a day. If he plays more than that he cant play any the next day. So far his computer discipline is quite ok, but not TV!

Me and Yyn's kids stonning in front of TV! :)

I know too much TV is no good, but why no good I'm never quite sure. I always tell Tristan it's bad for his eyes and his brain gets too tired...etc. I search online and got this.

How TV affects your child?
Here's an excerpt 
"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development.

As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading,doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family."

Wow, it's actually more bad than good! And they actually reccomend NO TV for kids under 2!

Here's another Article on TV from Raise Smart Kids
 The Good and Bad Effects of TV on Your Kid

Interesting read... So what shall we do with 2 very bored kids at home?


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