entertaining A on these frigidly cold and snowy days is not a task for the faint of heart. she obviously takes after her daddy, who would never choose to sit still and do nothing, no matter what the weather. me, on the other hand... i know the value of a warm quilt and a good book. and not necessarily in that order!
i have a very dear friend who founded and teaches at a Montessori school back home. (hi, Susan!) A spent some time in her classroom last summer, and really loved it. Susan had told me of this particular activity, and i thought yesterday was a perfect time to try it out.
i gathered a few foam shapes that we had around, and made a simple color-coded chart.
next, i filled a medium sized bowl about half full with rice, and buried all the shapes in the rice. then i gave the bowl to A. i showed her how to use the spoon to dig around, and when i found the first little foam piece, i placed the pink circle on the corresponding pink circle on the chart. then i gave the spoon to her, and let her do it herself.
A caught on right away, and had a good time rooting around in the bowl looking for the rest of the foam pieces. (there was only a little bit of rice on the table and the floor when she was done. and she didn't eat too much, either.)
i know that susan would have a very impressive sounding (and long) list of the things that A is learning while doing this activity. but i just know that it kept A happy, quiet and entertained for almost an hour. and while happy, quiet and entertained is a relatively short list of adjectives, the peace and tranqility went a long way for this busy and sometimes frazzled mommy!
i encourage you to try this today if you have a busy toddler of your own. (and make yourself a cup of coffee while you're at it. you'll probably get to enjoy the whole cup while it's still hot!)