Today was the first day of kindergarten for my oldest daughter. Kindergarten in our town is a four day program with 3 half days and one full day. Before today I thought a lot about what this new schedule would mean for my youngest daughter (turning four next month). I had no idea what she would want to do with her sister now off at school four mornings a week. I thought about keeping to our typical morning play routine and then I thought about setting up activities, but ultimately I held off from doing anything to see what naturally occurred. What naturally occurred was a request for activities and to do something me. Being completely unprepared, I went to our Montessori closet and put together a few activities and just like that a new part of our morning rhythm was established.
We played a favorite game with the Mystery Bag- always fun.
She used the dropper, colored water and suction cups.
And when she finished, she especially like my demonstration of dipping the corner of the sponge into each suction cup so the sponge "can drink it up (slurping sound included)"
She practiced pouring into different sized containers.
And she wiped up spills.
My daughter worked on all of the activities and then we made and she used playdough to finish off the morning. I found the best place to store the activities was with the table they would be used with. Using the top two shelves of a bookcase I placed the activities where she could reach them. There are five there now and I feel like this is a good amount. It's simplicity makes it inviting and accessible for her. My plan is to change the activities on a weekly basis and to have mostly practical life and sensorial activities on the shelves. Below are close up photos of the activities I (quickly!) put together for this week.
Pouring Water Into Different Sized Glasses
Transferring Marbles Using Strawberry Huller
Using A Dropper
Metal Insets: Circle
We are also back into our non-summer rhythm with Monday Painting, Tuesday Journal Drawing, Wednesday Craft, Thursday Baking, and (new) Friday Montessori Activities (for my kindergarten). All this in addition to songs and finger plays again. I like the lack of routine the summer months bring us but feel so energized and excited to be back to our former rhythm once again.