Adrian 2 years and a half Feed

💚Caring for 🌿Plants at 2.5 Yo • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity

Practical Life activities include among others, care for self and others and care of the environment. Caring for plants is part of caring for the environment and it is a wonderful opportunity for a child to develop responsibility, discipline, and most importantly affection for nature. 

"There must be a provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature."  Dr. Maria Montessori. 

DSC_0027 We are using this Watering Plants activity. (Buy the watering can separately here).
DSC_0027From Spring until late October, we have our plants outdoors on a deck to enjoy the sun. For Adrian, taking care of plants is a fun and purposeful activity as he gets to be outside, enjoying the fresh air and sun, and he has a purpose - taking care of another living thing. 
DSC_0027Adrian likes observing the water being absorbed into the soil. He knows that every living thing needs water and that the plant is living, and thus needs water to live. I also emphasized that although crucial to life, overwatering can hurt the plant, so he should not water too much.

DSC_0027We use blue sticks to indicate when the plant was watered. (You can also make signs: "I have been watered" or " I need water.")

 An emerald mister (buy here) allows a child to hold the mister with one hand while pressing the pump-top with the other for misting and cleaning leaves. (Nearing his 3rd birthday, Adrian has just enough strength to use this mister.)
DSC_0027Adrian also cuts dried parts of the plant to divert plant's valuable resources to its healthy part. Caring for plants offers Adrian an opportunity to establish the connection with nature and develop a true affection for it. Children want to take care of Mother Earth and all its living things and they will care more about it if they have a relationship with nature. And the only way to develop such a relationship is for children to experience nature fully, by caring for it. Practical Life experiences that are rich with sensory stimulation, will engage intellectually and emotionally and will make children feel not only connected to but also an integral part of nature.

IMG_0046Adrian watering our Herb Garden.

For more on caring for plants, see here a roundup post "💦Caring for 🌺Orchids at 3 Yo • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity • Care of the 🌐Environment." Read here a post about Adrian watering plants at 26 months. 

Working with Numerals and Beads (Teen-Board intro)

Adrian is almost three years old, and he is very interested in numbers. He counts everything and everywhere. So, today, we are having an introduction to a Montessori Teen Board, where I offered him to count beads and match them to their corresponding numbers. 

20160903-DSC_0006He would count the beads first, and then find the corresponding number. 
20160903-DSC_0006"Nine tiny blue beads!"
20160903-DSC_0006Matching a number nine to the beads he just counted. 
20160903-DSC_0006"The ten-bar has ten little beads in it!"
20160903-DSC_0006The order was not important, the goal was to associate quantity to a numeral. 

20160903-DSC_0006Number twelve is made up of one-ten-bar and two tiny beads. 
20160903-DSC_0006Adrian sliding a wooden number two on top of a ten board, making twelve.

Starting with (3) teens at a time is plenty for a toddler. At the end, you may also present a Three-Period-Lesson (see how to introduce a Three-Period-Lesson here). Keep in mind that you would want to present this activity few times before a child can get a solid understanding of the teen building. Read about the official Teen Board presentation, once Adrian turned three, here

Numeral 🔢 vs Quantity 🐮🐮 at 34 months with Self-Correcting Numbers Puzzle (Early Montessori Math)

This wooden number-to-quantity interlocking self-correcting Numbers Puzzle (buy similar here) is more abstract as a toddler is not actually holding any quantity to substantiate the value (like with Spindles or Numbers Rods), but rather matches a numeral (e.g. number 2) to the quantity shown on a picture (2 cows). This puzzle is great for matching and counting skills since the pictures are colorful and feature familiar objects/animals.

DSC_0902.JPGA child would first sort the puzzle pieces into two piles: one with numbers and the other with quantities (pictures of the objects).

DSC_0902.JPGAdrian then would sequence numbers in order from 1-10, by counting objects on a picture and matching them to the correct numeral.

To substantiate the concept of numeral vs quantity, you may want to present a 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson. (Read a detailed post about the presentation here).

At 34 months, Adrian is able to correctly complete the entire 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson with numerals one through ten. 

Presenting a 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson:

  1. (P1) “This is 1, this is 2, ….3” 
  2. (P2) “Will you show me 1? Will you show me 2? … 3? "
  3. (P3) “What is this?

DSC_0902.JPG"Show me 5"; "Where is 9?"; "What number is this?" Adrian would correctly answer each time.

Thus, at 34 months, when asked randomly, Adrian can orderly sequence, recognize and enunciate each number from 1-10. I believe that such understanding was only achieved through the concrete representation of Montessori math materials, which necessarily build on each other just like in other areas. So, before introducing this puzzle, you would start with small concept of numbers one through 10. For example, number "one" is represented by a numeral -1 as well as by quantity when a child is actually holding one apple/car/spindle in his/her hands. Such association of quantity to numeral is very concrete in nature: a child is holding one, two, or three spindles and realizes how differently it feels than holding ten. Such helps children understand in a concrete way basic mathematical concepts, while instilling the love for learning, numbers, and math.

African Animals Language Objects Matching Cards and African Savanna Animals at Animal Kingdom Disney

Today, we are exploring Africa. 

DSC_0014First, we would read about Africa in a World Atlas book (buy here).

We love using these animals as language objects during continent unit works as well as for zoology. But what about taking a trip to a real savanna in Africa to see all those fascinating animals up close?

DSC_0048-001Serengeti Savanna (Africa, Animal Kingdom).
DSC_0048-001Termite Tower.

DSC_0059Adrian really enjoys Language Objects matching materials (read a post here), where a child would match a picture to a picture, then an object to a picture (we love using these animals as language objects), and finally, a word label to a label. Adrian, although not reading yet at 31 months, attempts to visually match the labels after matching an animal to a picture. 

DSC_0014First, Adrian matches Language Objects: African Animals to a picture on a card that has a label.

DSC_0161.JPGAll animal figurines are matched up.

DSC_0014Next, Adrian would match a picture to a picture.

DSC_0144Adrian's favorite animal is a zebra. 

DSC_0178Matching language object elephant calf to a picture of an elephant with a calf ...

DSC_0093... to a real elephant.

DSC_0167-001Okapi is the only living relative of a giraffe. 

DSC_0147Okapi is unsociable, shy, relying on sound to avoid predetors, with bigger ears than a giraffe.

DSC_0157-001Okapi is native to Central Africa and although bearing striped markings reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles.

DSC_0150The smaller skull is Okapi's, the larger one is Giraffes.

DSC_0122A lioness is usually dormant during the day, so it was a rare scene.
DSC_0122Lioness sleeps about 15-20 hours during the day and does most of the hunting at night. 

DSC_0138Lions also mainly sleep during the day.
The final step for a non-reading toddler would be to visually match the cut-out label to the label attached to the card with the picture.


DSC_0195Adrian at 31 months was successfully able to visually match all the labels.

DSC_0187-001Gorillas: they were looking straight at us!

DSC_0171Comparing a scull of a male human to a female gorilla and to a male gorilla.

DSC_0064Giraffes are children's absolute favorite animal: so gentile, so graceful!

DSC_0064Giraffes' marks are unique, just like with human's fingerprints, and there are no two alike! For more on giraffe study, see here "Giraffe (Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study)."

DSC_0109The common ostrich is the largest living species of bird, laying the largest eggs of any living bird. 


Ostriches are flightless birds native to Africa. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h (19 m/s; 43 mph) -  the fastest land speed of any bird.

DSC_0115-001White Rhino crossing in front of us.

DSC_0118See you soon - fascinating animals of African Savanna! 

p.s. Just a Note: we are not in favor of a zoo: where animals are caged, unable to move, hunt, be wild - be themselves. The Savanna in Africa Disney is a completely natural habitat, carefully crafted to resemble closely Africa's ecosystem. It is 800 square miles of natural terrain, including forests, wetlands of the Safi River Valley, and the open bush country of the Serengeti Savanna.  To create the 110-acre Serengeti, Imagineers moved 1.5 million cubic yards of earth and planted some 2.3 million exotic plants. Over 300 grasses (75 African) were seeded so that there would be ever-flowering grass. 

Native African animals living there are: Antelope, Mandrill, Black Rhino, Cheetah, Crocodile, Elephant, Flamingo, Gazelle, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Lion, Okapis, Ostrich, Warthog, White Rhino, Wildebeest, and Zebra. Overall, there are over 200 different species of birds and animals found throughout this preserve. Notably, many species are endangered or are on the brink of extinction, but thanks to Disney Imagineers, those species might be saved! 

p.s. For more pictures, read a post here the Animal Kingdom.

Green Lentils Spoon Transferring (Montessori Practical Life)

Fundamental skills such as pouring, spooning, and tonging follow a sequential order where ideally each lesson builds upon the last one. Thus, spooning, while being one of the first Practical Life activities a toddler would do starting at around 18 months, is generally introduced after dry pouring and water pouring. Spoon transferring involves a more advanced type of skill such as balancing (e.g. beans, glass beads, pasta, lentils etc) and transferring them from one bowl to another, completely emptying the first bowl.

DSC_0046.JPGI love this wooden transferring set which is hand-carved from native South Pacific hardwood.


Adrian has been enjoying all different kinds of spooning activities for a while already, and at 2 1/2 he still enjoys them. He makes sure though that not even a single lentil falls off the spoon, and he would methodically complete the activity until every single lentil is transferred. 

The cycle of the activity is completed once lentils (or anything else a child is using ) is transferred from the left bowl to the right. The child would then return the tray back to its shelf.