"school" activities for 14-18 month old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-10-2009, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for some structured (as structured as you can with a baby that young) activities to do with babies ages 14-18 month. I'm really interested in both Waldorf and Montessori inspired activities. I'm really inspired by the stuff on chasingcheerios.blogspot.com, but I'm horrible with coming up with any ideas on my own.
Any ideas?

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#2 of 6 Old 02-10-2009, 10:19 PM
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Just do with your child whatever it is that he is interested in, be in splashing water in bowls or crawling around the yard.

Wife to Doug, mom to Hank and Logan !!!
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#3 of 6 Old 02-10-2009, 10:20 PM
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Some libraries have bins you can check out with toys, books, puzzles and craft ideas all related to a theme. If yours doesn't, maybe you could find a kids book that inspires you and work around that. Like finding a book about bread and having your LO help you bake bread and go feed ducks or something.
My mom gave me binder of plans centered around kids books. I'll look to see if it is from a website or book or what.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-10-2009, 10:40 PM
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I take my 18 month DS to an early childhood program, where they actually do quite a few crafts. It's only in the last few months that he's taken interest though...most of it seemed to be beyond him at 14 months.

Everything they do craftwise falls within two categories: painting and gluing.

-Either fingerpainting, or painting with brushes. They use different colored paper as backgrounds, and usually two colors. Sometimes, the teachers mix glitter with the paint to make it look sparkly. Then, when the kids are done, the artwork gets mounted on another piece of paper (different color) or the adults cut out part of the painting into some shape (star, for example) and glue it to a background.
-Handprints are fun.
-For variation, painting at easels

-The kids glue stuff onto paper (cut up pipe cleaners, feathers, foam shapes, basically anything that can be glued, but obviously with close adult supervision regarding choking!) They have a color of the week, so one day they might glue yellow things, another they glue red things.
-Some days, they use other backgrounds/mediums like gluing styrofoam pieces to a paper plate.
-The adults sometimes sprinkle glitter over the artwork to make it sparkle.

Your child may be a little young still, but my little guy, who is 18 months, seems to get the idea. (Like I said though, he didn't a few months ago.) He always wants to join in when there's a craft.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-11-2009, 01:59 AM
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In my home, filling, carrying around and dumping were the chief delights at that age. So getting out an old purse, a used Christmas gift bag, a child-sized backpack - all big hits! Water play at the sink (and providing a towel to wipe spills), working with rice with spoon and bowl in a plastic bin (towel underneath to catch the fall-out, a toddler-sized broom to wield along with you during clean-up)... Push and pull toys. Learning and teaching songs with little actions.

It's also a great time to think about how your space is set up and moving toward a Montessori approach, if you haven't already...

ETA: Babybug magazine. It's Montessori-ish, and has subtle seasonal themes that are great for inspiring creativity in what you and LO do together. Have a tea party. Make your own instruments. Etc. etc.

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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#6 of 6 Old 02-11-2009, 10:19 AM
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Much of my inspiration comes from Chasing Cheerios too! I get most of my ideas straight from there.

I second the pouring, scooping, and transferring activities. I keep bowls, utensils, and clear containers of things like glass pebbles, beans, rice, tiny sea shells, and tiny pine cones on a shelf and DS pulls them down and brings them to me when he wants to work with them.

He also enjoys scooping reusable ice cubes from one bowl of water to another.

His all time favorite is pouring flax seeds (sesame seeds would also work) back and forth between two jars through a funnel.

Other activities we do include:

* Pouring water from one cup to another.
* Working with home made dough, a rolling pin, and cookie cutters.
* Cutting bananas with a dull cheese spreader.
* Inserting q-tips in a long neck glass bottle.
* Inserting toothpicks in a parmesan shaker.
* Inserting coins into a piggy bank. As an extension of this I made slotted colored lids for 8 oz jelly jars for DS to insert little colored wooden shapes. It makes a nice color sorting activity.
* Threading large beads on a chopstick. Then a pipe cleaner. Then a shoestring.
* Spraying the table with water and wiping it with a cloth.
* Sweeping.

We have prepared the environment to be as child accessible as possible. For us this means:

* Lowering the stairway hand rail.
* Installing low hooks for coats, hats, apron, and broom.
* Putting a child chair by the coat closet for putting on and taking off shoes.
* Putting a child height table and stools in the kitchen. It is actually an adult sized table set cut down to child height so the table is a decent size to work on and the stools are comfortable for adults to sit on too. I often cut fruits and vegetables and make fresh juice there. This enables DS to see what I am doing and help when he wants to.

From the Waldorf perspective,

* I put out wooden bowls full of sea shells, pine cones, sea sponges, and river rocks where DS can discover and explore them.
* I dyed play silks with kool-aid.
* I facilitate water color painting whenever possible. Right now we are painting with just one color at a time. Soon we will move on to color mixing with two colors.
* We go on nature walks. I let DS set the pace and lead the way. Sometimes he carries a little pail for collecting things.
* I just got DS a Rosy Cheeks boy baby doll to care for.
* We are battery and plastic free as much as possible.
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