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Montessori-inspired unit study – Sea Shells themed!

We are a big fan of Montessori-inspired unit studies. It is such a fun, hands-on way to learn about new concepts!

Few months back we went on a fun beach holiday, and i had picked up packet full of gorgeous,lovely sea shells. We used it for few of our works here and there, but for most of the time they just were sitting idle in my Montessori supply cabinet. So i thought of creating a unit study focused on sea shells, and I am so glad I did, because my son has been having so much fun!

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Let me quickly share with you the activities on his Montessori shelf. I will also link up my video at the end, so that you can have a closer look at the activities :-)

1. Practical life: Dry and wet pouring works. I have started introducing a few glass cutlery on my son’s shelf (ONLY under my supervision). I was reluctant at the beginning, but i wanted to see how he could ‘handle’ it.transfer

So far he is doing a wonderful task of carefully holding the glass wares. I am so proud of this little boy who is all of 30 months! I am so grateful to Dr. Montessori and her thought process behind every work and philosophy that she introduced to us.

2. Next we closely studied some shells using a magnifying glass.mag glass

 

3. Math work! This was a huge HIT. We focused on number “8” today…counting 8 beautiful shells and also traced the sandpaper number.counting

 

4. Sensorial work. I presented him a tray with flour (to be used as white sand), some sea animals and shells. He had so much fun creating a beach right inside our home :-)beach

 

5. Art tray: We colored some shells. He showed so much focus and enthusiasm! And his friends joined in too! Talk about a 3-6 year old Montessori class, right at home <3art

 

6. Tinker tray: open ended activity – i presented a tray with some green clay (depicting the green sea), some shells, pipe cleaners, forks etc. I just let him explore!tinker tray

 

7. Size sorting activity: A simple activity to understand large, medium and small. So easy to create at home with just about any object.size

Click below on my video where i have explained the activities in more details. Dont forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Like my Facebook page for more activity ideas!

Cheers,

Amruta

Today i am linking up at :

Preschool and kindergarten community, The KLP linky party hosted by Every star is different and Montessori Nature,  Tot school Gathering Place

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FREE Printable! Potty Training Progress Chart for Toddlers!

Hello friends!

Here is a fun printable that you can download for free! It is a Potty Training Progress Chart.

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It is in an editable word document, so you can mention your child’s name on it! It comes in a super boy and a super girl version. Once you download the word document, add the name of your child in the line: ……’s potty progress.

Save it as a PDF and then print it off, so that the alignment does not get changed. Kindly email me on sim3283@gmail.com in case you encounter any issue.

Super boy version: Download here: Potty training chart- boy

Super girl version: Download here:Potty training chart – girl

Happy Potty Training!

Cheers,

Amruta

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Giveaway WINNERS announcement!

Last week, I announced an exciting new venture that I am embarking on with Yuliya Fruman from Welcome To Mommyhood called Tot Labs!

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Today, I am very excited to announce the lucky winners of the Tot Labs Giveaway hosted by myself and Yuliya!

And the lucky winners are:

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If you have won the giveaway, please send an email to sim3283@gmail.com and yuliya.fruman@gmail.com with your mailing address so we can send you your printables!

Checkout my amazing business partner Yuliya Fruman:

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Her Blog: http://mommyhoodinholland.blogspot.in/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Welcome-to-Mommyhood/

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/WelcomMommyhood/

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Giveaway Time!! Contest :-)

Hello Friends,

I am delighted to host my very first giveaway!

I recently mentioned on my facebook page that I am embarking on an exciting new journey with my blog and Youtube Channel! My business partner and wonderful mommy blogger friend Yuliya Fruman from Welcome to Mommyhood and I have officially partnered up to bring you Tot Labs!

Tot Labs Yuliya and Amruta

In order to celebrate the announcement of our new venture, Tot Labs, we are hosting a giveaway! 2 lucky winners will be randomly selected to receive a set of FREE printables in hard copy, cut out, and laminated from both Mumma Dairies and Welcome to Mommyhood!

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The printable packs will include all of the following: 

From Mumma Diaries

  • Rhyming cards
  • Rainbow shape sorting

From Welcome to Mommyhood

  • Ocean themed prereading cards
  • Ocean themed sorting cards

The contest rules are very simple! Here is what you can do to enter:
1. Subscribe to my YT channel, if you still haven’t: http://bit.ly/1Douf5g
2. Sign up / subscribe to Yuliya’s Blog: http://bit.ly/1RGVQui
3. Your child needs to be in the age group of 2-3 years

Once you subscribe to our respective channel and blog,leave a comment below saying “Me!” to participate in this contest!

You have until Sunday 26 July to enter our contest! The winners will be randomly selected and will be announced on the Welcome to Mommyhood facebook pageMumma Diaries facebook, and our blogs on Monday 27 July!

Checkout my amazing business partner , Yuliya Fruman:

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Her Blog: http://mommyhoodinholland.blogspot.in/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Welcome-to-Mommyhood/

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/WelcomMommyhood/

Thank you for stopping by and happy participating :-)

Love,

Amruta

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The beauty of Montessori practical life activities!

It has been a really long time since i sat down to ‘write’ something. But today i just could not stop myself. I have always been fascinated by the concept of ‘Montessori’. I try and include some aspects of it, here and there, in our day-to-day life and on my son’s activity shelf. If you are a first timer here, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel to follow our Montessori-inspired journey!

I truly believe that Montessori is much more than just the materials or works that we often read about. It is a beautiful philosophy. It goes beyond the shelf. It is about ‘observing’ the child and giving him freedom and independence (within safe boundaries) to grow and enrich. I recently wrote a guest article on bringing montessori home. In that article i wrote about how we as parents can involve our children in day to day activities to keep them creatively engaged at home.

Practical life is perhaps the most important aspect of the Montessori philosophy. It is about allowing your child (or rather giving him a chance) to help you in daily home chores be it cooking, cleaning, laundry or gardening. I often like to supplement this with our shelf activities in the form of spooning, scooping, pouring or transferring works. These have been a part of our shelf ever since my son was 15 months old. One year down the line (with quite a few spills and messes), it still is one of my son’s favorite activity!

Last week i set up his shelf with these two activities – wet pouring activity (transferring water from one beaker to other) and dry transferring activity (transferring craft eggs from one creamer to other).

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I love to sit and observe my child when he does his shelf activities. I rarely guide or prompt him unless he asks for it or if i’m introducing a new concept to him.

Even for these two activities, i remained a silent watcher! And it was a delight to see him mix and match & create his own style!

After finishing his usual work of dry and wet pouring, my son combined both these activities together. He had so much fun adding water in to the egg container, and then transferring it from one creamer to other! It is amazing what a child can do, if we just let him explore without interrupting :)

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This ‘combined’ work kept him busy for good 15 minutes! Yay, because it also meant a breather for me :) After all the pouring and transferring, he cleaned up the water mess with a sponge. I love montessori for such small , yet powerful teachings!

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Next, was his own imaginative play! He created his own little kitchen – the sponge became the gas stove, the creamers became a ‘mixer’, the beakers were his vessels to make some egg dish for mumma <3 This was my most favorite part!

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The purpose of this post is simple – to share with you the beauty of Montessori. It has helped me understand my child better. It has helped me slow down. It has taught me to always ‘follow’ the child and let him explore and self-learn.

Not everything you do for your child needs to have a ‘purpose’ or be ‘educational’…because a child imagines, explores (and in the process learns) from such simple, frugal activities.

Do write to me if you had any such ‘aha’ moment. I would love to hear from you.

Cheers,

Amruta

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Love. Love. Love. Repeat.

Disclaimer: I’m right now in a very emotionally fragile state & my heart is melting with tooooo much love for my lil boy who is almost 2 years old :)

Time just flies! It feels like just yesterday when we got our swaddled little bundle of joy home…His tender soft skin and big brown eyes got me so choked and overwhelmed every time I carried him, nursed him, bathed him…and to be honest I feel the same surge of emotions even now! To the world he might be a 2 year old little boy, but to me he is still a baby. He always will be.

People around are warning me about the “terrible two” phase.. and I really wonder if it is over-hyped! Yes my son is a regular toddler.. Yes he has meltdowns.. He sometimes cries for silliest of things and all of that! And I also know that I need to stop him when his “safety” is at stake. Totally agree on that. And yes as parents we need to discipline our children and teach them what’s right and what’s wrong! Totally agree. All that is given!

imagesnBut what I am not comfortable is to keep judging my son…to tame his every action which we think is wrong…do we really need to scrutinize our kids so much? Once our infants grow into toddlers we very casually start using phrases like ‘don’t be such a stubborn boy’, ‘you are such a cranky toddler’ …Do we really need to infuse so much negativity into their clean, innocent minds?

My son, like all other kids is a brilliant little chap… He is a boy full of energy, enthusiasm and innocence! Just because we as caretakers fall short of understanding their cues and matching to their energy levels, does not mean that we have the “right” to dismiss them, their needs and their behavior and tag this phase as the “terrible twos”… Our kids do not deserve to be told that they are terrible. They deserve to be told that they are amazing! They deserve to be told that they will be listened and loved in every phase of their life, unconditionally!hardtime2
Their reaction to a situation is always reasonable. My son does get cranky when his basic needs are not met (read: too hungry, sleepy or tired) or if I do not provide him a creative outlet to engage his never ending energy levels!
I am overflowing in my thoughts and I suddenly notice my son who is quietly playing with his toy cars….. I admire him…. I let him enjoy on his own… I know he needs his time, his space, and I totally respect that! I can’t believe he is the same boy who a few minutes ago was fuming and howling because we stopped him from touching the switchboard. He is the same boy who refused to eat the food that I made with so much love. 697c66cb68af01ebb0124945eb46b6b1

Daddy has left for office leaving me with my little son who I love beyond words…he is my life.. I am, because he is. Gosh! I’m being such a “mom”… I pick up my little boy who is ready for his afternoon nap.. As I nurse him to sleep, he reminds me of his “newborn days”… My almost 2 year old needs me the same way he needed me when he was 2 months old… Nothing has changed between us… I caress his soft curly hair, and kiss his forehead as I tug him to bed .

I whisper in his ears ” I love u my son, god bless you..” I go to my work station and open my laptop and type “how to deal with toddler tantrums”…there are some 1000 search results that appear. I’m quite overwhelmed! Not long ago, in fact, even I had written a post on dealing with toddler tantrums on this blog… Bummer!! I read few of the top posts, and yep they all make sense – acknowledge the child’s need, distract him, say a stern NO and the works… I shut down my laptop feeling rather unsatisfied (probably for the first time) with the Google search! There has to be something more than this, no?

I go to my room and look into the mirror.. I notice a grey strand of my hair (I probably have got that in the past one year). I also notice few lines below my eyes (thank you sleepless nights)…I look closely .. I’m no more that carefree college girl who used to pretty much look “picture perfect ” most of the times! I clip up my hair in a messy bun and smile to myself… Who is this person in the mirror? How come suddenly she has got so much patience & LOVE inside her? Well, she is a newer (and a much better me!) …She’s a mother.. And who made me so beautiful from within?? My son, hands down! I would have never ever been so gentle, so forgiving yet so determined  had it not been for my son! He has created me! I owe it to him. I have to stand up for him and hold onto him through his toddlerhood phase (and beyond)… safe_image.phpYou know why? Because I love him. I love him like I have never loved anyone before… Yes, it all boils down to love! Love is the savior. Your best bet to deal with a toddler tantrum is through love!. Our bubs need more love.. If they are misbehaving and throwing a rage.. It is time we pass on more love to them..it is about time we stop expecting, and start accepting them.. Let’s not be so tough on them! My boy still can’t frame a sentence.. Do you think it is fair to be tough on a toddler who still can’t voice himself completely? And naturally his way of expressing his boredom or tiredness is through actions (read toddler tantrums).

1b833f48880eceab092092b67af6e9b3I know as parents it’s hard.. It’s very hard on us.. This whole parenting stuff is huge.. It’s tiring.. It’s overwhelming. And a big hug to all moms reading this post (pls pass back some to me, I need them all the time!)

We try to stop them, we say the big NO without even thinking if we really need to use it that often… we give them time outs, we let them cry it out… Or worse we ignore them. I mean think of it, how will you feel if your colleague ignores you for an entire hour for some silly error you do at work?  Don’t we feel bad if we are trying to tell something to our folks, and they are busily engrossed in their phones? Imagine if one day you don’t feel like eating your lunch & instead start fiddling with the food and someone gives you a time out for that? Huh?
Don’t we lose our temper sometimes? I do! And that too for some really lame reason! And we very conveniently blame it on our hormones, work stress or something like that! But if a toddler throws a tantrum, OMG, we instantly feel that he is just not allowed to be unreasonable.. We feel we need to discipline him before it’s too late..we instantly analyze the whole situation and do a SWOT analysis of the poor child! We always want our children to “behave”…  If only there were better searches on Google about adult tantrums!

 

thoughtfulthurs3I honestly feel that we need to “love” our toddlers as if they are still infants, and we need to respect them as “individuals” as if they are adults! We have sooooo much to learn from our kids… We need to let them lead us, instead of us leading them… Every kid is god-sent.. I truly believe that.. Every kid is a blessing and we need to appreciate that fact! We all are lovely parents, no doubt.. But let’s ask ourselves that can we become gentle parents by forgiving more easily and loving more willingly? Are we ready to accept our fault as adults and try not to pass on the negativity to our children?
If you think that this all sounds gibberish, please revisit this page once your baby is sleeping, and you are in a better mood as a parent ;)
If you are with me, I thank you for joining hands with me to be a better person and a gentle parent. I’m going to pass on lots of positive vibes and love so that we parents get the energy to love our kids more and nudge them less. For all the beautiful children around the world deserve loads of LOVE, attention and appreciation. Love will never spoil them. Lack of love will.

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Stay blessed!

Amruta

 

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Sue me for procrastination!

My apologies fellas for starting this blog so late! I intended to start writing ever since i conceived. But for some reason kept procrastinating it. So now i am going to fast forward the 9 blissful months of my pregnancy, and 9 fun months of my motherhood and get straight to the ‘PRESENT’ –  my baby as of today (5/10/2013) is 10 months old – and i feel it is a perfect age where i can document and write about lot of fun stuff we do together as a family, and challenges of juggling work + family life!

In case you have any queries and questions that you would like to ask me regarding pregnancy or caring a new born, do drop me a line, and i will be more than happy to answer it!

Till then, happy parenting! <3