With the weather so warm here in Melbourne it has been fun getting out things for water play. When practical life activities can be done easily that involve water it’s a bonus.
After calling Joshua over to demonstrate, he had a go at washing the large windows on our sliding doors.
Spray. Clean. Wipe. Repeat.
Practical life activities are wonderful and Joshua is enjoying using his own tools to complete tasks around the house. We have a lot of glass to clean so we won’t be running short on windows that need cleaning.
I recently got out some jigsaw puzzles for my friend’s son who is 4.5 years old. When Joshua saw this he was immediately interested – he is always drawn to what older children are working on. He has not shown interest in puzzles for a while, not even knobbed ones so I had put these away. Having worked previously on 2 piece puzzles without knobs successfully I decided to provide jigsaw puzzles with more pieces to help Joshua develop his jigsaw puzzle abilities. I found these which are fabulous as they have 2, 4 and 6 piece puzzles (if overseas from here) and this one which is a wooden board puzzle and fits nicely into its own tray and is 5 pieces (if overseas I found a similar car puzzle here).
Let’s try 2 pieces Joshua.
Too easy. I knew Joshua would be able to do this as we have already done 2 piece puzzles before. Let’s try 4 pieces.
With some prompting and encouragement, Joshua did this one reasonably easily. Fitting puzzle pieces with more than one side to fit is slightly challenging, as well as matching the picture too. Easy hey? Let’s try 5 pieces.
We practiced this a few times before moving onto 6 pieces.
This one was trickier still and needed a bit of encouragement and help but Joshua completed 2 6 piece puzzles successfully. These are generating interest so I think they will remain on the shelf for a little while and I will be looking for intermediate puzzles of 8, 12 and 20 pieces to increase the challenge once Joshua is ready. The next step is to have him pick them out of a basket all jumbled up and to sort them out himself to make into the different puzzles. Joshua still gets frustrated easily if he cannot get the solution immediately so these are teaching him logic and patience and well as improving fine motor skills.
At Montessori Toddler Group Joshua is good at pulling out mats and putting them away but these are flat mats for stacking. At home we have a mat that needs to be rolled up so we have been practicing tidying up and rolling away the work mat.
Joshua’s first attempt at rolling up the work mat was a little skewed. In an attempt to please he thought maybe I will stuff it into the space it is stored.
Let’s try again Joshua. Lay out the mat flat and practice rolling up neatly.
Joshua’s technique involves rolling the mat up by flicking it to roll with both hands. Beautifully rolled up and put away. This is quickly becoming part of the routine when we clean up at the end of the day.
Joshua has done some matching activities in the past – matching animals and cards, that sort of thing – and we decided to do some matching activities with shadows that he received as a gift from his Godmother.
Starting simple, try to do these Joshua.
Too easy. Can you do more?
All done Mama and looking for more. So I mixed them up to challenge him.
Too easy. Clean up and put it away Joshua.
These are a fantastic matching activity exercise as an alternative to doing straight matching with cards and pictures. The blocks and wooden sheets make it a fun activity to out and put away again. You can get these from here in Australia or here overseas.
I did some research into high chairs for independence when I was looking at chairs for Joshua in my last post.
From top to bottom (and left to right):
Stokke Tripp Trapp
Mocka High Chair
Keekaroo High Chair
Svan High Chair
Hauck Wooden High Chair – also available here.
Boomer High Chair
Leander High Chair
Jolly Kidz Wooden High Chair
Ikea Agam Junior Chair
Ikea Ingolf Junior Chair
Please note that the 2 Ikea chairs that I have listed I would recommend for a slightly older child (i.e. a child that is able to climb up and down with confidence). I have seen these in action and they are serviceable for an older child but definitely NOT for a young child that needs to be strapped in.
Things that we were looking for in a high chair included the following:
- Independence – ability for the child to climb on the chair to get to the table independently to join us for meals.
- Good posture – able to rest feet on a flat surface and sit up without legs dangling freely. From experience there should not be arms on the chair for the child to lean on so that the child is taught the correct way to sit up, assisting with building core muscle strength correctly.
- Sturdy – stability of a chair was paramount. We do not want the chair tipping over if Joshua is climbing up on it.
- Grows with the child – Joshua is growing every day. We wanted the chair to meet his needs for at least the next 5 years. Ideally the chair should be able to be used (with some attachments such as harnesses and a table top) from 6 months and be able to be used independently (without straps and table attachment) from around 18 months.
- Comfortable – this could be with or without cushions. We decided on no cushions as this is harder to clean. A younger child might need a little cushion to start with.
- Easy to clean – Joshua no longer wears a bib or smock while eating so food scraps tend to get on the floor and chair.
- Natural wood – this is aesthetically pleasing as well as comfortable to sit on in hot or cold weather.
There are plenty of chairs available and it pays to take a look online to see what price is being offered at different retailers as it varies considerably. There are some beautiful colours available in each of the chairs that I looked at, they are a wonderful contrast against your current furniture and make it special for your child. Joshua loves different colours and adores his chair.
I really enjoyed researching this topic and I discovered that there are so many different options available. I am sure there are others that I have missed, if you have any suggestions for these chairs and experience with them I would love to hear about it.