Sunday, September 18, 2011

Practical Life for Back To School

Practice the process of getting a shoe on and off.  If your child goes to a Montessori School, they probably wear slippers during work time, shoes outside.  There's a lot of shoe transition, imagine how much practice it may take for independence!  Anything to ease the morning madness of getting a family ready for the day is always a treasure, no matter where the child learns.  
Show the child how to open up the shoe wide enough for the foot to enter.  Use language while instructing, "this is the tongue of the sneaker, these are the laces, this is the sole."  I like to put of plenty of lacing, bead stringing, and tying materials in September with this aim.  Learning to tie takes a while, but starting while the child is a good idea.  

My favorite Open and Close activity for back to school is practicing with actual lunch containers.  Gather together an empty lunch box for the child to explore, open, close, and pack up by themselves.  Consider adding a napkin, thermos, drink container, and small tupperware-type containers.  Adding twist, snap, or peel away lids provide opportunities for expanding hand strength and independence.  Many schools are adopting a trash-less lunch policy to cut back on waste at lunch time which can mean more small containers for lunch.  Believe me (as someone who opens 20 thermoses a day at school) your child's teacher will thank you!

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