Sunday, January 1, 2012

Montessori, Taken Outside

I have been doing a lot of observing lately, trying to figure out what makes my three little girls who they are, to get a good picture of what they want from their time here at home. So far, it looks like a lot of sensorial, practical life, math, language, and nature.  

Our New England late Fall and Early Winter has been very mild, so we are spending amazing amounts of time outside. This is where I'm learning a lot from them.

The first thing I'm learning is this (and I should've known!):  they do not need play equipment.  Right before the twins were born, we moved to a new neighborhood, and as fast as the houses went up, play sets when up.  We joined in without thinking.  It barely gets touched, but here's what does......natural items.  They join together in an effort to move large piles of rocks, from one end of the yard to another.  They moved rocks yesterday for an hour straight, and them put them all back like good little Montessorians.  I kept myself busy outside, so they didn't rely on me for entertainment (I read a book).  I watched one of my three-year-olds  carry tiny pebbles inside clam shells, while the others were pretending to cook mud,- transfer them from one play dump truck to the other.  She pushed that little truck all around that day, long enough for me to finish a whole chapter.  Then, she decided to let them go down the least they used the playset :)

My work now is to provide more natural items in our yard.  That should be easy, since we LOVE to collect things on nature walks!

Collecting, sorting, and transferring pebbles outside.  This is their spontaneous playing, nothing I made!

Nature's best tool, an old stick.

Pumpkin experiments with wheels on an incline.  "Bye, pebbles!"
Girls love trucks, too.  This one is carrying precious cargo, pebbles.

For more images of outdoor natural playscapes, see a Pinterest board I created called Outdoor Spaces.