Recently when a friend, Jo Ebisujima of Jojoeba Designs, asked me to review her new book, Montesorri Inspired Activities for PreSchoolers, I jumped at the chance. I have been following her blog for years and enjoying all the activities that she does with her son, and I knew that our readers would enjoy her book too.
One of the most frequently asked questions that lands in our inbox is: “What can I do with my little ones all day?” Now I have to say that I am often caught off guard by this question… maybe because there is a whole gang of little people over here and they really are all so busy that it is rare for them to take a pause, let alone ask me to do something with them. That being said, there are things that I did with my older children that I have simply forgotten about and this book was a fabulous reminder to do some of them again with my younger children.
The book begins with an introduction to the Montressori ethos… enabling children to do things for themselves with the real tools when they are ready to do them, and I am all for enabling my kids. What follows the introduction is a list of more than fifty really easy activities to do with your young children, with things that you have lying around your home. There is no special equipment, you won’t have to dash out and buy anything at the last minute… they are all really easy to implement using tools like ice-blocks, pincers, and so on… and the activities include going for scavenger walks, and really simple art, craft and science fun.
Se7en + 1 Activities We Tried
- Pouring: I don’t have a child that doesn’t like pouring – it is an activity that they all enjoy and the reason why some of my older children enjoy washing the dishes so much. In fact this is one thing that I can put out for my little ones to do and it will keep them busy for absolute ages.
- Ribbon Weaving: I have been meaning to do this, about forever, and have been collecting ribbons to that end. Finally this book made me get on with it and entrust any ribbons around the house to my ribbon lover… I am loving our new front gate and we are now out of ribbons!!!
- Transferring Using Pincers: Of course where are the small pincers when you need them, I think they may well be tied up with a Lego creation right now, so we settled on using the kitchen tongs to tidy up the DUPLO… he loved this and was quite happy to toss the whole supply out again, so that he could repeat the process.
- Eye-Spy Bottle: I confess, we never got as far as the eye-spy bottle, we were so excited to discover how to colour rice. I have been dying to know this forever and I am so thrilled to find out just how easy it is. Really it was quite exciting enough for us to make the rice… and we can leave creating an eye-spy bottle until the interest in the first part of the activity wanes.
- Magic Milk: A classic example of things that you forget to do with your younger children… he was amazed that we put food colouring into the milk – could have walked away at that stage… but it isn’t called magic milk for nothing and I had to show him the rest.
- Shape Hunt: This activity involved all my children… how could it not. I sent them on a hunt to find shapes…
- Sorting Colors: This is a case of so easy to adapt the book activity to the materials you own. We popped a different colour car onto each tile and off he went sorting away.
- Working With Art Cards: And the book comes with a link to a whole bunch of fabulous printables, we really enjoyed the art cards, spice cards and even penguin cards (yes, we have a penguin lover!!!) with activities to do with little people. The art cards have gone straight onto the fridge and my kids are using them to quiz each other.
And I discovered that I have one child that cannot possibly keep even one foot on the ground at any one time…
And the se7en + 1th:
This book is a great reminder that it doesn’t cost money and it doesn’t have to take hours of preparation or endless mess to keep your children busy and engaged. My kids enjoyed these simple activities… and for moms that are looking for easy activities to do with their kids then this book really is a great one. So many books like this have airy fairy ideas about what kids will enjoy and all sorts of educational reasons for an activity to be a good one. The great thing about the activities in this book is that they have all been tested and enjoyed by Jo Ebisujima’s son and I have to say, there is nothing like a child tested activity to see if it is an engaging one or not. Honestly my kids aren’t too interested in whether an activity is educational or not, they are however very interested in fun, so this long list of things to do definitely gets their nod of approval!!!
Thank you Jo Ebisujima, for inviting us on your World Book Tour, and for your blog that I have really enjoyed reading over the past few years and thank you again for putting this fabulous collection of activities together all in one place. This book is available from Amazon and from the Book Depository, which has free shipping world-wide.