Sweetpea will be fifteen months in a few days so I thought I'd do an update on what she's been doing at 14 months. In the last couple of weeks she's taken a huge leap in comprehension and although she is not saying a lot she is certainly understanding a great deal.
As far as works on the shelves Sweetpea is in what I call the "cross contamination stage". Meaning she has absolutely no interest in doing the work however she loves to take pieces from the works and walk around with them then drop them when she finds something else that looks more interesting. We are ending up with things scattered all across the house. We have been working on doing a general tidy up before meals which is working well. She will generally help to put things back into baskets and we are working on her remembering which baskets contain which items. For example if she finds an animal in the kitchen she will need to make the connection that it has to go back to the animal basket by the pottys.
So not being interested in the shelf work we are focusing on practical life work at the moment. Sweetpea LOVES food so it is only natural that most of our work is centred around food.
I have put out a basket on the shelf which contains her place mat and bib. Just before a meal or snack I will let her know it is time to eat and ask her to get her place mat please. It only took one demonstration for her to catch on and now she will bring them both over for every meal. She was also most times dropping the basket on the floor when she got out her place mat. I let it go the first few times as I wanted her to focus on just getting what she needed and putting it on the table. Once she had mastered that I asked her if she could put her basket on the shelf. Of course she didn't know what I meant so I went over and slowly replaced it on the shelf. The next meal when getting her things she dropped the basket and low and behold she replaced it herself without me saying a word! She now will put the basket back every time.
She has mastered these skills now so I will be adding another step very soon. I am also planning on making bibs the children can put on and off themselves..
A super fun activity that Sweetpea cottoned on to super quick is peeling her own banana for snack. I saw this idea on How We Montessori . The banana is cut into pieces and I have cut down the length of the peel. Sweetpea just rolls the banana out and puts the peel into the bowl provided. How cool is that??
Sweetpea has also been helping with food preparation in the kitchen. At the moment it is easiest for me if I put her in the highchair but I would love if my husband could make a Learning Tower for the children.
Here she is helping to wash the green beans. The object is to wash the beans in the water and then put them in the bowl, however washing is just way to much fun and the clean beans were washed several times.
Washing the kale for the soup. I love how she gets to experience the different textures. She wasn't a huge fan of the kale and kept tyring to deposit it off the side of the highchair.
I also introduced her to scrubbing a potato with a little scrub brush but it wasn't a hit so we will try again another time with a carrot maybe.
Since Sweetpea has pretty much mastered eating her own food with a spoon, eating finger food from a side plate and returning it when using the spoon and drinking from a glass the next step is using a fork. She practises at snack time. Most times she will try and stab the food and I will help her to apply the pressure needed to get the food onto the fork however in this pic she successfully had a go at it on her own.
Usually Sweetpea and I are able to work in the kitchen in the morning while Baby J is napping and we are both enjoying doing practical life activities together!