Maria Montessori observed that children have an innate drive to do hard and heavy work, exerting maximum physical effort. That's why this activity is so popular.
Grab a pumpkin and bring it outdoors, allowing your child the freedom to roll it around, pick it up, carry it, and move it around wherever they like.
Raking leaves (once they start falling!)
Although there hasn't been many leaves falling yet, when they do, many children love to help rake the leaves.
To do this effectively, you'll want to get a rake that's child sized,like this one.
Demonstrate how to hold the rake and where to position the hands. Work together to rake the leaves into piles.
If you've been raking with your child, next show them how to fill the lawn bags with the leaves.
Demonstrate how to scoop a handful of leaves onto the end of the rake, move it over top of the lawn bag, and dump them in.
Exploring different types of leaves/trees
Go out on a walk and pick up leaves that you find. Talk about what kind of tree they come from and then point to that tree when you see it.
This is a great counting or sorting activity. Bring a bucket or small bag on your next walk and allow your child to collect as many acorns as they like.
Bring them home and count them, put them in order of smallest to largest, or group by different factors (ex. those with a top on versus off).
Exploring gourds in a basket
This is a great activity for 6-11 months. It allows them to explore new textures while developing their hand-eye coordination in handling the gourds.
Select 5-6 gourds and wash them before putting them into the basket.
Then sit with your child and pick up a gourd. Explore it with your senses, i.e. touch it, roll it, smell it, etc. Place it back into the basket once you are finished.
Provide your infant with the time and space to discover and explore each one.
Start a Nature tray
We always laugh about this one in our house because once you start a nature tray, you'll never be able to walk quickly down the street again.
Every walk becomes an opportunity to find little treasures for the nature tray :)
To start, get alarge trayor tupperware container. Go out for a walk with a basket or small bag. Explore and take your time. When your child finds an item of interest, name it and encourage them to put it in the basket/bag. When inside, place the found items on a tray with a magnifying glass.
Here's a photo of our tray:
And don't stress about doing them all! Choose just a few that you think your child would be interested in.
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