Five DIY Fine Motor activities for toddlers(12-18 months)

Challenging yet interesting is the term I have given to the fine motor activities for toddlers.N enjoys doing the fine motor activities its his favourite after the practical life.The look on his face says it all he makes a pout or O while concentrating and claps for himself while he does the task successfully.

Here are few activities that we have tried and enjoyed doing , I try to do things on budget and share my ideas over my blog.I have tried the same activity with different difficulty level.


Slot boxes activities

These are the easiest to make and pretty interesting activities for the toddlers.

1.Coin Slot-Check how I have made it here

Montessori Toy Series-Coin Slot Box

2.Hungry Caterpillar- This is a language and fine motor activity.While putting the feeder on to the caterpillar’s mouth I tell him what he is feeding to his very hungry caterpillar.

3.Straws- Take the biggest box of Pringles and make few holes on the cap.let your baby try to put the straw in the box through the holes.

4.Popsicles sticks-Take the medium-sized Pringles box and make a cut to accommodate the popsicle.Take colourful popsicles to make the activity more interesting for the little ones.

5.Q-Tips- Take the smallest box of Pringles make few holes and let the baby put the q-tips through the hole.We had to drop this activity as N started taking the Q-tips into his mouth and even after repeated stern No’s he compulsively was putting those into his mouth.If your baby doesn’t put things into his/her mouth then this is a fun activity to try.

Hope these activities will help you make fine motors trays for few days.the struggle is real when you have to keep on changing the activity almost every other day.The interest span of little explorers fades away quickly.Hope this post help you and if it does don’t forget to share your views in the comment I would love to hear from you.

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Act of Kindness- A lesson learnt for life

I usually don’t write about off incidents or about my life in general but there are few incidents which makes you wonder how you are as a person and being brought up in a different country different culture makes you different from others.So it has been a while in Oman and I am loving this country especially its people.Its the people who make the country beautiful right? I won’t lie if I say I came with a pre conceived notion about this country, yes my feminist soul still doesn’t agrees to few things I hear and see but when I see a country where people smile at each other without even knowing each other.When my stern unfriendly look also doesn’t dissuade them to pass a smile to me, I wonder why do I walk with that expression that smiling seems like a heavy task to me why it doesn’t come  naturally to me.It has something to do with my Delhi upbringing  where smiling and being polite is taken as weakness or you end up being bullied or snubbed upon,but can’t blame any city or person either the fault is in me.

Coming back to the small  incident which has left a deep impact on me and shown me the path  how I want my son’s upbringing to be.

It was January and we headed to the much talked Muscat festival at Naseem Garden to see what it was all about. The festival provided a glimpse of Omani culture other than few fun stuff like rides and shows.It was going to be Little N’s first Fun ride day as well.Oh yes he is 16 months old and was 15 months when he took his first fun ride, as me and my husband both decided on staying away from malls fun zone till the time we can make him understand and can use that as a fun trip rather than a guilt trip because of tantrums or meltdowns.

There were few rides that we thought were safe enough for N to enjoy, he enjoyed his fun ride pretty daringly and we were surprised to see him enjoy without crying or fear.He waved towards us  and the smile was constant on his face. Well it did take us on a guilt trip to deprive him this fun every other day like kids of his age.but moderation is the key and we are going to stick to it.It was the last ride and N was too excited  and was already struggling to sit on the train which had few big bumpers to be crossed.The trains railings were low and the seat belt was also loose.N was sitting with his smile but we were worried as he might just stand during the ride and fall.There was this gentlemen whose two kids were sitting in the front seat of the four sitter coach of the train. Without a single request and without even the knowledge of N’s age he immediately asked his older son  to sit with N as he seems young and might fall.The kid seemed to be around four years old ,he without any resistance or argument came and sat with N and held his hand to the railing and asked him to hold tight with an assuring smile.The younger one didn’t complain either he waved to N.The best part is the man did not even expect a thank you from us as he was busy telling the man operating the train to be watch full as a baby  is there pointing towards N.When I went and said Sukhran (Thank you in arabic) he smiled and nodded his head.

Honestly first it would never cross my mind to see if other’s kids are harnessed properly and even if they aren’t I would warn the parents rather than making an effort to convince my child and even if I do what that person did I would expect the parents to be grateful and say thanks.I am not saying that expecting a thank you is bad but somehow that incidence gave me a feeling the doing without expectation of thank you is much better.That person has passed on the sense of responsibility to his children without much of an effort just by doing these simple acts of kindness .

Being a parent does change you in many ways I would have never thought about such incidents so deeply and would have never appreciated the act of kindness so much as I do.I really want to thank that person as he taught me how to teach my son the act of kindness.

NATURE PUZZLE FOR TODDLER

A simple DIY puzzle board for toddlers, I use this to keep my baby busy while travelling he loves the velcro and the sound.Here’s how I have made it

Take Two print of the puzzle below

Click the link to print

nature-puzzle-for-toddlers

I don’t have a colour printer so I have taken  black and white print , but if you have a colour printer then it would be easier.

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Take a cardboard and paste it on the both sides and keep the second copy aside.

Take the second print and draw using the second print as stencil over foam to make the shapes of different animal and figures in the print.If you have a colour print out then simply cut the print in shape and paste it on a cardboard.

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Take velcro and paste one strip on the board and one on the figure that has been cut out.And the puzzle is ready.

 

Stay at Home Versus Working Mother

Its been a while I have been wondering how life changes after the baby arrives.From being a competitive career women I have become a mother who wakes up thinking what to feed the baby and what to put in his montessori trays.I have worn both the shoes of a working mother and a stay at home mother and know both the sides.I would not lie if I say I used to look down upon stay at home mothers before becoming a mother and tagged them lazy for many things may be.That is something you feel when you are not in the same boat and you think how you could have done things better.And the feeling is mutual for a stay at home mother who thinks how a working mother gets her things done by care takers and just have to spend few hours with the child.

I have been on both the sides as I mentioned and both the sides are equally difficult.A child behaves completely different in both the cases.And needless to mention the challenges remain slightly different yet equally difficult.

Life as working mother

While I went to office and my child was taken care ,No matter how much I consoled myself the feeling of leaving him and spending the time meant for him at office always haunted me.I thought I will get over it eventually but something or the other would happen which would make me feel the same over and over again.For instance when I  almost adjusted and he was adjusted with staying with my mother while I was away ,My mother had to go back home for some work and he took time adjusting with my sister, when he adjusted with my sister he caught viral.Instances were many but I kept myself strong. At that time he started with solids and never gave the respective care taker hard time.He would eat what was offered in a good portion.My home coming in the evening used to be a grand affair with him waiting for me.It was so surprising for me that even at 8 months he exactly knew my timing and would grow impatient if I was late.But once I was home he would refuse to go to anyone except me.And till the time he slept it was like we were one.When I look back now I wonder how I managed it was so difficult managing both office and a baby.I had no time for myself or for anyone for that matter.

Life as stay at home mother

For the record I have never stayed at home ever and staying with a baby was the last thing I could have imagined.But destiny has its own plot.So here I am staying with my baby at home with a brain which constantly works for him and a heart which endlessly melts for him.Is my life easier? My answer is pretty simple if you are asked to leave a job for say I was/ am(I am currently on a sabattical)  a banker, its like I left my job as a banker to become a Teacher, Artist,pshycologist,interpreter,Sweeper,cook,maid,care taker, doctor and the list is endless.Its not easy to be a SAHM,it involves a lot of stress, your child’s behaviour completely changes when you stay at home.Suddenly my child has become a picky eater and the frequency of breast-feeding has increased many folds.Although I get time for myself but it is only when he sleeps.

Talking about the guilt factor I have let it go I don’t bother if people think my baby is lagging behind even when his mother is giving him so much of time.This is the main reason for SAHM’s to stress and feel guilty.I give a damn to what people think.I am staying at home for him not to prove how smart he is to people or how me staying at home is doing good to him.

A Mother is a Mother

Stay at home or working really doesn’t make much of a difference a mother is a mother no matter what she decides to be.It is always for the best of the child if she sacrifices her career or her time while she works.

P.s- If you have been wondering what my husband was doing all the while, he was away for an assignment and was fighting another battle within for not being present while I juggled.He has been a constant support without whom I might have lost my sanity.

 

Practical Life-How we Do it

As you all know I have started on montessori when N turned One and practical life activities were something which drifted me towards Montessori.It was his interest towards practical life activities that led  us knowing and loving montessori. And we loved it so much that our day starts with it and continues till our bedtime.


Practical life activities are something I never have to think much or innovate.It simply comes naturally.

N is not a morning person and gets up late,I let him as it gives me some extra time to do stuff which I can’t do when he is awake.Once he wakes up it takes him a while to be cheerful and be his self.So I let him hang on me like  monkey for a while and then its time for our routine which we have included in our practical life activities.

Brushing

I never knew making someone brush teeth is a task.When N was younger he would simply show his mouth and he loved the wash cloth time ,I never thought he will give me a hard time brushing his teeth.But now the story is different.I have a HARD time making him open his mouth.After trying several tricks finally we have bargained to me brushing his teeth like a stroke here and there and then he gets the brush while he sits on his high chair and I comb his hair.

  • To make him learn how to brush me and my husband brush in front of him in the night.

 

Dusting the house

Once the fight over combing and brushing is over we start our daily routine of cleaning the house.I take my dusting cloth and N takes his and after a while he thinks that mine is better and switches his with mine.He knowns how to clean the TV stand and sofa as it is in his reach.

  • I do this everyday so that he realises the importance of a clean environment and how to keep it clean by himself.


 

 

Sweeping and Mopping

After dusting we sweep and mop the floor and this is our favourite activity.N just loves to sweep in the opposite direction of mine.Montessori can test your patience at times.There have been time when I would be running late and thought of making him sit on his high chair while I do cleaning.Or leave the cleaning all together but the way he tries to sweep and mop melts my heart.And when we run late his father cooks for us after his office that is an added bonus of cleaning the house together.

  • We have a help who comes for cleaning but still I like to do it on my own once daily.If you plan to montessori then inculcating the habit of doing it by yourself is very important.

In the above pic N is trying to ape me as I dip the mop in the bucket. He is not allowed to dip in the bucket filled with water so he is doing it with dustbin. 

Cooking

Washing the vegetables is something I involve N into daily.He doesn’t completly know how to wash but he loves playing with water.I make him sit near the sink in a basket and hand him over a bowl of water with some vegetables.He tries to copy me but ends up playing and throwing the vegetables.

  • Learning the importance of washing before consuming.


No need to mention that we change into dry clothes after this activity.

While I do the real cooking N either gets busy with his own kitchen or else he loves to bang the utensils in the kitchen and show his culinary skills in a role play.

All these activities almost take the half of our day before he takes bath and goes off to take his afternoon nap.

Through Montessori I just don’t want him to learn but be a better human. This world is going to teach him a lot and as a parent I want him to see the positive in everything .