Encouraging Independence: Toothbrush

Toothbrush

Since Cam recently turned a year old we went to the pediatrician for a visit. This resulted in a few shots and a discussion about brushing teeth. Cam has seven teeth right now and the doctor recommended that we try using a tooth brush on her. He did note that it could be quite a battle and, if that was the case, not to worry about it for awhile. I believe his words were, choose your battles. :-) Being the first-time parents that we are, we immediately bought her a toothbrush at Target. I wasn’t thrilled with our options since they all seemed to be designed to market some T.V. or movie character, but beggars can’t be choosers and there weren’t any other options. We ended up with an Eeyore toothbrush.

When we got it home I thought about trying to brush Cam’s teeth myself, but I had a feeling that would be, shall we say, a challenge. The pediatrician had said plaque comes off children’s teeth easily so having her swish the brush around in there would be totally adequate for the time being. That fit perfectly with the Montessori philosophy of “never do for the child, what the child can do for herself”, so I went for it. Now to figure out how to get her to put the brush in her mouth and move it around. Cam is a good mimic and that came quite in handy. We now brush our teeth together each morning. She finds the activity quite funny. Go figure.

Nursery Rhymes Update

Nesting Tray

A quick update on what we’ve been doing: Going along with our theme we did several finger rhymes “Where is Thumbkin?” (which I found to be little long), “Eensey Weensey Spider”, “Two Little Blackbirds” (which I was able to do with our awesome raven puppet), “Whoops! Johnny”, and “The Squirrel”. “Whoops! Johnny” was the favorite just because it’s loud and rather silly. To break the finger plays into more interesting bits I did one a day and plan on repeating them to her next week.

I also put together a fun activity tray (is that what you’d call it?). I had good intentions to pick out some nursery rhymes to go with it, but I did not end up having time. I did, however, leave it on a shelf in her room so she (or I) can choose to easily do it again.

Once a week we go to a German-language play group where we sing songs, count, and talk about animals, numbers and the like. This was a good tie-in with the colors we began learning so I was able to say the color in both English and German (and Arabic). I’m not sure she’ll really pick up the other languages, but it’s good exposure for her ear.

Nesting Cup Mania

Nesting cups have long been a favorite in our house. We have two sets that are designed for babies and while making dinner Monday night I realized I had a great set of measuring bowls that nest inside each other. I collected the three sets, covered my only other cookie sheet with a placemat, and placed the three nesting cup sets on the tray. It was a huge hit. Cam must have spent most of the day playing with the cups and carrying the different sets around. She also got a kick out of knocking over the towers I would make with them. While she has enjoyed mouthing, touching, and banging the cups for months now, but I noticed she has started studying them intently and (correctly) nesting them together.

Year One: The Beginning

My daughter just recently turned a year old and I also finally got around to reading a bit about and discussing the Montessori Method. While I still feel very much in the dark I am hoping to begin working with my daughter in a thoughtful and deliberate way. Which isn’t to say we’ve had an anything-goes attitude before, just that I was inspired by what I have learned so far about Montessori and would like to begin applying some principles and ideas to the activities we do.

My goal for starting this blog is simply to document what we’re doing. I’m a librarian and I am partial to the idea of sharing knowledge and ideas, so to do this in a public forum seems like a good thing. I would hope that there may be inspiration for someone out there, but I am also hoping just to have a record of how my daughter has progressed through her interactions with and explorations of the world.

I thought to ease into this new year of life and new approach to learning I would give a theme a try. Cam is still a bit young to be really overly interested in any one particular thing except walking, the new love her life, so I chose something broad and familiar. I decided on Nursery Rhymes. Nursery rhymes are great because they give the child an ear for all the workings of language. They are also easy for me to remember! Many of them can be sung or chanted and they have good rhythm and rhyme for clapping or banging pots and pans to. I put together a bin of nursery rhyme books that we have quick, easy access to.

Here are some ideas that I will be working in to our weekly activities:

  • teach her finger rhymes. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • nursery rhyme object tray
  • counting rhymes
  • body part rhymes
  • use finger puppets to act out rhymes
  • field trip to Fairytale Town
  • daily read alouds of nursery rhymes

I suppose that’s enough for my very first post. I hope you stay tuned for the rest of the journey!