Monday, January 3, 2011

Toddler Fun Learning Activities 3

Going Crazy with Ideas

"All praises are for Allah who has blessed us and enabled us to use our talents in teaching our children for His sake. May He help us keep our intention solely for Him Ameen" 

Ok I have to the past few days I have found so many Montessori style teaching blogs that I am amazed at what people do. Mashallah! There is so much to do and the possibilities are endless.  I had ask for permission from some to share their stuff on the blog (their blog requests for it). I am waiting to hear back from some.

Looking at other blogs it's kind of like a reassurance that you can really make teaching materials for your lil ones yourself. It feels wonderful, and having done it, the pleasure and fulfillment you feel is beyond explanation.

News Additions to Lil Muallimah's shelf:

  1. Touch Boards 
  1. Smelling Bottles     
Fine Motor Skills: 
  1. Inserting
  2. Inserting and sliding
  1. 1 to 1 Correspondence
Spatial Sense:
  1. Geometric Shapes Insets
  2. Size relation - big and small


Touch Boards

Differentiating between rough and smooth surfaces is a very common practice in our daily lives. Incorporating the Montessori touch tablets I came up with these.

I bought these small wooden boards from the $ store, and stuck a low grade sand paper on one. Lil Muallimah got to sense rough and smooth by rubbing two fingers on each board.

You can see the video for touch boards at ehow. 

I added a variation to this activity by keeping a different surface objects in a tub next to the tablets. Lil Muallimah feels each object with her hands and decides if they should go under the smooth surface board or the rough surface board. I plan on using different things from time to time. Like shells, rocks, vegetables, fruits, leaves, toys etc.

Later on I will add a blindfold to this activity to throw in some challenge and fun too. Inshallah!


Sense of smell: Smelling bottle

Got to love this one! You could pretty much use any bottles for this, with screw caps or flip tops, where the child can open the bottle and smell the scent. Or like I saw an idea on another blog where, the lady used baby food jars and simply hammered in 5 holes at the top. But I liked the idea of using salt pepper shakers the best.

I bought 3 packs of 2 pairs of salt and pepper shakers for a $1.25 at the $ store. This gave me 6 pairs to work with.

To make the smelling bottles you simply have to make pairs of bottles with the same scent, one in the salt shaker the other in the pepper shaker. This helps in pairing and identifying the pairs. For scent you can use flavor essence or fragrance oils, ittar, pot pouri or dry spices.

I used:

  1.  coffee beans (I picked up a few that were scattered on the shelf in the grocery store under the coffee bean holders). 
  2. Vanilla essence 1/4th teaspoon dropped onto a cotton ball, 
  3. chocolate (1/2 teaspoon of strong cocoa and water mixture),
  4. cinnamon sticks, 
  5. ummi's perfume (wild honeysuckle scent) 
  6. abi's ittar. 
Be careful when putting in the smells not to touch another bottle with hands smelling of the prvious sent especially the ittar

I placed one of each pair in a different colored tub, and we were ready to roll. 

I showed Lil Muallimah how to sniff one bottle from a tub and then put it aside. Then try to find a matching pair  form the other tub. If the one you picked is not a match put it aside, not back in the tub. 
If you think you have  a match sniff both bottles again one by one to make sure.


One by one through elimination Lil Muallimah was able to find the matches. There were some errors, and we went through those again. 
She loved smelling Ummi and  Abi's perfume and ittar. May Allah keep our childrens' eyes shining bright and smiling always Ameen!

Fine Motor Skills & Hand Eye Co ordination


I am always trying to come up with inexpensive activities using things around the house........or things bought but lying around for too long. (Don't we have a lot of those?) :)

I marked holes on 5 sides of the block in different measurements. Like 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 cm apart.

I made this simple yet VERY fun and captivating activity with a piece of styro foam that came in package and some colored feathers.

Then I told Lil Muallimah to insert the feathers on the marks one by one. I was very happy to see that she was pretty accurate showing good hand eye coordination. Alhumdolillah!

Once one side was covered  I flipped it for her to fill in the other side.

The end product....... Ta Daaaaaa!!!!!

  Lil Muallimah had a blast with this activity. And Lil Muallim # 2 couldn't wait to  do it too. Infact he wanted a block of his own. :) 

Here's his.... he inserted the feathers all in one line close to each other in a pretty straight line Mashllah!

Inserting and Sliding

I got this really cool idea from here.... FELT FLOWERS. I pretty much used the idea from the blog. only I did not make the cuts in the middle but at little further below. I cut out different petal shapes and even a few leaves if Lil Muallimah

You can see the holes in the petals clearly in this picture.

Lil Muallimah was feeling cold but wanted to do this activity so here she is doing it on the sofa. :)

After she made all the stems she was very proud and happy with herself and was showing them off saying, "See my flowers!" Heres one of them.


1 to 1 Correspondence

Can't get any simpler than this, and what you use is totally upto what is available in your house. You can use anything from an egg carton, pallet to an ice cube tray for this one.

I took big pom poms and an egg carton. Lil Muallimah has to put 1 pom pom in each section of the egg carton using the three finger grip, teaching 1 to 1 Correspondence. It's a very simple and fun activity. 

Variety and difficulty can be added to it by changing the item to be put and by adding a tong. 

Lil Muallimah really enjoyed using the big tong. She even painted her egg carton red later on.

Another variation can be made by changing the tongs to tweezers and using small pom poms placed in an ice cube tray. 

You may also want to keep the colours limited in accordance to the rows and make the child make rows of a single colour. Lil Muallim # 2 is taking part in all these activities and thoroughly enjoying them.

Some of the items I plan on using are, small pebbles, shells, buttons, Lil Muallimah's 'cryskals' (crystals) or whatever else catches my eye.

Spatial Sense

Understanding Shapes

Geometric Shapes Insets

What I did

I had read somewhere a long time ago about making your own stencils with yogurt tub lids. All you need to be is deft with an exacto knife and voila! DIY stencils.......I did it long time ago for Lil Muallim # 1. Now that I have a glue gun, I finally made our version of Geometric Shapes Insets for four basic shapes. Will add more soon Inshallah.

Here we have a square, rectangle, triangle, and circle.

To cut the circle neatly I used the circle cutter I found at our local $ store. Alhumdolillah! 

Our Geometric Shape Inserts Tub

After cutting out the shapes I stuck a bead in the center of each shape with a hot glue gun. Montessori insets are usually bright in color and show well on a white paper. As I used white lids I outlined the stencil with a black Sharpie marker to make it more obvious.

The Insets are to be used in 2 ways.

  1. run the fingers around the edge of the shapes
  2. draw the shapes with a crayon
A good explanation on using the insets can be found here.

I also have these stencils I bought at the $ store that Lil Muallimah likes using a lot too.

Size Relation - Big and Small

Sifting through things in the drawers I found a couple of same objects that were big and small. These made a new activity for Lil Muallimah. I wrote the words big and small on a piece of paper and laminated it with self laminating sheets.

I then placed these word cards with the different objects in the activity tub. I introduced the words to Lil Muallimah as sight words. Then I asked her to find pairs of same things and line them up under the corresponding word card. She did very well Mashallah with this. Mixed up only once, and really enjoyed this activity. Alhumdolillah

That's all for this post, Will be posting more soon Beidhnillah


Amna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
umm aasiyah said...

asalaamu alaikum,

amazing ideas! from my favourites are the felt flowers and the feathered foam blocks! thank you so much for sharing. may Allah reward you for your time and efforts, ameen!
i'm thinking of colour coding the marks on the foam block for my youngest one and have him coordinate the colours. thanks for inspiring this idea!

keep up the great work! you've benefited me and i'm sure others out there too. barak'Allahu feeki!

Umm Umamah said...

Walaykum assalam ukhti,

wa feeki ameen. Alhumdolillah! I am so glad you liked my posts. The whole purpose of my blog is to share ideas and fun activities for the sake of Allah. I like you color coding idea. It's so exciting to see how mothers can come up with different ideas out of one, adapting it to their own child. I pray that Allah accepts our efforts Ameen.


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