Skip to main content

Labeling Games - Two Ways

Let's talk about writing! I seem to have three kids at very different stages of the writing process. But, today, I want to focus on Nora. At five-years-old, she is all about writing these days. She has made the connection that writing is a form of communication and a fast way to spread your message to a lot of people. And, she is here for it!

I would consider Nora's actual writing to be emergent still. So to support her work in Montessori Children's House, I've made a simple tray for her and we've been playing a couple of fun games to support her new interest in reading and writing. The tray itself just includes some blank strips of paper and a small black color pencil. Then, we've been using this tray to play two different labeling games. 

Game 1 - Read and Find 

In this game, I'm actually the one doing the writing. I find that it's super helpful for her to watch me write. Modeling always goes a long way with children. Plus, she gets to work on her other new skill - reading. 

So, to play. I write a word of something in the environment. (This could also be played with a small selection of language objects at a table.) Then, Nora has to read the label, run around the room and find it as quickly as possible. She then brings it to our work area. It's a great combination of learning and movement and she LOVES it. 

Game 2 - Write and Label

This game is sort of the inverse of game 1. Here she is writing the labels and someone else is placing them around the room. This time the objects stay where they are and the labels are placed with them. In this game, I typically read what she has written. This boosts her confidence and her excitement for writing. 

Then, I either go place the label, or I might give it to Gus to go find the object. This game is also one that Nora can play alone by just creating a labeling objects. Frequently, I'll walk into her room and all the items on her shelf will have a nice label next to it. 

In this game, I'm absolutely not worried about spelling or even if she is forming the letters correctly. These are things that will self-correct over time as she continues to write both with pen and paper, and by using other Montessori materials. 

If you have a new writer, try these games! They are a fun way to make writing practical and engaging.

Have you played any fun writing games?


Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.

One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…