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August 13, 2018

10 Minutes with Gus at 20 Months -- Montessori Young Toddler Week 36

At 20-months-old, Gus is just a delight! He is funny! He is expressing his will! He has a limited vocabulary (very limited, I need to write more about this!) but he tries to start conversations about things he can say and things he likes. He's just really a beautiful human. 

I've noticed lately that his play is shifting. He is definitely taking a greater interest in his toys and playing with them in new and interesting ways. He is slowing down and spending much more time with them again. So, I figured it was time for another 10 minutes with Gus post! See Gus at 16-months.  

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10 minutes of observation with a 20-month-old Montessori toddler: my thoughts and some play ideas

What He's Doing: Balls are his favorite thing! He trying to place all of his balls down his ball run. Some fit, some don't.

My Thoughts: Gus' sensorial exploration of materials is starting to move beyond texture and taste! He is exploring size without me needing to say anything or prompt him to do so. This is the type of creative play that I think is often missed if people aren't observing. There is not need to set up work for exploring all of these different concepts. 

Another observation, he stayed with this work for a very long time! Almost the entire 10 minutes that I was going to take pictures of him. He was happily and deeply engaged in this self-made discovery and learning opportunity. 

What He's Doing: Placing a ball he tried (that didn't fit) back into the basket where it goes. 

My Thoughts: This was unprompted. His sense of order is very strong right now and he's cleaning up a lot of the work that he is using. Usually not all the way, but it is happening. I was also surprised to see that he could shift his focus to putting away each ball that didn't fit and then going to try another one and back again. 

What He's Doing: Grabbing color mixing work that is meant for Nora and Henry. 

My Thoughts: So cheeky, that last smile! First thought, look how tall he is getting! He barely had to reach. Even compared to just a few months ago, the top of the shelf is starting to become a place where he is really capable of reaching. The transformation is amazing!

Speaking of getting big, he's LIMIT TESTING! He is definitely a toddler! Gus does this from time to time (the testing) and knows that this is not work that is available to him. But, I give him credit for trying. I simply said, "that's Nora's work. Let's find work for you to do!" And, we returned to the shelf together. And he went on his way. 

What He's Doing: Playing with this pegging sorter c/o of Monti Kids. 

My Thoughts: After I had observed so much careful sorting with the balls, I kind of thought that he would start to notice and sort the shapes here. But, he didn't! Gus has always loved pegging work and he seemed to be much more focused on that than anything else. Also, all the love for that toddler squat! I know he won't play like that for long, but I love the days of seeing that intense physical and mental concentration! He also didn't return this work.

What He's Doing: Grabbing Nora's bug boxes from the top of the shelf. Observing the bugs. Then walked over and slid them down his Pikler

My Thoughts: Gus was limit testing here again. He was thinking that I would redirect him, but these are fine for him to explore so I let it go. While they aren't "meant" for him, that doesn't mean that he can't get something from working with them. And, that's the thing about a prepared environment, there shouldn't be too much (if anything) that is off limits for exploration.

So I sat back and watched instead of saying anything. And, while his interest in the bugs was fleeting. He did love to see the boxes slide down the ramp! He did that for a long time, well after the 10 minutes of picture taking was over! Sometimes it pays to say "yes" (even if you're saying that by saying nothing at all.) 

Do you ever watch your toddler at play? What observations have you made lately? 

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