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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Montessori Fetching Games - 3 Ways

There are so many wonderful Montessori materials that can teach children a variety of academic topics. From language to math, to practical life and sensorial work, the Montessori classroom is filled with so many beautiful, scientific, and well thought out materials. But, that doesn't mean that all the learning happens only through those materials. There are a variety of games that children play with materials that help them gain a deeper understanding of the concepts. 


Since most of us won't have a ton of classroom materials at home (and we don't need them!), we can still play similar games that engage preschoolers and help them learn. One type of game that we really enjoy here are fetching games. Fetching games incorporate movement, elements of suspense, control, and academic learning. Basically, in these games you ask your child (or your child asks you) to "fetch" something. You then come back together and explore what you found! Here are three ways we play fetching games in our home.

Numbers

Fetching games with the golden beads are an important step in learning numbers in the children's house. Since we don't have golden beads here, we fetch in much smaller numbers. This has been a favorite of Gus' lately. It's helpful to have a basket or large tray (or your walker wagon) when playing this game.

"Can you bring me 13?" I will wait eagerly until he gathers 13 of something (anything) and he brings them back to me. We count and talk about what he finds together. Once Gus restores (puts away) the items he has found, then it's my turn to go. He will tell me to bring him some number and I will go gather, return and count together. 

As Gus gets more comfortable with numbers I may write the number we are searching for on a scrap of paper instead of saying it aloud. This will keep the game a good challenge level for him!

Letters (Sounds)

This is another popular game with Gus lately. Very similar to numbers, but with letter sounds. "Can you bring me something that starts with /p/?" He'll run around looking for something and then bring me a picture, plant, or pot! Then he will pick a letter and we'll repeat. It's another fun way to get some sound game practice in without always being still or using language objects. When we're being silly and fun, the learning happens even more naturally. 

Shapes

For a younger child you could simply do this same fetching game with 2-D shapes like circle, square, or triangle. "Can you bring me a circle?" They can run around and find one. But for Gus, that would be a bit too easy. He has been working more with geometric solids and so we use the 3-D shapes. It's a great way to help him see the connection between the material and the real world. "Can you bring me a cylinder?" "Ah! You found my water can! That is a cylinder!" 

Fun, free, and educational Montessori games for preschoolers. These movement friendly games are perfect for learning math and language at home.

I'm sure there are other academic topics that can be adapted for fetching games! The key is to keep it casual fun, and full of movement. It's so fun to get creative and active to learn. Take it outside. 

Have you ever tried fetching games with your children? Or other games to expand your Montessori learning?
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