I’ve patiently waited for Taylan’s first words. His peers had begun to verbalise months ago and Taylan had only ever managed ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ and other nonsensical babble. This term at Paint Pots there was a particular focus on achievement and it wonderfully coincided, not with Taylan’s first words, but his first sentence!
As a continuation of last terms classes, the Early Montessori class was perfectly suited for his stage of development. With the class remaining structured and accompanied, it began with free play; activities were set out to encourage investigation byte q K slotting, sorting, placing, pouring, building, sliding and other fiddly tasks which little curious toddler fingers yearn to complete. Aside from the various activities around the room, a table with creative and challenging tasks changed weekly and gave Taylan his first experiences of salt dough, bubble blowing and tea parties. The classes were beautifully themed to match the changing of the seasons, as always, inspiring the children’s imaginations with the magic of nature.
After tidying up, the children sat in a circle and (almost always) waited patiently for a drink and snack before rounding off the classes with music and singing. The break promoted patience and taking turns, something Taylan struggles with more than others it seems. By the end of the term, his patience increased as he knew that soon he would also receive his goodies just as everyone else did. During the fun music time, children are encouraged to take instruments but also encouraged to put them back at the end of the song. Now this was a huge problem for us at the beginning of the term; trying to take a shaker away from a toddler whilst explaining that everybody else was putting them away did not go down well initially. (These are the things that make me panic – my child going bezerk whilst everyone else’s was being ‘good’.) But with a little encouragement and patience, Taylan was wilfully returning instruments on cue!
As Taylan’s physical and mental capabilities grow, Paint Pots sessions evolve to meet his needs while encouraging independence and gently teaching him life skills in a relaxed classroom setting. Any parent knows that games or toys provided at home can be abandoned within minutes. What amazes me is that at Paint Pots, Taylan is consumed by activities for every single minute of the session. Not only that, but there seems to be an innate ability to know what to do. Spurred on by the buzz of his busy class mates and a sheer determination to achieve, Taylan turned to me one day, beaming with self-accomplishment and proudly declared ‘Mummy, Mummy, I did it!’.
Alexia De Angelis – Paint Pots Mum