After no joke, years of being a toddler lead Montessori guide, you have to find ways to mix up your nomenclature presentations. Or else, you’ll start going a little stir crazy. The kids never get tired of you doing the same things year after year, because they’re only with you for a year and a half. But you most definitely will get tired of doing the same things, year after year… five years later!
There’s only so many times you can say “where is the _____” or “put the ____ here”. So here are three of my favorite nomenclature presentation extensions that I have been using lately to keep it interesting, and mix things up.
1~ knock knock. Flip all of the nomenclature cards over, knock on the back of the photo, and say “knock, knock! (knock on the card). Who/What’s there? It’s… (flip it over and wait five slow seconds to see if they volunteer the label)… a rooster! Chances are high the younger toddler won’t be able to do the back and forth language exchange. But if your assistant has a moment to work with you guys, s/he can help model the back and forth dialogue for an older toddler.
2~ red rover. You can use this with your real and replica objects. Take all the objects, move them to one side of the working rug, and then proceed to “play” miniature red rover as you move the objects from one side of the working rug, to the other. “Red rover red rover, send the rooster right over!”. Demonstrate by slowly-ish moving the object from one side of the working rug to the other. Give the instruction again, and wait and see if the child can locate the target object, and move it over to the other side of the rug.
3~ “daddy finger”… but with the nomenclature cards/objects. “rooster, rooster, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do”. If the child struggles and needs more time, OR if they have mastered most of the labels, you can add a second verse; again, demo’ing for them what your expectation is. “rooster, rooster, what’s going on? Cockadoodledoooo! all day long”. “chicken, chicken, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do. Chicken, chicken, what’s going on? Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, all day long”… etc. Also a great way to challenge their animal sounds, which lends to their pronunciation skills.