So completely overwhelmed with just way too much lately, I decided to not even purposefully make Montessori presentation plans with my 3yo niece. Instead, I thought about focusing more on our relationship--finding ways during the day to connect with her more, make no mention of her not speaking (and no mention of her speaking when she does), just moving forward. Some progress was really made today!
I brought the little one (18mo) downstairs into the family room and was doing something on the floor and noticed the 3yo on the other side of me, kind of looking. We were right next to the easel whiteboard, so I took a marker and said, "What should we write?" Then I asked her if we should do letters--I know she likes to write the first letter of her name, even though she does it backwards. She said yes, and I told her I would have to find my letters for her to work with sometime. (I should add here that I actually finally presented the rough and smooth boards to her; need to do some more work with blindfolded matching tablets and the like--and I need to find my sandpaper letters--but she will be ready soon enough and has already started trying to write letters, so I need to get a move on with it.) She nodded yes, with a smile on her face. I think she remembers her sister doing them and her "attempt" at doing them.
We ended up drawing other things--while we chatted back and forth--and she ends up telling me she wants me to draw a horse. The first one I drew was horrendous. She laughed when I asked her if it looked like a horse and replied, "No!" We chatted for a good while, she and I, while drawing and writing things on the whiteboard. It was very nice. :)