Best Montessori play ideas

Using Scales and Balance Pails

Yesterday I wrote about one of our action trays with scales (balance bucket) and some coloured glass beads, shells and wood pieces. Below are some other Montessori and Inquiry-Based learning ideas that I love. These actions are also extremely simple to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you can use kitchen scales, and we just use materials we already have at home! So a number of these examples use natural materials but I also enjoy the concept of utilizing standard size blocks (#8) where the blocks are of equivalent weight. I adore the sensory table for younger kids (#6). I believe I shall attempt a set up like #3 next, where the child has many different substances to weigh and record – it seems fantastic for some added mathematics and literacy skills!
1. Balance bucket with loose parts at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Playground with An idea on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Fall Inspired Weighing Task with Balance Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Mathematics Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Equilibrium Scales in the Sensory Table at An Everyday Story.
7. Equilibrium scales at How we Montessori.
8. Exploring Measurement Through Play – Mass at Suzie’s Home Education Thoughts.

Geometry Love- Montessori Stuff for Geometric Structure Work

You may have estimated following yesterday’s post, that we have been doing a lot of geometric contour work around here! and I’m often asked about them. So I Have compiled a quick list of another geometric contour construction sticks and pieces that might be useful for a Montessori home or classroom!
1. Learning Advantage Linking GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Construction Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you are able to see Otis using the Geo Strips in this post).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Shapes Creative Fun Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in different sizes too!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Stuff (Australia here) (I adore this picture from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a simple description).

Geoboard – Three Ways

Otis has been home from school for the last three days, so we’ve pulled out a few new tasks! Above is a standard geoboard together with the extra turn of utilizing grid paper. The kid draws contours on the paper then makes the shapes on the geoboard. When utilizing the geoboard Otis generally makes random shapes and occasionally creates a picture or minor scene. Above he’s using a transparent geoboard on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard – inspired through this place at Fairy Dust Teaching. I love how it is a bit rustic and gets the child think only a little differently about making the shapes. It seems a little more colorful too!

Alphabet Mystery Tote

Have you got an Alphabet Puzzle or Moveable Alphabet at home? If so, this is a really enjoyable action that reinforces knowledge on the contours and type of letters. I wouldn’t do this in a way to teach children their letters or to analyze them but to reinforce their knowledge. I would contain letters they’re confident with alongside letters they may be fighting with. Select the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and place these in the Mystery Tote without the child seeing. Encourage the child over to sit down at a work mat or table. Invite the child to put one or both hands inside the bag and one at a time, without peeking, identify which letter they may be holding.
The notion is the fact that through touch the kid forms a graphic of the letter in their own thoughts. If they are able to recall the sound of the letter it can help increase their link between the sound as well as the shape and form of the letter. As an extension, in case you have contained vowels and consonants you may also encourage the little one to make some words with the letters they have identified.
Above Otis puts his hand in the Puzzle Tote and feels for a letter. He’s identified this as a ‘w’. The Mystery Tote is just one of our favourite stuff which we have used many times through the years. Otis used his first Mystery Bag as a toddler with a few family things in it. It really heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is a simple silk lined, drawstring bag. I usually be sure it remains to around five items in the tote. These posts reveal a number of the ways in which we’ve used the Mystery Bag (or Mystery Box). With all activities at home, I attempt to be sure it stays engaging and lighthearted. Should you give this a go I hope you appreciate!

Home daycares

Playdough – Four Ways

Otis is five and loves playdough now more than ever. I’ve written sometimes about how we use playdough, always with different items and in different colours, textures and aromas. Adding essential oils to playdough is a must. Here are four means we’re now reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This really is a wonderful early literacy activity, remembering it is best to start with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. I didn’t realise how much fun this would be. We have lots of stamps at home so there is always lots for the sons to pick from. Above are some hand carved stamps I picked up at a market, they are actually in-depth. I’ve likewise wiped down our Melissa and Doug postages and these work extremely well with the playdough too!
3. Gumnuts and Sticks. I love combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones can also lead to creative play with playdough.
4. Galaxy Dough!! I’ve wanted to do this for the longest time. I first read about Galaxy Dough at Fairy Dust Teaching. It’s only black playdough with a lot of glitter mixed through. Otis was amazed! It’s enjoyable to play with as it is so different to all of our other playdough. They often have lots of different colors of food colouring which might make a pleasant change from the regular colours you see in playdough. We could make a set of playdough all in precisely the same colour but in different colors – lovely! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Joyful Hands Joyful Heart. I hope you’ve enjoyed this small peek into our playdough play!

Montessori Sea Shell Activities You Will Love!

My kids adore activities that include natural materials. Where there’s something for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there is something that is interesting, with fascinating minor details. Now I’m featuring some Montessori Shell Activities that I know you’ll love.
The Shell Poster (left in top image) is from Montessori Stuff and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everybody.
Cleaning a substantial shell – This really is an excellent notion, nearly all of our shells are unclean and could do with an excellent scrub! Matching shells to cards – Another example of matching shells to cards can be discovered at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. I consider they are using the wonderful shell set and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards hold the name of the shell which introduces the language part and allows the parent or caregiver to provide the little one together with the proper terminology. This is from one of my favorite nature tables (which contained lots of shells) where Otis is making depressions with the shells into sand. I remember one of Caspar’s favourite activities when he first started in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year-old) was a tray with all different forms of shells along with a simple magnifying glass. There is some thing particular about sea shells!

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