Saturday, June 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Ocean Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

An ocean unit is perfect for summer, although it's great at any time. Today, I have a new ocean unit along with a free ocean pack (subscriber freebie at LivingMontessoriNow.com)!



You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Ocean-Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Ocean-Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired ocean numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On the top shelf, I have Steve Jenkins' Down Down Down (an amazing book and one of Zoey's very favorite books), The Big Book of the Blue (lovely!), and Ocean: a Photicular Book (see below). On the right side of the shelf (book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have National Geographic Kids Ultimate Oceanpedia (gorgeous photos and a fabulous reference book!). 

You could mix your ocean-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special ocean-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

Ocean Sensory Bottle with Ocean: A Photicular Book

Ocean Animal Sensory Bottle with Ocean: A Photicular BookOcean: A Photicular Book was a New York Times bestseller. It's a super-fun book for multiple ages to look at with images that use Photicular technology to make each image like a 3-D movie on the page. It also tells about each ocean animal, including vital statistics such as size, habitat, range, diet, life span in the wild, and threats. 

The sensory bottle is my old baby beluga ocean sensory bottle with a new Voss 11.2 oz. bottle and with Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis Sea Life Pack.

Montessori Movable Alphabet with Long-Spine Porcupinefish Movable Alphabet Cards and  Ocean Words Pictures and Booklet

Ocean-Themed Movable Alphabet Spelling Work

Free Printable: Ocean Word Cards from PreKinders. I printed the printable out twice ... once to make an ocean animals booklet and once for pictures to use with the movable alphabet. 

Free Printable: Long-spine Porcupinefish Movable Alphabet (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

We use the small Montessori movable alphabet. I have the movable alphabet from Alison’s Montessori, which I love. You can also get a movable alphabet from Amazon or make your own. You can just use the movable alphabet printable.

For Zoey's work, I cut out pictures from the printable that would work for the Montessori pink, blue, and green series. Then she call spell the words with the movable alphabets and check her work with the appropriate page in the booklet. 

/o/ for Octopus Sandpaper Letter and Font Card with Schleich Octopus and An Octopus Is Amazing Book

/o/ for Octopus Materials

Free Printables: Octopus Letters for letter o font cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I used the "o" Sandpaper Letter and octopus font card with Schleich Octopus and An Octopus Is Amazing Book.

Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards with Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

The Ocean Alphabet Book with Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards and Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

Free Printable: Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards from Memorizing the Moments 

I am in love with this Montessori cards display box! It recently became available on Amazon in the U.S. I love it for displaying 3-part cards or 4-part cards. It's so attractive and doesn't take up much space. I used the Safari Ltd. Ocean TOOB for this work and placed everything on a Multicraft tray.


Demonstrating Matching Ocean Animal Pictures and Objects

My daughter, Christina, and her son, Caleb worked with the materials at a toddler level. First, Christina named the animals and matched them to the cards. 

Identifying the Dolphin in Ocean Animal Picture and Object Matching

Then Caleb had his turn with identifying each of the animals. Here, Christina asked Caleb to point to the dolphin. This is a great introduction to vocabulary and matching for toddlers! You can read more about teaching vocabulary to toddlers using the 3-period lesson here.

(Note: With toddlers, I keep the Safari Ltd. animals out of reach because they're a choking hazard. We only use them when an adult is working directly with the toddler.)

Ocean Animal 3-Part Cards with Safari Ltd Ocean TOOB Animals

For Zoey's level, I'd have her read the words and match them to the picture cards, check them with the control card, and match the Safari Ltd. animal figure.

Toddlers and young preschoolers can just use the picture cards for matching to the animal figures. A pre-reader could have the control card placed first and then match the picture and word to the control card.

Adding Three Numbers and Making an Ocean Bracelet or Necklace with Ocean Charms

Ocean Charm Addition Using World Map Number Cards, Ocean Charms, and Chenille StemsFree Printable: World Map Number Cards 1-15 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

I found these adorable ocean charms to use. There are six of each. I just chose the 10 best ones (leaving out the mermaids, for example).

I used a number dice (either dots or numerals is fine) along with the number cards 1-15 (in case the child rolls 4+5+6). You could have enough for doubles, although I have this activity set up so the child has to roll again until there are three different numbers. Younger children can just add two numbers or roll the dice to choose one number.

Sisters Enjoying Their Side-by-Side Work - Ocean Charm Addition and Necklace Making and Toddler Chenille Stem and Strainer Work 
Zoey and Sophia enjoyed working side by side. Zoey added three numbers and strung the corresponding numbers of ocean animals on the chenille stem to make a necklace. Sophia worked on placing chenille stems in the holes of a strainer, a great activity for toddlers.

Sisters Working Side by Side - Ocean Charm Addition and Necklace Making with Toddler Chenille Stem Bending and Sensory Activity 

Here, Zoey has completed her equation and is finishing her necklace. Sophia has moved on to bending the chenille stems and enjoying the sensory experience.

Ocean 3-Part Cards and Placing Ocean Labels on Continents Globe

Ocean 3-Part Cards with Continents Globe

Free Printable: Ocean 3-Part Cards and Control Chart from Imagine Our Life

I printed out an extra set of labels to attach to the Montessori continents globe. (You could use any globe.)

Ocean 3-Part Cards with Ocean Labels on Continents Globe

This activity is a great way to reinforce the names and locations of each ocean. Using painter's tape or removable double-sided tape, you can have the child place the second set of ocean labels on the globe.

More Ocean Resources

For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with Free Ocean Printables and Montessori-Inspired Ocean Activities

 If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.


Happy summer!

Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 44 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Travel Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Family travel is such a fun summer activity that we're having a whole month of travel activities! I'm sharing both travel activities and free travel printables, including my new Montessori-inspired travel pack (subscriber freebie at LivingMontessoriNow.com)! 



You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Travel Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Travel-Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired travel numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On the top shelf, I have Transportation Long Ago and Today and Cars, Trains, Ships & Planes. My son-in-law was having lots of fun with the Cars, Trains, Ships & Planes book! It's an amazing DK book designed for ages 8 on up. My 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves to look through big books like that, so it's part of our unit!

On the right side of the shelf ( book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Big Book of Things That Go. Zoey and I absolutely love this book series for a variety of themes! On the middle shelf, you'll see the Time for Kids book Take Off! All About Airplanes. I have a number of other travel books in book baskets. Watch for my upcoming post about transportation and travel books for kids!

You could mix your travel themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special travel-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

License Plate Game Road Trip Game

Transportation Books with License Plate Game Tray

Free Printable: License Plate Road Trip Game from iMom

Free Printable: U.S. Map from Wikimedia

For the license plate road trip game, I printed out 2 copies of the license plates and an 8½x11" copy of the map. I cut apart all the license plates from one copy of the printable. I kept the second page of license plates together. I placed everything on a Multicraft tray along with a miniature vehicle.

This activity was one of Zoey's very favorite educational activities!


Having Fun with the License Plate Game





We pretended we were traveling the U.S. in the Micro Machine RV. We have Micro Machines from when my kids were little. Unfortunately, they're hard to find now and are often very expensive. You could also use the car from the Safari Ltd. On the Road TOOB. Any vehicle will be way too big for the map, but Micro Machines and Safari Ltd. vehicles work better than most.

You could use a blindfold, but I just had Zoey close her eyes and draw a license plate from the bowl. She loved discovering which state's license plate she drew! Then she would place the license plate on the page of license plates and drive the RV to that state on the map.

We didn't make it to all 50 states before it was time for Zoey to go home, but we traveled to many of them!

Letter J Sandpaper Letter with J for Jet Font Card and a_e Plane Phonogram Activity

Free Printables: Jet Letters for letter j font cards and a_e plane phonogram cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
Free Printable: a_e sound with pictures and letters from MontessoriSoul
I set this up to show how you could use beginning sound printables for a younger child along with the phonogram work for an older child. For a younger child, you could feature a sandpaper letter to go with the unit.
I'll be adding the "ai" for train phonogram card and "sh" for ship phonogram card in a week or so. Zoey reads words and books with the phonograms already, but I still like to include the appropriate ones in our unit studies to help with spelling.
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.
Letter J Sandpaper Letter with J for Jet Font Card and a_e Plane Phonogram Activity

Free Printables: Jet Letters for letter j font cards and a_e plane phonogram cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

Free Printable: a_e sound with pictures and letters from MontessoriSoul

I set this up to show how you could use beginning sound printables for a younger child along with the phonogram work for an older child. For a younger child, you could feature a sandpaper letter to go with the unit.

I'll be adding the "ai" for train phonogram card and "sh" for ship phonogram card in a week or so. Zoey reads words and books with the phonograms already, but I still like to include the appropriate ones in our unit studies to help with spelling.

If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.

Transportation Pattern Block Activities

Transportation Pattern Block Activities

Free Printable: Transportation Pattern Block Mats from PreKinders

This was super easy to prepare. I just printed out the transportation printables (except for the rocket ship) and placed them on a Multicraft tray with a  Montessori Services basket of pattern blocks. I was given the Spielgaben set, so I used the Spielgaben wooden parquetry tablets from set 7. They fit perfectly, although you need to use the black and white printables because there isn't a trapezoid or yellow hexagon in the Spielgaben set.

I just placed the Spielgaben rhombus and equilateral triangle shapes in the basket because the transportation printables could all be completed using those (for example using a rhombus and equilateral triangle to make a trapezoid). Used in that way it's a bit like the Montessori constructive triangles!

Sand Writing Tray with Transportation Number Rhyme Mats


Sand Writing Tray with Transportation Number Rhyme Mats

Free Printable: Print and Drive Number Rhyme Mats from Preschool Mom

This printable is a high-interest printable and can be used with mini vehicles to "drive" the number. I decided to use the printables printed at 50% with the sand writing tray, though. Used this way, the child uses fingers to trace the number path on the card and then writes the number in the sand.

For the tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though.

Land, Air, and Water Transportation Addition with Miniature Vehicles and Bead Bars
Land, Air, and Water Transportation Addition with Miniature Vehicles and Bead BarsFree Printable: Land, Air, and Water Transportation Number Cards 1-19 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

Free Printable: 1-10 Spinner (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

This activity uses a piece of felt for a table mat (I used the Montessori Services felt table mat) and bead bars from the decanomial box in a Multicraft tray and a Bambu condiment cup (what I used here) or  Montessori Services basket. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison’s Montessori. You can get bead bars on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used materials from those companies.) I used vehicles from the Safari Ltd. On the Road TOOBIn the Sky TOOB, and In the Water TOOB.



Having Fun with the Transportation Addition Figures


This was another activity Zoey enjoyed! She used the spinner to choose the numbers, counted out the vehicles, found the matching number cards, and then placed the correct bead bars at the end. Zoey already knows her addition facts, but this was just a fun extension using the Safari Ltd. vehicles. She enjoyed playing with the vehicles afterward!

For a younger child, you could use the number cards for DIY cards and counters or another type of counting activity.

Travel Dictation or Writing Tray

 

Free Printables: Travel Writing or Dictation Pages (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I used a multicraft tray, the printables, a pencil, colored pencils in the Montessori colors for the continents, and a pencil sharpener for an added practical life activity. Advanced preschoolers on up can write their own story, while younger preschoolers can dictate their answers for you.

Blank World Map with Montessori Continent Map in the Corner

This is included in our subscriber freebie pack, but you won't see it on our shelves. I added this so that you can prepare an activity bag for travel. You'll see an example in my fun and learning with Montessori-inspired world travel activities and games post. You could also use it for another shelf activity if you prefer.

Subscriber Freebie

Montessori-Inspired Travel Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber)

More Transportation/Travel Resources

Fun and Learning with Montessori-Inspired World Travel Activities and Games

Fun and Learning with Montessori-Inspired World Travel Activities and Games
For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with free travel printables

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.


Happy trails! 

Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 43 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Cleaning and Tidying Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Whether you're a fan of KonMari, minimalism, or just having a clean and tidy environment, I have resources for you today! I'm sharing both cleaning and tidying activities and free cleaning and tidying printables, including my new Montessori-inspired cleaning and tidying pack (subscriber freebie at LivingMontessoriNow.com)! 




You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

 At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Cleaning and Tidying Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Cleaning and Tidying Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired cleaning and tidying numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On my top shelf, I have Grace and Courtesy: A Picture Guide for Children and Adults open to the page that says, "I put my work away and make it beautiful for the next person." On the right side of the shelf, I have This Is How We Do It (a wonderful book about children from around the world) open to the 2-page spread on "This is how I help" (book on a wooden cookbook holder). I've added the Montessori continents globe to go with the book on the right. 

On the middle shelf, I have Dust Everywhere, and on the bottom shelf, I have Henry Helps With Laundry. (The author, Beth Bracken, has written a number of Henry Helps books.) These books are all Montessori friendly. 

I have a book basket beside the shelf with Montessori-friendly non-fiction books and some fun fiction books that aren't Montessori-style books. 

You could mix your cleaning and tidying themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special cleaning and tidying-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. 

If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

English and Spanish Chore Cards

English and Spanish Chore Card Layout

Free Printables: English and Spanish Chore Cards from Spanish Mama 

These are really versatile. There are also activity cards included, but I just used the cleaning chore cards in both English and Spanish. I'd have the child match them to learn the Spanish words. The child could also choose a chore to do for the day.

B is for Broom and D is for Dustpan Sand Writing Tray

B is for Broom and D is for Dustpan Sand Writing Tray 
Free Printables: Broom letters for letter b writing tray and dustpan letters for letter d writing tray  (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For the tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. This is made extra fun by using the miniature broom from the Montessori Services language objects to write the letters in the sand. 

If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.

ER Phonogram Cards and OO Phonogram Cards

Dust Everywhere Book with Mop and Bucket Movable Alphabet Cards and Duster er Phonogram Card 
These are the materials you can see on the right side of my middle shelf. I’ll  add the “oo" broom phonogram work to the shelf in a week or so. We've had activities with these phonograms before, so I didn't use the booklets from MontessoriSoul. Check my previous posts to see how I use the booklets.

Montessori-Style Sweeping Paper Scraps Number or Addition Game

Montessori-Style Sweeping Paper Scraps Number or Addition GameFree Printable: Dustpan and Brush Numbers 1-19 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber

Free Printable: 1-10 Spinner (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)

I used the dustpan and brush from our Melissa & Doug Housekeeping Set, the printables, and 19 red scraps of paper crumpled up. I placed everything on a Multicraft Tray.

Young preschoolers could just spin the spinner, count out the correct number of scraps from 1-10 and drop them on the tray to sweep up.

My 5-year-old granddaughter,  Zoey, loved this game and asked to do it a number of times. Zoey's already learning her addition facts, so we used it to reinforce those.

Sweeping Paper Scraps into Rectangle for Sweeping Addition Game

Zoey would spin the spinner, drop that number of scraps on the tray, spin again to find the next number for the equation, and sweep all scraps into the rectangle made with electrical tape.

Sweeping Paper Scraps into Dustpan for Sweeping Addition Game

Then she would sweep the scraps into the dustpan before pouring them from the dustpan into the small bowl. 

Putting Everything Away After Completing Each Equation

I loved watching the way Zoey put everything away each time before starting the next equation! 

Henry Helps with Laundry Book with KonMari-style Pants and Jeans Folding Activity

Henry Helps with Laundry Book with KonMari-style Pants and Jeans Folding Activity 
Free Printable: How to Fold Clothes Like Marie Kondo from ModernCastle 

This was a fun activity to put together! I simply used my printer set at "Fit to Page" to make the printable larger. Than I used only the pants and jeans part of the printable, since pants are one of the easier items to fold using the KonMari Method. I used children's leggings and jeans to fit in a basket I had.

Free Cleaning and Tidying Printables

Montessori-Inspired Cleaning and Tidying Pack
  
Montessori-Inspired Cleaning and Tidying Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber)

For more free printables for this unit, go to my post at Living Montessori Now with free cleaning and tidying printables

More Cleaning and Tidying Resources


If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12.

Happy cleaning and tidying!

Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 43 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and grandkids live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.


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