Friday, November 15, 2019

Montessori-Inspired Woodland Animal Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Woodland animals make a great unit in the fall or winter. I have lots of free woodland animal printables and activities today, including a Montessori-inspired woodland animal 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 Woodland Animal Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Woodland Animal Themed Activities

You’ll find Montessori-inspired woodland animal 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, Whose Tracks Are These? A Clue Book of Familiar Forest Animals for some animal track inspiration and Animals in the Forest (Where Animals Live) for basic information about forest animals. 

On the right side of the shelf ( book on a wooden cookbook holder), I have DK Smithsonian Picturepedia (beautiful photos and a fabulous reference book I use for many, many units!). 

You could mix your woodland animal themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special woodland animal themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves at the beginning of our unit have a mixture of skill levels mainly from preschooler through early elementary. 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.

Whose Tracks Are These? Book with Woodland Animal Track Stones and Animal 3-Part Cards

Whose Tracks Are These Book with Woodland Animal Track Stones and Animal 3-Part Cards 
Free Printable: Winter Adaptation 3-Part Cards from The Silvan Reverie 

There are 8 double-sided stones in the Let's Investigate Woodland Footprints set. To start our unit, I just put out 6 of the stones along with the matching 3-part cards. 

I display them simply on a Multicraft tray with the added Montessori cards display box (which I love and typically use for all my 3-part cards now).
 Woodland Footprints Double-Sided Stones with Woodland Animal 3-Part Cards

Later on, we'll be using homemade playdough (this recipe minus any food coloring) to make footprints with the stones. I also plan to use the free animal tracks memory game printable to make an animal tracks memory game with wooden circles.

Forest Words Booklet


Picturepedia Forest Pages with Forest Words Booklet 
Free Printable: Forest Words Booklet (Forest Picture-Word Cards) from PreKinders

This is next to the open Picturepedia book on the top shelf. It’s so easy to prepare! Just print and cut it out. The printable even has places to punch holes to make a booklet using a binder ring.

Salt Writing Tray with Fox f and x Font Cards and Safari Ltd. Fox Figures

Salt Writing Tray with Fox f and x Font Cards and Safari Ltd Fox FiguresFree Printables: Fox letters f and x for salt 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)

You'll see a variety of simple letter writing trays in my previous unit study posts. I often used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though.

I recently purchased this lovely spelling/alphabet tray from FamilyTreeWW on Etsy. Zoey recently turned 6 and is focusing on spelling a lot. She needs more room for writing longer words. We're also working on cursive. 

So I'm showing an example of how you can use the font cards (I included both f for the beginning sound of fox and x for the final sound of fox). for letters or words. To add interest, I included Safari Ltd. red fox and Arctic fox figures.

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.

Matching Manuscript and Cursive Hedgehog Letters with Cursive Movable Alphabet

Basket with Hedgehog Manuscript and Cursive Alphabet CardsFree Printable: Hedgehog movable alphabet cards in manuscript and cursive (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) 

Zoey really enjoys this activity. I've used it with a cursive tracing board. I got the 2-sided version (with capital letters on one side and lowercase on the other), since capital cursive letters aren’t commonly seen on written materials. After tracing the letters on the tracing board, Zoey places the manuscript letters in alphabetical order. Then she matches each of the cursive letters to the manuscript letters. 

We’ve been using a traditional small wooden manuscript movable alphabet, although we’re now working with the cursive wooden movable alphabet. There are a number of price ranges available. You can find more movable alphabet resources in my “Inexpensive and DIY Movable Alphabets” post

Matching Manuscript and Cursive Hedgehog Letters with Cursive Movable Alphabet

Squirrel and Acorn Division Activity


Acorn and Squirrel Division TrayFree Printable: Squirrel Numbers and Division Equation Symbols (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 also printed out 10 squirrels. (You could print out whichever squirrel you prefer.) When we lived in Colorado, our yard and neighborhood was filled with scrub oak. I saved a bag of the acorns and used 20 for this. 

Solving a Division Equation by Dividing 20 Acorns Between 2 Squirrels 
I asked Zoey to divide 20 acorns between 2 squirrels, saying "1 for you, 1 for you..." until they were all divided equally. After completing that equation as shown above, she worked out the equation for 20 divided by 10 using 10 squirrel pictures. It was a great visual of the differences in equations.

Woodland Footprints Double-Sided Stones with Woodland Animal 3-Part Cards

Free Printable: Animal Tracks Puzzles by Tara from Embark on the Journey for Free Homeschool Deals 

I just used 7 of the puzzles (7 woodland animals) for this activity along with Safari Ltd. figures. I used figures for the activities here from the Safari Ltd. North American Wildlife TOOB and Nature TOOB

Matching Safari Ltd Animal Figures with Woodland Animal Footprint Puzzles

Free Woodland Animal Printables for Preschoolers Through First Graders

Montessori-Inspired Woodland Animal Pack

Montessori-Inspired Woodland Animal 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).




Have a wonderful start to the holiday season!
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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