Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Montessori-Inspired Magnet Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

I wish I would have had more hands-on activities with magnets in school. It would have been nice to develop an appreciation for science at a young age. Fortunately, it's easy now to give young children lots of hands-on activities in any curriculum area. My activities today emphasize science, but they also cover a number of curriculum areas. 

At Living Montessori Now, I have a list of free magnet printables. The free printables include my latest subscriber freebie (a Montessori-inspired magnet pack). I'm sharing a number of Montessori-inspired activities here using the free printables. 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. 

Shelves with  Magnet-Themed Activities 

Montessori Shelves with Magnet-Themed Activities 

My shelves with magnet-themed activities include a free hand-painted printable magnet culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired magnet numbers and letters (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) 

The books on my top shelf are great for preschoolers through early elementary. They're What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler, What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley, and Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David A. Adler. My 3½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves our themed books each month. She hasn't gotten to see the magnet books yet, although she tested out a couple of the activities before the books were out. I'm sure she'll love them and want to try some of the fun magnet activities they tell about.  

You could mix your magnet-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special magnet area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill 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, just rotate them.   

Magnet Culture Card (on Shelf with Magnets Push, Magnets Pull and More Magnet Books)

Magnet Culture Card with Magnets Push, Magnets Pull BookI'm happy to share with you an awesome hand-painted magnet culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a magnet theme. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free magnet culture card here

The description says: “All magnets have both a negative and positive side which creates a magnetic field and attracts metallic objects.” 

Magnet Letter and Object Matching Magnet Letter and Object Basket Free Printables: Magnet Letters for Letter M Object Basket (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 "m" sandpaper letter, magnetic letter m's  and magnetic pictures for the/m/ sound. If you'd like ideas for teaching phonics, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics post. 

We used a Montessori mystery bag and have a blindfold available. I got the basket, mystery bag, and blindfold from Montessori Services. I added a magnet, magnetic letters, and magnetic pictures (if you don't have any, you could make them with magnetic tape and pictures). 

Zoey loved this and wanted to do it again right away! 

Magnet Writing Tray

Magnet Writing Tray  

Free Printables: Magnet Letters for Magnet 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. 

I often color salt with food coloring, but this time I used some colored rice that had gotten broken up from so much use in sensory bins. I added a magnet as the writing tool along with iron filings from our magnet set

Zoey loved the texture of the rice, and she was fascinated to find that the iron filings stuck to the magnet after she wrote in the rice! 

Beginning Sounds Matching Activity with Magnetic Letters Beginning Sounds Matching Activity with Magnetic Letters

Free Printable: Alphabet Beginning Sounds Poster from Homeschool Creations

You can do this activity on the refrigerator or cookie sheet, but we've always loved the Magnetic Chalk/Dry Erase Board from Melissa & Doug. I chose these magnetic letters when Zoey was a toddler because they were safer without small magnets. 

Children can match the beginning sound of the pictured object or do a simple match the lowercase letters. 

Magnetic Number Basket 1-20 with Science Activity 

Magnet Number Basket with Magnet, Paper Clips, and Cards 1-20 Plus Layouts

 Free Printable: Magnet Numbers 1-20 (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 this activity, I used a Montessori Services basket, Bambu condiment cup with 20 large paperclips, and a variety of magnets of different strengths. Most of my magnets are from this set, although I have some from other sources, too. 

I just keep one magnet on this tray and we gather up magnets from other trays to do the activity. We simply, line up the cards in order from 1-20 and then test one magnet to see how many paperclips it can lift. Then we count out the paperclips, laying them out a bit like the Montessori teen board. In the end, we place the number next to the layout. I think this is fun even for adults! 

We always do our layouts on a Montessori Services rug

Magnetic and Non-Magnetic Tray Magnetic and Non-Magnetic Tray

Free Printable: Magnetic/Non-magnetic Title Cards from Montessori for Everyone  
For this traditional Montessori activity, I used a Multicraft trayMontessori Services basket, magnet, 9 magnetic objects, and 9 non-magnetic objects. 

Except for the tray, my materials were actually part of a complete Magnetic/Non-Magnetic Activity from Montessori Services. You can obviously prepare your own tray, although it's super fast and easy if you have the Montessori Services activity.  

You can read about Montessori magnetic/non-magnetic activity and see variations of it in my magnetic and non-magnetic activity post

Tray with Magnet Song and Magnet Task Cards Tray with Magnet Song and Task Cards  
Free Printable: Magnets Song from First Grade WOW Free Printable: Magnet Task Cards from Fun with Magnets by Have Fun Teaching at Teachers Pay Teachers 

For this activity, I used a Multicraft tray with printables and magnets. I didn't have two bar magnets, so I used one bar magnet and a horseshoe magnet. That worked, although I think I'll get an extra bar magnet to make some of the activities clearer. 

For younger children, you can sing the song with them and do the activities on the task cards together, skipping the recording your observations part.   

More Free Magnet Printables 

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free magnet printables from around the blogosphere: Free Magnet Printables and Montessori-Inspired Magnet Activities. And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBook

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. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!

Have a great school year!

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 42 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and 3-year-old granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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