Sunday, October 15, 2017

Montessori-Inspired Moon Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

Space activities tend to be popular with preschoolers, and  many preschoolers find the moon especially fascinating. Today, I'm starting a special moon unit with lots of hands-on moon activities and printables. 

At Living Montessori Now, I have a long list of free moon printables. The free printables include my latest subscriber freebie (a Montessori-inspired moon pack, which even has an "oo" phonogram page). Here, I'm sharing ideas for using free moon printables to create Montessori-inspired activities. 

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 Moon-Themed Activities

Shelves with Moon themed Activities 

My shelves with moon-themed activities include a free moon culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired moon numbers, letters, spinners, 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 added our well-loved Hugg-a-Moon from the Pocket Hugg-a-Planet Earth and Moon. I have a number of moon books, both nonfiction and fiction, for our moon unit. Gail Gibbons' books have lots of easily understood information. That's also true for The Moon Book. I added The Moon and So That's How the Moon Changes Shape! to the shelf. I have some fiction moon books in our book baskets. 

You could mix your moon-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special moon 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. 

Moon Culture Card (on Shelf with Hugg-a-Moon and Moon Books)

Hugg-a-Moon, Moon Book, and Moon Culture Card  

I'm happy to share with you this beautiful hand-painted moon culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a moon unit. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free moon culture card here. The description says: “The Moon orbits the earth every 27.3 days. It has lower gravity than Earth does but it still affects the tides here on Earth.” 

Doodle on the Moon Activity Doodle on the Moon Activity 
Free Printable: Doodle on the Moon from Mr Printables 

Free Printable: Trip to the Moon Cards from Every Star Is Different 

For this activity, I used a Multicraft tray and crayons for doodling on the moon. I printed out the small printable moon that's tray-sized. There's also a medium-sized moon or a large-sized moon for wall use. I added the trip-to-the-moon cards as inspiration for drawing. Later in the month, I'll add a new box of 64 crayons for more inspiration. Who can resist a new, large box of crayons?!

Phases of the Moon Pin-Punch-and Paste-Activity (or Phases of the Moon Cut-and-Paste Activity) Phases of the Moon Pin-Punch-and Paste-Activity  
Free Printables: Phases of the Moon Pages from Homeschool Clipart. There are some great phases-of-the-moon printables available online. I chose this one because it has printables for a variety of levels. 

For this tray, I used Montessori Services’ wood handled puncher to make a pin-punch activity along with glue to make it a pin-punch-and-paste activity. You could add scissors to make a cut-and-paste activity. I printed the phases of the moon page at 85% so that the moons would fit perfectly on the Phases of the Moon Chart. If you have the child punch around the white moon shapes only, they can be glued to the Phases of the Moon Chart to create the moon as seen in each phase. 

M is for Moon Sand Writing Tray

M is for Moon Sand Writing Tray  

Free Printables: M for moon in manuscript, D'Nealian, or Cursive for Letter M Sand 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.

Moon oo Phonogram Card and Booklet
Moon oo Phonogram Card and Booklet 

Free Printables: “oo” moon 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)

Free Printable: Green Series Phonogram Long oo with Pictures and Words from MontessoriSoul
I love the simplicity of this! It was so easy to prepare, yet it isolates the oo phonogram very well. I have a post and video on how to introduce words starting with phonograms, even with very young children.
Moon Bingo Phases-of-the-Moon Bingo Free Printable: Moon Bingo by Stevie Snee at Teachers Pay Teachers 

This activity uses a Multicraft tray and a Bambu condiment cup  to hold glass gems that are used as markers. You can focus more on 3-part cards for phases of the moon, but I love making games whenever possible. 

My 3¾-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves games, so they keep her attention very well. There's a helpful page with information about phases of the moons to go with the Bingo cards. 

Moon Spinner Activity with Bead Bars - Counting or Addition Moon Spinner Activity with Bead Bars - Counting or Addition  
Free Printables: Moon Numbers and Moon 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 and bead bars from the decanomial box in Montessori Services baskets. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison’s Montessori. You can get them on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used materials from those companies.)

Moon Spinner and Bead Bar Matching Activity

There isn't a specified way to do this activity. You could have the child simply spin the spin and lay out the matching bead bar and number card.

Moon Spinner and Bead Bar Addition Activity

Or you could have an addition activity. This layout is one possible way to lay out the addition work, although you might prefer a different layout. 

Moon Bank with Coin Poems and Sorting Activity Moon Bank with Coin Poems and Sorting Activity  
Free Printable: Coin Poems from Buggy and Buddy. This isn't actually a moon printable, but I love how well it works with the moon bank for teaching preschoolers about money. 

Because Zoey loves the moon and piggy banks so much, I got her the National Geographic Glowing Moon Money Bank. I used a Multicraft tray and a Bambu condiment cup to hold 10 pennies, 10 nickels, 10 dimes, and 10 quarters. 

Zoey sorted out the coins onto the page (she chose to stack them) while I read the matching poem. Then she put all the coins in the moon bank. At another time, we'll talk about how much money ten of each coin makes. 

More Free Moon Printables 

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free moon printables from around the blogosphere: Free Moon Printables and Montessori-Inspired Moon 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.

More Astronomy Posts and Resources

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!

Happy moon watching!

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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