Friday, December 15, 2017

Montessori-Inspired Winter Sports Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

My family has had many amazing experiences because of both skiing and figure skating, so I tend to focus more on the Winter Olympics than the Summer Olympics. It was especially fun to prepare activities for a unit on winter sports.

The printables and activities today feature winter sports that are Olympic events. At Living Montessori Now, I have a list of free winter sports printables. The free printables include my latest subscriber freebie (a Montessori-inspired winter sports pack). 

Here, I'm sharing ideas for using free winter sports 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 Winter Sports Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Winter Sports Themed Activities  

My shelves with winter sports activities include a free winter sports culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired winter sports 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 always have related books available throughout a unit. There aren't a lot of Olympic books for preschoolers, but I have some I especially like. I really love the series of alphabet books from Sleeping Bear Press. I have two for my winter sports unit: A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet by Kurt Browning and Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier. I like that series because it's a fun way to reinforce letters and letter sounds. And each book has a wealth of information. For younger children, you can just read the short part about each letter. You can include more details for older children. 

I also have A Kid's Guide to the 2018 Winter Games on my shelf. It's meant for older kids, but the information can be adapted for younger children, too. There will be more books with details about the specific competitors in 2018, but this one still has a lot of helpful information. 

I also have some fiction books about winter sports in my book baskets. One that's specifically about the Winter Games is Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics. With an athletic snowman, it isn't a Montessori-style book, but it does give a memorable introduction to some of the Olympic events. 

You could mix your winter sports activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special winter sports 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. 

Winter Sports Culture Card (on Shelf Introducing the Winter Sports Theme)

A is for Axel Book with Winter Sports Culture Card 

I'm happy to share with you this hand-painted winter sports culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a winter sports or Olympic unit. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free winter sports culture card here

The description says: “Winter sports usually involve snow or ice and include skiing, snowboarding, hockey, ice skating, sledding and much more!” I displayed the card with with some of the books and activities introducing the winter sports theme. 

Matching Winter Sports Photos with Pictographs Basket for Matching Winter Sport Photos with Pictographs  

Free Printable: Winter Olympics Pack from Imagine Our Life 

This was super easy to prepare. I simply printed out the cards and added them to a Montessori Services basket. There are 3-part cards you can use, but I just used these cards to match the photo with the event pictograph. 

French Winter Sports Vocabulary Cards Basket with French Winter Sports Vocabulary Cards  

Free Printable: French Vocabulary Activity by Terri's Teaching Treasure at Teacher's Notebook 

This activity couldn't be much easier to prepare. Just print and laminate (lamination is optional for home use). You can use these for matching, on a word wall, or set out one card at a time as you feature the name of the event in French. 

Letter W Salt Tray (seen in shelf photo) 

Free Printables: /w/ is for winter sports in manuscript, D'Nealian, or Cursive for Letter W 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 plain white salt (for snow, of course!) in the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. 

Figure Skating 3-Part Cards for Sandpaper Letters and Movable Alphabet 

Free Printable: Figure Skating Printable Pack from Every Star Is Different 

I love the Montessori sandpaper letters and movable alphabet for teaching phonics skills. You can use have a child find the sandpaper letter that starts with the same sound as one of the pictures from the figure skating 3-part cards. When the cards are matched, the child has a self-check with the control cards.

Movable Alphabet with Figure Skating Phonetic Pictures and Words

The cards can be used the same way with the movable alphabet except that you'll want to chose the cards that are appropriate for a specific child's skill level. Have the child listen for the sounds in the pictured word and then find the letters to spell the word. 

Sports "or" Phonogram Card and Booklet Sports "or" Phonogram Card and Booklet Free Printables: “or” sports 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). The images on the "or" sports cards (and the /w/ winter sports cards are related to events in the Winter Games. They're tiny and could be fun to look at with a magnifying glass as well! 

Free Printable: Green Series Phonogram or with Pictures and Words from MontessoriSoul 

This was so easy to prepare, yet it isolates the "or" phonogram very well. I have a post and video on how to introduce words starting with phonograms, even with very young children. 

Winter Sports and Equipment Matching Basket with Winter Sport and Equipment Matching Free Printable: Sorting - Winter Sports Match from Creations by Mrs Mouse at Teachers Pay Teachers 

This was another activity that was easy to prepare! I just printed and cut out the printable. For younger children, you can leave on the matching colored outlines. For older children, you can cut off the outlines and have colored dots or matching stickers on the backs as a control of error (self check). I like that this activity matches the equipment with the sport. 

Hockey Cards and Counters Hockey Cards and Counters  

Free Printable: Hockey Numbers (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 Montessori Services basket, 55 little wooden dots from my Spielgaben educational toy set as hockey pucks, and a Bambu condiment cup to hold the "pucks."

Hockey Cards and Counters Layout 

I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori way of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post. 

You can lay out the activity from 1-10 as in the traditional Montessori cards or counters or 1-5 for a younger child. 

I used a Montessori Services rug for the layout. 

Winter Sports Tally Marks Creating and Number Matching Activity Winter Sports Tally Marks Creating and Number Matching Activity Tray Free Printable: Winter Sports Number Recognition by Mme Michelle at Teachers Pay Teachers 

The Olympics are a good time for children to learn about tally marks. This activity uses both tally marks and winter sports events. I didn't use the number cards from the printable because the images weren't the same as the matching cards with the tally marks. So I just printed out an extra set of my hockey numbers 1-10 and cut off the photo. 

If you have traditional Montessori cards and counters, the wooden numerals would be perfect for this! I used a Multicraft tray, 55 toothpicks, and a Bambu condiment cup to hold the toothpicks.

Winter Sports Tally Marks Layout 

I would have the child lay out the numerals from 1-10 before matching the cards with tally marks. Finally, the child can create the tally marks for each card with toothpicks. 

The Olympics are such a rich educational event! I'm looking forward to adding geography and other Olympic-related activities in the next couple of months!  

More Free Winter Sports Printables

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free winter sports printables from around the blogosphere: Free Winter Sports Printables and Montessori-Inspired Winter Sports 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 Olympic Posts

I have links to a number of Olympic activity posts in my "Montessori-Inspired Activities for Winter or Summer Olympics."

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 wonderful 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 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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