Playdough - Four WaysOtis is five and loves playdough now more than ever. I have written sometimes about how we use playdough, always with different items and in different colours, textures and aromas. Adding essential oils to playdough is vital. Here are four ways we are currently reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This is a wonderful early literacy activity, remembering it is best to begin with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. I didn't realise how much fun this would be. We have plenty of stamps at home so there is always lots for the sons to choose from. Above are some hand carved stamps I picked up at a marketplace, they're really in-depth. I have likewise wiped down our Melissa and Doug stamps and these work extremely well with the playdough too!
3. Gumnuts and Sticks. I really like combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones can also result in creative play with playdough.
4. Galaxy Dough!! I first read about Galaxy Dough at Fairy Dust Teaching. It's just black playdough with a lot of glitter blended through. It ends up all dark and sparkly - just like the galaxy. Otis was amazed! It is entertaining to play with as it's so different to our other playdough. They frequently have plenty of distinct colors of food colouring which may make a pleasant change from the typical colours you see in playdough. We could make a group of playdough all in precisely the same colour but in different shades - lovely! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Joyful Hands Happy Heart. I expect you have enjoyed this little peek into our playdough play!
Geoboard - Three WaysOtis has been home from school for the last three days, so we've pulled out a few new tasks! Above is a standard geoboard with the additional twist of using grid paper. The kid draws contours on the paper subsequently makes the shapes on the plank. When utilizing the geoboard Otis normally makes random contours and occasionally creates a picture or minor scene. Above he's using a transparent plank on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard - inspired through this post at Fairy Dust Teaching. I love how it is a bit rustic and makes the kid think a little differently about making the shapes. It appears slightly more colorful too!
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Using Scales and Balance BucketsHere are some other Montessori and Query-Based learning thoughts that I adore. These actions are also really simple to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you can use kitchen scales, and we just use materials we already have at home! I adore the sensory table for younger kids (#6). I believe I'll attempt a set up like #3 next, where the kid has a number of materials to weigh and record - it looks excellent for some added math and literacy abilities!
1. Equilibrium pail with loose components at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Resort Area at An notion on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Fall Inspired Weighing Task with Equilibrium Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Mathematics Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Balance Scales in the Sensory Table for An Everyday Story.
7. Equilibrium scales at How we Montessori.
8. Investigating Measurement Through Play - Mass at Suzie's Home Education Ideas.
Montessori Sea Shell Activities You'll Love!My children love tasks that include natural materials. Where there's some thing for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there's something that's interesting, with fascinating minor details. Now I am featuring some Montessori Shell Actions whom I understand you will adore.
The Shell Poster (left in top picture) is from Montessori Materials and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everyone.
Cleaning a big shell - Brosser un gros coquillage at Le blog de Sylvie d'Esclaibes. This is an excellent notion, almost all of our shells are unclean and could do with a great scrub! Matching shells to cards - Apprendre avec des coquillages at Les ateliers de Céleste Pédagogie Montessori et instruction biologique. This post has a free download of the shell cards. Another example of fitting shells to cards are available at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. I consider they're using the lovely shell collection and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards possess the name of the shell which introduces the language element and allows the parent or caregiver to provide the little one together with the proper lingo. This is from one of my favorite nature tables (which contained tons of shells) where Otis is making depressions with the shells into sand. I remember one of Caspar's favourite tasks when he first started in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year-old) was a tray with all different kinds of shells as well as a simple magnifying glass. There's some thing special about sea shells!
Alphabet Mystery ToteIf so, this really is a really enjoyable action that strengthens knowledge on the contours and sort of letters. I wouldn't do this in a way to teach kids their letters or to analyze them but to reinforce their knowledge. I'd comprise letters they are assured with alongside letters they may be struggling with. This really is an easy task of placing the letters from an Alphabet Puzzle or Moveable Alphabet into a Mystery Bag and allowing the youngster by making use of their hands and their sense of touch simply to identify each letter. Select the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and put them in the Enigma Bag without the kid seeing. Encourage the kid over to take a seat at a work mat or table. Invite the child to put one or both hands in the bag and one at a time, without peeking, identify which letter they may be holding.
The notion is the fact that through touch the child forms a picture of the letter in their head. If they can remember the sound of the letter it can help raise their connection between the sound and the shape and type of the letter. As an extension, in case you have included vowels and consonants you can also encourage the little one to generate some words with the letters they have identified.
Above Otis places his hand in the Puzzle Bag and feels for a letter. He has identified this as a 'w'. The Puzzle Bag is one of our favourite materials which we have used many times over time. Otis used his first Mystery Bag as a toddler with a couple family items in it. It actually heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is an easy silk lined, drawstring bag. I usually be sure it remains to around five things in the tote. With all actions at home, I attempt to keep it engaging and lighthearted. In case you give this a go I hope you enjoy!
Geometry Love- Montessori Stuff for Geometric Form WorkYou could have guessed following yesterday's post, that we've been doing a lot of geometric contour work around here! and I am frequently asked about them. So I Have compiled a quick list of another geometric shape construction sticks and pieces that might be useful for a Montessori house or classroom!
1. Learning Edge Connecting GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Building Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you can see Otis using the Geo Strips in this place).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Contours Creative Fun Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in various sizes also!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Stuff (Australia here) (I love this image from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a simple description).