Montessori Inspired Bird Unit for Preschool

One of the best part about spring is the significant presence of different kinds of birds flying around and singing at the garden. This is the perfect time to let children explore and discover more about birds.

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A yellow warbler matching card with object and bird puzzle

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Bird unit shelf

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I gave her a basket with shredded manila paper as a nest

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She curiously matched all the birds with the bird cards

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She lay all the birds three part cards in our coffee table while getting the birds from the nest one at a time

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“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”

-Maria Montessori

Fruits And Vegetables Unit And Activities For Preschool with Free Printables

Fruit & vegetables unit for preschool

This week we are learning about fruits and vegetables. Our garden started to bloom and vegetables and fruits are growing very quickly. My daughter loves to eat colorful fruits and vegetables and she’s pretty much familiar with the name of the foods she have on her plate. In this unit, the child will learn the different kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as the part of the fruit.

Materials

I gathered my learning materials for fruits and vegetables unit such as books to read, object card, miniature fruits and vegetables, real fruit to cut, moveable letters and fruit puzzle with part labels. I divided my presentation into three parts.

Language

Pericarp, Exocarp, Mesocarp, Endocarp, Seed

Point of Interest

  • Each fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name
  • Each part of the fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name

Direct Aim

  • Development of an appreciation for plants
  • Development of knowledge of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Indirect Aim

  • Different names of the fruit/vegetables
  • Different names of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables Unit and Activities for Preschool

Presentation 1

Presenting a picture card or page of the book with similar object. Matching the picture card to an object or fruit using the three period lesson.

Presentation 2 (Language extensions)

Word creation using Montessori Movable Alphabets. My daughter is just three year old to create a word by herself. To help her understand the concept, I show her a picture card of fruit and vegetables. Then I ask her what letters she sees in this card. With this, it’s easier for her to pick the letters from the box and arrange it in order.

Presentation 3 (Practical Life extensions)

Prepare a fresh fruit and cut it into half. Show the fruit puzzle and identify the parts with the labels.

  1. Exocarp– the outer layer of the pericarp.
  2. Mesocarp– the middle layer of the pericarp.

  3. Endocarp– the innermost layer of the pericarp that surrounds the seed.

  4. Pericarp– the part of a fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary.

  5. Seed– an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering.

Practical Life Extension

With each unit I present, I always include an extension of the activities we do at school or at home. In this blog I will give you an ideas about the different kinds of extensions you can apply with this Fruits and Vegetables unit of study. Here are some examples of extensions you can do as a Practical Life activities.

  • In a week rotate the snack to include different types of fruit or vegetables. Example: apple slices, oranges, fresh snap peas, fresh thinly sliced carrot
  • Each day dissect the fruit for observation.
  • Wash fruit or vegetables carefully.
  • Cut fruit or vegetables for snack preparation.
  • Squeeze oranges

Sensorial Extension

In this unit the child will be using her/his four senses:

Visual Sense

  • Color: Compare colors of different fruits or vegetables
  • Shape: Compare shapes of different fruits or vegetables
  • Size: Notice the different sizes of fruit

Gustatory Sense

  • Wash and cut pieces of different fruits for children to taste

Tactile Sense

  • Feel different fruits/vegetables and notice the differences; ex. cantaloupe, snap peas, blueberry.

Olfactory Sense

  • Smell variety of fruits and vegetables.

Ecology

You can always include ecology as part of the unit study at home or school to give child a better understanding about the care of the environment. This routine will help the child understand the correct disposal of fruit or vegetables. It is advisable for the school or at home that there is a designated place to put the compost.

Books and References

I compile this links for more resources and ideas of fun way to learn about Fruits and Vegetables in your classroom or at home.

LadyBug Unit And Activities For Preschool 3 to 5 Year Olds

This week we are learning about the lady bug. My daughter loves lady bug so much! I have the perception that if a child was born during spring season, it will be natural for her to love those living things and natural creations we see during this season. One day we’re walking along our local shop and she spotted a lady bug wing. To my surprise, she tries to pull me and ask me to hurry up toward the bottom isle. I realized she found a lady bug wing! At first she don’t have the idea that it is a dress up wing to put on. So I put it on her back and guide her to the mirror to show how it looks like to be a little girl with a lady bug wing. The result is priceless! She was mesmerized by it. She’s been looking at the mirror repeatedly then turning around and again stop to glance to see the little lady bug girl in front of the mirror. It is indeed a perfect time to study and explore about bugs most specially when the garden plants blooms beautifully!

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Because she’s fascinated with the lady bug, I gather my learning materials for the month of May focusing on the things we usually see during spring time. We will start to learn about the lady bug. This is good for preschoolers and kindergarten ages 3 to 6 years.

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

Ladybug

Ladybug: Scientific name “coccinellidae” is a widespread family of small beetles ranging from 0.8 to 18mm. There are about 5000 different species of lady bug around the world. Ladybug are also called lady beetles or ladybird beetles. Ladybug appear as half-spheres tiny, spotted, round or oval-shape domes. They have short legs and antennae.

Materials

Montessori Lady Bug Puzzle, parts of the lady bug sheet, movable alphabet 

Points Of Interest 

  • The different parts of the ladybug looks different.
  • Different colors of lady bug.

Direct Aim

  • Development of an appreciation for ladybug.
  • Development of the powers of observation.

Indirect Aim

  • The names of the parts of the ladybug.

Control Of Error

  • The interlocking of the puzzle pieces.

LadyBug Unit And Activities For Preschool 3 to 5 Year Olds

Presentation

Invite the child to sit with you with the material on the rug. Say “I would like to talk about the parts of the lady bug today.” Place the lady bug sheet in front of the child. Name each parts of the ladybug slowly and clear. I then show the wooden ladybug puzzle to a child with the parts that similar to the sheet I presented like the head, legs and wing. Allow the child to remove the parts of the puzzle and replace them. Encourage the child to repeat removing the pieces of the puzzle with the addition of naming the parts of the ladybug.

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Language and Sensorial– I took the lower case /l/ from my sandpaper letter box and stroke gently from top to bottom using my two index fingers. Make sure the child watch carefully your fingers from top to bottom while saying the /l/ sound.

Note: When I present to a child, I don’t use too much words. Try to use simple and few words.

Books and References

This are the books we enjoy to read while learning all about the Ladybug!

“The development of articulate language takes place in the period between the age of two and the age of seven: the age of perception in which the attention of the child is spontaneously turned towards external objects and the memory is particularly tenacious.” (p.315 TMM)

May Montessori Inspired Theme And Activities For Preschool

This month of May we will be focusing on themes that we usually do during spring time season. I gather books and activities that best suited for this month and age appropriate for preschooler. My daughter Audrey’s sensitive period for language is at it’s peak at the age of three. Although she started to recognize patterns of the words at the age of 19 months, she’s still learning to read long words. I take advantage of this period by collecting books related to our month of May unit of studies. So here’s a preview of our May theme.

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

1. Lady Bug

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2. Fruit & Vegetables 

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3. Backyard Birds

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4. Trees

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5. Butterfly

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Books and references

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All of this five units are our focus this month of May with fun activities and songs that your kids will love too! Here is what our book shelf looks like for month of May. Each unit has its specific rows. We will start with the lady bug theme next week. Follow my blog for more ideas and inspirations.

5 Important Skills To Teach Toddlers And Preschoolers At Home Or School

My daughter turned three years old, that means she’s officially a preschooler. I will be homeschooling her until she turns five. We spend a large amount of time exploring and doing an active play. Learning through play is also a vital part of her developmental stage along with the use of our Montessori method at home.

Over the years of observing and teaching preschoolers, I have created a list of the most essential skills a preschooler needed to learn to be successful in their later life. In a Montessori method, a toddler basically do activities that helps with the refinement of muscles that prepares them to apply in practicing basic life skills or we also call this in a Montessori method the practical life skill. Here are the list I personally crafted to share to new parents and those with young kids. This will give you an idea what to do first to prepare kids before kindergarten. I created this list according to what I observed and tested as the most important skills a preschooler must learn. Of course, we follow the child according to their level of development and additionally they learn from their own pace. Not all two or three year olds are the same in their ability to learn. A two year old can read some words while the average will start at three years or four years. This is the same as learning the skills. I listed the skills in an order so it’s easier for the parents to teach their kids according to this level of skills from basic to more complex. Remember, a simple small steps you accomplish to develop your child’s potential can be rewarding for us as parents!

Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.

Five Important Skills To Teach Preschooler

 1. Basic Life Skills or Practical Life Skills- The Practical Life in a child’s learning is very important. This is to develop in the very young child a strong and realistic sense of independence and self-reliance. This skill made me realize that a strong foundation should be mold first in a child’s life in order for them to learn the basic life skills. This skill also teaches the child to be successful in their later life.

Examples of basic life skills:

a. Putting on socks

b. Putting on shoes

c. Dressing

d. Drinking in a cup

e. Pouring milk in a glass

f. Washing hands

g. Brushing teeth

h. Putting on underwear and pants

g. Lacing a shoe

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Preparing breakfast; Mixing eggs using a whisker

And the list adds up as the child learns a new skill. It is important for the parents to model first each new skills to your child. “Young kids as early as one year old are capable to learn basic life skills. Take advantage of this.”

2. Fine Motor Skill– The term fine motor means “small muscles”. Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles in the fingers, hand and arm to manipulate, control and use tools and materials. Hand-eye coordination, where a person uses their vision to control the movements and actions of their small muscles, is also an important component of fine motor skill development. Fine motor form the basis for many of the skills that children will develop and enhance as they move through childhood. For infants and young children, their fine motor skills facilitate their interactions with their world, and therefore their learning. As they develop, a child’s fine motor skills are essential precursors to the development of early literacy, and self-help skills such as independent dressing and toileting. As children move through their preschool and into their school years, their fine motor skills assist them to continue to develop as well as to participate in a range of more complex activities.  Each child will develop their fine motor skills at their own pace, and they will demonstrate different strengths and abilities, depending on their interests.

IMG_9333Molding kinetic sand using plastic knife.

3. Gross Motor Skills and Crossing the Midline- Gross motor skills that children should be supported to develop include those that involve movement of the arms, legs, hands, feet, head, neck and torso. The skills children need for optimum gross motor development include rolling, reaching, sitting, crawling, walking, climbing, balancing, running, jumping, catching, throwing and striking. These fundamental gross motor skills will assist children’s lifelong ability to participate in physical activity including sport and other recreational pursuits. My daughter loves to play outdoor almost everyday. She loves to run around the backyard, hop like a bunny and jump like a frog. We don’t have a huge play structure so I created a diy balance beam for her that are made of garden bricks and a long piece of wood. This type of play promotes balance and coordination and hours of active play outside.

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I use a Diy balance beam here that touches the ground. The edge are rounded so it gives a little bit of challenge for her. 

4. Nature Explorations and Educational Tours- Experiences are always the best teacher right? Planning for an activity such as nature walk, a visit at the kids museum, visit to the zoo, reading books in the local library, gardening, volunteer jobs along with your kids, opens an opportunity for a child to learn through experiences. They gain better understanding with the living things around them and the active involvement in the community provides personal achievement and pride.

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5. Music & Movement“Research studies shows that a preschooler who took  music lessons performed better on spatial and temporal reasoning task.” The same effects on infants when they engage in music. According to studies, when children learn to play an instrument, they gain the ability to hear and process sounds that they wouldn’t hear without training. Every active child loves to play musical instruments followed by dancing. You can see a baby who hears the beat of a drum suddenly throws her arms and try to jive with the music.

I hope this steps helps you get more insights as you walk through on your child’s developmental stages. Follow my blog for more tips and guides about parenting, homeschooling and Montessori method of learning and so much more!