LadyBug Unit And Activities For Preschool

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 (optional)

Points Of Interest: How different parts of the lady bug look.

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.

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: This are the books we enjoy to read while learning all about the Ladybug!  Five Little Ladybugs, The Ladybug, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy

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“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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All of this five units are our focus this month of May with fun activities and songs that your kids will love too! We will start with the lady bug theme next week. Follow my blog for more ideas and inspirations.

Montessori Inspired Garden Activities For Toddler And Preschoolers

Gardening and gardening with kids are both therapeutic, fun, educational and worth the time spent with it. My parents told me that if you have a green thumb it can be really beneficial if you love gardening. In my homeland, my late father had established an area to grow what we eat like banana, taro leaves and crops such as sweet potato and cassava. I grew up with a memories of gardening with my family. Here in the US, We live in a tropical state where palm trees, flowers and variety of plants blooms beautifully. Together with the whole family, spending our time outdoors working at the garden are always a memorable one. I cherish those moments I’m helping my Dad to grow fruits and vegetables at our backyard. This memories stays with me forever and to keep those memories alive, I am sharing our precious moments at the garden with my now three year old daughter Audrey. This activities are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Small objects such as glass beads are choking hazards so take extra precautions for your littles.

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.

It is true that man has created enjoyments in social life and has brought about a vigorous human love in community life. But nevertheless he still belongs to nature, and, especially when he is a child, he must needs draw from it the forces necessary to the development of the body and of the spirit.” Dr. Maria Montessori (p153 tmm)

Montessori Inspired Garden Activities For Toddler And Preschoolers

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  • Decorating the patio– Giving child a task like decorating the patio is something that gives them a sense of responsibility and self confidence.

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  • Creating a mini garden– This is a fun activity for sensory play in the garden. I give her some glass beads, pebbles, rough stones, miniature fairy garden set and a mini pool. Then I show her how I decorate and place it in bin with stones. This mini pool or tub is her favorite hang out in our garden. She can play there for hours without interruptions just toss some ball, pool noodles, rubber duckies and other toys. You can also convert this into a reading area just place some blanket or picnic mat and throw pillows on it!

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  • The best shoe is no shoe at all! According to expert Tracy Byrne specializing in podopaediatrics, walking barefoot develops the muscles and ligaments of the foot, increases the strength of the foot arch, improves proprioception or the awareness of where we are. With this theory, I believe every child belongs to nature.

But it for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of nature.” Dr. Maria Montessori (p155 tmm)

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  • Grounding- Let children walk barefooted in a grass, beach sand, soil and smooth stones.

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  • Smelling flowers and herbs– A good activity to exercise sensory perception for your little ones. Choose plants in your garden that are safe for children.

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  • Child size patio and pool– I set up this cute mini patio area to give her a personal space to play, read and explore something new to her. I also place some child size chair, her gardening pail, mini bird house that she painted recently and a picnic mat to hang out or just simply lay there at night for moon and stars sighting. Of course the mini pool was her favorite play area.

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  • Insect observation– Observing ants in an ant hill. She knows that stepping on an ant hill would hurt her feet so she’s really careful not to step on it.

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  • Cutting leaves- A good activity to strengthen hand muscles. You can also find more inspirations and ideas from my blog “15 Effective Fine Motor Activities”.

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  • Painting a bird house- Kids love to paint. A wooden unfinished birdhouse is an excellent tool to let your child engage in an activity that strengthen their hand muscles and at the same time fuel their creativity by deciding what color to apply and materials to put in it for decoration.

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  • Writing/Drawing/Doodling on a chalkboard, white board or doodler pad– Also a fun tools to use during summer. I move this easel whenever we have an activity like painting, tracing, drawing and even just to hang a leaves to dry. I just put a string and tiny clips on it. A colored chalk, washable pens and markers, paints, stencils are best match with this fun activity outdoors.

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  • Watering the plants- Children naturally loves to help and contribute to our daily task. This simple task can be an exciting part of a child’s development that they can apply as they grow older.

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  • Weeding– Another task that she loves to do at the garden. I gave her the smallest weeder I saw at our backyard. For her this is part of her fun outdoor play but next thing you know, your child will be volunteering to do garden works for you!

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  • Let them explore– Observe, keep your distance, don’t talk. Let the child concentrate on something interesting to her.

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“The human being is a united whole, but this unity’s to be built up and formed by active experiences in the real world, to which it is led by the laws of nature.” (The Absorbent Mind p.203)

 

5 Basic Guides For Organizing Learning Materials At Home Or School

It’s truly a productive Sunday today. While my husband and daughter are out having a play date at the park, I get the opportunity to re-organize my learning materials and prepare them for our next lesson and theme. Moving from California to Florida was truly exhausting, yes really. Amidst of that major move, I was able to bring all my important learning materials and books that my daughter will be using for the following years to come. If your reading this right now and can relate how precious this learning materials are, then your a certified teacher or Montessorian at heart. Congratulations for being one! And since we have the same interests, I’m excited to share how I take care of my learning materials. The way I organize my stuff improves over the years as I find more ways to keep things accessible without wasting my time looking for my materials in a different places. Yes! Ive been to that too and Im no way going back to that unorganized method of myself anymore. I love organizing things because this gives me a peace of mind and personal achievement. If things are organized and in proper place, you know exactly where to find it saving your sanity and more importantly your precious TIME. Here’s my guide with photos of how I organize my learning materials. at school or at home.

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.

5 Basic Guides For Organizing Learning Materials At Home Or School

1. Invest in a high quality storage boxes or drawers.

Below shows photos of how I store my materials according to theme or unit of study. I also include in each box the books related to each unit. I prefer using clear individual boxes or drawer. For storage boxes, I recommend a latch type with extra storage space cover. If your learning materials are extra bulky this will hold the content without breaking the latches (I’ve been to that!). This style of organizations keeps my unit of study in one place with easy to see label.

Basically this are the learning materials that goes with each storage boxes

  • Books (my most important learning material)
  • Three part cards (ex. community helpers three part cards)
  • Puzzle/s (ex. bird puzzle)
  • Nomenclature cards (ex. bird nomenclature cards)
  • Model or miniature objects (ex. flowers)
  • Guide sheet or picture cards
  • lesson plan, song & poems related to the unit.
  • Other learning materials like felt board for story telling, posters & display banners, doctors bag, loose objects for creative play.

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My thematic storage for community helpers, Insects, Farm animals & reptiles.

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This are my storage boxes for geography, astronomy, dinosaurs and ocean animals.

2. Choose tools and machines you trust and will last for many years.

From my past blog, I posted about my daughter’s birthday gifts that are mostly Montessori inspired. Yesterday, I’m done laminating some three part cards for her Safariltd Toob sets.

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Laminating cards should not be expensive. I got this Fellows laminating machine as a gift five years ago and until now it never fails me. My three part cards and nomenclatures are mostly from Montessori Printshop. They always have free and sale items. Additionally, they use the card size that fits with my storage system.

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I been using Fiskars for cutting three part cards and nomenclatures for many years now. For my blade, I choose the one with Titanium blade coating. The difference from the regular one is the efficiency and sharpness of the blade. This can be reuse many times before it gets dull. This is a 2 pieces per pack. It saves you from buying more often of the regular blade.

3. Use shelving system that fits your criteria and budget.

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Last night, I finished organizing books that Audrey got from her birthday. I invest in this high quality book shelf from ECR 4 Kids. I love to showcase more books for my early reader at home so a five tier book shelf wins. It displays different sizes of books and also sturdy enough for my daughter who loves to step on it like a ladder while looking at the window when I ask her “Whats the weather today?” during our morning circle time.

4. Choose a simple easy to view storage system for small learning materials.

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I found this clear rectangular case at Daiso when I’m still at the Bay Area (SF) and I regret that I did not buy more of these. It perfectly fits a three part card with the objects then I place the other cards on top of it using a rubber. It’s easy to view what’s inside with an instant label!

5. Display learning manuals & books in an easy to see and reach shelving unit.

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I like my guide books handy when I need to take a quick look for a specific quotes and words from Dr. Maria Montessori.

How do you organize your learning materials? I hope this guide will be your inspiration and will be a great help with your home or school organizational task. Don’t forget to share this guide to your fellow teachers and parents who homeschool their kids.

“The teacher teaches little and observes much, and, above all, it is her function to direct the psychic activity of the children and their physiological development. For this reason I have changed the name of teacher into that of directress” (p. 173 TMM)

Montessori Botany- Flower Unit Presentation For Preschool

We live in a the sunny side of the United States and it is the perfect time of the year to teach kids about nature. My three year old daughter loves to touch and smell flowers wherever she can find one. Her grandma have a wide collection of beautiful flowers from her garden that she can take care of. I am sharing today our Montessori botany flower unit and activities at home with my three year old daughter Audrey.

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.

Flower Puzzle Presentation

Materials: Flower puzzle, miniature hibiscus, hibiscus three part card, tray

First, I introduce a single flower to a child. I present this flower puzzle and show her one by one the parts of a flower such as: stem, petal, pistil, and stamen. It is best to use the three period lesson so the child will easily remember each part of the flower.

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After presenting the flower parts, I also discuss about the flower hibiscus by showing her the three part card with a miniature hibiscus. Once the child is familiar with a single type of a flower I can move on and introduce other kinds of flowers. Photo below shows eight different miniature flowers with the three part cards:

  • Sunflower
  • Bird of paradise
  • Lotus
  • Tulip
  • Daffodil
  • Hibiscus
  • Rose
  • Orchid

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Practical Life Extension: Flower Arrangement

Materials: 8 miniature flowers, small basket, play dough & tray

 

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This is one of the many extensions of a flower unit. Audrey loves to use a dough and this is a great way to use as a soil for flower arrangement. I first show her one by one the different kinds of flower in a small basket. Then I slowly put one at a time each flower into the dough making sure each of the flower have enough spaces. Once I finished putting all the flowers I will say “Im done with my flower arrangement”. Then I will put back the flowers one at a time into the basket. I will then say “Can you do the flower arrangement Audrey?” Then I will pass the tray to her.

 

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Language Extension: Flower Word Matching

Materials: White printer paper with the eight flower names written or printed on it, small basket, miniature flowers, tray.

This is another extension for language. I wrote eight different flower names in a white sheet of paper. I then name each flower using the three period lesson and place each flower in the corresponding slot.

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“The education which a good mother or a good modern teacher gives today to the child who, for example, is running about in a flower garden is the counsel not to touch the flowers, not to thread on the grass; as if it were sufficient for the child to satisfy the psychological needs of his body by moving his legs and breathing fresh air.” (p. 154 TMM)