Montessori Inspired Birthday Gifts For Preschool

I am sharing with you today the wonderful Montessori inspired gifts that my daughter Audrey had received last Wednesday for her birthday. My family and close friends are very well informed of the type of gifts a three year old would love. I will definitely recommend this educational gifts to all the parents who’s main goal is to instill the love for learning to their child or children. Here’s the photos of what Audrey receives for her third birthday party.

This is the unwrapped birthday gifts that I put together.

Geography

Interactive world map with landmarks, local dialects, country flags and more!

Practical Life

Melissa & Doug 6 Pieces Cleaning Set

Geography & Zoology

Felt Seven Continents and Animals

Language

Solar System by Safari Ltd.

Practical Life

Felt picnic bag from target dollar spot

Botany, Zoology, Physical Science & Language

Safari Toob Sets: Flowers, Backyard Birds, Human Organ and Community Helpers

Botany & Zoology

Mommy’s gift: A set of Zoology and Botany Puzzles with cabinet

Language

Dinosaur sticker pads, solar system fact book, dinosaur felt book and 50 states fact book.

Fine Motor Activity

Modo non toxic learning dough with wooden spoon

Sensorial & Imaginative Play

Brain Flakes Interlocking Disks helps sparks imagination to create and build tons of objects like ball, dog, flower and more!

Music & Movement, Gross Motor

Bose Soundlink Color II- She love to dance and this Bluetooth capable speaker sounds like a huge one in an amazingly small size which is perfect for a child to hold. Perfect for any music and movement activities!

As you can see, some of my gift wraps are recycled paper bags. From my last post “Audrey Turns Three” we use mostly recycled gift bags and brown paper bags that I decorated with doily, dot paint, acrylic paints and water color paints. We practice recycling and repurposing things around the house. This is a great way to teach a child how to be creative and green at the same time. 

What are your favorite Montessori inspired toys for your kids?

Ways To Teach Letters And Alphabet To Preschool

In this blog I will share how I teach letters of the alphabet in a fun and age appropriate way. My daughter Audrey is almost three and continues to learn and explore all her language books. I prepare her five little books of a, e, i, o and u by Moncure. She loves to read this books repeatedly every morning and before bedtime.

She’s 18 months in this photo exploring the vowel sand paper letters and picture cards with both upper and lower case letters.

Her little “a” book. After reading this book I showed her the sandpaper letter a with miniature objects such as apple, ant, airplane. I try to limit showing her two to three different objects each letter.

I also showed her an object card for apple and ant.

If a child is familiar with the lower case letters, I will move on to introduce the upper case letter. In this clip board shows an upper case “A” with mini apple die cuts for her to glue on it. Because her name starts with “A” (Audrey) in preparation to write her name, I include to introduce the uppercase and the rest are lower case. In a Montessori learning, a child learns the lower case or “small letters” first before the upper case letters.

Showing below are printed images of objects that starts with an /a/ and /A/.

While learning the letters of the alphabet, it is highly important that the child will learn how /o/ feels like on her tiny fingers by showing her how to write it in a beach sand. Learning the alphabet in the early childhood works best using the multi-sensory method.

Multi-sensory or kinesthetic is a method of learning that uses the senses such as: touch, sound, sight, and even taste. That’s when the babies and toddler likes to put objects into their mouth. When I teach the letter /a/, I let her eat an apple while saying the word “apple”. Another example is letter /b/, you can give a banana to teach a child what does letter /b/ taste or “bacon” and “bread”.

What other fun ways your child learn the letters of the alphabet?

Spring Activities For Preschoolers

Spring time is here! I know many of you are excited for this much awaited season of the year and some had their spring activities planned for the following months. My daughter Audrey was born during spring season, and this is my favorite season of the year too! She loves going to the garden and play with butterflies, check the flowers and vegetables and  watch the bird sings. As a parent we love to see our garden blooms with variety of flowers, watching birds chirp, seeing rainbow after the rain showers and other signs of spring we love to watch and witness with our little ones. I want to instill in her the love for mother nature, and having this season of the year is a perfect time to show little ones the beauty of spring.

For kids spring symbolizes flowers, butterflies, birds, garden and rainbows so mostly of our themes for activity consists of this things. With an active little girl in mind, I am sharing this spring activities for indoor and outdoor that your kids can enjoy too! I will continue to add more spring activities each week while we also explore the beauty of nature. This activities are created for three year olds and older. Below are the list and photos of what we’re doing at home.

Spring Activities For Preschooler

Egg Transfer- Several colorful eggs in a basket and a green bunny egg holder. She will transfer one by one the eggs into the bunny egg holder.

Molding Bunny Using Cookie Cutter and Dough- I use non toxic purple dough and three part bunny cookie cutter with a rolling pin. She will roll flat three small balls of dough and mold each of the bunny parts.

She can use other dough colors such as red and green too as what shown below. This dough can get hard easily so it is best to place back into the container with the cover on.

Chalk Board Drawing- She likes to use the chalkboard and try to draw some shapes on it.

In this photo, I showed her how to put pink and blue shades into the flowers. She just watched me do it. I know she’s observing me how to do it, because next time I know she will be using the same chalk to draw in this board (this happens in my make up bag!)

Doily Poking- I gave her a round cute doily and marked a green circle in it. She will follow the green mark using a jumbo push pin. This activity is great for enhancing the hand muscles for pincer grip. This is an excellent way in preparation to hold the pencil correctly. I started to introduce this activity to my daughter lately when she was 33 months. A close supervision is needed.

Catching Butterfly With Handprints- A really cute activity and a precious keepsakes for your little ones. I traced her both hands with washable board marker then I let her put butterfly and flower stickers around it.

Salt & Pepper Shaker Easter Eggs- She scoop beach sand and put it in each eggs, then she will shake it pretending its a salt and pepper shaker! Your kids will love this too.

Bunny Painting- A cute bunny with primary color paints. She’s using a fine brush to match the size of the little bunny. This hand painted bunny can also be used as an ornament!

Cutting Leaves- A great outdoor activity. We love to do activities outdoor. This is perfect if you have a space for table and chair to set up for your kids. She’s actually sitting in an adult garden chair doing her leaves cutting. She’s using a pre-k scissor.

Sticking Easter Window Clings- I let her stick each letters at the glass door by giving her  the letter /H/ first then /A/ and so on until she finished everything and I let her read the words she created. Audrey started to read words when she was two years old.

Gardening Supply Shopping- I include this as one of our spring activities because a young child can learn tons of vocabulary words when they see, feel and touch objects.

She loves lily pad! This is the garden area of Lowe’s where she saw several plants, flowers, garden decors, bird feeders and bird house and a lot more.

Resources;

Here are the books we love to read and recommend for your little learners. All are scholastic books with different spring units that you can incorporate with your curriculum.

Flowers, The Egg, The Ladybug, Birds, The Tree, Fruit and A Seed Is a Promise

What are your favorite spring activities? Please share this fun spring activities. Follow my blog for more ideas and inspirations.

Presenting Fish Unit Study The Montessori Way

 

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In this blog I’m sharing how I presented a unit of study to my class using a Montessori method. My presentation here is about fish.

Why fish?

I love the idea of structuring science and nature teaching into a memorable, fun and exciting unit of study about fish. During my childhood years Ive been fascinated with the ocean animals and had an interest in exploring and learning more about it.

Being passionate on sharing my knowledge through teaching children, I created this unit of study to nourish them information about the study of fish including activities using Montessori practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language, botany, zoology, geography, peace table, nature table, arts and crafts and learning resources like books, magazines and brochures related to this study.

This is the binder that goes with my project presentation.

Upon completion of this project, I gathered all my resources and had taken some time to do a research and create my own extensions of Montessori materials suitable for the age of children I am working with (2-6 years). I also created an objective that at the at the end of this study my student will be able to understand some facts about fish and habitat, how they live, classification, different types of fish including those that looks like a fish but actually not classified as a fish.

Materials

Prepare Your Environment: 

  1. Live fish and aquarium- To get started, gather things to set up in the classroom. The best way to get my students engaged in this study is to show them some live fish and aquarium or fish bowl.
  2. Colorful visuals of fish in a presentation trifold- Fish photos and facts placed at the trifold. Most of the photos used here are from California Academy of Sciences and Audubon Aquarium of Americas. I collected these photos during my holiday travel.
  3. Picture books & photos- I borrowed books from my local library to include in my books shelf. Any books related to fish are placed nicely at the book shelf (far right corner).
  4. Trays or baskets- Okay, Im a hoarder of baskets & trays! I love trays in my classroom. I always look for different sizes of trays or baskets on sale. In a Montessori environment we have different works/jobs that we regularly rotate weekly or biweekly. There are works that doesn’t need to be place in a large tray. With this in mind, I will only use a smaller one to organize materials.
  5. Montessori activities/work- The related unit study works/activities placed in each tray. It is organize particularly according to the photos shown above: practical life, sensorial, math, language, botany, zoology, geography.
  6. Nature Table/Tray
  7. Peace Table

The result of my hard work from this project. I’m a strong believer for “A” yay!

I also selected some unit of studies that Im sharing here to give you more insights about how each presented the Montessori way.

Space

Peace education

Money

Fish (my presentation)

Rainforest

Christmas

The Value Of Practical Life Activities To A Young Child

In this blog, I am sharing some important thoughts and insights about practical life skills and also our special moments at home doing some household chores with a help of a young child. First, I would like to share my thoughts why this is greatly important to a growing and developing child (first plane of development). It is important that we allow the child to experience and touch a variety of household materials that we use in our daily living. The more they are involve in whatever we do the easier for them to learn an important life skills that will last a life time. That is the best gift we can give to our new generations of learners”

I still remember a fellow co-worker at school asked me “Why do the child needs to learn how to wash hands using a basin?” I simply answered her “The child discovers new things and they are very curious to learn the process”.

Maria Montessori placed great value on the Practical Life exercises, referring to them as the “gymnasium for perfecting one’s action”. She believed that they not only refine skills but also form the foundation of character.

The experiences in Practical Life are crucial for building a firm foundation for future learning. Before children can master language and math skills, they need solid work habits and a strong inner sense. Practical Life activities are the vehicle to build this foundation.  

Practical Life in a Montessori education benefitted a child through spontaneous repetition or mastery of each activity. Through this activity the child also develop the love for work, independence, hand-eye coordination and love of order.

Core Principles Of Practical Life Activities; 

  1. Emphasis on life skills
  2. Care of environment
  3. Care of self
  4. Order
  5. Purposeful movement
  6. Develop motor skills (large and small muscles)
  7. Leads to independence
  8. Leads to conscious choices
  9. Auto-education (learning by doing)
  10. Language
  11. Raise self-esteem and self worth
  12. Executive Function- In a young age we encourage them how to organize, plan, take initiative and self-regulation. The work itself has it’s own reward.

Through Practical Life activities, children build and refine the internal skills needed for the learning that is to come. Montessori noted that children construct themselves through their own activities. The Practical Life area offers an opportunity to build a strong foundation for all subsequent work, making it an essential part of the young child’s experiences.

The exercises of practical life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of a useful education.” Maria Montessori

Here’s a collection of our family moments at home doing simple chores as a practical life activities that a young child can learn and master. As you can see, a very close supervision is needed for an activity such as cooking wherein hot surface is a common danger.

Herbal tea portioning using a spoon

Egg slicing using a bread knife

Cutting a banana using bread knife

Vegetable washing

Mixing pancake batter

Washing corn

Sweeping dirt from the floorIMG_0801

Rolling and putting back the work matIMG_0447.JPG

Pencil SharpeningIMG_0135

Watering plantsimg_1519

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