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.

Here quite few of the activities we have at home for my 3 year old daughter. She had fun matching all the different kinds of birds with the three part cards.

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A yellow warbler matching card with object and bird puzzle

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This is our Bird unit shelf

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I gave her a basket with shredded manila paper as a birds 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 on 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.

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.

15 Effective Fine Motor Activities For Toddler

 

In this blog, my daughter was 33 months. It’s just like only yesterday when we celebrated her first birthday. Her milestones continue to progress that I needed to catch up and do a quick review on my observational skills.

I gather a compilation of activities that enhances the refinement of muscles or fine motor skills as well as hand eye coordination. Being a mother and a teacher plays a big role to deeply involved with every developmental milestones she’s into. Preparing a variety of fine motor activities each week is a must for a very active toddler.

At home you can always find materials you need to strengthen your child’s hand muscles. You can also check tons of ideas at pinterest and instagram. Here are my collections of activities at home that helps my child a lot with her fine motor.

Some of the links in my post 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.

1. Water Ball Play- This is one of her favorite activities at home. Something stretchy, gewey, sticky and wet put a spark on her eyes and get totally engaged with this.
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She’s about 15 months here and so fascinated with activities like this

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2. Watercolor Painting- Great for hand-eye coordination. She still working on mixing water with the color palettes. I love the glow on her face when she discovers different shades from mixing with variety of colors.

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3. Pegboard Activity- Putting pegs into a hole develops grasps and release, refined pinches and eye hand coordination.

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4. Color Sorting Cylinder- Master eye hand coordination, refined pinches and develops pincer grasps.

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5. Name Puzzle Tracing– In here I use small colored beads (choking hazard). She uses beads to trace each letters of her name. This is a great way to teach a child in preparation of using a pencil for writing.

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6. Molding Kinetic Sand- Instead of using play dough, I choose this plain colored kinetic sand and a set of 5 cutting tools. This activity strengthens her hand muscles.

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Below shows the five different play dough cutters. She loves to create different shapes and designs out of it.

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7. Foam Stickers– Stickers are always a big hit at home. It’s also another great fine motor activities that are easily available at home and a good calm down activity for toddlers.

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8. Coloring- Young children can grasp easily when they use a bigger or thicker crayons and markers. It is also advisable to use non toxic and washable crayons for safety.

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9. Block Stacking- Babies and toddlers loves to stack objects. It strengthens the whole hand by using all the fingers. This activity also enhances the hand-eye coordination.

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10. Letter Tracing- A good activity to efficiently use pincer grip.

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11. Dot Painting- The thickness of this dot paint fits well to a toddlers tiny hands.

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12. Cutting- This activity takes a lot of practice and observation. A close supervision will be needed. There are a lot of toddler friendly scissor that you can buy for your child. I got this pair of scissor at Dollar Store (teacher’s corner).

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13. Water Pouring- This is her favorite activity during spring and summer. She spends a couple of hours outdoor doing this fun activity.

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14. Sticker Peeling- I found this at school supplies section at our local store. I use this for her to follow the shape or pattern of an object. As long as you have a bunch of this at home or school your child will love sticking. A great activity to promote concentration, hand eye coordination and pincer grip exercises.

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15. Washing- There’s a vast washing activity for toddlers like baby doll washing, toy washing, play kitchen utensil washing, clothes washing, fruits & vegetables washing and a lot more things to wash.

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What are your kids favorite fine motor activities here? Please share this very helpful fine motor article that your friends and family will enjoy. Follow me for more fun and educational ideas and tips.

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius