homeschool · Montessori · Parenting

St. Patrick Activities and Readings For Toddler and Preschooler

This week we focus on activities and book readings about St. Patricks Day. I created some fun activities we use at home for my three year old daughter, a helpful books created for a very young learner to easily understand the history of St. Patrick and a fun cd with Irish songs for our active session in music and movement.

Here I’m sharing the activities we have for this week of March to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day.

Transferring shamrock coins in a hat

We started our activity today with these lucky clover play coins placed in a basket and asked her to put the coins inside the elf hat. This activity is also great for toddler because it uses the whole hand grasp to strengthen the hand and finger muscles.

Shamrock leaf poking: I use this four leaf cookie cutter to show her also how to poke without a line and paper directly on the cork board. This is a more advance poking so I suggest to start from poking using a paper with an object image printed in black.

Counting 0-5 using the clover leaf coins:You can also go until numbers 9 or 10. My daughter is three so I let her master first the first lower six numerals.

Molding using shamrock cookie cutter:

We use a non toxic green dough, rolling pin and clover molder for this fun fine motor activities.

This is the music cd we use for our music and movement. We learn the very basic tap dance so the child can follow easily.

The songs shown here are mostly traditional Irish music produced by Dj’s Choice.

A book about St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons

A shamrock is a symbol of Saint Patrick as well as of Ireland.

Our readings for this week; The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day, St. Patricks Day, Ten Lucky Leprechauns

Aside from wearing something green, how do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with you kiddos?

#motherhood · homeschool · Montessori · montessori learning · montessori method · Parenting

The Value Of Practical Life Activities

In this blog, I will share you some food for the minds and also our special moments at home doing some household chores with a help of a young child. 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.

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

Thank you for visiting my page and taking your valuable time to read this article. Please follow me for more ideas and inspiration about Montessori method, parenting and homeschooling.

Montessori · Parenting

Learning About Chinese New Year 2018

     This week we are learning about the Chinese New Year “Year Of The Dog 2018”. The word GUNG HAY FAT CHOY means best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.

This joyous festival may last many days. It’s a special time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors, and thanking the gods for their blessings.

The Chinese add a year to their  age on New Year’s Day, regardless of their original birth month. This considered their grand birthday celebration.

Lunar Calendar

Chinese New Year does not come at the same time every year. The date may fall any time between mid  January and mid February. Chinese festivals are celebrated according to dates on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar. It is called the Lunar Calendar because the length of the months are decided by the cycles of the moon.

Each year is given the name of an animal. It is named after one of the 12 animal symbols on the Chinese zodiac that are date back thousand of years. Each animal year have a specific qualities. Chinese learn their future and fortunes by the animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese families make great preparations for this special time of the year. Families settle their debts, buy new clothes, clean the house and prepare a food before new year.

Homes are filled with flowers and fruits. Families display pyramids of oranges and apples. An apple is symbol of good luck for the new year. The Chinese believe red and orange are colors of joy. Red and orange scrolls seen every where. The Chinese characters on the scrolls carry messages of Good Health, Luck, Long Life, Prosperity, Happiness.

Here comes the lion dancers. They’re dancing to the beat of a giant drum. Dancers carry the Golden Dragon who leads the parade at night. The Chinese dragon was the emblem of the Chinese emperors. It is a symbol of strength and goodness.

I showed this very cute pop-up books to my daughter written by Mary Man-Kong and Joan Holub. She was fascinated by the colorful pages and the stories about Chinese Dragon Dance and the many activities before and after the celebration.


This page of the book is her favorite. Its colorful and with lots of kids having fun while watching the Dragon Dance Parade.

This is a short clip of my daughter flipping the book.


Another page of the book showing the traditional long noodles serve during the festival.


     They call this hong baos a shiny little red envelope use to put money as a symbols of good luck.

Chinese believed that fire crackers will scare away lazy and evil spirits!


Families prepare a delicious dumplings, steamed buns, pork dumplings, spareribs, fish and steam vegetables.

Chinese make it sure they clean and sweep the floor to welcome the new year.

A page of the book with the Year Of The Dog wheel or they call it Lunar Calendar


A red and orange scroll hangs in every houses that wishes prosperity.

This is a wonderful part of a Montessori cultural studies! Do you also celebrate Chinese New Year with your family? You can share your thoughts and ideas in my blog.

#motherhood · Montessori · montessori learning · montessori method · Parenting

15 Effective Fine Motor Activities For Toddler

In this blog, my daughter turns two. 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.

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.

She’s about 15 months here and so fascinated with activities like this

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

 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.

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.

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

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

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).

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

14. Sticker Peeling- I found this at school supplies section at our local Dollar 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.

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.



Botany- Nature Table

One of my favorite areas in the Montessori method is the presentation of Botany lessons to my class. It is my utmost desire to present a unit of study with passion and detail. I love nature so much and to show this, I prepare and collect nature objects whatever the kind or wherever I could find it I will surely pick it and bring it home.

One time, while doing my grocery shopping at Costco, I found a beautiful pine cone under a tree. It looks perfect, for me it shines with beauty.  I clean it at home and carefully arrange together with my other findings.

What is Nature Table?

The Nature Table is a special table, tray or place in the classroom. This is where we introduce an item of special interest to the children. The presentations or discussions are usually done in a small group.

Ways and How to use the Nature Table

-A low table or a tray that can be place low for observation and then placed up on a shelf for storage.

-Each time we use the table, we clear off the previous material and get the same table ready for the next presentation.

-A nice “scene” featuring the item of “focus”.

-A cloth or background that gives the item a context.

-An observation “tool” like magnifying glass.

-A card and pencil to record what you see.

Topics for the Nature Table

  • Introducing fish, frog, reptile, bird or mammal
  • Introducing plant, root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit or seeds.
  • Butterfly
  • Land form, landmark, or place you are studying.
  • A holiday celebration (Diwali)

This is from my classmate who presented a Diwali unit of study

Tips for the Nature Table

  • Make it child centered
  • Attractive
  • Simple and clear concepts
  • Safe

She likes to put the pebbles inside the coconut. In her age at thirteen month, I take a close look due to small parts that poses a choking hazard. This activity is best for 3-6 years of age. 

Importance of Botany in a Classroom

A Montessori classroom should be rich in botanical specimens. But with the introduction of plants into classroom comes the Practical Life care of those plants. The cosmic notion of the interrelationship of all living organisms demands that top priority be given horticulture or the care of plants.

  • A Montessori classroom void of plants reflects that degree of non-participation in the process of life.
  • A Montessori classroom with plants which are cared by the adult reflects the isolation of the child from the nurturing process of life.
  • A Montessori classroom with plants cared for by the children represents the quintessence of the cosmic vision in the Montessori classroom.
  • The child in harmony with nature and as a helper to nature.