SEASHELLS Kids SUMMER Montessori math and sensory invitations to play activities for preschoolers and kindergartners to promote numeracy and fine motor skills.
SEASHELLS are one of the most requested SUMMER Activities themes! It is fun to collect, sort, manipulate, and count them. Children somehow are always fascinated with treasures the sea gifts us! Besides, hands-on learning through fun Montessori inspired math 1:1 correspondence and sensory invitations to play will keep little people’s mind agile and hands busily engaged!
Most importantly, SEASHELLS Kids SUMMER Activities do not need to be complicated! Keep it SIMPLE and try to use items you can find around in nature. For example, have you ever tried spelling with seashells? Forming letters from nature finds puts a new twist on language lessons and sparks creativity! And, better yet, turn your shell-hunt into “Let’s fund the missing half” Game! Have you ever found two parts of a broken shell in the ocean? It happened to me for the first time! I found a piece of a sand-dollar shell and, shortly thereafter, my husband found the missing piece (exact match) distance away from the fist find! It’s the shell children used to spell ” C” for BEACH.
SEASHELLS SENSORY PLAY
Inspired by all the seashells we have collected, I set this simple white rice sensory bin so that we can learn hands-on about the different shells. You will need dried white rice and a deep dish or a tray. To learn more about the seashells, we are referring to a beloved Nature Anatomy book.
Another way to use seashells HANDS-ON is to make NUMBERS from them!
SEASHELLS STEM PLAY
If you have a seashell ice mold, you can freeze just about anything and the result will be cute shells-ice cubes. You can also freeze shells. Once frozen, offer your child some salt and warm water. We are using this dropper set and this mini beaker set. Buy silicon molds here.
Once all the seashells were rescued from the ice, children enjoyed weighing them and determining what various numerical combinations the weight can equate to. For example, here, the seashells on the right equal to 20 g., which is also 10+5+5 or 10+ 10 or 5+5+5+5. Montessori beads make this presentation very concrete as the child can visually discern and count the beads. Buy a very similar balancing scale here.
Montessori Sensory Play Invitation
Children also enjoyed color-matching the seashells to Montessori Color Tablets Box 3.
Montessori SEASHELL MATH
Here is a simple numeral to quantity association with sea-shells and “pearls.” Offer your child tongs and invite them to fill the corresponding number of pearls to each shell. To reinforce the numerical understanding, we are also using Montessori Golden Beads. This is a very concrete math lesson for smaller children ( 2- 3 yr).
Rote Counting vs. Rational Counting
The difference between rote and rational counting is that the first one is a process of sequentially memorizing number names, while the second is the process of understanding number values. For example, a child’s ability to recite numbers in order, just like a heart-learned-poem, does not indicate the actual mathematical knowledge of numbers. Thus, once a child can count to five, we should shift focus from making that number bigger and gibber to making sure that a child can reliably count a small number of manipulatives and assign that quantitative sum to a numeral.
Trust me, 1:1 correspondence is a much better indication of your child’s mathematical mastery than a long list of memorized numbers. And the best part, you can introduce 1:1 correspondence starting at an early age by modeling through real-life manipulative and hands-on DIYs. Invite your child to TOUCH each object and provide various hands-on invitations to count, by offering loose parts, shells, play dough, buttons, beans, blocks, Lego pieces, food items, etc. Ensure that experiences are fun and engaging, like with SEASHELLS Kids SUMMER Activities, to sustain littles people’s curiosity and develop the love for numbers and math.
Here is another invitation to cement quantity to the numeral association, but this time by counting teens and tens with seashells, pearls, and Montessori Ten bars.
I would compose a random number on a Teen/Tens Board and then offer Adrian (4.5 yo) to put together that number in a colored rice sensory bin using ten bars and pearls. (To dye the rice, simply add few squirts of vinegar to rice in a ziplock bag and add the desired amount of food coloring). Adrian also had to find the corresponding number on a Montessori Hundred Board thus further reinforcing number recognition and sequencing.
Montessori SEASHELL SCIENCE
SEASHELLS Kids SUMMER Activities~ invitation to explore up-close.
Nothing spurs more curiously in a child than a sight of a little intricate shell or a hermit crab picking from its shelter or tiny granular of sand mixed with smooth polished pebbles. (Buy our Microscope here.)
“There must be [a] provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony, and the beauty in nature.”Maria Montessori
Exploring seashells hands-on. Julia would pick a shell, we would read about it, look under a microscope and then she would sketch it and write some learned facts. Here, Julia explored Turbonille ~ which is a species of sea snail. Interestingly, this shell always has twelve whorls and it can be found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Adrian also enjoyed raking in our Zen Garden. (See it in action here ~ Educational Materials, 📚Books and Toys 🎥 Review.) We are also reading Encyclopedia of Animals ~ an A-Z encyclopedia offering children fascinating information with explanations of classification, adaptation, migration, and conservation issues. Your little reader will gain fascinating insights into the behaviors, biology, and environments of the planet’s wildlife. Here, we are reading about a starfish.
Exploring Sand Dollars hands-on.
Sand Dollars are closely related to starfish, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. They have a round-shaped body that is usually three inches wide, with a flattened, rigid exoskeleton (called “test”) with the star-shaped mark on the surface. Interestingly, they need not be white but can be blue, purple, green, brown or black colored, depending on the species. Sand dollars move across the ocean floor using their miniature spines and they will escape predators by hiding in the sandy seafloor by using spines to dig sand. Sand dollars can survive 6 to 10 years in the wild and they can be found in the temperate and tropical parts of Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.
I hope you enjoyed SEASHELLS Kids SUMMER Activities! Leave a comment, which one was your favorite!
FOR MORE SUMMER Kids Activities
See here ~ our entire Summer Themed Unit Study.
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