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Amira Homeschooling Montessori WINTER

Dear Hasmik,

We will use this page for the winter months, ending with March. I will create a NEW page for April-June. You can still view and refer to PRIOR PAGE called amira-homeschooling-montessori HERE. As always, email me at anya@montessorifromtheheart.com at any time if you have any questions, or should you need me to modify the curriculum to better follow Amira.

Please, let me know which activity was Amira’s favorite? Before I update for the next month, I would love to know the progress.

MARCH

Learning about St. Patrick’s Day

See HERE Books 📚 we are reading for☘️St. Patrick’s Day

We also read a few legends about St. Patrick:

  • St. Patrick and the Poison: some people say that a wizard tried to kill St. Patrick by putting poison in his drink. St. Patrick quickly turned it into ice and tossed it from the cup.
  • St. Patrick & his Cloak: it is said that St. Patrick had a friend who borrowed St. Patrick’s cloak. This friend was miraculously saved from the fire, without being hurt, by wearing St. Patrick’s cloak. 
  • St. Patrick & a Shamrock: St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain to people about the Holy Trinity~one God in three divine beings: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Growing at his feet was a shamrock, so he used this plant to explain three in one, one stem with three leaves. 
  • St. Patrick & the Fish: each year, on March 17th, fish rise from the sea. They pass before St. Patrick’s alter in Ireland and then disappear back into the sea. 
  • St. Patrick & the Sunset: it is said that the sun did not set when St. Patrick died and that is shone in the sky for twelve days and nights.

St. Patrick’s Day ~ How People Celebrate:

We learned that on St. Patrick’s Day many people give cards or flowers to their family and friends. People also make cookies, cakes and other goodies to share with others. Some people wear green carnations or pin shamrocks to their clothing to celebrate the holiday. People dance Irish jigs and play games. Pipers and fiddlers play Irish tunes. There are green hats everywhere, people are wearing green costumes, green banners are hung on windows … there is a lot of green – everywhere! People also decorate their houses with shamrocks, a plant with three leaves, looking like a clover. Shamrock is the most recognized symbol of Saint Patrick as well as of Ireland. 

Did you know?

  • Your odds of finding a lucky 🍀four-leafed clover is 1 in 10,000!
  • 🎩☘️Do leprechauns really exist?! Yes! “You can see a rainbow 🌈 almost every day in 🇮🇪 Ireland so you start believing in leprechauns, and so does the 🇪🇺European Union! Leprechauns are officially protected species under EU law! The Carlingford Sliabh Foy Loop Trail became a sanctuary and protected land for the country’s remaining leprechauns—236 in total that live there! And nearby Slieve Foye Mountain gained protection under the European Habitats Directive, which protects flora, fauna, and apparently, magical fairies.” Read HERE.
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland has a population of only 4. 8 mil people, so you can drive for hours and not see a soul.
  • The harp is a national instrument.
  • On St. Patrick’s day, it is customary to attend a mass, wear green and pin a harp with a green shamrock to clothing.
  • Traditional soda bread’s ingredients are buttermilk, baking soda, salt, flour, and butter. Contrary to popular belief, no sugar or raisins added to traditional Irish bread.
  • There are no snakes in Ireland! (There are only three types of amphibians in Ireland, some sea turtles, and only one type of reptile – a lizard.) It is just too damp and cold for these cold-blooded animals since the average warmest temperature in the summer is about 68F (ave 40-50F ). The winters are grey and damp around 30 to 40F with common frost, but there is rarely snow in Ireland.

☘️St. Patrick’s Day LITERACY Kids Activities

PUPPETS and DO-A-DOT

*St Patrick Day Puppets Craft
*St Patrick Day Puppets Craft

SEE A VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE

I Am A Little Leprechaun Poem
I Am A Little Leprechaun Poem

Practice tracing in dyed rice PRE-WRITING STROKES.

The below Clover Upper to Lower fits as a PUZZLE – do it Only for letters you have done hunts for –CMAT & SRIP

St Patrick's 3-Part Cards Montessori Kids Activity Pack.011
St Patrick’s 3-Part Cards Montessori Kids Activity Pack.011


DYED RAINBOW RICE

RAINBOW-RICE-TRACING Montessori TRAY
RAINBOW-RICE-TRACING Montessori TRAY

Practice proper letter formation with this dyed rice sensory tracing tray. (We are using THIS wooden alphabet with cards.) Again, do it only for letters you have covered during the LETTER HUNTS.

🌈Rainbow🙈Hide & Seek 🔠ABC

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Another 🌈colorful fun rainbow 🍚rice idea is to HIDE letter SHAPES in rice. You can skip the blindfold and offer your child to sensorially feel the shape of the letter and try to figure out what letter it is.  Once the child retrieves the letter and identifies it, offer to place it on the corresponding letter card.  Again, place in rice only letters you have covered during the LETTER HUNTS. It can be just 3 letters at a time.


We want to DETER little ones from eating SENSORY FILLER! Good habits will ensure SAFE play! So, if they put it into their mouth, calmly say “No, not for eating. Not in your mouth.” or “Do not put it in your mouth. This is not food.” Or stick a tongue out and make a yucky /disgusted face. Most importantly, model appropriate ways to play. If the behavior persists, remove and introduce it later.


☘️ St. Patrick’s Day MATH Kids Activities

St Patrick’s Montessori Count-and-Clip Cards

St Patrick's Montessori Count-and-Clip Cards
St Patrick’s Montessori Count-and-Clip Cards

You can invite a child to either use a peg (clothespin), or a dot market, or a dry erase marker, a stamp, or finger paint! Do it for cards 1-5 ONLY! Do vary it to keep the engagement kindling. (Use the printed cards similar to the DIY version below.)

RAINBOW COUNT AND CLIP MONTESSORI CARDS
RAINBOW COUNT AND CLIP MONTESSORI CARDS


💡 The GOAL is ONE-TO-ONE correspondence ~which is the ability to match a group of objects (here rainbow stickers) to the corresponding number and recognize that a number is merely a symbol to represent that quantity! So, have them TOUCH and COUNT ALOUD each rainbow sticker as they match the CARDINAL number to its corresponding numeral.

Use BLANK numbered puzzles as a control of error to layer identical PICTURED numbered strips over.



COUNTING COINS AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW

Making a DIY rainbow is super easy and fun! Cut a paper plate in half and then color it in a rainbow pattern. (We love solid tempera paint sticks as they dry in 90 seconds and are perfect grip even for the smallest hands.) Optional: roll the dice, and make that number from pipe cleaners, which is awesome for fine motor and number formation. Then, fill the pot with gold coins, or place the coins on the DIY rainbow.

Roll & Count Gold On A Rainbow

Roll the Dice and Count Gold on a Rainbow Montessori Math
🎲 Roll & Count 💰Gold on a 🌈Rainbow

See HERE Roll & Count Gold on a Rainbow


DIY Clover SPINDLE BOX

Spindles-Montessori-Math

Spindle box teaches a child the difference between the numeral/ number/symbol written on a wooden box’s slot) and quantity (substance, like when a child is holding actual spindles in his/her hands).

DIY Clover-Spindles-Montessori
DIY Clover-Spindles-Montessori

TO MAKE DIY CLOVER SPINDLE “BOX” YOU’ll NEED:


– recycle ♻️ 🧻 TPR (toilet paper rolls)
– craft sticks (you can wrap yarn around them to make them more substantial)
– ☘️ stickers or a clover puncher
-a hot glue gun

DIY Clover-Spindles-Montessori
DIY-Clover Montessori-Spindle-Box


SKILLs:
-hand-eye coordination
-fine motor control
-number recognition
-1:1 correspondence
⠀⠀
💡 GOAL: 1:1 correspondence, which is the ability to match an object (☘️ clover) to the corresponding number and recognize👆🏻 that a number is merely a symbol to represent that quantity! Young children often learn “rote counting” without having an understanding of 1 :1😮 They learn to count till 10 just like a heart-learned poem! So, have them 🙌🏻TOUCH & COUNT 🔈ALOUD each ☘️stick as they place them in 🧻TPR, matching to its corresponding numeral.

Spindle-Box-Montessori-Math
Spindle-Box-Montessori-Math

SEE detailed post about Montessori Spindle Box HERE.


GOLD COINS NUMBER LINE

DO FOR NUMBERS 1-5 ONLY!

GOLD COINS NUMBER LINE MATH STRATEGIES
GOLD COINS NUMBER LINE MATH STRATEGIES

WHAT YOU NEED:
– counters (we are using 💰 gold coins, but use whatever you have! You will need 55 of them!)
– numerals
⠀⠀
SKILLs:
✔️number recognition
✔️number sequencing
✔️1:1 correspondence
✔️bar graphing
✔️hand 🖐🏻eye 👁coordination
✔️fine motor control

MATH STRATEGIES


💡 🔛NUMER LINE: So much research has been done on the benefits of teaching ↔️number lines as a visual math strategy. It can be used in addition & subtraction, as well as skip counting & times tables. Emphasize that numbers go to infinity by drawing ⏪⏩ at each end. Start at 1 and count up. Once the child finds the number on a line, remind your child to go back to number one and count up again.

💡1:1 correspondence, which is the ability to match an object (💰💰💰) to the corresponding number3️⃣ and recognize👆🏻 that number is a symbol to represent that quantity! Young children often learn “rote counting” without having an understanding of 1 :1😮 they learn to count till 10 just like a heart-learned poem! So, PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE! Have them COUNT aloud and TOUCH each 💰as they place them next to a correspondent numeral, crating a graph!

💡This can also be an intro to 📊BAR GRAPH! Graphs are useful because they can be easier to understand than numbers and words alone.


SHAPES

Clover SHAPES in NATURE
Clover SHAPES in NATURE

PIPE CLEANER 2-D SHAPES DIY


☘️ St. Patrick’s Day PLA Kids Activities

St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun DO-A-DOT Toddler Activities
St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun DO-A-DOT Toddler Activities

MUG PLAY HACK

St Patrick’s Mug Tree Hack

Here is a PLACK HACK to turn your Mug Tree into a fine-motor “let’s decorate the tree” activity for toddlers! We have done it with Christmas decorations, and now, with shamrocks!

TONGS TRANSFERRING

Transferring, whether with hands or tongs, is a quintessential Montessori Practical Life activity. However, how fun it is to make it as part of ☘️St. Patrick’s Day Kids Activities by varying a COLOR of your materials! With children age 2 YR +, present in a shallow bowl and offer to transfer using HANDS. You can modify, according to your child’s level, and offer different transferring tools: from a spoon to tongs to even chopsticks! (See more on transferring HERE ~ Halloween Inspired Tongs Transferring.) SMALL ITEMS ARE CHOKING HAZARD!

These mini tongs are perfect for little hands to exercise fine motor control and strengthen small muscles of the hands! Besides all the GREEN color, adds novelty to the activity and makes it inviting! We are using a green silicone mold (you can also use an ice tray) and styrofoam-covered balls (buy gold ones here) ~ you may also use pom poms. Have fun transferring!


Shamrock Pipe Cleaner Beads Fine Motor Craft

DETAILS HERE

Shamrock Pipe Cleaner Beads Craft is decorating our window pane.

GOLF TEE BALANCING

Here is a fun way to repurpose an old egg carton. (Bake at 250F for 15 min to kill potential eColi.) Insert golf tees and offer a child to balance styrofoam balls on the tips of golf tees.

SCRUBBING A TABLE

Scrubbing a Table -you will need a plastic container, a pitcher for water, soap in a dish, a scrub-brush in a dish, a sponge, a towel for drying, and two containers: one filled with clean water and the other to dump the dirty water. See in action HERE.

🔐Lock & Key

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🔐 Locks are not just for keeping things safe! This is an awesome fine motor activity presented on every Montessori Practical Life shelf. Those little fingers really have to work to get the right 🔑key into the little lock! Present this activity on a tray or in a basket and have mismatched 🔑keys on a ring and different locks 🔐 interlocked between each other in a ball. (Buy locks here and here.) Have more keys than locks to 📈increase the level of difficulty. Offer your child to solve the puzzle and exercise those problem-solving skills to find the right key for the right lock. As the key matches with the lock, the lock opens up and the child is able to separate that lock from the rest and place it aside on a mat. PURPOSE: fine motor skills to fit the right key into the little lock, as the child will really need to work those little fingers to get the keys into individual little locks holes. Children are also developing patience as they attempt to problem solve the puzzle. Vary the activity depending on your child’s age. Most importantly, let it be learning through fun.

 📉Variation: offer an identical number of keys to locks and present the keys loose so that the child, once opens the lock, can put that lock and a matching key aside, having fewer keys to work with.

📉Variation: Numeracy ~ label the matching lock and its key with an identical number.

📉Variation: Literacy ~place an upper case letter sticker on a lock and the same letter lowercase on its matching key.

PLUCKER TRANSFER

IMG_0044See here Olive Picker-Plucker 🍝Transferring • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity.


☘️ St. Patrick’s Day SENSORIAL Activities

Clover TPR COLOR MATCH 

Shamrock-TPR-Craft-Sticks-Color-Match
Shamrock-TPR-Craft-Sticks-Color-Match

Here is a colorful St Patrick shamrock ☘️ color match DIY.

YOU’ll NEED:
– recycle ♻️ 🧻TPR
– 🍡ice pop sticks (craft sticks work too)
– ☘️stickers (I am using a ☘️ puncher)
– hot glue gun

SKILLs:
-🖐🏻 hand 👁 eye coordination
-fine motor control
-color recognition
– sorting and classifying


Montessori Color Boxes | Knobless Cylinders Rainbow

DETAILS HERE

DIY Color Matching + Fine Motor Pegging

 This DIY resembles matching Montessori Color Tablets ~ similar to Color Box 2 ~ a traditional Sensorial material introduced to toddlers starting at 2 ½ years old. 

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With this activity, besides simply matching color samples from your local hardware store, offer your child to practice fine motor skills by matching colored clothespins and also graduating pegs in order from smallest to largest or vice versa. And if you have plain wooden pegs, just color them either with Sharpies (what we used) or use tempera stick paints which are awesome too!

IMG_1020

Bottle Cap Rainbow Pom Pom Fine Motor DIY

Plastic Bottle Caps Pom-Poms Rainbow DIY
See here ♻️ Bottle Cap 🌈Rainbow Pom Pom Fine Motor DIY

SEE DETAILS HERE

SHADES OF GREEN DYED RICE

Inspired by the 💚Green book, we are also making shades of GREEN today with this DIY DYED rice! Just add a little bit of vinegar (we are using a bulb baster for that) and desired food coloring to your dry rice. (Separate each color in an individual plastic ziplock bag.) Mix well, air dry and it is ready to use! Most coloring we used (such as green, seafoam, and turquoise) is from this liquid dye set for soap. We also used a neon green (with a pointy cap) from this food coloring pack, and the last one: kiwi green was from this liquid soap set.

DID YOU KNOW that  Ireland’s nickname is  ‘Emerald Isle’ because of its verdant landscapes and lush grass? Also, the color green holds a deeper religious meaning of Catholicism. Green stands for fighting for independence and freedom from England. The green color also stands for being able to exercise free religious choice. Gold, on the other hand, as seen on the Irish flag, represents Protestant ruling under the British Empire, and white stands for hope.

HOWEVER, the original color associated with St. Patrick was NOT green, but BLUE! Patrick is shown wearing blue vestments in several artworks. It was not until later that the green color became associated with Ireland due to the beautiful green countryside and the above-mentioned religious content.

SEE HERE Leprechaun Sensory Bin


STICKERs RAINBOW COLOR MATCH

This math sensorial color matching activity offers a child to practice numbers recognition and sequencing, numeral to quantity association and color matching. Offer a child to place on the rainbow’s color-rays the exact amount of matching colorful dot stickers: 1 , 2 , 3  and so forth! (We are using these amazing Prismacolors pastels.)


CLOUD DOUGH

Skip all the loose items if you think they might end up in the mouth.

Cloud-Dough-Rainbow-Gems
Cloud-Dough-Rainbow-Gems

DETAILS HERE


CULTURAL

☘️ St. Patrick’s Day HISTORY

A little more history about Saint Patrick ( History channel). See more HERE.

Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick gained the title of Patron Saint of Ireland based on his actions, not his birthplace. No one is totally sure where was he born: England, Scotland, or Wales, but he definitely was not born on Emerald Ilse, as St. Patrick was not actually Irish, but of British heritage. Originally born under the name “Maewyn Succat” around 386 A.D., St. Patrick belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family who owned a large estate. His family was Christians, but Patrick showed little interest in religion, and although his father was a deacon, the future saint wasn’t a religious child at all. It wasn’t until he was kidnapped at the age of sixteen by Irish pirates and taken to the chilly, mountainous countryside of the northern mountain part of Ireland to be sold as a slave to tender sheep, that he found his faith. While in slavery, lonely and scared, he turned to his family religion for solace, often praying to God to help him find a way home. Throughout his time in captivity, he became a devout Christian and was encouraged by a voice he believed to be God’s to escape from his captors.

He was twenty-two years old he saw a dream calling him to walk to the shore to find a ship to sail back to England to find his parents. Patrick walked 200 miles to the Ireland Eastern coast where he found a passage to the ship which took him back to England where he was reunited with his family after seven years of slavery and separation. Thereafter, he found his calling to become a Catholic priest, so he found his way to a monastery in England where he spent twelve years growing closer to God. However, troubled by the cruelty he had experienced in Ireland and the destruction of his homeland he faced upon his return, he decided to go back to Ireland after hearing an angel telling him to return to Ireland as a missioner. So, after studying to become a Catholic priest, he returned to a country he called a “prison” to teach the Keltik Pagan population empathy and respect. He had promised that if people will follow his teachings and accept Catholicism, he will vanish all the snakes from Ireland. And, so he did, as there are no snakes in Ireland. St. Patrick often used a three-leaf plant to explain the Holy Trinity, and that is how “shamrock” became the most recognized symbol of Ireland. The leaves are meant to symbolize the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit in the Catholic Trinity. Saint Patrick used shamrocks to convert the Druids from their Pagan ways to Christianity, by convincing them that the Holy Trinity was present in every lush, green field of their native land. In Ireland, when St. Patrick was introducing Christianity, he used a shamrock to teach the mystery of the Holy Trinity: the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit ~ three leaves on one stem. He tried to explain how three separate entities can yet be one in the same. On March 17, 461, Patrick died. Because Saint Patrick is a saint of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the day he entered heaven rather than the day of his birth.

ALSO WATCH a VIDEO HERE


March 8 ~ International Women’s Day

See HERE International Women’s Day • Celebrating With Western-European Continent


March 20 World Frog Day

Frog-Puzzle-LifeCylce-Pin-Poke
Frog-Puzzle-LifeCylce-Pin-Poke

SEE FROG STUDY HERE


☘️ St. Patrick’s Day STEM Kids Activities

COFFER FILTERS Capillary Action

No precision required! The experiment is to see HOW COLORS SPREAD!

DETAILS HERE

What is capillary action?


Capillary action is the ability of a liquid (our colored water) to flow in narrow spaces (the flower stem) without the help of an outside force, like gravity. As water evaporates from a plant, it is able to be pull up more water through the plant’s stem. As it does so, it attracts more water to come alongside it. This is called transpiration and cohesion.

DOWNLOAD PRIMARY/SECONDARY COLORs PDF HERE

Dry Paper Underwater Experiment

It’s a fun trick, but YOU will have to conduct it!

Dry Paper Underwater Experiment
Dry Paper Underwater Experiment

DETAILS HERE

Tangerine-Sink-Float-Kids-STEM-Science
Tangerine-Sink-Float-Kids-STEM-Science

DETAILS HERE ~ IT IS TASTE -SAFE


Paper-Towel-Markers-Kids-Process-Art-Adrian
Paper-Towel-Markers-Kids-Process-Art-Adrian

DETAILS HERE ~ again NO precision is required


☘️ St. Patrick’s Day Kids CRAFTS

Q-TIP RAINBOW PAINTING CRAFT

Please draw a rainbow and invite to follow the rays with a Q-TIP.

*Rainbow-Q-Tip-Art-Craft-Sensorial-Activity-For-Kids
*Rainbow-Q-Tip-Art-Craft-Sensorial-Activity-For-Kids

SEE DETAILS HERE


Marshmallow Shamrock Stamping Kids Craft

Marshmallow Shamrock Stamping Kids Craft St Patrick's Inspired
☘️Shamrock Stamping Kids Craft

See HERE Marshmallow Shamrock Stamping Kids Craft

Shamrock TPR PUPPET

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See HERE ☘️Shamrock DIY Recycled Toilet Paper Roll Craft

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Our Shamrock puppets are decorating our window pane.

Shamrock CORK STAMPING

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The next time you will be having champagne, save the corks and make this Shamrock craft! Just tie three corks with a green pipe cleaner to represent the leaves of a Shamrock. Then dip your “Shamrock stamp” into the green washable paint and apply to the paper. We used this tempera paint to draw a stem. 


FEBRUARY

HOLIDAYS

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

BRUSH-TEETH-CARDBOARD BEANS DIY
BRUSH-TEETH-CARDBOARD BEANS DIY

Teaching children proper teeth cleaning through FUN HANDS-ON engaging DIY! “Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired!” Here is a fun activity to strengthen the small muscles of the hands while teaching little people proper teeth hygiene.

••••••••••••••••
YOU’ll NEED:
– recycled cardboard (I am using pizza insert)
– white beans
– a hot glue gun
– a toothbrush
– dry erase marker
– toothpaste

SKILLs:
– hand-eye coordination
– fine motor control
– dexterity – bilateral coordination

⚠️TIP: If you are planning on using toothpaste, TAPE the face over with clear tape first and then hot glued the beans! Then, draw cavities with a black dry erase marker and offer your child a brush to clean them!

EGG STAINING STEM Experiment

Feb 1 National Children's Dental Health Month
See HERE ~ EGG STAINING / CLEANING DENTAL ACTIVITIES for KIDS


Chinese New Year – Feb 12

Chinese-New Year-of-a-Rooster-Dragon-Craft
See HERE Chinese-New Year-of-a-Rooster-Dragon-Craft

EXPLORE CHINA CONTINENT BOX UNDER CULTURAL



3rd Sunday in Feb ~ World Whale Day

Since Amira still puts things in her mouth, skip the water beads and just use stained water and sea animals you have.

Sperm-Whale-Water-Beads-Sensory-Play
World-Whale-Day-Water-Beads-Sensory-Play~ See HERE Blog WORLD OCEAN DAY
DIY-Picture-Puzzle-World-Whale-Day
DIY-Picture-Puzzle-World-Whale-Day

Use any images you have of animals and cut pictures in half or quoters. Offer to assemble the puzzle.

Ocean-DIY-Craft-Sticks-Puzzle-World Whale Day
See HERE Ocean-DIY-Craft-Sticks-Puzzle-World Whale Day


Feb 27 ~ International Polar Bear Day 

DSC_0123 copy

Again, skip the water beads and set stained blue water and ice.

See here International ❄️Polar 🐻Bear Day

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Also here you will find books we read for Polar Bear Unit Study

Polar-Regions-Montessori-Study-Polar-Bear
See HERE ~ Polar-Regions-Montessori-Study-Polar-Bear

PLA

Heart Paper Plate Yarn Weaving

Paper Plate Heart Yarn Weaving
Paper Plate Heart Yarn Weaving ~ See on IG HERE

If you are looking for free and easy Valentine’s craft, just grab a paper plate and trace a heart on it. Next, cut out the heart shape and punch small hearts around the heart’s perimeter. Thereafter, offer your child to weave it! This is an amazing fine motor exercise and it makes a cute gift! (Buy a large needle HERE .)


Heart Stamp & Weave

Heart-Needle-Sewing-Kids-Activity
Check out HERE a VIDEO of Adrian at 3 YO weaving a Paper Heart Craft


Valentine-Glitter-HEARTs-Weaving-Washi Tape-Pasting-CRAFT
Valentine-Glitter-HEARTs-Weaving-Washi Tape-Pasting-CRAFT ~ see on IG HERE

Another fun way to decorate your heart is with washi-tape!

Glitter-Heart-Needle-Sewing
Glitter-Heart-Needle-Sewing

Pipe-Cleaner Heart Pony-Beads Threading

Pipe-Cleaner-Heart-Pony-Beads-Threading copy
See HERE Pipe-Cleaner-Heart-Pony-Beads-Threading

Scissors Primary Colors Pasta Threading

Heart-Rainbow-Pasta-Threading
For fun Scissors Primary Colors Pasta Cutting ~ read HERE 

DIY Valentines Heart Stickers-Scissors-Cutting

Valentines Heart Stickers-Scissors-Cutting-Kids-Activity
HERE see a VIDEO ~ DIY Valentines Heart Stickers-Scissors-Cutting-Kids-Activity


BUBBLE MAKING

  • You will need a bucket of water or sink or water bottle, a tray, a bowl for whisking, a sponge for cleaning up, and an eye-dropper with dishwashers soap. A child whisks the water and makes bubbles. SEE DETAILS HERE.


SENSORIAL

Cardboard-Hearts-Match-Stick-Poke
Cardboard-Hearts-Match-Stick-Poke

HOW: First, draw the hearts of various sizes and various colors on recycled cardboard. Next, pre-poke holes with a tooth-pick (it’s sharper) and put them away! Thereafter, offer your child colorful craft match sticks to poke along the perimeter of each heart. (Once done, offer to REMOVE the match-sticks rather than insert.) Skills: hand-eye coordination, color recognition, fine motor control, size comparison, spatial awareness.



Heart-Puncher-Paint-Samples Pegs

Heart-Puncher-Paint-Samples
Heart-Puncher-Paint-Samples

YOU’ll NEED:
– paint samples
– clothespins
– a glue stick
– a heart puncher

SKILLs:
-🖐🏻 hand 👁 eye coordination
-color recognition
-fine motor control
-bilateral coordination (holding a paint swatch with 1 hand and clipping the peg with the other)
-dexterity and more!

👆🏻These skills are the gateway to cognitive development for your child!⠀

VALENTINES MYSTERY BAG

VALENTINES MYSTERY BAG
VALENTINES MYSTERY BAG

💞HEARTs❤️Inspired 🤔Mystery Bag.

Place pairs of objects (of various textures and sizes) in a basket (or a bag) and have your child retrieve an object blindfolded and identify based on a tactile sense of TOUCH only! Then offer to find the missing pair INSIDE the BAG.
Start with 3 pairs of VERY familiar objects! Then increase the number of pairs and choose pairs that are similar to each other and not familiar to a child.

See how to present STEREOGNOSTIC MYSTERY BAG HERE


COLOR MATCH POM POM PAINT

Hearts-Pom-Pom-Painting-DIY
Hearts-Pom-Pom-Painting-DIY

Pom-Pom painting is an amazing and fun way to strengthen small muscles of the hand, dexterity and practice pre-writing skills!

YOU’ll NEED:
– cardboard or a piece of paper
– colorful markers
– clothespins/pegs
– pom-Poms or cotton balls
– 🎨 paints

SKILLs:
✔️following the line/curve
✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️fine motor control & developing a pencil grasp
✔️color recognition & matching
✔️LARGE/MEDIUM/SMALL
••••••••••••••••
💡 Before you put a pencil in your child’s hand, let them explore lines and curves sensorially‼️Yes! Numbers and letters have straight lines, curved lines, some have dots & slants! But don’t rush your little one before the brain is neurologically ready! Your 2 YO may draw ➖ and by 3 YO might draw ⭕️ But before they can do that, offer your toddler to practice PRE- writing strokes and lines! So, before your little one can write, they must have enough fine motor control and hand strength! HOW: offer plenty of opportunities to practice: finger/pom-pom painting, squeezing droppers, exploring play dough, squeezing pegs, threading pony beads, cutting with scissors, and so forth!  DETAILS ON PRE-WRITING STOKES HERE.


HEARTS COLOR DOT STICKER MATCHING

HEARTS COLOR DOT STICKER MATCHING
HEARTS COLOR DOT STICKER MATCHING

Here is a fun FINE MOTOR, SIZE and COLOR recognition activity! Draw hearts of various sizes and colors and offer color-matching dot stickers to follow along the heart’s line.


FAKE SNOW SENSORY INVITATIONS

Frozen-Arctic-Waterbeads-Jello-Kmart-Tray Sensory Play
Frozen Arctic Waterbeads Jello-Kmart-Play-Tray

Have you tried freezing gelatin block? Add some instant snow, animals, pine 🌲 trees and your little one will be occupied for a good hour! Check my ARCTIC KIT HERE.

TASTE SAFE BLOCKS: HOWEVER, although taste-safe, gelatine can be a choking hazard! TIPS: I use unflavored gelatine, so do not add any sugar to discourse tasting!

Frozen-Arctic-Waterbeads-Jello-Kmart-Tray Sensory Play
Frozen-Arctic-Waterbeads-Jello-Elk

Exposing children early on to sensory play in an age-appropriate, child-driven environment is the key to building confidence, knowledge, and mastery as it supports language development, cognitive growth, fine motor control, problem-solving skills, and social interaction. As your child learns through play, s/he triggers multiple when tactile, visual, and language stimuli are sparked off!


LANGUAGE

DYED SAND PRE-WRITING STROKES

*DYED SAND DIY TRACING TRAY
*DYED SAND DIY TRACING TRAY

SEE HERE HOW TO make DYED SAND to practice PRE-WRITING STROKES STRIPS from WINTER PACK

Please note, this printable is a BONUS to your membership. If you would like to SHARE it, please direct to the PRODUCT PAGE HERE where I also upload video tutorials on HOW TO use this 80+ MEGA WINTER PACK.

Dyed Rice Seek and Find

See a video tutorial HOW TO make DYED RICE. Instead of writing letters, place a plate with rice OVER FAMILIAR PICTURES and ask Amira to tell you the name.

SKILLs:
– hand-eye coordination
-fine motor control
– spatial awareness
– letter recognition

DYED Red-Rice-Letter-Seek-And-Find
DYED Red-Rice-Letter-Seek-And-Find

“What the hand does, the mind remembers.” In preparation for language work, children start in sensorial areas, where they learn to focus, concentrate, & develop a sense of order. Through senses, children learn SOUNDS by using hands-on materials. If you think about it, the letters of the alphabet are merely written codes for phonetic sounds in words. (Hello phonological awareness!) Thus, the road to literacy would always start with spoken language and SOUNDS!  And experiential learning or learning by doing  proves to be very effective! So hide the alphabet letters, freeze, bury in rice! Remember “ PRACTICE IS A MEANS OF INVITING THE PERFECTION DESIRED!”


Alphabet Seek & Find Rice Sensory Bin

Also, since Amira does not know the alphabet yet, hide puzzle pieces or small animals and ask her to FIND and SAY the name.

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Dyed rice is one of our favorite sensory mediums! It is super easy to make and it lasts forever! So here is a way to up-cycling an old puzzle. Hide small puzzle pieces or small animals in dyed rice and ask to seek them!



READ and ACT OUT a POEMT. Make Puppets by gluing them to craft sticks and inserting them into a styrofoam block. SEE HOW I MADE SIMILAR HERE.

SEE HERE WHEN I EXPLAIN HOW TO PRESENT/USE THE PACK


WINTER WORDS 3-PART CARDS

Ask Amira to match the identical picture to picture while you are clearly saying the name of the animal or winter object.

Montessori 3-Part Cards Instructions
Montessori 3-Part Cards Instructions
-WINTER WORDS 3-PART MONTESSORI CARDS
-WINTER WORDS 3-PART MONTESSORI CARDS

MATH

HEARTS 1:1 CORRESPONDENCE

*CardBoard-Puzzle-Hearts-PomPoms
*CardBoard-Puzzle-Hearts-PomPoms

HOW:
-cut cardboard into ❤️heart shapes
– then cut each heart into halves
– write a numeral on one side and hot glue the corresponding quantity of pom poms

Offer your child to solve the puzzle!
•••••••
SKILLs:
-🖐🏻 hand 👁 eye coordination
-number to quantity association
– 1:1 correspondence
-fine motor control

••••••••••••••
💡Teach REAL before ABSTRACT! Dr. Montessori observed that children learn early mathematical concepts through hands-on manipulation such as touching, transferring, and manipulating! It is through such experiential learning they master counting, recognize quantities, learn sequencing and so forth! So Explain mathematical concepts through 🙌🏻sensorial work! Let them TOUCH each pom pom as they COUNT aloud! What the hand does, the mind remembers!


⠀Hearts Counting Girl Balloons DIY

If you think Amira might put them in the mouth, USE EDIBLE counters – like red berries or cereal.

*Hearts-Counting-Girl-Balloons
*Hearts-Counting-Girl-Balloons

HOW:
-✂️📦 cardboard box
– draw girls holding 🎈balloons
– hot glue recycled ♻️ milk/water caps as 🎈balloons
– offer ❤️ counters to place inside each balloon
⠀•••••••
SKILLs:
-🖐🏻 hand-eye coordination
-number to quantity association
– 1:1 correspondence
-fine motor control


⠀Hearts-TPR-Stamp-Graph

Hearts-TPR-Stamp-Graph
Hearts-TPR-Stamp-Graph


So much 📖 research has been done on the benefits of teaching a ⬅️➡️ number line as a visual math strategy. Children who are exposed early on to a linear representation of numbers are more likely to, later on, be able to make leaps towards mental calculations without paper.

WHAT YOU NEED:
-paper roll
– a ruler and a marker
– paints
-TPR bent in a heart ❤️shape
——

SKILLs:
✔️number recognition
✔️numeral to quantity association
✔️hand 🖐🏻 eye 👁 coordination
✔️fine motor control

••••••••••••••••
💡 The GOAL of this activity is 1:1 correspondence ~ which is the ability to match an object (❤️) to the corresponding number and recognize👆🏻 that a number is merely a symbol to represent that quantity! Young children often learn “rote counting” without having an understanding of 1 :1😮 They learn to count till 10 just like a heart-learned poem! So, have them COUNT aloud each 💙as they stamp it on paper. Then have them TOUCH each and correspond to its numeral!

1-10 HEARTS NUMBER RECOGNITION

If Amira puts them in the mouth, skip them.

1-10 Hearts Stickers One-to-One-Correspondence
1-10 Hearts Stickers One-to-One-Correspondence

Here we are using 100 board tiles to practice ONE-TO-ONE correspondence with heart stickers.

EGG CARTON 1-12 NUMBER CORRESPONDENCE
EGG CARTON 1-12 NUMBER CORRESPONDENCE

You can also use an egg carton. TIP: bake egg cartoon in the over at 250F for 15 min to kill any potential bacteria.

ODD and EVEN

PLEASE REVIEW ODD AND EVEN

DSC_0096

See details HERE and the video Valentine’s post with hearts HERE.

 

ODD and EVEN EXTENSION GAMES

  1. Collect to 10: 2 players, a basket with small loose items such as small cubes/animals/cars: roll a ten dice, if lands on an even – that player takes1 item; if lands on odd – take noting. The winner is who gets 10 items first.
  2. Flip the coin Game: 2 players & 1 coin:  flip the coin: if lands on the head, that player says all even numbers 2,4,6,8,10 — if lands on the tail, the player says aloud odd numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.

 

DIY ❤️Valentines Numbers Sequencing

MAKE FOR NUMBERS 1-10 ONLY

DSC_0011

What you need: clothespins, heart counters, a Sharpie and a glue gun (to glue the hearts to the clothespins). Then I simply wrote on four strips of paper number sequencing: 10-19; 20-19; 30-39 and 40-50 to reinforce number recognition and sequencing with teens and tens. For a younger child, write numbers 1-10 and have your child find a missing number. This activity is also an awesome fine motor exercise for those little fingers!

SHAPEs DIY CHALKBOARD

Use items Amira will NOT eat! Alternatively, offer to fill shapes with cereal or small berries.

Hearts-Shapes-DIY-Chalk-Board
Hearts-Shapes-DIY-Chalk-Board

Learning SHAPES helps little ones identify and organize visual information, thus helping them learn pivotal developmental skills in other areas such as reading, math, and even science. For example, recognizing shapes is an early step in understanding letters and numbers. Developmental milestone for learning shapes emerges from 26 to 30 months. Recognizing shapes like a circle, triangle, and a square is a key milestone of being a toddler. This tactile shapes DIY is a great way to develop better coordination and thinking skills!

YOU’ll NEED:
chalk tape
– chalk
– hearts or any other loose parts

Secure chalk tape to any surface, draw shapes and offer to fill shapes with loose items.

SKILLs:
✔️shape recognition
✔️hand-eye coordination
✔️fine motor control
✔️cognition & spatial awareness


WINTER PACK MATH & LOGIC

*TODDLER HALVES PUZZLE MAGNETIC TILES
*TODDLER HALVES PUZZLE MAGNETIC TILES

CULTURAL | POLAR REGIONS

CHINA CONTINENT BOX

 DSC_0046

See HERE Montessori Cultural & Science Lesson (China 🇨🇳 Continent 📦 Box) with links to Chinese New Year’s Celebrations. 



POLAR REGIONS

Above cards are a part of my Arctic Learning Kit.

IMG_9745

Read here North vs South Pole Frozen Sensorial Invitation to Explore

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To find out more about our Polar Regions Unit Study |Land-Water-Air ~ see here

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Check out here Frozen Hydrogels Icy Arctic Snowy Sensory Bin


STEM

Heart Peppermint Twist Candy STEM Experiment

The science behind, the color and sugar dissolve into the water and then diffuse through it.

Read HERE about the ⚗️ science behind this experiment, when we did a similar experiment but with Skittles ~ Colorful 🌈 Skittles Fun💧 Water Science Experiment for Kids.


MELTED CRAYONS STEM

Hearts-Melted-Crayons
Hearts-Melted-Crayons

Ok, who has a bag of crayons 🖍 which are either too short, broken or just not appealing to your little one anymore? I do and my bag is HUGE! I just cannot bear throwing them away, so we have crayons from every hotel and every restaurant too! Well, why not give 🖍 them a NEW LIFE! AND if you involve your child in the process 💪🏻 they will L❤️VE their creations even more! These 💕🖍also make a perfect 💕 Valentine’s 🎁especially as a class gift where you have a lot or kids!



YOU’ll NEED:
– old ♻️ 🖍 crayons
– a mold (check for max ♨️temperature/ mine said max 250)
– an oven

SKILLs:
✔️creativity
✔️patience (you WILL 😤need it to take the wrapper off)
✔️gross 💪🏻motor (by breaking 🖍in pieces)
✔️hand 🖐🏻 eye 👁 coordination
✔️fine motor control
✔️bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body/ 🙌🏻hands at the same time in a coordinated manner)

RISING BEADS

BEST STEM RISING BEADS KIDS SCIENCE
BEST STEM RISING BEADS KIDS SCIENCE

DETAILS HERE ~ this experiment must be done by the adult, but it is definite WOW effect!


DANCING BALLOON

Acid-Base-Reaction-Dancing-Balloon-Kids-Science
Acid-Base-Reaction-Dancing-Balloon-Kids-Science

DETAILS HERE.

If you have the materials, TRY IGLOO MAKING as HERE. You can use any cubes and invite to use STEM skills to build an igloo wall. (These ice cubes are part of my penguin kit.)

VALENTINES HEARTS ACID-BASE REACTION

If you think Amira will attempt to eat the gem hearts, SKIP THEM! They are purely for decoration!

VALENTINES HEARTS ACID BASE REACTION
VALENTINES HEARTS ACID BASE REACTION

This Valentine’s STEM is ALL about ⚗️Acid + Base Reaction = 🌋 All you need is an ice cube tray (we are using hearts mold) which you will fill with a mixture of baking soda, red food coloring, few drops of water, and a squirt of dish soap. Freeze for a couple of hours. then pop into a large waterproof tray. Offer vinegar and let your little scientist explore the acid-base reaction!



p.s. I am using salt as a base (to give red a color pop) and heart gem hearts from my 💞Hearts Learning Kit.


CRAFTS

“Rawr! Means I love you in Dinosaur!”

DSC_0056

“Rawr! Means I love you in Dinosaur!”

DSC_0058
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 Making this card was also a great practice for Arian writing his name. 


Blue Truck 🚙 Foot Print

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See HERE Valentine’s 💝 Card ~Blue Truck 🚙 Foot Print~ Sending Loads of💗Love.

DSC_0003-2

Foot print butterfly variation for a girl.

TAPE RESIST HEART CARD

TAPE RESIST HEARTS VALENTINES CARD Step 1
TAPE RESIST HEARTS VALENTINES CARD Step 1

Cover the white cardstock folded in half with tapers tape. Then, place heart cutouts and stamp the card with dot markers. Remove the tape and heart cutouts and reveal the design.

TAPE RESIST HEARTS VALENTINES CARD
TAPE RESIST HEARTS VALENTINES CARD


SALT PAINTING

SNOWFLAKE SALT PAINTING
SNOWFLAKE SALT PAINTING

SEE DETAILS HERE

Applying salt might be TOO CHALLENGING, but once YOU apply the salt, offer Amira droppers /pippets to squirt colored water over the salt.

INTRODUCE FINE ART IMPRESSIONISM

WINTER Montessori Kids Activity Pack FINE ART SEEK AND FIND
WINTER Montessori Kids Activity Pack FINE ART SEEK AND FIND

JANUARY


WINTER HOLIDAYS

Jan 20 ~ Penguin Awareness (see under Sensory)

Penguin-Sensory-Learning-Kit-Tray
See HERE Penguin-Sensory-Learning-Kit-Tray

Jan 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day

Jan 21 - Squirrel Appreciation Day
Jan 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day

National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21 is a day to learn about and celebrate the world’s cutest rodents. January 21 is a day to acknowledge the critical role these cute rodents play in nature and the environment. This holiday was founded in 2001 by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina, who figured squirrels were running out of food sources about this time of year. So…

  • Loop a piece of chain on a nearby tree branch with an eye-screw at the end. Screw on an ear of dried field corn into the eye-screw. Get ready to replace the chewed-up cob after your family has watched the squirrels swing and sway while gobbling their dinner.
  • Have your child smear peanut butter on a pinecone and hang that up instead!
  • Thread Cheerios (round cereal) on a long string and hang it on a nearby branch
  • Don’t throw stale bread away; put chunks of it on your deck or porch railings. Your kids can keep watch and enjoy the show.

Jan 26 ~ Australia Day

*Australia-Animals-Safari-Ltd-Snack-Tray
*Australia-Animals-Safari-Ltd-Snack-Tray

See HERE MEMBER ONLY Australia Unit Kids Activities.


3rd Monday of January ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Preschool Activities
See HERE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Preschool Activities

Jan 27 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Birthday

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Birthday-Music-Appreciation
See HERE Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Birthday-Music-Appreciation


Jan 29 ~ National Puzzle Day (More on Puzzles HERE)

DIY-Stickers-Mega-Blocks-Animal-Puzzle
See HERE DIY-Stickers-Mega-Blocks-Animal-Puzzle

Jan 31 ~ Backward Day

Cap-shirt-Backward-Day
See HERE Backward-Day

PLA

Practice putting on a coat using a FLIP – FLOP- Over the TOP trick!

By learning this trick, children as early as 16 months can learn to independently put on a coat. “Tag to toes and on it goes!” Also, by folding the scarf in half and then “threading one hand through a loop” will ensure that little one’s throat is toasty warm. Dr. Montessori believed that little people, if given appropriate tools and the prepared environment, are capable of great accomplishments! For example, teaching little people practical skills early on builds confidence, independence and self-sufficiency. “HELP ME DO IT MYSELF!”is a motto that describes Montessori PLA.


PRACTICE SEWING

Offer your child to sew a large button to a piece of cloth. See a DIY version below.

My First Sewing Kit DIYDSC_0005-2

Has your child shown an interest in sewing? Involving young minds in everyday tasks is an important aspect of Montessori education. Children innately want to imitate us and be helpful, so exposing them to Montessori Practical Life activities can start as young as fifteen months. However, sewing at a young age and the chance of being pricked by a needle can be frightening to some parents. Well, thanks to large-eye blunt needles even smaller children can practice sewing safely early one! Made of stainless steel, the needle has a wide-eye your child can learn to thread yarn through, and the point is rounded, so there is no risk of piercing the skin. However, it is impossible to use such needles with the material! So, this is where your document plastic sleeves come to the rescue! (Use any plastic you have handy, even food wraps.)

A great reference is a My First Sewing Book, which introduces sewing to young seamsters—from simple stitches and doll making to understanding and using a sewing machine. Books’ guides feature clever rhymes and simple instructions, which teach sewing skills, as well as responsibility, commitment, focus, patience, coordination, organization, and how to follow rules, all through the enjoyment of sewing. Levels progress through hand sewing, embroidery, doll making, machine sewing, patchwork, and quilting. My First Sewing Book kit introduces children to sewing basics such as threading a needle, making knots, using pins, using dots, over-stitching, lock stitching, and much more.

What you will need: round embroidery hoop, large-eye blunt needle and yarn (buy red 100% cotton yarn here.) This activity includes: lacing (the running stitch around the perimeter) and embroidery (making cross-stitches).

Ages three and up. Adrian (just turned 5 yo) enjoyed learning the basic stitch without the worry of being pricked by a needle! 

Variations: use paper or vinyl and pre-punch the holes for your child to stitch through. For smaller children, who can not make a knot yet, tie a bead at the end of the cord/yarn instead of knotting. For older children, offer to sew a button (a sharp needle might be needed).


OTHER EXAMPLE OF PLA:

  • If you have a single hole puncher around, allow your child to punch holes in paper or cardboard. This is a great activity for strengthening the muscles in the hand.
  • If you have a three-hole puncher, punch out holes in a piece of card. Next, give your child a piece of yarn or string to practice lacing/sewing on this piece of card. If necessary, add a small piece of scotch tape to one end of the yarn to make the activity easier. (As in the case of the tip of a shoelace).

WATER TRANSFERRING

SPONGE

SEE DETAILS HERE

BASTER

SEE DETAILS HERE


WINTER SENSORY PLAY

Sensory play is extremely important for children since it promotes language development, cognitive growth, dexterity, and problem-solving skills. As your child learns through play, s/he triggers multiple neurons when tactile, visual and language stimuli are sparked off! Besides, ‘learning’ trays, such as these Salt-Sugar Snow Play Trays, are generally easy to set up with materials you have handy. Most importantly, sensory small-world play-trays offer an opportunity for simple yet engaging activities that promote important developing skills such as fine motor and bilateral and hand-eye coordination.

Winter FOREST TRAIN Tracks Sensory Bin

Taste-Safe-Winter-Snow-Train-Tracks-Sensory-Tray

See the details HERE on how to set up this taste-safe winter play tray.

Winter Wonderland Crystals SENSORY Bin

Winter-Snowflakes-Salt-Sugar-Taste-Safe-Sensory-Bin

For this wintery play tray set up, I am reusing the salt/sugar filler I used for the train set up above, but this time adding a child-sized mini colander and a stainless steel flour sifter. (See details HERE.)


5 SIMPLE DIY SNOW IDEAS

5-TYPES-SNOW-SENSORY-PLAY-TRAY

Here are SIMPLE DIY snow substitutes:

1. INSTA ❄️ SNOW (add 2 oz of water for each scoop! Here, is the exact amount you get with Arctic Kit, so add 6 oz 💦 of water)
2. SUGAR ~ TASTE-SAFE for babies 👶🏼
3. SALT ~ TASTE-SAFE though NOT edible
4. BAKING SODA (or cornstarch) + little 💦 water ~ might contain bacteria!
5. SHAVING FOAM or use WHIPPED CREAM/TASTE-SAFE



SNOW PLAY DOUGH

Forest Animal Tracks in Play Dough

DSC_0022

See here Identifying Animal Tracks in “Snow” Dough

The BELOW PDFs are EDITABLE! So you can translate them in Arabic or Armenian!


Jan 20 ~ Penguin Awareness Day

Penguin-Sensory-Learning-Kit-Tray
See HERE Penguin-Sensory-Learning-Kit-Tray

Cornstarch is a taste-safe sensory filler that also makes OOBLECK – Non-Newtonian liquid that will bring awe to your child’s eyes! (Please note, taste-safe is NOT edible!)

Print and laminate the below cards – see under Language how to use 3-Part Montessori cards.

Ice-skating Penguins





Spinning penguins 🐧 is such a fun activity for so many age ranges!

TIP: fill either the muffin pan or silicone baby food container only HALF with 💦 water so that the head is popping out! This way the child can grab and spin!!

SKILLs:
– dexterity
– hand-eye coordination
-fine motor control
– bilateral coordination



WINTER MATH

Teach REAL before ABSTRACT! Dr. Montessori observed that children learn early mathematical concepts through hands-on manipulation such as touching, sorting and stacking. It is through such learning by doing they master counting, recognize quantities, learn sequencing, and so forth! For example, one of the ways to incorporate learning through hand-on investigation is to explain mathematical concepts through sensorial work! “What the hand does, the mind remembers!”

💡 Rote Counting vs. Rational Counting

The difference between rote and rational counting is that the first is a process of sequentially memorizing number names and the second is the process of understanding the value of numbers. If a child is only able to recite numbers in order, just like a heart-learned-poem, it by no means indicates the actual mathematical understanding of numbers. It is thus important, that once a child is able to count to 5 or 10, to shift focus from making that number bigger 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 beads, buttons, loose items, blocks, Lego pieces, food items, etc. Make sure that experiences is fun and engaging in order to sustain curiosity and develop the love for numbers and math.

PINE CONE COUNTING

Roll the dice and count pine cones! Math can be mundane, especially for little ones, so I am trying to make counting hands-on and fun! This presentation is also a very concrete way to reinforce quantity to the numeral association. And, offer a tray filled with DIY rice to practice fine motor tracing skills!

Pine-Cone-Counting-Kids-Activity
Pine-Cone-Counting-Kids-Activity

“This number says 3” and “Here are three pine cones!” Also, encourage your child to trace the number in green-dyed rice to trigger tactile senses and offer multi-sensorial stimulation.

To make this DIY, simply cut a pine-tree shape out of green felt, gather some pine cones during nature walks and use a dice (optional). And a recycled champagne cork cut in half makes a perfect trunk. (If you don’t have felt, use green paper instead. If you don’t have green cardstock, use cardboard and color it green!) Download died rice recipe below.



STICK TREE Snowflake Count

DIY-Stick-Tree-Snowflake-Counting
DIY-Stick-Tree-Snowflake-Counting ~ see on IG HERE

For this DIY, you will need recycled cardboard and nature tree sticks. So, use this as an excuse and venture outdoors on a stick-hunt! Once collected, use a larger thicker stick as a trunk and hot glue the thinner ones as ‘branches.’ Then, punch snowflakes which you will be using as manipulatives/counters. (I am using glitter foam for extra sparkle!) Lastly, use numerals as a visual representation of numerical symbols. (These wooden numerals are part of my Hearts Play Dough Set ~ buy HERE.)

SKILLs:
– hand-eye coordination
– 1:1 correspondence
– fine motor control
– numeral to quantity association

See HERE a LEAF variation of the STICK TREE.


Snowflake Q-TIP PAINTING

Snowflake-Q-Tip-painting
Snowflake-Q-Tip-painting ~ See on IG HERE

Another fun DIY to reinforce number formation and recognition is Q-TIP painting. Most importantly, you probably have all the materials handy at home! You will need recycled cardboard, white paint, and Q-tips. Position one Q-tip in the middle and six around it, secured by the rubber band, to resemble snowflakes’ hexagon shape.

Moreover, to turn this number recognition DIY into a fun hands-on 1:1 correspondence, just add punched out snowflakes and invite your child to match them to each numeral. Thus, besides learning proper number formation, number sequence, and 1:1 correspondence, your child is also learning numeral to quantity association while developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor control.


SNOWMEN COUNTING

Snowmen-Facial-Pads-Count-Numbers-1-5
Snowmen-Facial-Pads-Count-Numbers-1-5

Despite what holiday you celebrate, who does not like a snowman ☃️ ! And if snow ❄️ is not in the forecast, here is a fun counting ⛄️DIY to reinforce 1:1 correspondence and quantity to the numeral association!

YOU’ll NEED:

  • cotton facial cleaning pads
  • recycled caps either from water bottles or milk cartons
  • a marker to write numerals

SKILLs:
– hand-eye coordination
– 1:1 correspondence and numeral to quantity association
– RATIONAL counting
– fine motor control

This snowman counting activity a great tool to explore mathematical concepts through sensorial work! Let them TOUCH each snowman’s snow-ball as they COUNT aloud!


SIMPLE ADDITION

See HERE is a video LESSON ON SIMPLE ADDITION using counters.

Montessori-Simple-Addition
Montessori-Simple-Addition

Download Math Addition Worksheet

SNOWFLAKE COUNTING

To embrace Montessori, you don’t need expensive materials. Using items around the house like felt, a ❄️puncher and a 🎲 dice can be a fun way to reinforce one-to-one correspondence and numeral to quantity association.

I simply lined our floor table with navy tissue paper, placed our felt cutout pine tree and punched snowflakes from recycled white scrap paper.

The goal of the Montessori primary program is to create a strong foundation of the numeral to quantity association or in other words 1:1 correspondence. HOW? Let them TOUCH each snowflake as they COUNT aloud! During this hands-on numeracy game, your child is developing hand-eye- coordination and advancing fine motor control, as well as learning simple addition and numeral to quantity association.

Snowflake-Addition-Preschool-Counting
Snowflake-Addition-Preschool-Counting

To make this DIY, simply cut a pine-tree shape out of felt. You will also need a snowflake puncher and a dice.

HOW: invite your child to roll the dice (it’s your first addend) and place the corresponding quantity of snowflakes on one side of the pine tree (demonstrate (3) snowflakes falling on the left). Then, roll the dice again to find out your second addend, and have (2) snowflakes fall on the right. Lastly, add both addends together (3 + 2) and record and trace the sum (5) in ‘snow.’ (You can use either salt or sugar as your tracing medium. I also lined the tray with tissue paper to give it a color pop.) Next, find the sum among the wooden numerals, and place them on a tree. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Thus, by seeing a number 5 as traced in a salt tray, and also as represented by snowflakes in its quantitative form, a child is able to make an abstract symbol concrete!

DIY COUNTING MACHINE

Apple-Tree-Addition-Machine -DIY
Apple-Tree-Addition-Machine -DIY

All you need are TPR and some counters. You don’t need to make them as tress or use apples. You can use pom poms, marbles, any winter counters if you wish, etc.

 

LANGUAGE

Marshmallow SNOWBALLS

Skip all the items that might be choking hazards. So, you might have just a marshmallow bowl and invite Amira to practice letter formation. Use the PDF below. So she will use mini marshmallows to fill in the letters.

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Here is a winter-inspired sensory bin filled with white rice, silver balls, and mini marshmallows. After having satisfied the sensory aspect of this invitation, I offered Adrian to spell his name with marshmallows. This is a very hands-on way to learn letter formation as well as the proper spelling of the child’s name. We are using a traditional Montessori Movable Alphabet (you can also use it with this mat) as a reference. Lastly, I added our DIY magnetic letters to the rice sensory bin and offered a DIY magnetic wand to “fish” out the wooden letters. (To make a DIY “fishing rod” we used a straw and a pipe cleaner and we glued a small magnet to the end. Tape paper clips to your wooden letters and offer your child to fish the letters out!) I made these letters and a magnetic wand for Christmas Magnetic ABC Fishing Activity. Also, see a similar activity here Christmas Magnetic DIY Water Beads Sensory Bin.


SNOW TRACING TRAY

Use white sugar for TASTE-SAFE alternative and practice pre-writing strokes and CMAT letters.

PRE-WRITING-STROKES-infographic
PRE-WRITING-STROKES-infographic

A major component of pre-writing skills is pre-writing shapes. These are the pencil strokes that most letters, numbers and early drawings are comprised of. They are typically mastered in sequential order, and to an age-specific level. These strokes include the following strokes: |, —, O, +, /, square, , X, and Δ. So, tracing and forming proper strokes (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) has a positive effect on handwriting abilities, as tracing lines are the prerequisite to letter formation!

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Here, I am using coarse salt to create a winter wonderland snowy tray to encourage tracing and sensory play! We are referencing Montessori Lower case cursive sandpaper letters. Smaller children can simply enjoy the texture of coarse salt while sensorially learning through play, while older can trace letters, numbers, shapes, pictures … possibilities are endless! Holding a pine branch can resemble holding a pencil, thus promoting proper pincer grip, however, the tracing shows very thin so Adrian prefers to use his hand instead!


LETTER HUNT

Let’s review CMAT and continue the letter hunt. Give Amira a basket and invite HER to go around the house the find C – M – A – T. For example, one week is sound C. Next week is the next sounds, etc. I suggest doing 1 sound a week and rehearsing it periodically. If Amira knows CMAT, proceed to S-R-I-P. CHECKOUT LETTER SERIES POST HERE where I arranged the letters alphabetically for easier find.

In a Montessori language curriculum, alphabet letters are NOT first presented to a child in alphabetical order, like A, B, C, D etc. The idea is to introduce the letters phonetically (the way they sound) rather than by the name.

6-Montessori-Phonetical-Sets
6-Montessori-Phonetical-Sets

READ HERE a MEMBERS-ONLY: 6 Montessori Phonetical Sets

So, the phonetical grouping of certain consonants and vowels have proven to be very effective in allowing children to form quickly as many words as possible when learning the letter sounds. You can use traditional Montessori wooden Movable Alphabet or sandpaper letters, or foam, paper, or wooden letters you have handy to introduce these phonetical sets. Offer a child to go on a “letter-hunt” where s/he looks for objects that begin with each letter sound. (You can find more info in my eBook under Chapter 10: Language.) Read here the introductory post: Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters.

First set: c  m  a  t -Montessori Phonetical Order
First set: c  m  a  t -Montessori Phonetical Order

Read here Montessori Three Period Lesson in Action using First Phonetical Set: c m a t.

C M A T

In my LETTER HUNT blog post, you will find a lot of tactile ways you can explore letters. See HERE Letter C. See HERE letter M. For letter A ~ see HERE.

 

Letter-T-Phonics-Hunt
Letter-T-Phonics-Hunt

And above is a sample of the letter T hunt. Do vary your ‘hunts’ according to items you have around the house!


CULTURAL /GEOGRAPHY

Earth-World-Map-Play-dough
Earth-World-Map-Play-dough

Let’s begin introducing the WORLD from large to small. Start by inviting Amira to fill the continents with play dough. You will need to print and laminate the MAP page and then offer color-matching play dough to fill each continent. PRECISION IS NOT REQUIRED! Even if she places a round blob of color matching play dough on the correct continent, it is enough. The activity aims to introduce the concept that in the Montessori cultural curriculum, all continents are color-coded which stays consistent throughout the curriculum. (Details under our EARTH DAY STUDY ~ PRIVATE ACCESS HERE)

Please also introduce the NAMES of the CONTINENTS (do not worry about the oceans for now). If you print the below PDF twice, you can cut off the label from the second set and turn them into Montessori 3 Part Cards. (Details on 3 Part Nomenclature Cards HERE.)

Please also introduce continents in Arabic.

SEE HERE AUSTRALIA STUDY

*Hotel-TPR-Australia-Desert-Animals
*Hotel-TPR-Australia-Desert-Animals

Circle time songs are a really fun way to start the day. During the months we study Australia, we like to listen to Kookaburra Song.

For CORAL REEF STUDY, see the sensory bin below. I used water-beads as water, seashells and coral reef Safari TOOB ~ get 15% OFF your SafariLTD order.

Ocean Coral Reef Small World Water-beads Play Tray
Ocean Coral Reef Small World Water-beads Play Tray

However, if Amira attempts to EAT them – WATER-BEADS ARE CHOKING HAZARD! Place them in ZIP LOCK BAG! See the Video below. You can also tape the bag to the table to prevent opening. Optional- add some hair gel for smoother sliding.


SEASONS STUDY

SEASONS UNIT STUDY HERE

Seasonal-Time-Line Montessori Sorting
Seasonal-Time-Line Montessori Sorting

PLEASE NOTE THE SEASONS PDF cards are editable, so you can translate to the language of your choice.


BOTANY

TREE STUDY~ ACCESS HERE


ARTS/CRAFTS

PAPER SNOWFLAKE

This might be too challenging for Amira, but if you fold it for her and use tissue paper which is thin, then invite her to make a few scissor cuts and see an awe in her eyes when you open it!

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See here 📚Learning About Snowflakes Paper Craft

SEASONS TREE FINGER-PAINTING

Instructions under SEASONS UNIT STUDY HERE


COLOR MIXING

See HERE details on this fun color mixing Art/Craft.

Try some color mixing. (This is a mixture of sensorial work too.) This can be done with a variety of materials from paint and food dye to play dough and clay. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD PRIMARY/SECONDARY COLOR PDF HERE. (I used dot stickers under the written colors ~see an example in a Capillary Action Walking Water post HERE.)

  • Make green with yellow and blue
  • Make orange with red and yellow
  • Make purple with blue and red
  • Make pink with red and white
  • Make different shades by mixing white into other colors

SALT PAINTING

Salt-Painting-Process-Art-Craft-For-Kids
Salt-Painting-Process-Art-Craft-For-Kids

See details HERE ~ it’s a really fun form of PROCESS ART.


Jan 31 ~ Backward Day

Cap-shirt-Backward-Day
See HERE Backward-Day

Color the craft sticks to resemble the HAIDA sticks of American Indians.


STEM

MAGIC MILK

Magic-Milk-STEM-Science-Experiment
Magic-Milk-STEM-Science-Experiment

MAGIC MILK DETAILS HERE ~ don’t worry about the science behind and the surface tension!

MAGICAL WATERBEADS

Magically Disappearing Picture – Waterbeads-Kids-STEM

Moreover, see here Magical Hydrogels •Kids Science Experiment Trick 101 Series

PLEASE NOTE WATER-BEADS are chocking hazard! Adult supervision is required!

Colorful SKITTLES SYEM Kids Science Experiment

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Read here Rainbow Colorful Skittles Kids Water Science Experiment


SNOW VOLCANO

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Also, check out here Snow Volcano Eruption Science Experiment For Indoors & Outdoors.

You can use insta-snow to substitute for real one or use any of the DIY fake snow recipes from the SENSORIAL section.


WINTER BOOKS

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See here Winter Favorite Reading Collection • Kids Books

Below are some of our favorite books from our Winter Favorite Reading Collection:

  • The Mitten Book ~ our absolute Winter favorite book (buy here) ~ see a📎link to a blog post here and below
  • The Hat book (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post here and below
  • Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library (buy here),
  • Winter, First Step Nonfiction (buy here)
  • Winter Wonderland, Picture the Seasons (buy here) is an amazing book written by Winter with humorous text and gorgeous photography
  • The Secret Life of a Snowflake book (buy here) ~ see a link to a blog post here and below
  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here)
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here)
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See here The Mitten Book •Winter Favorite Reading Collection

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See here The Hat Book Winter Favorite 📖Reading Collection.

Please, let me know which activity was Amira’s favorite? Before I update for the next month, I would love to know the progress: which activities were of interest and which not? Which were too hard/easy, etc. So if you would kindly put a summary once you have completed this plan, it will be very helpful in following Amira and making sure I am targeting the strengths and addressing the weaknesses.

♡ Enriching the Mind one Heart at a time ♡
Enriching the Mind one Heart at a time

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