Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Hands-on learning for beginning sounds are found inside “My ABC Box!” Children can practice... letter identification of both uppercase and lowercase letters... sound identification... and matching letters to their correct corresponding realistic item.

All 26 items are sized for small hands and chosen based on ease of identification.This activity is Montessori inspired. My children helped me make this ABC box, it’s a wonderful tactile way of understanding how letters and sounds work.

Recommended for preschool and kindergarten children. My older daughters' enjoyed helping their brother with this activity!

Faux Fossils

We were talking about fossils for the lesson of the day and decided to make our own fossils using some moist clay that hardens in the air (about 3 days to dry completely). Here is a good link to buy this clay that will last a very long time for many projects - Modeling Clay.

We used some plastic toy insects and beach shells that we had from previous vacations. Just press the object down into a flattened piece of clay and slowly lift it to reveal a "fossil".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dried Bean Mosaic-Fall Trees

Dried Bean Mosaic Tree

Just grab a bag of colorful dried beans and draw out an outline of a tree on some cardstock...use some glue and you have a beautiful craft that will keep your kids fingers busy for quite a while. Use some tongues for the little ones to help with their fine motor skills (beginner writers). Great for all ages!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

About Maria Montessori- A Tidbit of History (#2)

  • There are two main concepts which Dr. Maria Montessori developed with regard to the child's development and growth.
  • These are the concepts of the absorbent mind and the sensitive periods.

About Maria Montessori- A Tidbit of History! (#1)

  • Dr. Maria Montessori founded her first “Casa Dei Bambini” in Rome, Italy in January 1907. 
  • She applied the diligent observational skills and ceaseless quest for truth that she had learned in her scientific training to her interest in children.
  •  Dr. Montessori traveled the globe, studying children of all cultures and social strata and developed a universal education, today known as the Montessori Method.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


An opitcal phenomenon! The color of the surface changes if it is viewed at a different angle. Try this fun ice cube experiment.

Materials: Ice cubes, salt, food coloring (including RED), bowl

Pour ice cubes into large bowl and then sprinkle salt over the cubes. Add one color of food coloring at a time and see if you see the shimmer? Iridescent color!  Some great links below for information on what is happening during experiment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Constellations Kids Project

Here is a great idea for kids to learn the names and patterns of the constellations.
I used some cardstock and printed out some star charts/constellation maps. My daughter copied the dotted pattern onto a piece of cardstock and connected the dots with a silver pen. Then I helped her to poke holes using push pins (I put a thick cloth/towel or cloth place mat under her card stock paper so that she could make a hole with the push pin in the middle of each dot). We then hung the finished picture up against our wood shutters so that the sun could shine through the holes to give the appearance of stars! They came out so magical looking!

Gumdrop Structures

Here is a fun project for kids to try. Just give them lots of gumdrops and toothpicks! It is great way to introduce some geometry or design some Geodesic Domes.

Below are some pictures of my childrens' creations!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sensory Issues-Montessori

I have been reading the book "Montessori Today" by Paula Polk Lillard. This is great tool to understand the methods of Montessori. I use some but not all the Montessori methods. I do observe what works best for my child. I really had a "wow" moment realizing the causes of my child's sensory integration disorder while reading a section in this book.
In the book the author describes how children begin their exploration of the earth's environment from the first moment after birth. The infant is overcome with light, sound, smell and touch. Montessori explained this initial experience of the child as a "second birth" because it represented the beginning of a second embryological life outside the womb. The infant may seem to be doing nothing but actually they are exploring in their cribs. It is a silent exploration of hearing, looking and feeling air and touch upon their skin. And Montessori goes on to describe how these first impressions are so fundamental that they shape the development of the child's brain. The entire neurological network has formed within the first 15 days after birth.
My daughter was very sick soon after birth (GBS positivie/sepsis) and was in the NICU for 10 day on IV antibiotics. She did have a lack of oxygen in the first 24 hours of birth. She is now a healthy 8 year old but does have a mild/moderate sensory integration disorder. This is the main reason I do homeschool her. She does not do very well in the over stimulated environment and large classroom. I do believe that her issues at birth directly caused her sensory disorder. I am finding with educational methods work for her....I learn something new each day.

Little Bits of Information #1: Maria Montessori Training Terms

Some of Montessori's terms that are most often used in her training lectures are:
exploration, orientation, order, imagination, manipulation, repetition, precision, control of error leading to perfection and communication.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Admiring Maria Montessori...

I first learned about Maria Montessori in 1994 when I moved to Naples, Italy with my husband. I applied to work at a school at the NATO base-the "Anglo-Italian Montessori School". At first I was an aide in a kindergarten class taught by a very nice woman. She was "my" teacher as well as a teacher to the wonderful, bright 5 year old students. Most of the students were Italian learning the English language in the Montessori method of teaching. I learned to love the methods of Maria Montessori. Every thing had a "place" in the classroom. Realistic pictures were used vs. the fictional characters often used in the American preschools. Order, yet freedom was displayed in each classroom. There were very precise rules to follow but the students learned at their own pace. There were centers for practical life (using real glass dishes), language, math and sensory. Push pin activities were started at age 4 to help with their fine motor skills as well as developing their level of concentration. I honestly wish I could say that I have a Montessori home for my 3 children...not quite...but I do use some of the methods for homeschooling my young children. I admire the strength, wisdom and determination of Maria Montessori. She really observed the way in which children learn. These young children are such sponges and will absorb so much through playing and interacting.