Montessori games for 3 year olds
Alphabet Puzzle Bag
Do you have an Alphabet Puzzle or Moveable Alphabet at home? If so, this is a really interesting action that reinforces knowledge on the contours and kind of letters. I'd not do this in a way to teach kids their letters or to analyze them but to augment their knowledge. I'd include letters they're confident with alongside letters they may be struggling with. Select the letters from the Alphabet Puzzle (or Moveable Alphabet) and place them in the Mystery Bag with no child seeing. Invite the child over to take a seat at a work mat or table. Encourage the child to put one or both hands in the bag and one at a time, without peeking, identify which letter they may be holding.
The idea is the fact that through touch the kid forms a graphic of the letter in their thoughts. If they are able to remember the sound of the letter it can help increase their link between the sound as well as the shape and type of the letter. As an extension, if you have comprised vowels and consonants you could also encourage the child to generate some words with the letters they have identified.
Above Otis places his hand in the Mystery Bag and feels for a letter. He's identified this as a 'w'. The Puzzle Tote is just one of our favourite materials which we've used many times over time. It actually heightens their sense of touch. Our Mystery Bag is an easy silk lined, drawstring bag. I generally keep it to around five items in the tote. These posts reveal a number of the ways in which we have used the Mystery Bag (or Mystery Box). With all tasks at home, I try to keep it engaging and lighthearted. Should you give this a go I hope you enjoy!
Using Scales and Balance Buckets
Below are some other Montessori and Query-Based learning ideas that I adore. These activities are also extremely simple to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you also can use kitchen scales, and we only use stuff we already have at home! I adore the sensory table for younger kids (#6). I presume I'll attempt a set up like #3 next, where the child has various materials to consider and record - it seems excellent for some additional math and literacy abilities!
1. Equilibrium bucket with loose components at How we Montessori (on our shelves here).
2. Maths In the Resort Area with An idea on Tuesday.
3. Magnet Trays and Scale Weighing at Learning Cente of Dundee Omaha, Nebraska
4. Fall Inspired Weighing Action with Balance Scales at Montessori from the Heart.
5. General Math Provocations at Welcome to Primary.
6. Equilibrium Scales in the Sensory Table at An Regular Story.
7. Equilibrium scales at How we Montessori.
8. Exploring Measurement Through Play - Mass at Suzie's Home Education Thoughts.
Geometry Love- Montessori Stuff for Geometric Shape Work
You may have guessed following yesterday's post, that we've been doing a lot of geometric shape work around here! and I am often asked about them. So I've compiled a quick list of some other geometric shape building sticks and bits that may be useful for a Montessori house or classroom!
1. Learning Advantage Linking GeoStix (Australia here).
2. Learning Resources Geometric Shapes Building Set (similar Australia here).
3. Geo Strips (Australia here) (you are able to see Otis using the Geo Strips in this place).
4. Wikki Stix Basic Shapes Creative Fun Kit.
5. Learning Resources Transparent Anglegs (the Anglegs come in different sizes also!).
6. Montessori Geometric Stick Material (Australia here) (I love this picture from Westside Montessori School of the Montessori Geometric Stick work, with a brief description).
Playdough - Four Ways
Otis is five and loves playdough now more than ever. I have written sometimes about how we use playdough, always with distinct things and in different colours, textures and scents. Adding essential oils to playdough is crucial. Here are four methods we're now reveling playdough.
1. Alphabet Stamps. This really is an excellent early literacy action, recalling it is best to start with lower case letters.
2. Other Stamps. We have lots of stamps at home so there is always lots for the boys to select from. Above are some hand carved stamps I picked up at a market, they're extremely thorough. I've also wiped down our Melissa and Doug postages and these work really well with the playdough too!
3. Gumnuts and Sticks. I love combining natural materials with playdough. Feathers, shells and pinecones can also result in creative play with playdough.
4. Galaxy Dough!! I have wanted to do this for the longest time. I first read about Galaxy Dough at Fairy Dust Teaching. It's simply black playdough with a lot of glitter blended through. It's entertaining to play with as it's so different to our other playdough. They often have lots of distinct shades of food colouring which will make a pleasant change from the typical colours you find in playdough. We could make a set of playdough all in precisely the same colour but in different colors - lovely! We use playdough and Alphabet Stamps from Happy Hands Happy Heart. I am hoping you have enjoyed this small peek into our playdough play!
Montessori Sea Shell Actions You Will Love!
My kids adore activities that involve natural materials. Where there is something for them to hold, feel, touch. Where there is something that's interesting, with fascinating minor details. Now I am featuring some Montessori Shell Activities that I know you will love.
The Shell Poster (left in top picture) is from Montessori Stuff and the Univalve/Bivalve sheet is from Montessori for Everyone.
Cleaning a sizeable shell - Brosser un gros coquillage at Le blog de Sylvie d'Esclaibes. This is an incredible idea, most of our shells are unclean and could do with an excellent scrub! Fitting shells to cards - Apprendre avec des coquillages at Les ateliers de Céleste Pédagogie Montessori et instruction biologique. Another example of fitting shells to cards are available at Les aventures chez nounou Marie. Sea shell sorting with cards with labels at Very Montessori. I consider they're utilizing the wonderful shell set and matching cards from Michael Olaf! The cards hold the name of the shell which introduces the language element and allows the parent or caregiver to provide the little one together with the proper terminology. This really is from one of my favourite nature tables (which contained tons of shells) where Otis is making imprints with the shells into sand. I remember one of Caspar's favourite activities when he first began in his Cycle One classroom (in Canberra as a three-year old) was a tray with many different varieties of shells and a simple magnifying glass. There's some thing special about sea shells!
Geoboard - Three Ways
Otis has been home from school for the last three days, so we have pulled out a couple of new actions! Above is a standard geoboard with the additional twist of utilizing grid paper. The child draws contours on the paper then makes the shapes on the plank. When using the geoboard Otis usually makes arbitrary shapes and occasionally creates a picture or little scene. Above he is using a transparent geoboard on the light table. I made Otis this natural geoboard - inspired by this post at Fairy Dust Teaching. I really like the way that it is a bit rustic and gets the kid think a little differently about making the shapes. It seems slightly more colorful too!