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Monday, March 5, 2012

Montessori inspired - - tubs and trays

I've been doing a lot of reading and research on learning activities for Daniel.  In the past, with the other kids, I've just let them play and watch TV, and do some learning activities with them.  I believe with Jenna, I did do some preschool activities here and there, but I get so busy with the older kids (especially now that they are in 11th, 8th (twins) and 6th grade) that I am sure it was very sporadic.  I started her a little early in kindergarten just so that she would have more to do. 

I became interested in Montessori-influenced education due to the nature of the learning environment.  Of course, I cannot seriously contemplate having a true Montessori environment here!  But, I thought that I could take some of Montessori and give Daniel some activities to do that would be education, yet fun at the same time. 

I was intrigued by the learning trays and sensory bins at 1+1+1=1.  The trays are set up and the children are allowed to play with them, taking one at a time, until their interest wanes, and then they put it away and pick up a new tray or bin.  The trays focus on a skill or something you want the to learn.

Here are some of my ideas and completed "trays" and bins.

#1 - - Rice tub - scooping and pouring rice from one container to another using various tools.

#2 - - .Letter A Sensory Bin - - I filled this with paper "grass" and things that begin with the letter A.  I plan to print out photos of the contents so that Daniel will know what to look for. 

#3 - - Play doh Tub - - Right now, I have cookie cutters (apple and trains)  along with a rolling pin and different colors.  I have ordered a different rolling pin (I have actually used a brayer here) ane cd some cookie cutters.  I plan to keep to a theme here (I hope).

#4 - - Color sorting tray - - I have some counting bears with cups and a pair of plastic tweezers for transferring the bears to their cups. 

#5 - - Let's Learn the Letter "A" Tray - - Various activities to help us learn the letter A.  I've included the phonetic card, Alphabet Laundry, a sandpaper A and a, dot art markers and a Letter A dot art page.  I will trade this out with other "A" crafts and activities that I have found on-line and as part of the Catholic ABC's curriculum from Lacy over at Catholic Icing.  The dot art pages are free here.

#6 - - A is for Apple - - I made this puzzle a while ago with a scroll saw and some paint. Danieil has already built this many times, but never seems to tire of it.


#7 - Read alouds - - We are currently workign through BFAIR, and have done Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear and Ask Mr. Bear.  We've worked on the lapbooks found at Homeschool Share.  I also found a felt bear that I did some time ago with a coop class, so he should have some fun dressing the bear! 

Daniel loves the Play Doh bin - - Yes, Mary, we did use the train cookie cutters! 
He likes making them blue and green for Thomas and Percy!

For teaching the faith, we are going to work on the Sign of the Cross.  For practical life, we are working on brushing teeth and getting dressed in the morning.  We will see how this goes!


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