Best Montessori Books I Own

The Arctic: Montessori Activities

Arctica and Antarctica Montessori Activities
Photo by M. Jost
In a Montessori environment, the study of a continent (for ages 3 to 6) entails introducing activities in Geography, Zoology, Botany, and Culture, to name a few. Today we are going to look at the continents of Arctica and Antarctica. When we think of these continents at both ends of the world, we think of ice and snow. So the very first day or week of activities to introduce to your home school or classroom environment are Sensorial activities and should include ice (and snow if you live near snow at winter time).

The following are ice cube and snow activities from around the Internet:
Polar Sensory Tub
Montessori Science Experiments and Activities (scroll down page for arctic activities)


Don't live near the snow? Try this "Make your own Fake sensory snow that feels real" activity.

The second day or week the set of activities to introduce would be Practical Life, like feeding and caring for a pet. But we don't have polar bears and penguins in our homes or schools, but you could go to a local zoo or a habitat museum. Upon returning from the trip, talk about the needs of the  Arctic and Antarctic animals: what they looked like, the sounds they made, plus food, shelter, and their habitats.

One mom suggested looking at YouTube clips on your computer. You would want to screen the video clips before hand.

Here is a habitat activity to make with playdough: Making Playdough North Pole.

Third day or week: get books from the library, look through travel magazines, and maybe visit some websites like National Geographic.The books can go in your book corner, and read at story time. Some books have related activities you can do afterwards. Google the name of the book, or do a search on Pinterest, followed by the words 'activities, downloads', and or 'print outs'.

Fourth day or week Geography:  Animals of the World lesson. Here is my Animals of the World lesson from my training manual. First, you introduce one animal from each continent. (Then you can start studying a group of animals from one of the continents the next day or week, like the animals from Arctica and Antarctica.)

Animals of the World Lesson

Materials: World puzzle map, animals of the world cards or toy-size animals (at least one for each continent).

Colors of continents: North America is orange, South America is pink, Asia is yellow, Africa is green, Europe is red, Australia is brown, and Antarctica is white.

Animals: North America bear, eagle, and buffalo; South America lama and parrot; Asia panda and tiger; Africa: lion and giraffe; Europe wolf and wild bore; Australia kangaroo and Koala; Antarctica penguin.

Introduce the Animals of the World after children have been exposed to land and water forms, globe, and continents if possible at age 2 1/2 to 3.

Presentation

1. Bring out world puzzle map and take out continents (or you can have a poster-size drawing of the world and the seven continents color coded; or make continent cards, one continent on each card).

2. Put the continents out in a row on a rug or mat. Check to see if the child remembers the names of the continents.

3. Take out the first animal and match to the continent it lives in (panda for Asia, for example). Give the name of animal. Match the next animal, etc. Put animals back and let child have a turn.

4. You can make a booklet as a control of error, with the continents and the names or pictures of animals that come from each continent. You can also put a dot on the back of the animal or animal card that matches the color of the continent.

You can buy line maps replicards at  Montessori Services. Click on Card Materials and then on In-Print for Children $$. Choose Geography, then World and Continent Replicards: Ten
line maps replicards show 6 continents, the U.S.A, and the World. Replicards (8½" x 11") are photocopied to make worksheets for the child to color after working with the Montessori puzzle maps. These worksheets can also be used in extension exercises, for coloring geological features, continent, country and state names, etc.

More activities of interest:

Polar Animals
Toddler World Map with Animals

Fifth day or week Zoology: Classified Pictures, here is my lesson from my training manual.

Classified Pictures Lesson

Material: Boxes of flash "teach me cards" or cards with pictures of animals, which you can make with magazine cut outs; or use books from the library and show pictures (of what their natural habitat looks like).

You can also have puppets too, of the animal you are introducing, and do a puppet show giving facts and or a story about that animal. Let the children do puppet shows.

Do one animal a week (ideally).

Classify the order you present the animal (ideally): week one introduce the fish, week two the insect, etc.

Presentation of (Arctic/Antarctic) mammals:

1. "Here is a special group of animals, the mammals."

2. Present the mammal card[s] or book[s]:

Presentation:

These presentations can also be done at Circle. Start each presentation with a concrete experience. Show child live creatures in the environment (that your presentation is about) if possible, or go on a nature hike. Then bring out the picture cards (or library books). Show just the picture, for instance a mammal: "Would you like to know what this mammal is called? It's a polar bear."

3. "The mammals take such good care of their babies that they keep them inside of their own bodies until the baby has grown large enough. When the baby is large enough and strong enough inside the mom's tummy, if comes out."

4. "The mammal baby still starts as a tiny little egg in the tummy and it grows and grows and grows until it becomes a mouse, a cat, a dog, or an elephant."

5. "When the little mammal comes out, it has fur, its eyes are closed, and it makes little noises similar to its mommy and daddy. Soon it can run and hop around."

6. "It is not like the bird, in that the mommy and daddy do not have to teach it to fly, but still the mommy has to feed the baby. At first, only the mommy can feed the baby. As the baby eats, it gets bigger, but it always stays close to its mommy until it can take care of itself."

Note: Whenever an animal comes into the classroom or home school, don't kill it, just gather it up and let it loose outside.

Indirect Aim: Appreciation of animal life
Direct Aim: Zoology

Sixth day or week arts and crafts: 
Polar Bear Craft
Puffins Penguin Activities

More arctic activities here:
Why is the Arctic and Antarctica cold? An experiment for kids
Arctic Animal Packs
Montessori Inspired Arctic and Antarctic Unit/

Books of Interest from Amazon.com:



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You may also be interested in my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth.



Are You a Snowed-in Montessori Mom? We're Here to Help!

Are You a Snowed-in Montessori Mom? We're Here to Help!

Are you a snowed-in Montessori momma living in the US or Canada? There have been SNOWSTORMS GALORE! They're all over the news! Are you getting cabin fever, SAD, or anxiety, are you confused or worried about what to do all day with your children? We are here to help! We have like-minded Montessori Moms with comments, activities, advice, and we created a place on our Facebook page, click here, for you to rant and rave, share your stories, activities, tips, and advice, snow photos... a space to let your hair down (if it's not FROZEN, movie reference, get it?).

Dana White Lampkin says: "We're tired of going to the McDonald's playland just to get my kids out of the house! Our snow finally started melting and one of my kids said....Look grass! I forgot what it looked like!"

Amanda Brown says "We will be doing more crafts later... Right now we are getting some major cleaning and organizing done since my husband is home to do heavy lifting."

Beth Marshall says "We are a little stir crazy here. We had no power yesterday afternoon. We did make Valentine's that I have to mail - they will be a bit late, lol. The gym we go to is open so we are doing a family workout this afternoon. I am looking forward to that."

Julia Dawn Cowell says "We are snowed in here in MO. Poor little man is in deep need of gross motor fun. Thankfully we have gotten creative, and have an amazing community center here in our small town, just two blocks away. The center offers mats to use for gymnastics and some very old wooden bleachers/stairs to climb all day. At home we have some non toxic foam blocks that look like wood that are great for throwing, dumping and sliding into just because. My amazing husband also made a make shift balance beam. We have a rocking horse, and a tricycle in the house too, along with the usual helper tower, for climbing and gross motor."

Marie Mack says "We are SNOWED IN!! We just switched out all our activities. Kids liked helping and now we have all new activities to work with. Might have to do it again tomorrow because it's SNOWING AGAIN!"

Aubrey, Montessori mom and blogger at Montessori Mischief says: "We have lots of snow, and right now my husband and 6yo are out there shoveling it. It's melting already, but I think they're having fun!" She's also sharing some of her activities including how to have an indoor ice party, make a cotton ball snowball fight, and finding calm in watercolor snowflakes.  

Seemi, Montessori teacher and blogger at Trillium Montessori shares some terrific winter-themed art projects from her classroom! Read it here!

You can make a Winter-themed (non-Christmas) holiday basket, see my lesson here!

Do you have anything to share? Snow photos, storm stories, rants and raves, activities, winter humor, some good books to read for moms or kids, then head on over to our Facebook page here!

Pin for later>>>

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Want to implement Montessori in the home? Visit my website for affordable Montessori and homeschool programs for birth to age nine.

   

Montessori and Composting With Kids


When I was a Montessori teacher for 20 years I learned how to compost with the children at our Montessori school. Now that I am a work-at-home mom, and my son is older, I started composting with him this summer: I combined what I learned as a Montessori teacher with what I had around the house.


 First I grabbed an old styrofoam ice chest that was taking up room in our garage. I poked holes in all the sides, including the bottom, with a large screw driver. Then I layered a little soil and manure on the bottom and watered it just a tad.

Next, I got a basket with handles for my son to gather "brown waste" from our yard: leaves and dried grasses and small sticks.

We then retrieved our kitchen-counter compost and poured some "green waste" on the compost. FYI: No dairy or meat go in the compost.

PIN FOR LATER?

Fall Montessori Botany Activity Ideas & Nature Outings


Photo by Lisa Nolan
Whether it's summer or fall, start doing hands-on, concrete Montessori botany and practical life activities!

Weeding
Raking
Harvesting
Saving seeds
Nature outings
Parts of a real plant
Parts of a flower
Parts of a real leaf
Parts of a real root
Plant experiments

Lily flowers are great for parts of a flower


















Here is one of my Montessori botany activities from my training manual: The Study of Nature. Outings.

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7 Fun Fall Montessori Leaf Activities

Photo by Lisa Nolan
Who doesn't love fall! The seasons are changing from warm summer days to cool Autumn nights, pumpkins are getting fatter on the vine, and leaves are falling in colors of brown, red, orange, and yellow. There are endless seasonal and holiday projects, recipes, and activities... What's a parent to do? Join us in the Autumn Blog Hop at the bottom of this post. So here are my 7 fun Montessori-inspired activities.

Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget


Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget

Who doesn't love fall! The seasons are changing from warm summer days to cool Autumn nights, pumpkins are getting fatter on the vine, and leaves are falling in colors of brown, red, orange, and yellow. There are endless seasonal and holiday projects, recipes, and activities... What's a parent to do?
  • Montessori Practical Life Care of the Environment: raking leaves is a favorite Fall activity, suitable for three-year-olds and up.
  • Art: Fall leaves are also great for art projects, including making a leaf collage.
  • Language: Make sure that you and your child/ren KNOW THE NAMES OF THE LEAVES before you pick them, some plants are poisonous and harmful.
  • Fine Motor: Montessori Metal Insets... If you don't have access to a lot of dry leaves, or safe plants, or you have a child who enjoys drawing, the Montessori Metal Insets are great! If you don't own any, another fine motor leaf project is leaf rubbing.
  • Math Counting to 9 or 10

 Want to pin this entire post for later? Go here!

Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget


When I was a Montessori teacher for 20 years I learned how to compost with the children at our Montessori school. Now that I am a work-at-home mom, and my son is older, I started composting with him this summer: I combined what I learned as a Montessori teacher with what I had around the house.
Whether it's summer or fall, start doing hands-on, concrete Montessori botany and practical life activities! Here is one of my Montessori botany activities from my training manual: BOTANY. The Study of Nature. Outings.

Keep reading here.

Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget

Free Changing Seasons Graphing Activities with Milk Caps

Early autumn is also the perfect time to introduce the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, and late autumn to winter. Here is a Free Changing Seasons Graphing Activities with Milk Caps from Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory.

Keep reading here.
Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget

Free Fall and Harvest Bingo Printable

"This Fall and Harvest Bingo game printable PDF has fourteen different game boards, draw cards, and acorn covers to print... It would be good for Pre-K through grade 1, as it emphasizes things in the fall season. This is not a holiday game, just more of a seasonal activity. If your school does not allow Halloween parties, it may allow autumn harvest celebrations. This game would be appropriate. Celebrate the season..." from Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory.

Keep reading here.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our fall Montessori and inspired activities!

~Lisa Nolan and Carolyn Wilhelm

Top (first) photo credit: Anaïs Nannini / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry Plus Planner PDF


Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry PDF Plus Organizer and Planner

My Introduction to Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry Plus Planner PDF is designed for parents who want to incorporate Montessori art, music, and poetry into their home environment with children age birth to nine. This 112-page PDF includes an organizer and a three-month planner, as well as:

The rest of this page has move here!

Montessori in the Home PDF for Birth to Age Nine


Montessori in the Home PDF for Birth to Age Nine

Montessori in the Home FAQs for Birth to Nine is a 130-page, text-only, printer-friendly ebook PDF that was created by Lisa Nolan, a 3 to 6 and 6 to 9 Montessori-trained teacher with over 25 years of experience. It addresses the many challenges that parents face when implementing the Montessori Method in a home (or homeschool) environment with children age birth to nine.

The rest of this page has move here!

Photo credit: SantaRosa OLD SKOOL via Foter.com / CC BY

Read and Write the Montessori Way

Read and Write the Montessori Way

Read and Write the Montessori Way is designed for parents who want to incorporate Montessori language, reading, and writing into their home environment with children age two and one-half to five! This 135 page PDF includes:
Photo credit: ThomasLife via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

The Montessori Organizer!

The 90-Page Montessori Organizer!

The Montessori Organizer is designed for moms who are beginning their journey into incorporating Montessori in their home environment! It is over 90 pages long, printer friendly, black and white text, easy to use, go at your own pace, and created by a trained Montessori teacher and mom! It includes a list of must-haves for two- and three-year olds, and a “how to” on giving a Three-Period lesson. It is ideal for preschool-age children, but can also work for toddlers age 24 months and up (they grow fast)! We will have a 6-9 homeschool organizer in the coming weeks.

The Montessori Organizer will organize by 1) Montessori subjects, 2) months of the year, 3) seasons, and 4) themes. You will be able to list 1) materials including DIY and printables, affordable, and expensive, 2) list Montessori sellers, 3) list lessons you have given, 3) list YouTube lessons to watch, 4) list rooms in the home environment, 5) list Montessori blogs, books, groups of interest, and much more!

Make Montessori Homemade Valentines with Recycled Children's Artwork


Make Montessori Homemade Valentines with Recycled Children's Artwork

Gather several of your child's paintings to use for making homemade Valentine cards, or ask your child to choose, since the paintings will get cut up into hearts.



 

First, make a heart out of a cereal or oatmeal box (or any cardboard or old folders). Then cut it out. This is my heart shape you see in the photo. You need a pencil and scissors. Depending on the age and ability of your child, you or your child can begin tracing the cardboard heart on the back of a painting.


Are You a Montessori Junkie?


Photo credit: sean dreilinger on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Do you spend more than one hour a day surfing the Internet for you next Montessori fix? Have you bought several Montessori-related book this month on Amazon? Perhaps you wander around the dozens and dozens of Montessori blogs reading posts, downloading activities, or making comments.

Maybe you've even downloaded a Montessori 3 to 6 album, or two, or three. (Tip: you only need one!)

And don't tell me you haven't downloaded a Montessori app to your iPad or iPhone! OK, maybe that's going too far... even I haven't done that (mainly because I have an old-fashioned cell-phone that isn't capable of taking a picture much less checking my email or what-ever-it-is smart phones do these days).
Are You a Montessori Junkie? {Confessions of a Montessori Mom}

I think I am a Montessori junkie, I must be. I have Montessori on the brain every day, whether I'm posting to one of my Montessori blogs; or answering email questions from anxious Montessori parents; or updating one of my Montessori websites or online activity lessons or looking for Montessori materials to buy (when I can afford them!); and so it must be true. I confess. I'm addicted to Montessori.
It started when I was twenty-three years old and I observed my first Montessori school, then sat in on a Montessori training class. From that early age (I'm nearing 50 as I write this post!), I was hooked.

I spent the next three years taking my primary and elementary Montessori training courses, and the next twenty years in Montessori classrooms, not-to-mention the past fifteen years doing just-about-everything Montessori on the Internet. And if that wasn't enough, I published two Montessori books on Amazon Kindle!

Having all this experience with Montessori (including being a Montessori mom to a special needs child) has taught me a few things, and I want to share them with my fellow Montessori junkies, especially the newbies.

Tip number one: Start your Montessori journey by reading Montessori books, including the ones at your local library--there is a ton of information on the Internet, but some of it is sketchy at best, be it a Montessori YouTube clip, a Montessori mom blog post, or a free download--so to help yourself weed out the not-so-authentic-stuff, read a lot of Montessori books.

Tip number two: Spend less time on the Internet (I know that's a hard one) and more time (at least fifteen minutes at a time) observing your child. It's through observing your infant or tot or preschooler that you will learn the most--I can't stress that enough!

Tip number three: Spend less time online (you can do it!) and more time interacting with your little loved ones in your Montessori (or soon-to-be-Montessori) environment. It is through interacting with them that you will learn even more! (There, I stressed it again!) Then, and only then (after you've read a few chapters in your Montessori book, observed your children playing and "working", and also interacting with them--and yes, that includes giving a lesson or two) can you go on your computer (or iPad or iPhone!) to get your Montessori fix.

Lastly, I want to say: Welcome to the club fellow junkies!

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You may also be interested in my affordable online Montessori and homeschool PDFs and programs for birth to age nine at Montessori for the Earth.

You know you have a Montessori child when . . .

You know you have a Montessori child when . . .

You know you have a Montessori child when...I posted this question on my Montessori Facebook page, and I received a lot of responses! Here are a few of my favorites:

"My son was taking a REALLY long time in the children's library bathroom so I peeked in the door and he was wiping the sink and mirror dry with paper towels!" OK, that one was mine!

"When your two-year-old says excuse me when she needs to interrupt your conversation!"

Sophie eating snack! Copyrighted: Lianne
"My daughter, 18 months, went to get a bib before a meal. When all the bibs fell on the floor she began to sing 'Clean up, clean up . . . ' while picking them up and putting them back."

"Caught my son using his spoon, meant for his cereal, moving milk from his cup to his bowl."

"A few months ago I realized I had a Montessori child in the making when after looking at a book she got up and put in back in the box where it had come from, without prompting!"


And from our Facebook group members:



"When you're killing time waiting at a restaurant and your two-year-old sorts the bottle caps she found on the table by color, lining them up neatly, while your friend's kid plays games on her dad's phone... no judgment... it was a looonnnnggg wait!"~Becky L.

Copyright Bethnany Ann Hutchinson
"When mopping the kitchen floor is exciting and something all three kids want to help with!"~Bethany A. H.

"When your child calls a shot glass a 'toddler glass.' "~Jade T.



"Your child is walking towards Target to go shopping and says, 'Look! There's a verb symbol!' He was referring to the round red balls outside of the front of the store."~Renae M. E.



"When the dog tries to take his toy and he yells, 'No! That's MY work!' "~Brittney B. B.



"When he puts away a play dough color before taking a different color out."~Martha A.


OK, another one from me: "When my son keeps all this shoes neatly lined up by his bed! And fixes them when our dog knocks them out of order!"

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You may also be interested in my affordable online Montessori and homeschool programs and PDFs for birth to age nine at Montessori for the Earth. Need quality Montessori materials? Shop at our favorite Montessori seller (and our affiliate), Montessori Services!

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Top photo credit: theloushe via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND


Christmas Around the World and Hanukkah Too: A Montessori Approach

Christmas Around the World and Hanukkah Too: A Montessori Approach
Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The words "Christmas," "Hanukkah," and "World" are abstract to a young child. Montessori activities from birth to six years are primarily "Sensorial": they are hands-on concrete activities and experiences: smell, touch, taste, hear, feel, and see. The child then abstracts from these concrete experiences as he or she gets older. So before we can introduce the abstract concepts of Christmas, Hanukkah, and the World, we need to build a sensorial foundation that can begin in infancy.

KEEP READING HERE OR PIN FOR LATER HERE

A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Top 10 Gift Guide!

A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Top 10 Gift Guide!

The holidays are just around the corner and the Montessori moms at Confession of a Montessori Mom are sharing their favorite Montessori-friendly activities and books with you to help you make that all-important decision: What should I get my family for Christmas? (You can also share our suggestions with grandparents, aunts, and uncles who are giving gifts to your children this holiday season!) 

KEEP READING HERE OR PIN FOR LATER HERE

Best Montessori Books I Own

Best Montessori Books I Own {Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog}

Welcome to my Best Montessori Books I Own Series: I highlight four Montessori books including Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic; How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin; The Essential Montessori Updated Edition: an Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement  by Elizabeth Hainstock; and Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta. Some of these books are available at your local library, as an ebook on Kindle, and or used and new on Amazon.com where you can add them to your wish list or purchase them on the spot. 

Best Montessori Books I Own Series at the Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog

Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic

The Introduction includes: a Preface; "Who was Montessori"; "How to use this book"; and "Frequently asked questions" (seven in all).

There are five chapters with activities you can do at home or in a classroom setting: "Life skills, Developing the senses, Language development, Numeracy skills," and "Science skills."

Each activity has a picture, a numbered list of directions, a list of "You will need," and "Other activities to try." Most activities include a "Tip box," a "Word activity" (language), and a "Safety Point."

In the back of the book are worksheets to use (copy) for making several of the activities shown in the book.

The "Life skills" chapter includes: activities for personal hygiene, dressing, polishing, pouring, spooning, tonging, open close, threading, weaving, sewing cards, and cutting.

The "Developing the senses" chapter includes: activities for exploring textures and objects and learning about shape, size, height, length, color, sound, smell, and taste.

The "Language development" chapter includes: guidelines to help you select books for your child and guidelines for reading to your child; activities for word play, phonics and learning the letters of the alphabet, word building (Moveable Alphabet), and picture cards (Reading Tablets); making phrases, sentences, a diary, a book, a family tree, and a picture poem.

The "Numeracy skills" chapter includes: sorting, counting and learning numbers one to ten, number sequencing, simple addition and subtraction, introducing money, and number songs.

The "Science skills" chapter includes: leaf collecting, flower puzzle, planting, understanding volume, float and sink, the weather, geography including globe and map and land forms, mixing colors, and baking.

Worksheets (in the back of the book) for several of the activities shown in the book:
  • Learning height and length (similar to the Number Rods). Make color copies, enlarge them, cut them out.
  • Two-dimensional shapes: geometric shapes, in black outline, of circles, squares, and triangles from largest to smallest. Make a copy and cut out shapes or make two copies for matching shapes.
  • Identifying letters: alphabet letters in black and white lower case shown on the line. Make copies and cut out. You can also color them in using red and blue markers or colored pencils for the Moveable Alphabet. You can also enlarge them when you make a copy for making the Sandpaper Letters.
  • Word building: black and white cards with pictures and three-letter short vowel phonetic words (six cards for each vowel for a total of 30 cards). Copy and cut them out for a Reading Tablets activity, or your own language creation. You can also color the pictures in (recommended).
  • Constructing phrases: a list of articles, adjectives, verbs, and prepositions.
  • Make a flower puzzle: black and white drawing of a flower, and its parts in labels.
I give this book five stars out of five. It is well organized, full of information, and easy to understand with nice photos and drawings. The activities are those found in Montessori classrooms and can be duplicated at home. I think it is ideal for ages 2 1/2 to 5.

BUY HERE.

Recommended for parents who are new to Montessori education:

Best Montessori Books I Own Series at the Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog

How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin.

Published in 2006, it is one of the newer Montessori books on the market. This is a lovely book, with fantastic pictures and very well designed. (I would buy it just for the photos!) It is an easy read, and only 186 pages. It is also Montessori at home friendly.

It covers much of what you want to know about Montessori education with a simple, in-a-nut-shell style, including: "what is Montessori?"; "the sensitive periods for learning"; Montessori schools (about); Montessori from birth and "your growing baby"; "making your home child-friendly"; a Montessori style nursery; Montessori around the home; "discovery through the senses"; home-made Montessori activities to do and make at home; "keeping the peace" (how to handle negative behavior); Montessori outdoors; and more!

This is not a book for Montessori homeschoolers, who want to create a Montessori classroom or unschool environment at home

It is, however, for families who are looking for an alternative and who may be interested in a Montessori lifestyle for the home.

Buy new, 2nd edition HERE.

Best Montessori Books I Own Series at the Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog

The Essential Montessori Updated Edition: an Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement  by Elizabeth Hainstock.
  • First published in 1978 (then again in 1986 and 1997), this book is a classic. (It was one of the first books I read about Montessori education.)
  • It explains all the basic aspects of Montessori education in easy to understand terms.
  • Another popular aspect of this book is how Hainstock makes Maria Montessori's sometimes dense and challenging to understand writings, more accessible. In fact, Hainstock is considered the first to "rewrite" Montessori philosophy and methodology to make it easier to comprehend.
  • At only 127 pages long, you can read it very quickly.
BUY HERE.

Recommended if you have a 15 to 30 month old:

Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta.
  • Published in 1998, this is a nice book if you have a child under the age of three. It also has cute black and white drawings.
  • It is an easy read, and focuses mainly on the toddler years, and it is written by a trained AMI Montessori teacher.
  • Another great feature are the 125 (albeit brief) activities described to do at home or in a classroom. She also has a DVD that I recommend, "The Making of Great Little People" that was filmed in her toddler classroom.
Buy used HERE.

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Before you go, please check out my affordable online Montessori PDFs and programs for birth to age nineNeed quality Montessori materials? Shop at our favorite Montessori seller (and our affiliate), Montessori Services!





Winter-Themed Montessori Treasure Baskets


Create a special Montessori treasure basket for the holidays! Use objects from your holiday storage boxes, you know the ones in which you store old holiday wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, nick nacks, photos, cards, gifts you want to re-gift, and goodness knows what else!

I went through three of my large holiday storage boxes. I took objects out that I thought my son would enjoy looking at and interacting with. I then placed them in a wicker box. (Mind you, he is seven years old.)

Included in the basket: an old truffle box stuffed with photos of past holidays (mom ate all the yummy truffles), a miniature Nativity, a music box, and one of my childhood Christmas books

Also included in the basket: fuzzy antlers, a snowman puzzle book, and an old calendar with family photos.
If you don't celebrate Christmas, you can do a Winter-themed or non-Christmas holiday basket.

If you create a Montessori basket for an infant or tot, you have to use large objects that are baby safe and that they won't choke on, objects like Christmas stockings, Santa hats, old holiday cards and family photos, big bows, large pieces of ribbon, Christmas socks you know you'll never wear, small stuffed animals, and so forth.

So go sort through those over-stuffed holiday storage boxes! And have fun!

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You may also be interested in my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth.


Linking up with Montessori Monday!

Montessori Monday

Introduce Poetry to Your Children Using the Montessori Method

Introduce Poetry to Your Children Using the Montessori Method

At the preschool age you can share your love of  language and literature by reading poetry out loud to your child/ren. You will enthuse their interest in poetry if you yourself are enthusiastic and interested in it. As it states in my Montessori training manual: "Assess yourself and your attitude. Remember, the child who is still in the absorbent state of mind [from birth to six] absorbs your attitudes.You are not just giving concrete experiences [by reading poetry], you are giving children exposure and a love for [poetry], which they will study, in depth, later on."

Then, when the child is reading comprehensively (by third grade or age eight) you can introduce the poetry basket. But first, let me review the several levels to reading (quoted from my Montessori training manual).

"First comes the mechanical part which is to recognize the symbol, translate it into sounds and then to connect those sounds into a word. This is not comprehensive reading. Comprehensive reading has a second part which is interpretive reading. We need to understand the sentiment, the feeling, and the ideas the person has written about. The third point of comprehensive reading is the appreciation of the beauty of the syntax, the style, the arrangement of words, sentences, and paragraphs [this is where reading poetry out loud can play an important role]. We have to keep the unity of these three parts of reading in mind. The simple words of three letters which enable the child to read should be extended to longer words and phrases which makes her understand the definitions of the cultural subjects but then immediately keep in mind to read to the child and have available to him books of good literature [including poetry]."

Here is a helpful time line of the Montessori reading activities and materials:

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting: A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting


I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from theTrenches, Lisa Nolan's mom lit parent humor anthology with forty contributing mom bloggers. Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness is very funny and poignant while describing the experiences of the sleep deprived mothers who contributed the chapters. Any young parents needing some comedic relief about their situations would feel less alone and more understood by reading this book. I've already sent it to a young mom who I know will enjoy the writing. The writers are all very talented and many have written other books and/or blogs. They are introduced at the end of the book with links for future reading and enjoyment.

I smiled for days remembering some of the lines in the book such as, "I hear a doggy barking!" spoken by a child trying to delay bedtime. The teacher mom I could so relate with, as both jobs can be exhausting. There are poems and stories, and it is the perfect bed stand book to help parents fall asleep with a smile. Because it is written by many contributors, reading short sections at a time is fine. I won't say why, but you might like to read Lisa's chapter first. I'm sure you will want to share the funny stories with your friends and relatives.

So one thing sleep deprived mothers really need is for their children to actually sleep. This means some clever parenting needs to be employed to create situations where this happens. Routines are helpful, and it seems they need constant updating to the next level. Routine 1.0 has to be updated to 2.0 and so on as the children grow. This keeps parents on their toes, when they can stand up and aren't falling asleep.

I suggest before mentioning bedtime, first begin turning off some lights and dimming lights to give a nonverbal awareness it is nighttime. Then, a routine is required.

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting

  • Perhaps say goodnight to the moon if it is out, and to objects in the rooms (goodnight plant, goodnight toys).  
  • Carry the child around the room during this transition time to help them be calm. 
  • Speak with a soft night time voice and if anyone is watching TV, that person should turn down the volume. 
Your child can help determine and lead the bedtime routine, so follow the child while establishing the procedure. 

Present the DIY bedtime box after the child realizes it is time to go to bed. The inside lid of my box has the word day, which can be turned over to show day is done.

It is also a flannel board as some of the items are flannel and can be manipulated by the child. 
DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting
DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting

The box could have an appropriate book for nighttime, a tooth brush, a comb, a soft stuffed animal, and items you think will help your child. The items can be returned to the box and daytime could be put to bed. Time to sleep, hopefully for child and parent!


~Carolyn Wilhelm, Wise Owl Factory


Carolyn Wilhelm has a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in Special Studies of Gifted Children, and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. She was a National Board Certified Teacher 2004-2014. She has taught grades one, two, three, four, and five, as well as gifted education. Books in her classroom had distinguished lives as the stories and authors mentored and guided student and teacher work in reading, writing, performing, and illustrating writers' work.

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Need quality Montessori materials? Shop at my favorite Montessori seller (and my affiliate), Montessori Services!
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Want to read stories by sleep-challenged moms, stories that will make you laugh, shed a tear or two, inspire you, and make you feel like you are NOT alone in your sleep-deprived, post-baby world? Be sure to check out Motherhood May CauseDrowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches! (Available on Kindle. Available in paperback July 1st, add it to your wish list!)

“From start to finish, this book is a gem. I can’t think of a mother who shouldn’t read it, whether you have a newborn or grown children, you will totally relate to these funny and heartwarming stories. This second edition includes 18 new essays from some amazing authors. Having bought the first Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, I was delighted to read this new edition. One of my favorite quotes from the book: ‘Organic homemade cakes made out of kale and promises.' This book is funny and then funnier.”—Stephanie Marsh, mom blogger of We Don’t Chew Glass.

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