Make Montessori Christmas Clay Beads and Trees

Make Montessori Christmas Clay Beads {Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog}

Make Montessori Christmas clay beads as gifts, tree decorations, or just for fun! Materials needed: clay, paint, confetti or glitter glue. To make clay beads you need some clay. I bought a small, 5 pound bucket of Crayola white 'air-dry clay' at a local Michael's craft store on sale. You can order it on here. It is best to order small amounts at a time because the clay dries out after so many months. (When it does dry out, add 1/4 of water over the clay and let sit over night.)

We used an ice cream scooper for the clay to scoop it out. If your child is too young for the ice cream scooper, make several scoops and place them in another container for the child to access.

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: Part One! In this part of the 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 where you can add them to your wish list or purchase them on the spot.

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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.

Infants and Tots
  1.  If you have an infant or tot, your main concern is safety, so that will be your guide to what you can introduce in the home (or daycare setting).
  2. An infant from age seven to 12 months is in a sensitive period for oral exploration, so you would introduce finger foods (typically at seven months). You can also provide safe objects for them to explore orally. And keeping with the theme of Christmas, Hanukkah (and the world) you could use baby proof and baby safe cultural, Christmas, and Hanukkah-type foods and items for the child to explore. 
  3. Music/Auditory: Infants are attracted to sounds including the human voice. You could sing multicultural, Christmas, or Hanukkah songs or rhymes, play a musical instrument, play a multicultural, Christmas, or Hanukkah CD, album, or Youtube clip. You can also look for infant-safe bells to play with and explore.

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!) 

There are affiliate product links in this post. When you click on one (and make a purchase) we get a small commission. This helps fund Montessori materials, activities, and books we can get for our children (and then share them with you on our blog!) A big THANK YOU in advance of any purchases you make!

A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide
Photo by Marie Mack

Marie: My family has loved to cook for generations! Our family gatherings always revolve around food and the kitchen so it makes sense for Samuel to be interested in happenings in the kitchen. I found Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes That Build Independence and Confidence the Montessori Way by Cotner and D'Alton while searching for a cookbook which he could call his own. It is the perfect start for young cooks. The recipes can be followed by the pictures for non-readers and have a variety of levels from beginner to more advanced child cooks. The introduction to Kids in the Kitchen really helped me to understand the Montessori process behind cooking, like starting the cooking process with donning an apron and assembling materials before beginning to cook.

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.)

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).

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.


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!

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.


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.

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting

A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

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