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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.



A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide
Image from here

Along with Kids in the Kitchen , we have a great set of children's kitchen tools like the Sassafras Little Cook Kid's Kitchen Tool Kit. I'm pretty sure I could create an entire homeschool curriculum in the kitchen from common courtesies to history! We use tools like this tool set for stacking, measuring, mixing, counting, transfer and practical life cleaning. We have a drawer where the children have their materials to work with in the kitchen and a sturdy stool for them to work safely on the counter top or table. We spend so much quality time in the kitchen and love that our children feel at home there with their own tools.  


A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide

Lisa: We love making art projects from the Global Art book! The activities are listed by country, ideal for Montessori Geography and Peoples of the World, AND there are tons of activities to choose from... many can be modified for younger siblings. (We will start using this book in January 2014 in my free Montessori art and music group on Facebook!) Our favorite activity was making the Sapo Cloth from a paper bag and some paint.

A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Gift Guide!
Photo by Lisa Nolan

If you have younger children, Crayola makes a 240 (9 X 12 sheet) construction paper pack for 4.98! That's 240 sheets of colored paper! I just ordered and received mine and wow! My son loves painting on construction paper so we use a lot of it! TIP: Drawing and doodling pads (like this one here) are easier for toddlers to use than single sheets of paper in a stack, but if you use single sheets of paper, spread them out on a tray, five to seven at a time (like a fan) so your toddler can grab them independtly. When you run out of paper, you can also use paper products from home: paper bags, cereal boxes, shirt cardboard, the back of old wrapping paper, old notebooks and binder paper from college, old printer paper. BEST DEAL for (white) paper: I found 1500 sheets of copy paper for 9.88 on Amazon.com with free two-day shipping if you have Prime (I have Prime)! See it here.

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

Marie: We all open and close latches, doors, locks, and hooks on a daily basis. Our children observe us and want to mimic that action. The Melissa and Doug Latches Board is a great way to allow a child the opportunity to practice those basic skills. My husband and I made our own latches board for my son when he was 20 months old. Both of our children thoroughly enjoy the challenge of the board. They use the board for practice on day to day items we use in our Montessori Homschool Classroom like the box which contains the lock and key activity and the fishing pole set we use for identifying colors and fine motor skills.


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

A movable alphabet helps us all day long. As a homeschooling mom, I find that I implement lessons as we go along in life. We read signs and billboards. We sound out names of items we are using and always relate items to the letters in our children's names. The Montessori Movable Alphabet with Box by Kid Advance Co. would be a huge hit in our house. My son (3.5 years old) is currently very fascinated with how things are arranged in alphabetical order and my daughter (18 months) is beginning to understand that anything with an A on it "belongs" to her. Sight words is another fascination for my son. We use our movable alphabet to spell any sight words he can remember as well as spelling the names of all of our family members.

#6 Lisa: The Glockenspiel

A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Gift Guide!

Lisa: We are using an alternative musical instrument (called the Glockenspiel) to the Montessori bells--which cost over a thousand dollars if you count the staff boards. There are some limitations in using a Glockenspiel. (I love the way the Montessori bells and staff boards lead to the reading and writing and playing of simple music! But who has a thousand dollars to spare! Above all we want to nurture a love for music: playing and reading and writing music starting with a few simple materials and activities!) 

Here is my YouTube clip so you can hear the Glockenspiel. (You should turn the volume all the way up on your computer.) You can buy this Glockenspiel here at Montessori Services (ships only in the USA). There is also a songbook for $3.50 shown in the catalog. It's item # M08 and it's called Beginning Songbook. If your child is under the age of three then maybe consider a toy Glockenspiel like the one here recommended by a mom in our group and here is her YouTube clip

A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Gift Guide!

 I also recommended the above music coloring books on Amazon.com to use in a variety of ways: Instruments and Composers. I use them to make composer study units for my son as shown below. 

 A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Gift Guide!
A Children's Montessori HOLIDAY Gift Guide!
Lisa:  Play, Mozart, Play! by Peter Sís is a new book that I found at our local library! My son was enchanted by the lovely illustrations. It is a simple story and a great way to introduce classical music composers to young children. Here is a description of the book from Goodreads: "Acclaimed artist Peter Sis introduces very young children to the child genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in this picture book tribute to the beauty of listening, looking, imagining, and -- most of all -- playing." (I'm asking grandma to consider it for a Christmas gift, along with a Mozart CD!)

A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide
Image from here

Marie: As a new Montessori mom I had a tough time thinking of everyday activities to do to keep my children entertained, especially during rainy days. I bought Child's Play: Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler by Pitamic and LOVE IT!! Our children love doing the sensory walks that are outlined in the book. My daughter will often set up her own sensory walk while I'm working with my son on a lesson. I love the fact that each activity has an age level and a materials list. One activity we have used over the years of my son's short life is the Treasure Map. When he was younger, he toted on old map along with us anytime we walked anywhere, just to be familiar that maps help us get to where we would like to go. Now that he knows about pirates, he LOVES making maps to islands with treasure. We create simple scavenger hunts around the house using our map too. There are a ton of other great ideas too! I could list them all day!

A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide
Photo by Marie Mack
Marie: We use the set of Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks in multiple ways in our homschool classroom. My son is a wiz at putting the simple puzzles together, but it is a nice review of the different shapes as well as understand that shapes can be used to create pictures. These simple puzzles are perfect for my daughter (18 months). She can easily place blocks in appropriate spaces for a self correcting puzzle. The colors are vivid and the blocks are sturdy. The set we have was handed down from another family and is still in wonderful condition. Great deal for your money.

A Children's Montessori Holiday Gift Guide
Photo by Marie Mack
Marie: I can honestly say that our life revolves around a child size table. My children make and eat meals there, they complete crafts on their table, and work on activities as they feel the need to. They care for it as their own and work hard to keep it clean and tidy. A table like the KidKraft Farmhouse Table for 4 Chair Set is a must for any Montessori family with small children.

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Sign my Montessori email newsletter list AND get all three of my Montessori PDFs for FREE: my 30-page Should You Montessori Homeschool; 40-page Top Montessori Infant Toddler; and my 60-page Montessori FAQs and Resources for Homeschooling Children Ages 3-9! I will not spam, share, or sell your email!