Saturday, June 13, 2009

Montessori DIY for Practical Life: A Braiding Board

This is an excellent example of a great piece of Montessori equipment that is very amenable to DIY initiatives. All you need is a board with a hook or peg and cord in red, blue, and yellow. Look for cord that braids easily and stays in place without needing to be tied.

The three colors serve to show your child the pattern of the braid more clearly. You can demonstrate by neatly putting each cord over the other as you make the braid. If you make two sets, you can leave one braided as a sample and let your child look at it as he or she uses the other set.

Braiding is not just for girls! It is a hand-eye coordination and brain development exercise for both genders and all ages.

This is one piece of equipment that I especially recommend buying from Nienhuis, a supplier you really trust, or making at home. Your child will be handling the cords a lot and an infant or toddler at home might be tempted to nibble on the ends.

Braiding Board photo credit: Nienhuis

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Did Everyone See the Gutenberg Site?

An online book project with over 28,000 free classic books for download.

For everyone who has purchased our Elementary school curriculum for grades 1 to 3, we will be referring to books that can be obtained for free from this site so you can keep your home library fresh and full for the summer!

This is the link for the Gutenberg Project

Monday, June 8, 2009

Geography for Montessori Classroom

Working with puzzle maps of countries is a great way to start learning about geography.

The best way to work with these maps is to have a control map with the names of the countries and capital cities of each country. Your child can look at the control map, work with the pieces of the map -- removing them, reassembling them on a mat out of the frame, and the putting them back into the frame.

When your child is comfortable with the countries, introduce flags and then capitals.

The control map can be a paper map that you have made yourself by tracing the pieces of the puzzle map. It can also be a regular map like the ones sold by National Geographic.

Learn more about Montessori curriculum with our newsletters and teaching binders.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Take a Break from the Classroom: Backyard Camping

Backyard camping is a great way to take a break from school, books, and the outside world!

Here are some child-friendly steps for camping in the backyard:
  1. Roll a sleeping bag into a sleeping bag holding bag
  2. Prepare a small cooler with sandwiches, drinks, and cooler packs
  3. Pitch a tent in the backyard
  4. Take everything outside
  5. Set up the tent and start camping!

Even very young children can apply their Practical Life and food preparation exercises to this fun real life situation. Let your child figure out what to do and how to do it. That's the benefit of these types of projects!

Did you come up with some fabulous projects for a big backyard or a high rise apartment terrace? Let us know and we will share them with our readers!

National Wildlife Federation's Great American Backyard Campout