We are a family with three 'wee winkles' exploring the pleasures and perils of educating at home using Scripture, Montessori and a lot of love!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Dinosaur unit

While I have had lots of material to use for a dinosaur unit I hadn't planned to do one right now and then last week we went to the library and Lamb insisted we get out not one but four books on dinosaurs....from the non fiction section no less.We have spent a lot of time going through these books and discussing the different characteristics of the dinosaurs. He got out all of his toy dinosaurs to match them to pictures in the books then telling me which dinosaurs we really should buy, apparently 'must haves' in the mind of an almost four year old boy.

So Mummy got busy.

Lamb's dinosaurs (complete with a few of the 'must haves' on his list) with a little container of cubes, some red for meat and some green for plants so that we can feed the dinosaurs based on whether they are herbivore or carnivore.

Dinosaur egg spooning (Cherry mostly does this)

Some dinosaur books and breed cards that I got from Montessori Print Shop

Part of a dinosaur unit I got from the Teachers pay teachers website

Both of the children leapt into the activities with gusto but quickly they wanted to put the dinosaurs into the eggs...I had thought of this too but our little dinos don't fit!
So I gathered together a group of jars and plastic containers with different lids and popped the little dinos with it so they could put them into the jars.

Not exactly eggs but an open and close activity nonetheless and the winkles loved it!

We've got a lot more ideas so I'm excited for dinosaurs!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sandpaper numbers

I have just realised that I never posted about how I made the childrens sandpaper numbers.
I bought the sandpaper letters set which are larger, shinier and come in a beautiful box of course but because there are fewer numbers I thought I would give them a go and save some money in the process.

(This might only be relevant to Australians as sandpaper numbers in the States are far cheaper)
In one trip to Bunnings I bought ten of their wooden coasters in the craft section, a roller, a small tube of red paint and two small sheets of sandpaper.
I obviously painted the coasters first, cut the numbers out and glued them on.
It cost about six dollars while at a2zmontessori they are about thirty dollars!

Homemade mini ladles

I'm not sure if others will be as excited about this as I was but I recently fashioned some little ladles for the children from egg carton cups.

It involves quite a different action than regular spooning activities and the children keep asking for them!

20 month activities

Here are a few of the activities I have been doing with Cherry around twenty months old.

Learning our colours. I can't remember where I printed these colour nomenclature cards from but something similar should be pretty easy to find. I gave her a little container filled with marbles, little pom poms, counters for board games and fimo fruit for her to match to the right colour.

I also introduced her to numbers and counters. We have a little container with red beads and the numbers are from a foam set I bought on special. When I first showed her this I thought I had pitched way too far ahead but after a few times she can now recognise the numbers one through three and gets the concept of counting out the right number, she just gets the order mixed up sometimes. I might leave it for a little while until she can count in order comfortably and then bring it out again.

Though the photo is not very clear, she is putting the sticks from our sticks and blocks activity into a shaker. I guess matchsticks or toothpicks with the tips removed would work just as well.

It would appear that Cherry loves to collage. I was doing an activity with Lamb that involved glue sticks. When I looked over, there she was gluing down some coloured paper so I ripped it up for her so that she could have some gluing fun. She asks to do this quite a lot now.

Under the sea

We started looking at things under the sea while we were away and have continued work on it when we came home.
Lamb in particular has always been very interested in sea creatures. His favourite animal is a humpback whale and he has watched the documentary we have on whales multiple times. He is also desperate to learn to swim so that he can go snorkelling!

As with everything, a unit on ocean creatures began with a trip to the library.

I printed out some pictures of common fish found in each ocean and we used Lamb's childrens atlas to find where they lived.

We did some ocean cutting strips I got from here.

The children watched several of the documentaries from our Planet Earth Series.

And we did lots of crafts!!!

We made jellyfish from paper plates with cellophane tentacles. The children carefully moved the jellyfish just as they've watched them in the ocean themed dvds and took great pleasure in having their fish swim into the tentacles and get trapped.

We also did a collage of a humpback whale
I think I might have made it a little big as even with help from Mum they didn't manage to finish it.

We used food colouring on a watercolour paper template of a fish.
This was the final result. Lamb said he was giving the fish scales which gave me another idea.

I just drew a rough outline of a fish on paper and cut out circles from blue paper and some from chocolate wrappers I saved for the purpose and the children made glittery scaled fish.

I managed to snap Cherry doing this stamp painting with a fish that I cut out from a kitchen sponge. I used the ones with the scourer on one side so that it was a little firmer for her to handle and it worked really well.

Back from Cobram

Well we've been back for a while but when you've been away that long, things get a little crazy with sorting out the house and catching up with people so here is the last of our trip to Cobram.

Playing in the dirt....boys have cars and girls have tea sets. They set this up on their own and I thought it was too stereotypical not to share!

Playing in the Murray River

We did do some learning activities as well....

We did some playdough addition mats

And when I found this book about the colour red at the library we made several things out of it with red playdough as Cherry did a lot of work learning her colours while we were away.

And as all good Montessorians. there was practical life.
There was very little of the usual cleaning activities and things for the children to help with so Lamb ended up in the kitchen with me a lot. He is quite adept at cutting things like celery with a sharp knife now. If we were at home I probably wouldn't have let him!