Saturday, May 21, 2011

New on our Montessori shelves

Time has been so sparse lately and my poor little guy has been sick all week, but I wanted to quickly share a bunch of new Montessori-ish activities I've created for Tyler recently.

Here are a few pattern strips that Tyler uses with our wonderfully versatile Melissa and Doug Jumbo Lacing Beads. I used cardstock (could easily use construction paper too) and my laminator to create these in no time. I placed the appropriate amount of beads in each tray and let him create the patterns by matching the color circles to the beads.
He will humor me and do this work on occasion, but it was much too easy for him from the start. I either need to create longer, more complex patterns or find a way to make pattern work more exciting. Ideas are brewing...

For this color matching work, I cut an egg carton to create four sections and painted the insides of each to match puffballs. I used two different shades of types of puffballs for an extra sensorial piece.

After searching quite a bit for rounded toothpicks for fine motor work, we found some colorful cocktail toothpicks that have been quite versatile and fun. For this first work, Tyler the picks into the holes of a parmesan shaker ($1.50 at Big Lots). They don't fall into the shaker due to the card suit characters on top, which makes for easy retrieval.

For the second toothpick work, I cut the tops off so that they would fit inside this mustard container that I found for less than a dollar at our local grocery store. This one is pretty challenging and the opening is pretty small, but it has become a pretty big favorite. I snipped the tip just a bit then colored around the top of the hole with black Sharpie to make it more visible to him.

Ty and I just love using these cheese containers and puffballs, but we've never combined them like this! Here Tyler rests the puffballs on the holes then pushes them in with his index finger. Simple but great fine motor and finger isolation work!

Linking with Tot School and One Hook Wonder


  1. I love the idea of using different sized puff palls for color matching. I'm definitely going to use this idea with my daughter. Thanks

  2. Great idea to mark around the top of the mustard container! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. LOVE all your ideas, especially because they use stuff I already have around the house! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  4. These are all fantastic! Will definitely have to try them with my son- I think he will enjoy the bead one so will make him some cards!

  5. What great works for a little guy! He looks so intent on his work. :)

  6. Lots of fun activities. My tot is a bit older than yours but she still loves sticking things in the sugar/cheese shaker.

    Just popping in from tot school.

  7. Great Idea with the beads! I have a ton of them and the lacing got old for the kids! I will have to try this!

  8. Thanks for the kind words ladies! :) I love creating activities with simple stuff that I have around the house. Hope you and your little one's have fun!