Adrian 2 years and a half Feed

Working with Numerals and Beads (Teen-Board intro)

Adrian is almost three years old, and he is very interested in numbers. He counts everything and everywhere. So, today, we are having an introduction to a Montessori Teen Board, where I offered him to count beads and match them to their corresponding numbers. 

20160903-DSC_0006He would count the beads first, and then find the corresponding number. 
20160903-DSC_0006"Nine tiny blue beads!"
20160903-DSC_0006Matching a number nine to the beads he just counted. 
20160903-DSC_0006"The ten-bar has ten little beads in it!"
20160903-DSC_0006The order was not important, the goal was to associate quantity to a numeral. 

20160903-DSC_0006Number twelve is made up of one-ten-bar and two tiny beads. 
20160903-DSC_0006Adrian sliding a wooden number two on top of a ten board, making twelve.

Starting with (3) teens at a time is plenty for a toddler. At the end, you may also present a Three-Period-Lesson (see how to introduce a Three-Period-Lesson here). Keep in mind that you would want to present this activity few times before a child can get a solid understanding of the teen building. Read about the official Teen Board presentation, once Adrian turned three, here

Numeral ๐Ÿ”ข vs Quantity ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ at 34 months with Self-Correcting Numbers Puzzle (Early Montessori Math)

This wooden number-to-quantity interlocking self-correcting Numbers Puzzle (buy similar here) is more abstract as a toddler is not actually holding any quantity to substantiate the value (like with Spindles or Numbers Rods), but rather matches a numeral (e.g. number 2) to the quantity shown on a picture (2 cows). This puzzle is great for matching and counting skills since the pictures are colorful and feature familiar objects/animals.

DSC_0902.JPGA child would first sort the puzzle pieces into two piles: one with numbers and the other with quantities (pictures of the objects).

DSC_0902.JPGAdrian then would sequence numbers in order from 1-10, by counting objects on a picture and matching them to the correct numeral.

To substantiate the concept of numeral vs quantity, you may want to present a 3๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ๐ŸŒ  Three Period Lesson. (Read a detailed post about the presentation here).

At 34 months, Adrian is able to correctly complete the entire 3๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ๐ŸŒ  Three Period Lesson with numerals one through ten. 

Presenting a 3๐Ÿ…ฟ๏ธ๐ŸŒ  Three Period Lesson:

  1. (P1) โ€œThis is 1, this is 2, โ€ฆ.3โ€ 
  2. (P2) โ€œWill you show me 1? Will you show me 2? โ€ฆ 3? "
  3. (P3) โ€œWhat is this? โ€œ

DSC_0902.JPG"Show me 5"; "Where is 9?"; "What number is this?" Adrian would correctly answer each time.

Thus, at 34 months, when asked randomly, Adrian can orderly sequence, recognize and enunciate each number from 1-10. I believe that such understanding was only achieved through the concrete representation of Montessori math materials, which necessarily build on each other just like in other areas. So, before introducing this puzzle, you would start with small concept of numbers one through 10. For example, number "one" is represented by a numeral -1 as well as by quantity when a child is actually holding one apple/car/spindle in his/her hands. Such association of quantity to numeral is very concrete in nature: a child is holding one, two, or three spindles and realizes how differently it feels than holding ten. Such helps children understand in a concrete way basic mathematical concepts, while instilling the love for learning, numbers, and math.

African Animals Language Objects Matching Cards and African Savanna Animals at Animal Kingdom Disney

Today, we are exploring Africa. 

DSC_0014First, we would read about Africa in a World Atlas book (buy here).

We love using these animals as language objects during continent unit works as well as for zoology. But what about taking a trip to a real savanna in Africa to see all those fascinating animals up close?

DSC_0048-001Serengeti Savanna (Africa, Animal Kingdom).
DSC_0048-001Termite Tower.

DSC_0059Adrian really enjoys Language Objects matching materials (read a post here), where a child would match a picture to a picture, then an object to a picture (we love using these animals as language objects), and finally, a word label to a label. Adrian, although not reading yet at 31 months, attempts to visually match the labels after matching an animal to a picture. 

DSC_0014First, Adrian matches Language Objects: African Animals to a picture on a card that has a label.

DSC_0161.JPGAll animal figurines are matched up.

DSC_0014Next, Adrian would match a picture to a picture.

DSC_0144Adrian's favorite animal is a zebra. 

DSC_0178Matching language object elephant calf to a picture of an elephant with a calf ...

DSC_0093... to a real elephant.

DSC_0167-001Okapi is the only living relative of a giraffe. 

DSC_0147Okapi is unsociable, shy, relying on sound to avoid predetors, with bigger ears than a giraffe.

DSC_0157-001Okapi is native to Central Africa and although bearing striped markings reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles.

DSC_0150The smaller skull is Okapi's, the larger one is Giraffes.

DSC_0122A lioness is usually dormant during the day, so it was a rare scene.
DSC_0122Lioness sleeps about 15-20 hours during the day and does most of the hunting at night. 

DSC_0138Lions also mainly sleep during the day.
The final step for a non-reading toddler would be to visually match the cut-out label to the label attached to the card with the picture.


DSC_0195Adrian at 31 months was successfully able to visually match all the labels.

DSC_0187-001Gorillas: they were looking straight at us!

DSC_0171Comparing a scull of a male human to a female gorilla and to a male gorilla.

DSC_0064Giraffes are children's absolute favorite animal: so gentile, so graceful!

DSC_0064Giraffes' marks are unique, just like with human's fingerprints, and there are no two alike! For more on giraffe study, see here "Giraffe (Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study)."

DSC_0109The common ostrich is the largest living species of bird, laying the largest eggs of any living bird. 


Ostriches are flightless birds native to Africa. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h (19 m/s; 43 mph) -  the fastest land speed of any bird.

DSC_0115-001White Rhino crossing in front of us.

DSC_0118See you soon - fascinating animals of African Savanna! 

p.s. Just a Note: we are not in favor of a zoo: where animals are caged, unable to move, hunt, be wild - be themselves. The Savanna in Africa Disney is a completely natural habitat, carefully crafted to resemble closely Africa's ecosystem. It is 800 square miles of natural terrain, including forests, wetlands of the Safi River Valley, and the open bush country of the Serengeti Savanna.  To create the 110-acre Serengeti, Imagineers moved 1.5 million cubic yards of earth and planted some 2.3 million exotic plants. Over 300 grasses (75 African) were seeded so that there would be ever-flowering grass. 

Native African animals living there are: Antelope, Mandrill, Black Rhino, Cheetah, Crocodile, Elephant, Flamingo, Gazelle, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Lion, Okapis, Ostrich, Warthog, White Rhino, Wildebeest, and Zebra. Overall, there are over 200 different species of birds and animals found throughout this preserve. Notably, many species are endangered or are on the brink of extinction, but thanks to Disney Imagineers, those species might be saved! 

p.s. For more pictures, read a post here the Animal Kingdom.

Green Lentils Spoon Transferring (Montessori Practical Life)

Fundamental skills such as pouring, spooning, and tonging follow a sequential order where ideally each lesson builds upon the last one. Thus, spooning, while being one of the first Practical Life activities a toddler would do starting at around 18 months, is generally introduced after dry pouring and water pouring. Spoon transferring involves a more advanced type of skill such as balancing (e.g. beans, glass beads, pasta, lentils etc) and transferring them from one bowl to another, completely emptying the first bowl.

DSC_0046.JPGI love this wooden transferring set which is hand-carved from native South Pacific hardwood.


Adrian has been enjoying all different kinds of spooning activities for a while already, and at 2 1/2 he still enjoys them. He makes sure though that not even a single lentil falls off the spoon, and he would methodically complete the activity until every single lentil is transferred. 

The cycle of the activity is completed once lentils (or anything else a child is using ) is transferred from the left bowl to the right. The child would then return the tray back to its shelf.  

World Continent Puzzle ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Map (Making the Earth Flat - Why 2 ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ถ Antarcticas?)

Montessori World Map puzzle (buy here) is generally introduced after a child is comfortable with Colored ๐ŸŒˆ Continent ๐ŸŒŽGlobe (read a presentation here). In a Montessori Geography curriculum, a child first learns that the Earth is a sphere by exploring the Globe. Then, the concepts of land (continent) vs. water (ocean) are introduced first on the globe, and later more abstractly on the world ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ map. A child also learns to associate each continent with a certain color (Montessori "continent color-coding") and learns their names and positioning. But how to transition from a sphere which represents our Earth to a flat world๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ map?  

DSC_0017.JPGYou would need a Colored Continent Globe (buy here) and a ๐ŸŠgrapefruit or ๐ŸŽan apple.

First, you would point to each continent on the globe and then show the corresponding one on the puzzle. However, there are two ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ถAntartica(s) on the puzzle map! This is why we need a ๐ŸŠgrapefruit.

You would explain to a child: "Earth is a sphere, but to put it in a map-form, we need to divide this sphere into two hemispheres. We will pretend that this grapefruit is our Earth, and we are to cut our Earth in half to place it on the map.

DSC_0020We took a Globe (sphere) - our Earth and made it into two hemispheres/two halves of a grapefruit.

DSC_0024Pretending that these two pieces of a grapefruit are two halves of Antarctica.

As a result of this visual and concrete presentation, Adrian (33 months) learned hemispheres and on which hemisphere each continent belongs. He also learned that in the process of making a map, we pretended to cut our globe into two parts, thus resulting in two sides of Antartica. 

DSC_0026This is a fun way to teach about hemispheres and to have a snack afterward.

Read a similar post here "๐ŸŒŽ Geography ๐Ÿ“–Theory Curriculum Lesson 3: ๐Ÿ—บ Mapping (Making the Earth ๐ŸŽˆ Flat)" where we, with a use of a balloon, attempted to do what cartographers do when making a map of our Earth.