Adrian 3 years Feed

❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study • 🎅🏻 🇦🇶Land 🌊Water 🌬Air

Today, we are learning about polar regions of the Earth, also known as the Earth's ❄️frigid zones that surround Earth's geographical North and South Poles. These regions are very cold, covered by snow and polar ice caps: the northern resting on the Arctic Ocean and the southern on the continent of Antarctica.

DSC_0166Adrian is using Montessori Sandpaper Continent 🌎Globe (read a detailed post here).

The differences between 🎅🏻 the Arctic and 🇦🇶Antarctica:

Antarctica, or the south pole region, is a continent which is covered with an immense ice cap. The Arctic, on the other hand, is a polar region surrounding the North Pole and consisting of the large Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Polar habitats are too cold for trees to grow, so tundra, the only place where any vegetation grows, takes up a lot of the area. In tundra, during spring and summer time, the ground only thaws just enough for short grasses and moss to grow, but the tree's roots can not go as far down into the ground as they need to because deep down the ground is frozen. Animals who live in polar regions have adapted by having thick fur or feathers to keep warm, and hunting fish or each other rather than relying on plants and vegetation which are scarce to maintain their diet. Polar bears live solely in the Arctic, while penguins are found in the southern Antarctic regions, amongst others. So, since penguins reside only in the Southern Hemisphere, they had never crossed a path with a polar bear.


As a first lesson, Adrian sorted animals by their habitat: 🎅🏻 🇦🇶LAND, 🌊WATER, 🌬AIR, rather than by the pole's geographical location. 

DSC_0039Parts of a Penguin Puzzle (buy here), Arctic/Antarctic animals set (here), Killer Whale (here).


🎅🏻 🇦🇶 LAND

DSC_0063  To represent LAND, I placed some soil in a glass jar.

We talked about Inuit people in the Arctic building igloos from snow as a shelter (also known as a snow houses or snow huts). Air pockets trapped in snow make it an excellent insulator, so the temperature inside the igloo when warmed by the body heat alone may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) while on the outside, it can be frigid cold as low as −45 °C (−49 °F) - that is more than 100 °F difference!


DSC_0058Caribou, also called reindeer (buy similar here), are native to the Arctic region. In the spring, herds of Caribou make a long journey north from the Arctic forest. It is the longest migration made by any land animal. On the way, they give birth to new calves. When they finally reach the tundra, caribou eat everything in sight. When winter comes and the food is scarce, the fat stored in their bodies gives them needed energy.


Musk Ox (buy here) have inhabited the frozen Arctic for many thousands of years, and their long shaggy hair is well adapted to the frigid climate. The outer long furry hairs , called guard hairs, keep Musk Ox warm and cozy. Underneath all that hair is a layer of shorter wool undercoat, which provides additional insulation in winter. This undercoat falls out when temperatures climb at winter's end. Musk Ox roam the tundra in search of the roots, mosses, and lichens that sustain them. In winter, they use their hooves to dig through snow to graze on these plants. During the summer, they supplement their diet with Arctic flowers and grasses, often feeding near water. Musk Oxen are herd animals, and groups of two or three dozen animals are sometimes led by a single female. Herds use cooperation to deal with predators, such as wolves. When threatened and to protect the young calfs, they "circle the wagons" and array themselves with their young in the middle and their sharp horns facing outward toward their foes. A cornered musk-ox can be a fearsome enemy, charging with its massive bulk and attempting to use its horns to deadly effect.



Seals (buy here) live in the cold ocean waters of the Arctic or off the coasts of Antarctica. Some seals make caves in the snow to live in, while others never leave the ice pack and poke breathing holes in the ice. Fur seals and sea lions (buy here) live in the Northern Pacific between Asia and North America and off the coasts of South America, Antarctica, southwestern Africa and southern Australia. 


A polar bear (buy here) was tricky for Adrian to sort, so he placed it in between the LAND and WATER. Polar bear is the only bear considered to be a marine mammal because it depends on the ocean for majority of his food, while spending a lot of time on ice hunting, mating and denning. Its fur is thicker than any other bears’ and covers even the feet for warmth and traction on ice. A thick layer of blubber beneath the fur provides warmth and insulation. The front feet are large, flat and oar-like, making a polar bear an excellent swimmer. Polar bear is the largest land carnivore in the world (rivaled only by the Kodiak brown bears of southwestern Alaska), thus sitting at the top of the food chain in the biologically rich Arctic. Polar bear feeds primarily on seals, the remains of which provide food for many other Arctic wildlife species, but it is also known to eat walrus, beluga whale, birds’ eggs, and (rarely) vegetation. 


Orcas (buy here) are marine mammals, and although called killer whales, they are not actually whales, but are the largest members of the dolphin family, in the order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Some killer whales feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals (known to grab them right off the ice), sea lions, seabirds, and even other adult whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. Orcas were given the name “killer whale” by ancient sailors’ observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species.  They called orcas asesina ballenas, or “whale killer.”  Their Latin name, Orcinus orca, also reflects this observation as Orcinus translates to “of the kingdom of the dead,” and orca refers to a kind of whale. "Killer whales" are one of the world's most powerful predators, which can be found in each of the world's oceans in a variety of marine environments: from the Arctic to the Antarctic to tropical seas. Orcas are also an apex predators - meaning that there is no other animal that preys on them. For more on Orcas, read here.



A snowy owl (buy here) is a large species of owl, but due to a snowy habitat, it often has snow-white plumage that echoes its Arctic origins and protects it from chilly Arctic winds. A snowy owl has a thick feather coating even on its feet, protecting them from the frigid Arctic cold. The snowy owl is a patient hunter that perches and waits to identify its prey before soaring off in pursuit. Snowy owls have keen eyesight and great hearing, which can help them find prey, such as arctic hare, that is invisible under a thick snow-cover.

Atlantic puffins, (buy here) also known as dubbed “sea parrots” and “clowns of the sea,” have large brightly-colored beaks. Crisp black and white markings on their plumage, as well as superior diving capabilities, have led people to compare the northern seabirds to penguins. However, Atlantic puffins are actually not related to penguins at all. They are in fact small seabirds (about 25 cm, or 10 in., long). 

In continuing our Polar Regions of the 🌏 Earth unit study, Adrian enjoyed putting together Parts of a Penguin Puzzle (buy here). Having aesthetically pleasing wooden design, the puzzle stands faithful to the Montessori ideals of beauty, simplicity and realism, while teaching the child parts of the animal.

DSC_0037View a video of Adrian putting this puzzle together in this post

To learn the names of the 🐋🐇🐧 animals, Adrian is using Polar❄️️ Animals matching cards. 

In the process, he is practicing recognizing written words and matching a picture to an object. This video is featured in a post "🐋🐇🐧Polar Animals Matching 🔖Cards 📽️ Activity" - see here.

IMG_9745See here 🎅🏻 North vs 🇦🇶South 🌎Pole 🌬Frozen ❄️Sensorial🙌🏻Invitation to Explore.

I hope you enjoyed our Polar❄️️ Regions Unit Study. For more on Winter activities, see here ☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study. 

You might also like to read here our "🌊 Ocean Unit Study."

Read here about matching stages for Montessori 3-Part-Matching 🔖cards.

If you have missed our Holiday Inspired unit, see here a roundup of December activities in 🎄Christmas Inspired Unit Study.

🎃Halloween Inspired 🌽Corn 🙌Sensory 🚜 Bin & 🚜Tractors 📚Books

Tactile sensory stimulation involves the sensation of touch and texture. Exposing children to sensory play helps them develop and refine the use of their senses. Most importantly, sensory bins provide hours of imaginative small world play, fostering creativity, independence, and concentration. Pretend play can also be a form of imitation of the real adult world, which can promote child's development in many ways. Small world play has potentials for teaching children about themselves and the world around them by developing their cognitive, fine motor, and self-help skills. Moreover, through pretend play, children develop their speech and language skills by naming objects they play with: such as a tractor, a farm, harvest, etc., thus teaching them appropriate social and pragmatic skills. Children also use play to understand the world around them and are thus developing their social-emotional skills. Moreover, small world-play is a way for children to relive things that have happened to them, thus allowing them to increase understanding of their life events. 


 What you will need:

  • we are using a wooden box to contain the filler: dried corn;
  • Halloween pumpkins for scooping;
  • pom poms and Halloween styrofoam covered balls for tonging; (see here 🍁Fall 👻Halloween Inspired Tongs Transferring, Montessori 🙌🏻 Practical Life);
  • a sorting ice-making tray to transfer and sort retrieved items to;
  • 🚜 tractors for small world play;
  • are transferring tools (we are using tongs and spoons). 


Adrian is ready for scooping, tonging and transferring with this 🌽 corn, Pom poms, and spooky 👻👁eyeballs sensory invitation to play! 🚜Tractors can pull the heavy load, while 👦🏼Adrian will do the rest.

DSC_0009Scooping and filling up a pumpkin requires concentration and precision.
DSC_0009Tonging is a great exercise to develop fine-motor control.

 As a result of this sensory invitation to play: 

  • Adrian stimulated tactile sense of touch by feeling the texture of the 🌽 corn;
  • he also exercised fine-motor skills by incorporating practical life activity such as scooping  and tonging pop poms and styrofoam balls (more on tonging here);
  • the visual sense of sight was also stimulated by having to find, shape-discriminate and sort pop poms and styrofoam balls;
  • and most importantly, it was fun since Adrian loves the farm and tractors! 


Small world play offers children an opportunity to take on the opposite role, which allows them to see things from another’s perspective. To feel a sense of control and power, children often take on an adult role, so that they can be us - the parents! In their play, they can independently drive a tractor, sow seeds or feed a cow ... possibilities are endless! What we can do as adults is offer a safe, thoughtful and stimulating prepared environment. 
DSC_0024-2We have collected some great books which enrich our small-world play:

  •  The Ultimate Construction Site Book (buy here) is packed with more than 60 tabbed moving parts to pull, lift, and explore; as well as the meticulous details of vehicles, buildings, and techniques.
  • The Ultimate Book of Vehicles book (buy here) reveals supersized spreads, featuring marvelously detailed illustrations with lots of flaps, pop-ups, pull-tabs, and rotating wheels, bringing many vehicles to life.

DSC_0027Tractors My First Discoveries book (buy here) offers bright and colorful illustrations, some with clear over-lay pages which adds a new dimension to a traditional reading. We explored this book here in a "🌽 Corn Sensory Bin with 🔤 Alphabet Letters (🙌Sensorial + Language) & 🚜Tractors 📚Book" post.
DSC_0027This sensorial small world invitation to play was a true learning through play experience!

For more on sensory play, see here "Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel ❤️️ Water Beads (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)," and here "✨The Universe 👋🏻Sensory Bin (🌌COSMOS Unit Study)."

For more on Autumn-themed activities, read here a roundup of all our activities we have done during the month of 🍂September and 🎃October: over 20 of them! arranged by the area of study in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."

✂️🖍️DIY 📖 Reading Wheel (Middler Letter Recognition, Montessori 101 Language)

While Adrian has been able to correctly identify the first sound of the word for a while now; only a few months before his fourth birthday, he started to be able to isolate the ending and the middle sound. To practice the middle sound identification, Julia made this DIY Reading Wheel for Adrian to practice literacy as well as fine-motor skills, while he had to find and pinch the clothespins with the missing middle letter. 

DSC_0320Julia drew three-letter objects and wrote the corresponding words with the middle letter missing. 


Adrian had to figure out the missing sound and find the corresponding letter among clothespins. 

DSC_0320"cAt, sUn, mAp, fLy, oNe, sKy, nUt, rUg."

This DIY wheel is similar to CVC Word Cards and clothespins (buy here) where a child has to match the letter-clothespin to the corresponding letter on the cards. 


You can read about Adrian using these cards and clothespins at 3 years-old here "Montessori CVC Picture Words & Clothespins (💗Pink Series 🎥 Early 📖 Reading 101)."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our "🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language)" post. For beginning blending, see here "💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."

💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)

In a Montessori "PBG" Language scheme (Pink-Blue-Green series approach), the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three letter words in💗 PINK Series, then blends (/st/, /bl/, /pr/...) in 💙 BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (/sh/, /th/, /ch/, /oi/...) in 💚 GREEN series.

If you think about it, letters of the alphabet are merely written codes for spoken sounds in words. As such, actual language is, according to Dr. Maria Montessori, an "abstract instrument" -  a "complex cultural achievement." So, letters, being actual codes,  represent something a child first experiences in real life, something s/he encounters in an everyday environment. So, the road to literacy would always start with the spoken language: with sounds and familiar objects that begin with that sound, and only introducing symbols once the child exhibits proficiency with the sound recognition.

The process of learning how to read can be as simple and painless as the process of learning how to speak or how to walk. In a Montessori language curriculum, hands-on phonetic approach is used, which helps young children to form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds of the language into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. Using this technique, children master the sounds made by each letter, as well as the letter represented by each sound, one letter at a time until the entire alphabet has been mastered. 

With Montessori "PBG" Language scheme, once the child masters the 💗 PINK Series, you would gradually move on to BLUE 💙 Series, which introduces blends. A consonant blend or a cluster is a group of consonants that are next to each other in a word. So today (after having explored the letter "S" during our Letter Hunt/see the link below), we are moving on to the first blend:  /st/ blend, which is two consonants that go together, while you can hear both letters e.g. "s-t" in a word "star." )    
 A consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound, in linguistics, is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel.
 /St/  is a consonant cluster in the words: stone, starfish, straw, stamp, stick, sticker.
Incorporating hands-on approach, in my opinion, facilitates a better absorption of the information presented. So, I offered Adrian four different activities to practice our /st/ blend.
  • stamp with a  star stamp and these amazing colorful ink pad stamps; also stamp with a star-puncher;
  • stain the shaving foam with different colors and use pegs (clothespins) to stain the paper;
  • stick  the star stickers;
  • strain confetti stars from the sand with a small metal strainer.


As a result of these hands-on practical life activities, Adrian had fun practicing the /st/ blend.

See here "Letter 'S' (Letter 🔠 Series). See "Montessori 💗 Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)" here

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our 🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language) post.

Letter "S" (Letter 🔠 Series)

Although Adrian knows his ABCs, "letter hunts" where he gets to walk around the house with a basket collecting objects that begin with a particular sounds are still one of his favorite activities. Today, we are exploring letter "S" before moving on to blends such as /st/sh/sr/ etc. 


"S" is for Stitch, sock, stars, sponge, sword, soap, stamp, snake, spinach, Swiss chard, scorpion, seahorse, squirrel, seagull, sailboat, slide & SnowWhite, starfish, scarecrow, skeleton, seal, snowy owl, sea turtle, sand tracing tray, sandpaper letter S, stone, snowmen. (Also, you can add: six, screwdriver, spoon, snow, sun, swing, sidewalk, sprinkler, seesaw, seaweed, sandbox, streetlight, stop sign.)  

DSC_0270We are using Discovery Windows (buy here) to store fragile starfish my Mom had collected for us while in Malaysia.
DSC_0270 DSC_0276

DSC_0263S is for sticks, 🔴🔷◽️shapes like a square, ⭐️stars & 🗡swords.
For more on pin-poking, see "Letter V" post here. 


"S" is for sand. See here how to make tactile "DIY Sandpaper Letters."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our 🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language) post. For beginning blending, see here "💙 BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."