Materials and Toys Feed

👣Feet 🐣Egg Transferring 🌈Color Matching 💪🏻Gross Motor 📽Game

This is a super fun DIY: use recycled eggs (I am sure we all have tones of them after Easter) or use balls and let your kiddo have fun with this color recognition gross motor game. 

DSC_0082     I did not have either black or red egg, so using Sharpies, I colored them.

DSC_0094Besides exercising those little feet, this is also an awesome color matching activity, and if your child knows all the colors, use this opportunity to learn colors in a different language!

DSC_0060You would call out a color, and the child, using feet only, would transfer that color egg to a different container.

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We are also using traditional Montessori color tables (see links to posts below), but you can use paint samples from your hardware store for this color matching (see examples below). 

DSC_0094Also, use this activity to grade colors! 

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It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed.  Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a starving man.  We observe that a child occupied with matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand, evincing undreamed of character traits; his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile. ~ Dr. Maria Montessori (San Remo Lectures, p. 28.)

DSC_0094If you have a color chart, offer your child to match the eggs to the chart. 

Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement, we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.  ~ Maria Montessori.

If you have siblings or a kids' 🎉 party, grab ⏱a timer and turn this game 🏁 into " Who can do it fastest!"🏆


DIY Color Matching + Fine Motor Pegging

This DIY resembles matching Montessori Color Tablets ~ similar to Color Box 2 ~ a traditional Sensorial material introduced to toddlers starting at 2 ½ years old. 

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With this activity, besides simply matching color samples from your local hardware store, offer your child to practice fine motor skills by matching colored clothespins and also graduating pegs in order from smallest to largest or vice versa. And if you have plain wooden pegs, just color them either with Sharpies (what we used) or use tempera stick paints which are awesome too!

IMG_1020 To learn more about Montessori 🌈Color Boxes, read here a detailed post with presentations on boxes one through three on my blog Montessori Color Box 1, 2 & 3 (Color tablets).

For more DIYs, see here our ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.

For more holidays inspired activities, see here our 🐣Easter 🐰Inspired Themed Unit Study.

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♻️Recycled 📦 Cardboard 🔢Numbers & Counters ✋🏻Tactile 📽DIY✂️

This recycled DIY from cardboard will help your child learn the shape of the number by hands-on making numbers from pipe cleaners. Then, through the sense of touch, the child will reinforce numeral vs quantity association by counting pom poms, thus developing sensorially tactile understanding of quantitative measure of number, which is an otherwise abstract mathematical concept.

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What you will need:

  • recycled cardboard cut into squares
  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms
  • and a glue gun.

DSC_0072Julia first makes a number from a pipe cleaner.

DSC_0072She then glues a corresponding number of color-matching pom-poms to the cardboard.

DSC_0105Offer your child to trace each number and count pom poms.DSC_0095Triggering child's tactile senses enriches the learning experience.Behind the scenes video of how Julia made these tactile number boards. 


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 Also, take this opportunity to talk about odd and even numbers. See a detailed lesson with the video on Odd/Even presentation here in a post ❤️Valentines Odd & Even • Montessori 🔢Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇.

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Sensorial exploration is extremely important during the child's first six years of life. Dr. Maria Montessoi described the First Plane of Development (birth to 6 yrs) as a period of the Absorbent Mind which is characterized by "young child's behavior of quickly and effortlessly assimilating the sensorial stimuli of his or her environment, including information from the senses, language, culture, and the development of concepts." The child is self-observed, has a self-centered viewpoint, is focused primarily on the sensorial exploration of a factual world. Materials are prepared mainly for individual use by a child. Dr. Montessori believed that this power is unique to the first plane and that it fades as the child approached the age of six. So, triggering sensorial exploration during the first six years of life proves to be most beneficial to child's development. Read more here in a post "Dr. Maria Montessori's Planes (Stages) of Development."


DSC_0105A child three to six years of age has a conscious absorbent mind.  “It is as if the child, having absorbed the world by an unconscious kind of intelligence, now ‘lays his hands’ to it.”   Now it is the hand, as a ‘prehensile organ of the mind,’ not just the senses, which move the child through a period of constructive ‘perfectionment’ – refining the acquisitions already made." ~  explained Dr. Montessori.

Below are our DIY numbers up close.

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Dr. Montessori also defined a psychological state she termed  "normalization" (in children from three to six years old) which arises from concentration and focus on activity which serves the child’s developmental needs, and is characterized by the ability to concentrate as well as "spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others... A child who concentrates is immensely happy." ~ Dr. Montessori observed.

 DSC_0105 So, by creating a prepared environment full of tactile stimuli, triggering the child sensorially, we hope to offer the child a rich learning environment and instill a lifelong love of learning. 

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For more on DIY materials and activities, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.

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DIY ♻️ Recycled ✂️Materials for Homeschool

Montessori materials can be 💰costly,  so I love finding an alternative. Below I will show you some of the DIYs I have created to substitute some of the materials you would generally purchase. 

DIY Color Matching + Fine Motor Pegging

 This DIY resembles matching Montessori Color Tablets ~ similar to Color Box 2 ~ a traditional Sensorial material introduced to toddlers starting at 2 ½ years old. 

IMG_1019
With this activity, besides simply matching color samples from your local hardware store, offer your child to practice fine motor skills by matching colored clothespins and also graduating pegs in order from smallest to largest or vice versa. And if you have plain wooden pegs, just color them either with Sharpies (what we used) or use tempera stick paints which are awesome too!

IMG_1020To learn more about Montessori 🌈Color Boxes, read here a detailed post with presentations on boxes one through three on my blog Montessori Color Box 1, 2 & 3 (Color tablets).


DIY Montessori Sandpaper Numbers:

Sandpaper Numbers are also easy to make at home.
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What you will need:

  • green cardstock to resemble the traditional Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
  • sandpaper from your local hardware store,
  • scissors (children are also using a paper cutter for more precision)
  • and glue.

 Having your child make or help you make these DIY Sandpaper NUmbers will only ignite the excitement, promoting interest and engagement.

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By sensorily feeling the number, the child is able to perceive the symbol through senses other than just visual. For more on Sandpaper Numbers, see here 🖐️Sandpaper 🔢 Numbers (Montessori 🔢 Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum).


 ♻️RECYCLED ✂️ DIY PUZZLES
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Do you have an old magazine? Recycled old books? Expired calendars? How about turning them into homemade DIY puzzles!

DSC_0221-2Cut out a picture, laminate it (if you don't have a laminating machine iron works great too) and cut it in as many pieces as you think your child can handle. For smaller children, just cut a picture in half; for older in quarters or even eighths. 


DSC_0221-2And why not turn this ♻️RECYCLED ✂️DIY puzzle into a 🐋matching animals game! 

  IMG_1146See here DIY 🍂Fall Inspired Puzzle.

I am using a double-sided 🍂Fall picture I found in a catalog. With this type of DIY puzzle, you can adjust 📈📉the level of difficulty based on your child's age. With smaller children, 📉choose a bright image with many objects and cut in fewer pieces (2 or 4 squares) or simply cut the picture vertically, for easier assembly. 📈With older children, the smaller the pieces, the harder it will be to assemble the puzzle😉so cut it accordingly to your child's level.


♻️DIY TIC TAC TOE

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Do your children play tic tac toe? It's a 🤗fun game and an easy ♻️✂️DIY if you have 💦water bottle caps and 🍡ice pop sticks (any craft sticks will do), and a glue gun.

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♻️DIY 🍡Pop-Sticks, Pegs & Dot Stickers 🔴 ➕🔵 Addition Activity

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This is a super easy and fun ♻️ math 🔢 ➕addition DIY where I ✍🏻️wrote ➕equations on 🍡pop-sticks, and as a control of error, a child can flip that same 🍡 and confirm the answer by counting the 🔴🔵dot-stickers. See here a 🎥video of Adrian solving all the ➕equations as well as how to make this ♻️DIY in a video post ♻️DIY 🍡Pop-Sticks, Pegs & Dot Stickers 🔴 ➕🔵 Addition Activity (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson).


 DIY ♻️Paper Towel Roll 🔤Alphabet Matching Activity

DSC_0109I wrote with a Sharpie upper and lower case alphabet letters on dot stickers, making sure that lower and upper of the same letter were color-matching. 

IMG_1149Since lower case letters are more prevalent, I had Adrian match lower to upper case letters which were sporadically arranged on a paper towel roll. He would simply stick the lower case on top of the upper case.  For some introductory language lessons, see here our Letter Series post. To learn about Montessori Phonetical Sets of Presenting Alphabet letters,  (see here) Set 1:     First set: c  m  a  t  . For early reading, see here "Montessori CVC Picture Word cards with wooden Clothespins (💗Pink Series 🎥 Early Reading)."   Also, see here "Montessori 💗 Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)."


 ♻️DIY Montessori🍡Popsicles Spindle Box
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In a Montessori Math curriculum, at around two years of age, after introducing Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers you would introduce Spindle Box (buy here), which teaches a child the difference between the numeral (a 🔢 number/symbol written on a wooden box's slot) and quantity (substance, like when a child is holding actual spindles in his/her hands). The box has numerals zero to nine written on separate slots, and a child concretely learns that one is not a much, while nine is a lot! See here a detailed post "Spindle Box & Sandpaper 🔢Numbers Extensions (Montessori Math)."
DSC_0237Montessori Spindle Box is also an easy DIY activity using any compartments (like utensils organizer), and anything substantial representing quantity a child can hold with the whole hand such as pens, crayons and why not 🍡 popsicle sticks. (Montessori materials need Not be 💸expensive.)


 DIY ♻️Recycled 📦 Cardboard 🔢Numbers & Counters ✋🏻Tactile DIY  DSC_0097

First, the child learns the shape of the number by making it from a pipe cleaner, then through the sense of ✋🏻touch, the child reinforces numeral vs quantity association by counting pom poms.

For more DIYs, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

DIY Mega Blocks Multiplication 1️⃣✖ with LEGO DUPLO Friends

After observing Julia doing multiplication exercises, Adrian expressed an interest, so we have been doing some multiplication work this past month. To illustrate the process concretely, we are using these mega building blocks to introduce the simplest concept ✖ 1️⃣~ one times. 

DSC_0084"Times" ✖ means how many times you repeat ~ add~ that number. E.g. 1 x 3 =1+1+1

DSC_0084I have written simple multiplication equations on pieces of paper as well as their products (answers). Single mega building blocks illustrated 🙌🏻hands-on how to convert 🤔confusing multiplication into simple➕addition work, which is very familiar to Adrian.

DSC_0084In English to "commute" means to travel or to change location. Similarly, in math, the commutative property of multiplication means that two numbers can be multiplied in either order, allowing us to change the places of factors in a product. This means that 1 x 3 = 3 x 1 ~ The product remains the same, despite the factors changing places.

DSC_0084 Our LEGO DUPLO friends help us multiply. (Buy similar figures here.)

DSC_0076Introducing terminology: Factor x Factor = Product

DSC_0084Adrian placed the correct "product" sticker (answer) on its LEGO friend's head. 

DSC_0005-2For more on math & LEGO, see here 🔢Math Simple ➕Addition & ➖Subtractions with LEGO.

DSC_0002For fractions work, see here Learning Fractions with LEGO.

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✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash

Today, Adrian got to practice his scissor skills while making a DIY♻️car wash. All you need is ✂️scissors, cardstock, ruler and a pencil, a ♻️recycled cardboard📦box, and a sprinkle of imagination. 

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First, using a rule, Adrian drew straight lines and then he started cutting, making strips.  It is very important to instill the proper scissor grip from the beginning since the longer the child uses an incorrect grip, the more difficult it will be to unlearn such habit.

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Just like a proper pencil grip or a pincer grip (holding small items with a thumb and a pointer finger), the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grips a child has used. The proper scissors grip requires a child to rotate his hand so that the thumb faces up, while the pinky points down. A child has to spread his thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors. Cutting can be challenging for little ones, and the only way to become comfortable with cutting activity is frequent practice.

DSC_0065Turn the cardboard box upside down and cut out a square for a door and few squares for the windows. After Adrian finished cutting straight lines, he wrote "CAR WASH" and glued the paper with cut-strips to the cardboard box.

DSC_0067The car wash is open for business!
DSC_0067This DIY toy offered hours of practical pretend play ~ we all like our cars cleaned, don't we?

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 Do you make DIY toys with your children?


DSC_0069.JPG   A trick to learn a proper scissors grip~ offer a child to shake someone’s hand! 

For more scissors practice, see here a lesson on simple strip-cutting on my blog "Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo."

DSC_0077See here ✂️Scissors • Primary Colors 🍝Pasta Cutting.

DSC_0016-3Also see here DIY ❤️Valentines Heart Stickers ✂️ Scissors 🎥Cutting Activity.

For more about the toys we are loving, see here Educational Materials, 📚Books and Toys 🎥 Review.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW