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Valentine's ๐Ÿ’— Inspired Learning Space, What is on our shelves, Activities roundup

Happy Valentine's๐Ÿ’ Day. I hope you had a lovely celebration. Today, I will show you a sneak peek into our Learning Space (our classroom), as well as a summary of our Valentine's inspired activities. 

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When we moved into our new house (in September of 2016), and I walked into this room and saw these tall double windows and a cathedral ceiling, I knew it will be our learning space. Montessori classrooms are known for their light, airy and child-tailored environment, and I hoped to resemble it in our home-setting. (Adrian is sitting at a Safari table, on this chair. View Table/Chair Height Guide in this post.)
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We read this Valentine's book, which is perfect for a three-year old. The story of Saint Valentine is very sad, and this "Rookie" series book  has just enough information with big colorful illustrations on each page-spread.

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On this shelf we have:

  • Pipe-cleaner beading activity (read a post here, also see below),
  • Odd and Even activity (read a post here );
  • Polar bear unit study (in preparation for International Polar Bear day on February 27);
  • Penguin tray (read our Polar Regions Unit Study here).

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Below is a summary of our Valentine's inspired activities with links to their respective posts. I also organized the activities by areas of Montessori curriculum.  

PRACTICAL LIFE

Hearts from BeadsThreading (red and white) beads on pipe cleaners, making hearts. (Read a post here.) 


MATH

DSC_0024Read a post here about Valentine's inspired - Hearts ๐Ÿ’ฏ Hundred Board.

 

DSC_0097 Read here a post on Odd and Even, and also see two videos where Adrian explains the concept he learned.

 

DSC_0046 Read here Valentine's inspired - Number Bingo for Early Math (Numbers 1-50)


SENSORIAL

DSC_0008Read a post about our Valentine's inspired Love โค๏ธ๏ธ Sensory Bin here.


ART/CRAFT

DSC_0041See a video of Adrian making a Threaded Heart Craft here. 

DSC_0007Read here Valentine's ๐Ÿ’ inspired - Blue Truck ๐Ÿš™ Foot -Print Art Project (Sending Loads of Love ๐Ÿ’—โค๏ธ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•)

DSC_0003-2Julia and Adrian's feet Art Projects, along with 36 Classroom Valentine's Day Gifts (see below).

DSC_0066Read here a post about Classroom Valentine's Day Gift Ideas.

 I hope you liked our Valentine's inspired unit. I would love to hear which activity was your favorite!

p.s. Below are more posts about our Learning space:

  • Read here Evolution of our Learning Space post;
  • Read here Children's Space - Kitchen nook post (this post has Table/Chair Height Guide);
  • Read here a post about Adrian's Infant Space;
  • Read here about Our Christmas inspired learning space.

Our Christmas inspired learning space

A sneak peak into our Christmas-inspired learning space.

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20161209-DSC_0618Everything is ready for a Christmas Tree decoration! (Read how Adrian did it here.)

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 What is on our Christmas-inspired shelves:

  • Christmas inspired - Candy Canes Pipe Cleaner Craft  (read here)
  • Mystery Bag (read here)
  • Smelling activity
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Activity (read here)
  • Christmas Tee sewing buttons activity
  • The Mitten Book Activity (read here)

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copyRead here about Little Blue Truck's Christmas book - another Holiday Gem!
20161209-DSC_0637When I saw all the windows and the light, I knew it will be our learning space:)

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20161209-DSC_0671When Adrian saw this bunny at the store, he knew it was his bunny right a way:)


20161209-DSC_0637Adrian loves using these balancing scales (see the nature-inspired Weighing Activity here).

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copy-2The Christmas Tree is decorated! (See how Adrian did it here.)

20161211-DSC_0726 Xmas Tree is done copy

How does your learning space look like?


๐ŸฆƒThanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling Activities for Children (2016)

Thanksgiving is a special time to stop, reflect and express our gratitude for all the wonderful things our lives are full of. So often we focus on what is not working or on things that are missing or on something that we think we need. It takes some effort to focus on what we can be thankful for, but when we do, we realize how many things we are so fortunately blessed with. And being in the now and appreciating our blessings, is in itself a gift.

DSC_0467-001Julia used Waldorf Alphabet Cards to spell out -"BE THANKFUL"


DSC_0467-001Children made this "Thankful Tree" by tying hearts to it with written confirmation of what they are grateful for. 


DSC_0467-001Our Thanksgiving -inspired shelf at our learning space
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DSC_0467-001Our Thanksgiving inspired shelf: Forest Animals Sensorial trayThanksgiving book, Thankful Tree, balance scales ...

DSC_0485 All the Thanksgiving count-down rings are removed - Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our Thanksgiving-Inspired Forest Animals Sensory Bin


DSC_0488-001Our Thankful Tree

DSC_0488-001Julia wrote most of the wishes: she is thankful for having her Family, Adrian, the Earth with air, trees and food, Friends and more ...

 

Below are some of the Thanksgiving -inspired activities we have done:

 DSC_0297-001Thanksgiving Craft - a Clay Turkey

DSC_0257-001Thanksgiving-Inspired Forest Animals Sensory Bin

DSC_0424.JPGThanksgiving-Inspired pretend/role play with a Green Doll House  

Happy Thanksgiving!

THANK YOU

 for following our Montessori Life Journey ...

p.s. You can read more about our Fall-inspired activities here


๐ŸFall ๐Ÿ‘ปHalloween Inspired Tongs Transferring (Montessori ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Practical Life)

Adrian has been using all different types of tongs (buy here) since about two years of age, and at a three-year mark, he has mastered them all except for chop-sticks. So, to keep the interest alive, I change the setup frequently and offer a "new" and aesthetically enticing presentation. For this Fall-Halloween inspired transferring, I am using Autumn Leaves and Halloween Boo ice trays and various tongs. Transferring with tongs is a great fine and gross motor exercise since some smaller tongs require precision while the larger ones will definitely engage larger muscles in the hand and fingers.

Black Halloween Styrofoam Ball Transfering:

DSC_0110.JPGThese Halloween styrofoam covered balls are light and perfect for transferring with large tongs
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Orange Glitter Styrofoam Ball Transferring: 

DSC_0120With the same ice-tray, I offered smaller glittering orange styrofoam balls and new tongs.

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Acorn Transfering:

DSC_0131Autumn leaves tray, acorns as transferring objects, and small one-piece bamboo tongs
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 Maple Leaf Transfering: 

DSC_0140Lastly, I offered wooden maple leaves as transferring objects and a larger solid oak tongs

DSC_0139Adrian is holding tongs the same way he would correctly hold a pen or a pencil.

The โ€œpincer gripโ€ is a common term among elementary school educators, therapists, and doctors, which means the grasp used by the index finger and thumb to pinch or pick something up like the first finger food, or a blueberry, or a shoelace, and eventually a pencil. On the other hand, the correct "pencil grip" involves holding the pencil between the thumb and pointer finger, and resting the pencil on the middle finger for added stability. Squeezing tongs to maintain the pressure indeed puts those little muscles to work, helping develop a precise pencil grip.

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Practical life activities fall into six main categories. One of them is teaching a child fundamental skills such as transferring by pouring, spooning, and then tonging in a sequential order where each lesson builds upon the last one. The "sensitive period" for transferring starts at about two years of age and slowly begins to fade as the child masters the skill. Since every child develops at his/her own pace, some might start losing interest as they approach three-year mark, and others later. Coincidentally, at three-years-old, a child enters a new sub-stage of the First Plane of Development: what Dr. Maria Montessori called a "conscious absorbent mind."  

โ€œIt is as if the child, having absorbed the world by an unconscious kind of intelligence, now โ€˜lays his handsโ€™ to it.โ€   Now it is the hand as a โ€˜prehensile organ of the mind,โ€™ not just the senses, which move the child through a period of constructive โ€˜perfectionmentโ€™ โ€“ refining the acquisitions already made. Dr. Maria Montessori.

So, my advice is to start early: at around two years of age and keep changing the presentation to keep the interest alive. 

What transferring activities do you offer your child? Have you experienced a diminished interest with a certain age?  

Read here about more ๐ŸFall ๐ŸŽƒ Inspired Activities for Children.  


๐ŸFall ๐ŸŽƒ Inspired Activities for Children (2016)

Autumn is our favorite season! We love the vibrancy of deciduous trees as foliage changes color from green to golden-yellow to red. We love watching the leaves dance in the air as they gracefully fall on the ground, offering children a playground heaven to jump into! We love the cool crispness in the air during mornings and nights, while still enjoying the bright warm sun during the day. We love all the fun Fall inspired activities bring us: from going to the farm to pick berries, pumpkins or apples, to hay rides and corn mazes. The natural scenery is breathtaking, fireplaces are starting to burn, apple cider is being served, and anticipation of holidays fills us with much excitement. 

DSC_0015Our Fall-inspired area reflects our affection for Autumn.

DSC_0022Autumn-Inspired Practical Life shelves.

DSC_0092-001Shading over first Autumn leaves. (see here). 

DSC_0029Tweezing or Tonging corn kernel (see here). DSC_0065.JPGColoring with Pumpkins (see here). DSC_0002.JPGThe Cycle of an Apple and Apple Serving Activity (see here). 

DSC_04375 Layer "Pumpkin" Puzzle (see here). 

DSC_0462.JPGFall inspired Cutting with Scissors activity (see here). 

DSC_0486Counting with Fall leaves counters (see here ). 


DSC_0014.JPG  ๐ŸŽƒHalloween ๐Ÿ‘ป Inspired ๐Ÿ™Œ๐ŸปSENSORY BIN with a ๐Ÿ”ขMath Twist (see here ).

DSC_0001.JPGFall Inspired Flower Arranging Activity (see here ). 


Fall & Halloween Inspired Tongs Transfering (see here). 

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DSC_0039-001 Instg Adrian on a pumpkin fieldPumpkin picking at the farm (see here). 

DSC_0125See here  ๐ŸŽƒPumpkin and Squash to Montessori 3 Part ๐Ÿ”–Cards Matching.


  Below: Working with Alphabet Pattern Blocks: P is for Pumpkin.

DSC_0161 Level 1 (overlaying the template's image - matching magnets to the shape underneath).

DSC_0225.JPGLevel 2 (re-building the template's image on an empty magnetic board).


DSC_0176.JPGFall-Inspired Watercolor Art (see here).

DSC_0138.JPGLife Cycle of a Pumpkin (see here). Adrian at 36 months can independently match both: pictures and labels since the words are pretty simple. 


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Fall Inspired Weighing Activity with Balance scales (see here).

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See here "Making Teens with ๐ŸŽƒPumpkin Counters (Montessori Math Intro to Teen Board)."

DSC_0282-001Making Pumpkin cookies (see here).

DSC_0297-001Thanksgiving Craft: Clay Turkey (see here). 

DSC_0257-001See here "๐Ÿ‚Fall and ๐ŸฆƒThanksgiving Inspired ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿฟ Forest Animals ๐Ÿ™Œ Sensory Bin.

DSC_0424.JPGFinally, see here Thanksgiving-Inspired pretend/role play with the Green Doll House.

For more on Thanksgiving-inspired activities, read here