I thought I would start showing some of Judah’s lessons on Mondays and do a “Montessori Monday” thing.
I’m going to start simple, in case some of you are new to this. I know there are so many amazing blogs out there with genius ideas, and these are probably old news, but like I said…starting simple here, friends.
Most of the stuff I make or use with Judah is homemade, and for the most part, as inexpensive as I can get. I’m always on the lookout for cheap supplies at places like The Dollar Store, the dollar section in Target, or thrift stores. Used stuff definitely doesn’t scare me!
Today I’m going to show you two simple lessons, both of them Judah absolutely loves! Currently, Judah is 21 months old, but each child learns at a different pace. I think on average, girls could probably do this at a younger age, but again each child is so different.
The first one was completely free for me (I already had the simple supplies).
-paper (I used different colors so I can keep track of the sets)
-printer (I didn’t use my colored ink, but you can if you want)
-clear contact paper or a laminator (this is always optional, but I laminate for two reasons. One – my son still doesn’t understand how to be gentle with our supplies. Two – Montessori laminates everything)
HOW TO MAKE:
I found pictures or different objects online. I chose multiple themes that I thought Judah would like. The one picture below, for example, is sports. I googled different sports and found very basic pictures. I didn’t want anything with too much detail. I printed them off (two of each picture – I chose 6 pictures) in black and white and colored them in with colored pencils, making the duplicates identical to each other.
Both sets got glued onto a piece of matching colored construction paper. One set I left on the paper, the other set I cut out, leaving a small border of the colored paper around the picture. Laminate each shape and the full page and you are done!
I chose six pictures and made each of them a different dominant color so that we could discuss colors and it would be easy for Judah to distinguish between the pictures. (I would call this a basic level – Judah pretty much picked this up immediately on his own, but loves doing it over and over again).
HOW TO USE:
I show Judah the pictures that are all on one page together, then I show him the individual pictures. I show him how to do one, and constantly use words like “match”, “same” “alike”, etc. I’ve heard some people tell their kids that the matches are ‘friends’. Whatever works best for your kids to understand the concept of matching. Then we take each individual picture and place it on its match. It’s that simple. Make sure to get excited when your child figures out the matching concept!
This is a great lesson that can strike up so much conversation. We talk about the colors, we talk about matching, we discuss the sports and the different shaped balls that each sport uses. We talk about what they wear for the sports and then we can pretend to play each sport. So many ideas can come from one little lesson.
Some other theme ideas can be:
farm animals, insects, weather, seasons, shapes, numbers, alphabet, Disney princesses, cars, clothing, food…so so many!!
I mentioned before that I considered this a basic lesson. I plan on making different levels of difficulty. As they get harder, I will add more pictures to each theme, or make them all one color (for example, 10 pictures of objects that are all red: apple, fire truck, red shirt, etc) Or for kids that are working on letters, you can pick 5 letters but have the capital and the lower case, which can sometimes be tricky for kids! The options are endless! Happy Matching!
45 of the same small object – anything! (I used checkers from two dollar store checkers games)
10 rectangles of craft foam, cardstock, or anything sturdy you can write on
HOW TO MAKE:
With each rectangle of craft foam (I used craft foam because I had it on hand, and I ran out of contact paper at the time. If I used cardstock or other paper supplies, I would laminate them), use your permanent marker to write the numbers 0-9 nice and big on the sheets. Leave room to draw dots on each rectangle. For example, number 1 has 1 dot, number 2 has 2 dots, etc.
Please excuse the Pacifier…ugh…we don’t usually get to have the pacifier outside of bedtime, but Judah has been sick/teething and I’ve caved. Shame on mommy.
Also, notice I only gave Judah a couple numbers at first. I wanted him to understand the concept before overwhelming him with 10 cards. You can always work at the level you feel your child is most comfortable.
HOW TO USE:
Showing your child first, show him what each number says and count each dot so he understands that they correspond. Then for each number, pull out that many checkers (or beans, foam dots, bingo markers, etc) put them in his hand and guide him to place each one on a dot. Zero will be a hard concept (but an important one) for them to grasp at first.
Changing up the objects you use to count can bring freshness to the activity. For example, during december you can use the little foam shapes at the craft store that are shaped like snowmen, or maybe try chocolate chips and let your child have a treat once they complete the lesson.
Here are a couple basic Montessori Method reminders (or maybe brand new news for some of you):
Always sit on the non-dominant side of your child (if they are a righty, sit on their left) and let them touch and hold any/every object you are using.
Let them do the activity – even if it takes 10 times longer than it would for you to do it.
Always show them how to do it first, and then let them explore from there. You never want to hand your child a new lesson with no direction and allow them to make up their own rules.
Lastly, in my pictures above, Judah is working at his table. I might have mentioned this in a previous post, but I have learned that he personally works best at his table where there are less distractions. Montessori lessons are typically done on the floor using a mat/rug. My belief is that you will learn what works best for your own child and their ways of learning – go with it! Montessori is about the individual!
HAPPY MONTESSORI MONDAY!