DIY Montessori Sound Pouches: Learn Phonics the Fun Way

Montessori sound pouches have to be at the top of my list of favorite Montessori materials. Why? Because kids love them too! In my experience, sound pouches can be a game changer in building interest in learning phonics, or the sounds that letters of the alphabet make.

Really, this material is like 26 bags of surprises, just waiting to be opened and explored! No wonder kids like it.

On the other hand, this material is so versatile and useful long beyond learning the letter sounds. So, if you’re wondering if you should bother taking the time to make Montessori sound pouches, I say go for it.

In this post, I’ll show you how I’ve made my sound pouches, what sort of items I’ve included in them and a few ways you can use them.

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How to Make Your Own Montessori Sound Pouches

There are many ways to do sound pouches. Some people go for a set of drawers, but I’m partial to the excitement and interest a bag adds. It’s not the same to pull items out of a pouch as pull out a drawer. Somehow the pouch seems more mysterious to me. But, I must say a set of drawers is also very practical.

I made my sound pouches out of old jeans. Yay for recycling! I just eyeballed the cuts, glued the sides with silicon glue (I don’t have a sewing machine – otherwise that would be a more secure option) and added a small loop of yarn to the top left-hand side. I wrote each letter in lowercase on the front of the bag.

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Painting A Canvas: A Fun Preschool or Kindergarten Activity

This is a quick and practical post about a fun activity we enjoyed recently on our trip to the USA (we live full-time in Guatemala). Hope you get some artsy inspiration!

In rummaging through things I still have at my parent’s house, I came across a large canvas. Years ago I had good intentions of painting it. But, with two little ones, I haven’t had time to dedicate to painting. So, I thought, “let’s paint together!”

Here’s how you can easily and successfully paint a canvas, even with young kids!

 

 

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Montessori On the Go Freebies!

Hello dear readers! Many of you visiting this post may have found it after reading Montessori On the Go which is a guide for Montessori inspired travel activities specially designed for 2-6-year-olds. This post includes the information about the Freebies mentioned in the book.

If you haven’t read the book, you’re still welcome to the Freebies, although I do encourage you to head over to Amazon and pick up your copy 🙂 The information in the book will help give you a fuller understanding of the activities included in the Freebie.

What’s in the Freebie? There are 6  travel-friendly/related activities included in the Freebie document. Activities cover a range of topics including reading and language, counting, nature, and geography. See a preview of a few of the activities below:

Quetzal – National Bird of Guatemala

 

 

 

Travel Nomenclature Cards

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A DIY Montessori Addition Strip Board – And How to Use It!

Peanut has become very interested in math and numbers, so I decided to begin addition. To get started, I decided to make my own DIY Montessori Addition Strip Board.

First, let’s start with why? How did I arrive at the conclusion that this would be a good material for Peanut? There are many ways to do addition with Montessori math materials. Up to this point, Peanut hasn’t shown a whole lot of interest in the bead stair or beads in general. “Mama that’s boring,” he says. So…much to my dismay, no beads. But it’s not about me! It’s about him.

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All About Volcanoes – A Kindergarten Unit {FREE PARTS OF A VOLCANO WORKSHEET}

Volcanoes! They’re so exciting. Any kindergartener will be instantly interested and motivated in studying this natural phenomenon.

I’ve begun a volcano unit with Peanut this week, so I thought I’d share what I have planned so far with you.

Ready for the worksheet? Click here to skip ahead.

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First, you have to know that we live surrounded by volcanoes. There are 3 of them easily visible from our house, here in Guatemala, a country home to over 30 volcanoes. So, they are part of the landscape. Peanut enjoys watching volcanic eruptions from our house, whether they are just puffs of smoke and ash or fiery night-time displays.

So, what can you do to study volcanoes?

Make Your Own Volcano

There are a few ways to do this, and it makes a great opener to your unit. You’ll inspire your little one for sure.

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Sink or Float: A Preschool Science Experiment

Preschool science experiments are a joy. I’ve never met a child who doesn’t enjoy experiments…there’s something about moving things around and often getting a bit messy that awakens curiosity, excitement, and wonder.

Well, it’s been a few months since we did this, but Peanut really enjoyed a common preschool science experiment called “Sink or Float.” It’s about as simple as it sounds!

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Here’s what we did:

I gathered some materials that sink and float such as: a coin, a plastic medicine cup, a twig, two rocks, and a lemon. There ended up being 3 items that floated and 3 items that sank. I suggest you look for items that are made out of different materials such as wood, plastic, food items, metal and nature items. We’re lucky to live near a volcano, so one of the rocks was pumice, and so it floated!



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Montessori Math for Kindergarteners: Part 4 in a Series About How to Teach Your Child at Home

Montessori math for kindergarteners is an exciting world of impressive, well-developed manipulatives. This is a material intensive area of the curriculum and one that is often a bit intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with the materials.

We started out with very few of these materials in math, and so far are doing just fine. But, if my Peanut made this subject area his favorite, then I’d have a lot of work to do making more materials!

What did we start with?

Spindle Boxes – A Variation

The traditional Montessori math spindle boxes lay flat and use rounded sticks. But, with a lack of resources, we went ahead and made our very own set featuring toilet paper rolls and popsicle sticks! Simple, yet effective.

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Montessori Language for Kindergarteners: Part 3 in a Series About How to Teach Your Child at Home

Montessori language for kindergarteners is an addiction of mine. It’s one of my favorite things to have fun with, adding in new activities and shaking things up as much as possible. Lucky for me, Peanut loves it too! He’s been flowering, really showing interest in learning letter sounds and even starting to write them on his own.

Montessori Language for Kindergarteners

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To be honest, we started working on this months ago. You can see how we started learning the ABCs in this post here.

So, when I started homeschooling more officially, I knew Peanut would be into it. Here’s what I included to get started:

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Montessori Geography for Kindergarteners: Part 2 in a Series About How to Teach Your Child at Home

Montessori geography for kindergarteners is such fun! Kids love the hands-on approach to learning about their world. Montessori designed the primary or preschool program to help answer children’s questions about the world we live in.

Quick note – this is part 2 in a series about how to begin Montessori Homeschooling. Click here to see part 1!

Montessori Geography for Kindergarteners

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Peanut has really enjoyed our first geography lessons. What did we start with?

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How to Start Montessori Homeschooling: Part 1 in a Series About How to Teach Your Child at Home

We are in week two of Montessori Homeschooling! It’s the beginning of what will surely be an amazing journey. As I’m just getting started, all of the preparation is fresh in my mind.

I taught for several years in a primary Montessori classroom and still found it hard to put together the materials I wanted to use to start homeschooling with Peanut (age 4 – born in January)! So, I decided to put together a series about how to teach your child at home, with a focus on how to start Montessori homeschooling, in hopes to help others as they begin.

I’m a member of a few Montessori groups on facebook, and it seems common for people to worry about which materials to purchase or make, how to set up the classroom and what to start with. It makes sense. After all, these seem to be the main tools for learning. I, like many homeschoolers, started by thinking about what to use in our classroom space and it seemed like I needed all of the Primary Montessori materials at once. I wanted the pink tower, brown stair, sandpaper letters, spindle boxes, geography puzzles, zoology puzzles and much, much more!

Quickly, I realized that this wish list wouldn’t be possible financially or practically (we live in Guatemala…no online shopping here!). But, I also started to realize that it’s actually not necessary either.

Start Montessori Homeschooling by Following Your Child

Before I get into what I decided to include in our homeschooling beginnings, I want to say that as a Montessori teacher I LOVE and see value in all Montessori materials. I took a less traditional approach when putting our classroom together because I believe it’s more important to follow the philosophy than it is to provide all of the materials.

How to Start Montessori Homeschooling- Part 1 in a Series About How to Teach Your Child at Home

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