Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Crazy Jo

Today is my No. 1 grandson's birthday!
Already a big boy 5 year old!!
... and here's the little No. 2 grandson eating
Sketti in my kitchen...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Amazing Discussion!

Gotta read through this thread at Mothering dot com.
I found it rather enlightening, especially about the
pros and cons of Montessori schools and homeschooling
with Montessori. Also, people wrote in from around
the world with their own experiences. For example
Montessori in Sweden seems to be quite more open
and aligned with the national agenda vs. more
structured Montessori programs. Schools can be
so different. One lady expressed her frusteration
over the equipment being for only one use
ie. no creativity with the pink tower for example.
What do you think? Is Montessori too structured?
Not structured enough?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sensory Table Ideas (or bins)

Since I mentioned a Sensory Table in the last post,
I thought I'd share some ideas.  First of all, there
are tables that can contain either liquid or dry materials
that are available from school supply vendors. OR, if
you are handy/crafty, you could figure out how to
make or repurpose a child sized table with a tray that fits down in the middle...
OK, there's a challenge for Dad. Bins on a table may work as well if the
table were low enough and the bin stable enough.
I suggest cutting down the legs on a table or purchasing a low toddler table.
Here are some great Montessori like ideas for
activities for your table:
Here are suppliers for child size sensory tables:
I personally like this one by Jonti Craft.
A low toddler table can be found here:
Also from Lord tables that can hold liquid:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here's My List of Favorite Activities

1. Pony Beads on Pipe cleaners
2. Discovery/Sensory Tubs (or Sensory Table if you are lucky enough
to have one of these)
3. Sorting objects into Ice cube trays or Empty egg cartons etc.

    (Our latest activity is sorting ping pong balls or pom poms into an empty
    chinese dumpling tray...lots of chinese goodies come packaged in
    small compartmental trays...I save these.)
  4. Pouring activities between little pitchers using liquid, rice,sand etc.  I purchased these child sized glass      pitchers and tray.
5. Counting/transferring small potatoes, apples or any other hard fruit or vegetables. (Break open a bag of small red potatoes and get out several medium- sized bowls or baskets.) This is a favorite activity of my grandson.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthday for My Big Girl!

Today is Miss Lauren's birthday! So have a happy one...
Your Ma

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sensational Stackers!

Hi again,
 Today I am featuring the wonderful world of stackers. These have
special appeal to babies, toddlers and younger children, teaching
them order and coordination. I generally do not like the rocking
kind...find a stacker with a nice sturdy flat base. This is less
frusterating for the child and adult! Stackers can have no base
at all, but should have pieces that will stand on their own with
out tipping. The pieces should not be easily knocked  over.
It's worth the investment in a quality and safe stacker.
Here are some of my favorites:

Classic Clown Stacker (non rocking)

Rainbow Tunnel Stacker

Tree Stacker

Stacking Cups

Square Stacker
Number Quantity Stacker

Round Stacker
Rainbow Arches Stacker

Ring Balance Stacker

Cone Stacker

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Latest Chinese Montessori Materials

I found these very interesting chinese language puzzles from
Taiwan from JMP Learning.
Go to :

Also "My Learning House" has teamed up with Montessori for Everyone

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red and Blue Rods Revisited!

Presentation: Matching the Red Rods with the Red and Blue Rods


1.Set of red rods

2.Set of red and blue rods


Mastery of gradation of red rods.

 Control of error:

Visual and tactile: lengths of pairs of rods must mach.

Transition from sensory area into Math.
 Point of interest:

Making the match.
 1.Invite the child to look at the environment and say " Do you see any materials that look like the red rods?"

2.Define what we are going to do, such as "we are going to match the rods."

3.Teacher chooses a red rod and separates it from the group and lets the child feel how long the rod is.

4.Let the child go to the Red and Blue Rods and find one rod as long as the one the teacher just showed.

5.The child carries the rod back and checks by himself.

6.Let the child move the matching pair to another empty rug.

7.Continue doing the same activity until all rods are matching.


1.Put set away.

2.Grade Red and Blue Rods.

3.Grade pairs.


Binda Goldsbrough (1995) The Aperfield Montessori Course

Link Farm
(and if you leave these as separate units, they can be matched up to
the longer many units equals the number 8 rod for example)
Red and Blue Rod segments
Each Segment is  2.5x2.5x10cm

Walking the Rod Maze

Red and Blue Table Rods

Vertical Rod Storage

Red and Blue Small Rods with Number Tiles

Red and Natural Wood Table Rods

Electronic Rod Apps

Red and Blue "Rods" made with snapable plastic blocks

Matching the Numerals to the Rods

Arranging the Rods in a Box two ways

Jenny's nice illustration from her Album

Homemade Red and Natural Rods (Link in the Farm)

More Numeral Matching to radomly placed rods

Addition with the rods (Link in the Farm)

The Perfect Rod Excercise all neat on the rug

Friday, March 11, 2011

Felt Fun ...again!

If you haven't been over to Etsy for awhile, there are some really
cute felt objects that would work well for practical life activities
and even a bit of math and language. Enjoy!


Number Balls
Melon and Fruit
Letter Balls
Snow Peas

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Totally Toddler

Hope you enjoy the video of the new materials at Young
Minds at Play. I am getting my order of new
excited to try them out! The latest is the toddler

cylinder block. ( Here is a picture.) I am also thrilled
to see the constructive geometric triangles and inset board completed.

Jeff has put alot of thought into
his materials...of course I've raved about the quality
before...nicer than any of the usual Montessori toddler
materials. Here is my grandson using some of
his materials: (pix are from my phone so they
are grainy, but you can see him in action!)
The beads in the background I painted to match the
colors of the Montessori bead bars. If you are handy,
it involves some dowels, big beads, a board, some wood
glue and non-toxic spray paint.