Friday, November 21, 2014

A Virtual Walk in the Woods


Here are two separate floor layouts that offer objects that remind us of a day in the woods.



   





Friday, October 10, 2014

Decorating a Halloween Place Mat

The addition of creepy crawlers, plastic leaves and tiny Halloween cupcake liners change this spider web place mat into a fun holiday activity that even two year old children love to do! 

Decorating Halloween Flags

Have a holiday flag?
Have the children decorate it with appropriate items to jazz it up!

I get these small items from the dollar bin at Target.

So fun and easy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Land, Air and Water. A Montessori/Reggio Hybrid Layout


A mix on classical Montessori geography and Reggio Loose Parts? Oh, no!
Oh, yes! It is way cool. In the past I have used the common three bottles filled with dirt, water and air and the matching animal cards. And with this I do give the traditional intro using the globe to describe the land, ocean and being surrounded by air.
But then I deviate using cut paper, a painted shell on canvas and a Lego cave ( horrors to a purist ) simply laid on a large floor mat.

Then we lay out the land part which is rocks, the ocean part which are shells and the air part which is cotton ball clouds. Labels for land, air and water are added.
The animals come next.




Last the vehicles cards are talked about and added.


The old way is classic, but this way is so interactive and takes much thought and consideration in placing all the objects.
I love it.  


Monday, August 11, 2014

Doily Prints


Estate sale doilies. No one wants them. No one buys them.
I look at them and see potential and fun ahead!
Twenty-five cents each is also a good reason to find a use for these handmade items from times gone by.

Paint them up, flip them over and press them on paper.
Simple and so pretty!


We thought that the print would transfer easily by rolling with a brayer. We found the children were not strong enough to do that well.


We found the best way to transfer the print was to place newspaper on top and rub hard.


This would make Grandma proud!  Lovely prints bring new life to the old, unloved doily! And we do appreciate the handmade labor of love from women of the past who made these lovely doilies that once brightened their home. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trivet Nature Free Form Design

A wooden trivet, and empty glass frame and potpourri matched in a divided tray makes a beautiful free choice design work!  



Cheap and Practical Montessori


Kids don’t need perfection, beauty or big bucks spent to place a successful, intriguing work before them.

Stuff around the house can be put together in surprising ways for small hands to use.

My staff says I need to go to estate sale rehab. Years of bringing back random, strange objects has always paid off in the creation of a huge variety of manipulatives that are truly unique.

My box of unmatched items grew empty so off I went bargain hunting again. 25 cents an item or for the whole bag! I always pair each activity up with a 50 cent tray and a 10 cent spoon and my imagination. This week they are not so pretty, but I know the kids will love doing them.

My students inhale practical life works and I rotate them often. The bargain works are created and then bagged up, often with the appropriate 50 cent tray, for quick finding and easy rotation. I know I have over 100 practical life works bagged to switch out. Almost all objects are discount finds from Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage or estate sales.


See my other estate sale posts for more ideas!
http://inspiredmontessori.blogspot.com/search/label/Budget

http://inspiredmontessori.blogspot.com/search/label/Estate%20Sale%20Works


These unloved objects have been at the bottom of my unmatched items box for over 15 years. I never thought I could find a use for them until I found wooden eggs at an estate sale. Then, presto!
Their hidden potential was finally made visible. 

Add caption

Our toddlers love this and will do it over and over!  Open ended free choice matching of base to wooden eggs. 



I have been saving juice lids and must come up with more
ways to use them all!

Estate sale bonanza. The odd parts fall together to make
this sweet activity for very young children.


This would make a church grandma proud.  Church bazaar craft of felt mittens with a hair clip inside is a perfect pinch open and shut work for my students. 


This tall bread tin makes the perfect down the chute
work with styrofoam balls. 


Ask grandma for her ribbons!

Where else but at an estate sale can one find such odd items.

We needed simple hand work for the toddlers
and this did the trick.

This is so elementary that I hesitated to put it out. The twos and threes did this non-stop all afternoon! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fireworks Painting

This idea was found on Pinterest. 

Make stamps from pipe cleaners

Whack one pipe cleaner to make the lines.

Rotate stamp to form a circle




Parents loved this project

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Geometric Solids Fractions

This is why I love estate sales!

Bonanza!
I sorted two boxes of wooden fraction blocks found in the basement of an estate sale that 
match the Geometric Solids !


Oklahoma barite rose rocks and a weird ball were in the boxes!

The possibilities!

Found dates in boxes from 1979.
 I am sure the past owner, who was an early childhood educator,
is smiling down from heaven!

Cube Extension
Every which way to divide a cube.
It boggles my mind!

Rectangular Prism Extension
What a lesson this will be!

The rest of the family now have all wooden classification matches.
I had used a basket of found objects of various shapes before. 

Mystery forms

I struggled with these until they became cubes from three odd looking pieces!
My old way of classification has been upgraded!

Flat wooden shapes hold a future of design wonderful to behold!
I have bagged the rest of the shapes for exploration in math
and Reggio loose parts!