Thursday, January 26, 2012

Homeschool: Montessori Math Activity

Now that my 3 1/2 year old is getting older she likes to do "school work" too. I put together this activity yesterday after getting the idea from a blog I follow, Chasing Cheerios. This blog gives great ideas for Montessori inspired activities. If you're unfamiliar with Montessori education, you can get a little info by reading here. The materials do the "teaching" in this method.

Chasing Cheerios used some nice materials to make her kit. Sometimes I put together neat activities for the girls, but then they never get used. So instead of spending money to buy materials for an activity that may never be used again, I used what I had on hand at my house. Also since O is just beginning to learn her numbers and count, I only made the activity for numbers 1-6. I figured that was a good start for this "test-drive" activity. I can always add to it later as she increases her knowledge.

  • beads (exact number needed)
  • 3 pipe cleaners (cut in half for a total of six)
  • I typed up my numbers in a Word Document and printed them on the back of a used piece of cardstock (green factor : reuse!)
  • scrap piece of cloth for the "workspace"
  • little plastic container (anything with a lid works, mine was an old powder makeup container)
  • an old crayon box
  • I took a "control picture" of the activity and printed it on the other half of the reused cardstock

After you collect all your supplies, you assemble the kit:
  • glue numbers to pipe cleaners
  • put beads in little lidded container
  • place control picture, numbered pipe cleaners, container of beads, folded piece of cloth in the crayon box and the kit is complete!

For the first session I demonstrated how to set up the activity and use it. I showed O how to match everything up to the control picture.

Afterwards, I showed her how to pack the materials back up into the crayon box when she's finished.

She loves this activity!!!

She loves it so much I had to share. The first thing she did this morning when she woke up was to get her math kit out (as you can see by the pajamas!) and do her "work".

It cost me nothing to create this fun learning activity and it repurposed/reused some old items I had laying around :)