First Great Lesson: Experiments on the Laws of the Universe

Thursday, June 22, 2017

It’s that time of the year in our home wherein we're doing "The Great Lessons". Maria Montessori’s plan for the framework of elementary education is cosmic education and cosmic education is attained via telling the five great stories and followed by key lessons. These stories are typically told in the beginning of the Montessori school year for lower elementary and repeated ever year. This is our second year of the great lessons and I decided to document it so you can replicate it in your homes as well.

Montessori For Everyone has a beautiful summary of what The "Five Great Lessons" are all about. This post is all about the First Great Lesson: The Beginning, and we'll showcase the experiments to demonstrate the basic laws governing our universe.
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How To Introduce Clocks to 3 Years Old

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vito has been playing with Mavi’s learning clock and pretending that he’s able to tell the time (he always says 8' o’clock), so I decided that it’s about time that I should introduce this very important tool in telling time. I remember doing this activity with Mavi back in 2012. In this post, you will see how Mavi and I worked from creating a paper plate clock to matching analog clock with its digital label.

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MontessoriLove June Bargains

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I am so happy to announce that I am joining a group of Montessori sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers in offering special discounts to our beloved readers and followers!  This occurs every 21st of the month (one day only) and every seller participating will have unique products on sale.

The flavor of the month of June are geography materials.  So this June, my Animals of the World Bundle, Flags of the World Booklet and Animal Habitats are discounted at 20% off!

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Montessori Inspired Shark Study for Kids

Friday, June 16, 2017

My 8 year old Mavi is into sharks nowadays and asked if we can do a study about them. The last time we had a shark study was years ago, when he was 4 years old and this time he wanted to use our Shark Anatomy Model which he recently bought. This is Vito’s very first shark activity and he had so much fun learning with his big brother.

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Favorite Activities at 43 months

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Here are Vito’s favourite things to do when he’s at home and not playing with Mavi outdoors. Most of these activities promotes independent play minimal supervision, improves fine motor skills, vocabulary, hand-eye coordination, creativity and discovery through play.
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Montessori Geometric Solids as a Sensorial Material

Monday, June 12, 2017

I would like to introduce one of our favourite Montessori material at home: the geometric solids.  This has been on my bucket list for the longest time and I finally get to own one!  This is totally worth-it!  This material will introduce the child to the 3D objects and shapes, that will later on be helpful in the learning of geometry.  I listed below the progression of activities of the geometric solid intended to guide parents on how to use this material in case you own one or are planning to have one in the future.

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Montessori Inspired Insect Activities for Preschoolers

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Here’s a summary of our insect activities for the past week.  Most of these materials are old and reused and many of our activities were not planned, but rather based on Vito's interest because bugs and other tiny creatures appeared earlier than expected.  Hope this post will give you some ideas on learning activities about these creatures!

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Hape Domino Set

Monday, June 5, 2017

Have you heard of the Domino Set by I Love Hape?  This toy is just awesome!  I got it early this year to teach Mavi how to strategically design a game, basically a maze made by dominoes.  Now that Vito is older, we decided to share this with Vito so he will learn how use it and enjoy the fun of creating dominos.  And oh boy, this has been Vito’s favourite for the past few days!
  
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Beginning Reading: Language Objects and Activities

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Language activities are a favourite in the house now as Vito’s interest in reading has peaked.  We are using language objects more often to practise letter sounds through games (aside from sandpaper letters).  These language objects that we have were collected through the years, starting from Mavi’s time and it has been very useful now in Vito’s journey on beginning reading.

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What are Insects?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Here’s a simple way on how to tell whether an animal is an insect:  has 6 legs (with or without wings).  This is something new to Vito, the word “insect”.  He usually calls them with their real names like flies, bee, dragonfly etc. but is not familiar with their category.  Now, this is the first time I introduced this concept, so he struggled a little bit until we started counting the legs!

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Montessori Inspired Life Cycle of Insects

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vito and I have been talking about insects in the past few days.  I mentioned in my previous post, the current interest on insects was brought about by their sudden appearance.  So far he has encountered quite a few already like garden ants, flies, wasps and bees, and bugs. It’s a shame we haven’t seen grasshoppers and dragonflies here, I used to catch and collect them as a child (back in Asia). Anyway, since our last activity on Farm Families, Vito still loves to learn about mommies, daddies and babies, thus I introduced the life cycle of insects early on in our activities.  Unlike my past activities with Mavi, this one is very simple and straight forward.
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Seen here are the life cycles of:  butterfly, bee, ant and ladybird.

Montessori Inspired Butterfly Coloring Matching Activity

Friday, May 26, 2017

Saw this idea from one of my favourite Instagram account Momducator.  It’s a brilliant idea of using Montessori color tablets (set 3) to match with the butterfly colors of Safari Toobs (Insects, Butterflies, Bulk Bag).  This is a great practise for visual perception, picking the right color combination to match with the butterflies.
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Plants versus Animals Sorting Activity

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I am so thankful for The Helpful Garden for providing us this printable (saved me a lot of time!).  Of all the plant and animal activities that we have done in the past, I have forgotten this one basic activity for Montessori botany and zoology: identifying plant and animals. 
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Indoor Garden Play for Counting Bugs

Monday, May 22, 2017

Vito is 42 months old.
So we are seeing a lot of bugs lately.  Vito is enjoying it!  We do nature walks in the morning to see the honeybees, flies and unidentified flying objects in the field. And we even caught the wasp that went inside the house last week for exploration.  Lately, we would walk our way to Mavi’s school to pick him up.  During these walks, we would count the number of bugs we see in the bushes and trees.  Vito enjoyed it and I thought that we could also do it at home as an extension.  So I made this “garden” setup for him, wherein we will pretend to catch bugs with our tweezers and place the right number in our number cards. 
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Food Preparations That A 3 Year Old Can Do

Friday, May 19, 2017

I don’t often share the practical life activities (in the kitchen) of the kids because I seldom take photos of them while working.  Mostly, because they handle some delicate materials and I wanted to give my full attention whenever we work in the kitchen.  Now that Vito is quite adept in this area, I started taking pictures to demonstrate some of the things that he can work on independently.  These are mostly breakfast and snacks preparations.  And because our main meal involves boiling oil or water and meat, only the big brother can participate on this not Vito (3 years old). 
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Montessori Inspired Study of Snails for Preschoolers

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We’ve been getting a lot of morning showers which resulted in a bunch of snails popping up everywhere.  Vito is loving it, now that he’s older, he’s enjoying the sight of these little fellows.  One time, we caught one sticking out my husband’s car.  Vito was excited!  I made Vito watch as I removed the snail from the car, placed it in our disposable plastic container and brought it inside for him to observe (and explore). 
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Learning About Farm Families

Friday, May 12, 2017

I shared in my Instagram last week that Vito is obsessed with the concept of “mommy, baby, and daddy” thing.  He would always pair our animal figures into families and do play pretend.  This made me decided to introduce Vito to the farm animal families which I introduced to Mavi a long time ago (Farm Families - FREE Sorting Cards).  There’s a deeper explanation why we teach kids about animal families.  We teach kids to distinguish and describe objects to form them into bigger groups.   Commonly, we group inanimate objects according to their size, shape and color which is an easy task for the child.  But when it comes to real organisms with no definite shape, size and color, it is more difficult to recognize similar characteristics. 
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Gonge River Stones And Why We Love Them

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Oh I can’t tell you how much we love these Gonge Riverstones!  I was really skeptic of these at first.  I mean, why purchase a plastic makeshift rocks when you have the entire backyard as a playground.  We don’t really need it.  Then as the boys were spending a lot of time in the yard these days, I realized that we don’t really have those flat rocks the boys can hop around with or use for play pretend.  I was thinking that if we can have those, the boys and I can play games involving gross motor and some relays.  So I decided to try the Gonge Riverstones.  They were on sale, and I picked them over the Gonge Hilltops because we already have three large rocks at the backyard which are way better than the plastic ones.  Anyway, I tell you, the moment these Gonge Riverstones arrived, it’s been non-stop play for the boys!  We liked them right away, and so does my husband!  This is my honest review of the river stones, and I bought this for our personal use and was not paid to do a review. 

Here are some reasons why we love it and totally recommend!
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Montessori Inspired Farm Activities for Preschoolers

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It’s going to be an exciting month for Vito as we are learning about the farm and farm animals!  Kids are so fascinated with the farm, probably because of the domestic animals that can easily be identified and the fact that the farm is where we mostly get our food.  Early in life, the kids are educated that the milk comes from the cow, eggs from chicken, wool from sheep and etc.  At first, we visited a few farm animals in the zoo weeks ago.  We pet some goats, chicken, and seen some donkeys and cattle for Vito to experience.  We’ll be visiting a real farm this month too, and hopefully we’ll get to see some real farming work!

Now, for extension work, here are some activities I prepared for Vito at home to learn more about the farm.  We’re starting some of these already and you can see the photos in my Instagram account.  Please follow me there for real time activities!
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BOOK REVIEW: Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market

Thursday, May 4, 2017

We can’t get enough of Farmer Falgu!  Here’s another book that we totally love, Famer Falgu Goes to the Market.  It’s market day and Farmer Falgu has to transport his goods to the market.  Though it seemed like an easy task, but strange things happened on his way to the market which sabotages his vegetables and eggs!

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Magnatiles for Creativity

Monday, May 1, 2017

We love Magnatiles!  If you’re following my Instagram, we used this often times at home during free play.  I hesitated for the longest time before I purchased these amazing magnetic tiles because of the price, but oh boy, they are so worth-it!  Aside from the fact that it has some educational value, it is also an open ended toy which the boys love to use for building castles, houses, forts, cars and just about it anything!  The possibility is endless thus we love it!
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Introducing Kids to Construction Tools

Sunday, April 30, 2017

If you are like us, who has no means of doing some carpentry work, then this post is for you!  For one thing, my father and his entire family are carpenters.  They make furnitures, build houses and buildings in my home city and I remember spending most of my time during summer vacation in construction sites managed by my grandfather.  This is the reason why at a young age, I know how to use most carpentry materials despite my mom’s warnings.  Sadly those skills weren’t passed to the new generations.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t expose our kids to this simple carpentry work like hammering, using nuts and bolts, drilling and the like.  And of course, with the advent of IKEA, we need to somehow teach them all about DIYs and these basic tools. 

In this post, I’m sharing our learning toys and materials in exposing my 3 years old to some of these construction tools to acquire those basic skills .
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FREE Number Symbols for Counting and Number Recognition

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Vito is in a sensitive period of numbers and counting. With this, I made him these number symbol cards inspired by my previous activities with Mavi.  Obviously, I couldn’t find our old printables, so I made a new set and I decided to share it with you as FREE DOWNLOAD!
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BOOK REVIEW: Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I was so excited to receive Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip for the kids!  It’s our first time to own a multicultural fiction book and knowing my kids who are very interested about different cultures, they will surely enjoy this! Oh boy, and they did! Most especially my preschooler who was very attentive when I was reading this to him. 

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Montessori Math Counting Beyond Ten: The Teens

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vito loves counting.  He may not know yet how to count from 1 to 100 but he knows how to integrate math and numbers in daily life.  He mastered his 1:1 correspondence early on and now he’s learning how to count beyond ten.  I was surprised the first time I heard him counting from 11 and up.  I didn’t introduced that to him yet but he already knows.  It’s like self taught, but I was thinking that he might have learned it from his brother.  And because he might be in a sensitive period on number now, I decided to give him a few exercises to recognize and name numbers from 11 to 20, and understanding what those numbers represent in quantity.

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Montessori Inspired Bird Unit Activities for Preschoolers

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The inspiration behind this unit activity is because we’ve been seeing a lot of birds now and that Vito loves chicken. In my IG account, I shared how much he adored the chickens in the park and can’t stop talking about them.  So I've put up these activity trays for him to work on while he’s still interested in birds.  We started with some of these already and so far he’s having fun!
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Introducing the Life Cycle of a Chicken to Preschoolers

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We are learning about birds this month, and the first activity we did was to look into the life of a chicken.  Chicken, especially a hen is a popular subject for bird study because it’s convenient and always available for nature-study.  Take for example in our case, Vito got really interested into chickens during our visit to the park weeks ago.  He just can’t stop talking about his experience with the chickens in the park, so I decided to borrow some books in the library about chickens so we can talk about this bird more.
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Beginning Letter Phonics Cards

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you Vito’s current favourite printable, our Beginning Letter Phonics Cards.  You might have seen these in some of my letter-themed post.  These are card strips which contain letters and their corresponding objects (real images matching the  beginning letter sound).  The product comes in two sets: control cards and the activity cards.  Below is a glimpse of how we use the materials, which Vito would work on every day (sensitive period for letters)!
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FREE Land Water and Air Sorting Mats

Friday, April 14, 2017

Many of my blog followers are requesting for these sorting mats and I’m so happy to finally get to share them with you!!  You can now download a copy of our land, water and air sorting mats which Vito and I would use in sorting different animal figures (Safari Toobs and Schleich) whether they thrive in land, water or in the sky.  See how we used the sorting mats in this post, Introducing Toddlers to Animals in Land, Water and Air
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Introducing the Solar System to Preschoolers

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In line with our Days of Creation activities, the boys and I talked about how the universe came to be.  Mavi used his Usborne Fact Cards once again to review some solar system concepts and this made Vito get into the mood of exploring the planets as well.  
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Ancient Egypt Learning Materials for Kids

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

This holy week, Mavi decided to revisit ancient Egypt after rereading the story of Ten Commandments.  We dug up our Egypt Picture Book materials so he can work on some readings and do some activities to go along with it.  In this post, I will share the contents of our Egypt Picture Book learning pack which you might want to try.  It contains: reading materials, activity pages, picture cards and outline cards for coloring.

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Days of the Creation for Preschoolers

Sunday, April 9, 2017

In our home, we would read Bible stories and relived some beautiful stories during the Lenten season.  We are approaching it in a spiritual manner (for faith formation) rather than doing lots of egg activities.  Mavi and I have been talking about the Exodus the other day, while Vito and I did the Days of Creation.  This post shares our little project in learning about the great story of God’s creation of the world.   I’m also sharing our kid-friendly Bible which we are using at home.
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Montessori Inspired Layers of the Ocean for Preschoolers

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Vito is 40 months old.
DSC_4517Moving on to learning about the ocean for Earth Day, I’ve set up this activity tray to demonstrate to the boys that the ocean has many layers and that it is mostly represented by the darkness and lightness of the color blue. In the set-up, the layers are represented by the bottles, from the layer where there is sunlight to the part where there’s none at all.  We are using the book About the Ocean by Cathryn Sill to help us explore the different animals in the ocean.   Since this activity is intended for Vito (but Mavi was also participating), I didn’t focus much on the names of each layer since he can’t read yet, our activity was more on introducing the concept and for familiarity. 

Guide to Math Homeschool Materials for Preschoolers

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I’m often asked about the math homeschool materials we used at home (for preschoolers), so I made this list and hope it will serve as your guide in finding the right educational materials in your homeschool or classroom adventure.  I believe that we need to expose our kids to math early on by giving them the appropriate learning materials to explore and discover.  These materials will introduce your child to nine major math concepts:  numbers and quantity, shapes and patterns, picture graphs, length, time, money, fractions, mass and volume.
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Montessori Sensorial Activities: Stereognostic Mystery Bag

Thursday, March 30, 2017

I finally introduced the Montessori Stereognostic Bag to Vito.  The Montessori Stereognostic Bag is often composed of 10 matching pairs of wooden shapes that is drawn in a bag to feel and match.  This activity develops the stereognostic sense of the child, using touch to create a mental image of the object.  Stereognostic sense is defined as the ability to perceive and recognize the form of objects in the absence of visual and auditory information.  Other version of this is called  “the mystery bag”, wherein most homeschool moms customized the content of their bags by putting nature objects or just about anything from around the house. 

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Montessori Sensorial The Brown Stairs

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

So I gave in to my desire and bought Vito the brown stairs, and boy oh boy, I didn’t regret it!  Similar to the way he responded to the pink tower, Vito loves and enjoy using our Montessori brown stairs!  I realized that there’s so much more we can do when he used both of the materials, the extension activities are limitless and pattern making is even more challenging!

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