Tag:

Montessori

Product Reviews

Book Review: His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

 

Books, books, and more books!!! I just can’t get enough of them!  Books are such a great way to start discussions about all types of everyday happenings.  This one is a great one to add to my collection. This particular book has a unique and hilarious story line and great illustrations.  His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story is written by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  Sally Lloyd-Jones is a British writer who now lives in the United States.  She has written many children’s book, including the Platinum Book Award winning, “The Jesus Storybook Bible” and the Christian Book of the Year “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing”.  For more information about His Royal Highness King Baby and Sally Lloyd-Jones, please click here.

 

 

His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story

 

His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story is about a little girl who, in her mind, is a princess.  She happily lives in her kingdom with her mom, dad, and pet gerbil.  Everything is fine, until one terrible day, behold, a new ruler is born…King Baby, his royal highness (her baby brother).  She exaggerates the impact that King Baby has on her life, and negatively describes how terrible life is now that he is the new ruler.  In the end, the princess finds that having a new ruler around is not as bad as she thinks!  The illustrations and silly, over the top descriptions of the text make this a cute and funny book perfect for a child who will be a sibling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read His Royal Highness King Baby to my classroom and they absolutely loved it!  They enjoyed the silly story and hilarious pictures.  Many of the children are the oldest sibling, so we talked about how they felt when their baby brothers or sisters were born.  This book was a great way for us to discuss family and accepting changes.

 

The children and I really enjoyed this book and are excited to read other books from Sally Lloyd-Jones.  This book will definitely become one of our favorites!  I hope that it becomes one of your child’s favorites as well!

 

Enjoy!

 

Anitra

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Themed Activities

Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

The theme in my classroom for the next two weeks will be everything pumpkin and Halloween related.  We will cover the pumpkin life cycle, the parts of a pumpkin, discuss Halloween, and do many art projects related to the theme.  I have so much information, art projects, and books to share with them that I feel that spreading it out over two weeks is a great way to cover it all.  I really enjoy teaching themes that are two weeks in length, because I know that I have some great information to present to them!!!  If you’re interested and intrigued to see more about our two week Pumpkins and Halloween theme, please check out daily updates on Instagram and Twitter.

 

With such an extensive theme with a lot to talk about and cover, I thought that it would be great if I shared a list of my Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children.  A theme wouldn’t be complete without a great collection of books.  If you know me or if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am an avid collector of books!  I personally own and have read each book on the list and a few have actually become my favorites over the years!  I chose books that are humorous, silly, and have great stories and illustrations.  This collection of books is great for any classroom, homeschool, or your child’s home library!

 

Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children

 

 

1.

If You’re Spooky and You Know It

If You’re Spooky and You Know It is a Halloween-themed twist on a classic.  It has witches, skeletons, werewolves,mummies vampires, and Frankenstein clapping their hands, nodding their heads,stomping their feet, jumping up and down, honking their nose and dancing all around!

 

2. Five Little Pumpkins

Five Little Pumpkins is an interactive finger play song/riddle where children can join along and count with each pumpkin.  It is fun, engaging, and has easy to remember text.

 

3. Ghost in the House

Ghost in the House is about a ghost in a house that creeps along and meets other friends.  This book includes counting and repetitive text, with a fun and exciting ending!

 

4. Happy Halloween, Stinky Face

Happy Halloween Stinky Face is about a boy who is curious and filled with questions about Trick or Treating.  His Mama has all the right answers for his questions, and reassures him he will have a fun night!

 

5. The Night Before Halloween

The Night Before Halloween is a Halloween twist on another classic.  This book talks about the preparations of the haunted house before Halloween night, and discusses the fun the children have on Halloween night!

 

6. Even Monsters Need Haircuts

Even Monsters Need Haircuts is about a boy who after hours, cuts the hair of the monsters and ghouls in his father’s barbershop.  It’s a normal night of cutting hair until an unexpected visitor comes to the shop.

7. This is the House That Monsters Built

This is the House That Monsters Built is a remake on the classic, The House that Jack Built; with a vampire, a ghost, a mummy, a witch, a black cat, a black widow, bats, and Frankenstein.

 

8. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is about a little old lady who takes a walk through the forest and encounters some interesting ‘characters” along the way and declares that she is not afraid of anything.

 

9. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is about two mice who grow a pumpkin for the town pumpkin contest.  They are quite surprised when it is one of the biggest pumpkins the town people have ever seen!

 

10. Pumpkin Eye

Pumpkin Eye describes the sights and sounds on the streets on Halloween night.  It has fun, rhyming text, that captures your attention.

 

11. Crankenstein

Crankenstein is about a boy who is cranky, irritated, or angry but just not on Halloween, but always!  A very fun, silly book that will surely make you laugh!

 

12. Five Little Ghosts

Five Little Ghosts go on an adventure to find somewhere to play and have tons of fun.  It has great, rhyming text and a fun story.

 

13. Skeleton Meets the Mummy

Skeleton Meets the Mummy follows Sammy the Skeleton on a trip through the dark woods before he goes trick or treating.  He finds that someone, or something is following him!

 

14. Pumpkin Party

 Pumpkin Party is a fun, rhyming book about the fun of a pumpkin party!

 

15. The Littlest Mummy

The Littlest Mummy is about a family of mummies.  Mae, the youngest and littlest mummy was too little to be scary, wear srappings, or dance at the bash.  But, she was not too little to make a friend!

 

16. The Haunted Ghoul Bus

A boy accidentally boards The Haunted Ghoul Bus one day, and had no idea of what his time on the ghoul bus would bring!

 

17. The Ghosts Go Haunting

The Ghouls Go Haunting is a great Halloween twist on the classic, The Ants Go Marching.  It is fun, spooky, and a silly Halloween story!

 

18. The 13 Nights of Halloween

The 13 Nights of Halloween is a twist on another classic, The 12 Days of Christmas.  It is equally as catchy, fun, and easy to sing along with!

 

19. 10 Busy Brooms

10 Busy Brooms is a great witch counting book with fun, silly text and great illustrations!

 

20. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!

The old lady is back at it again!  But this time with a Halloween theme.  There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat is just as silly, hilarious, and crazy as all the other books in this series!

 

I hope you enjoyed my list of Halloween books.  I’m sure that many of them will become your favorites for many Halloweens to come!

 

Anitra

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Sensorial

Fun & easy to make Flubber!

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

Young children benefit greatly from sensory experiences.  They use their senses to explore and discover the world around them.  Exposing children to tactile activities helps with the growth in physcial abilities, cognitive and language skills, and social and emotional development as well.  Tactile experiences are sometimes overlooked when educators prepare early childhood environments, but the importance of sensory/tactile experiences is something that should not be left out of a young child’s everyday learning activities.

There are many ways to add sensory/tactile experiences to your curriculum; playdough, water tables, sand tables, and shaving cream are just a few.  There are endless everyday items that can be used as sensory experiences for young children.

 

Looking for a fun and easy activity to add a tactile activity to your homeschool or classroom curriculum?  Make Flubber!

Flubber. Slime. Putty. Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s fun, ooey, gooey and is super easy to make!  There’s just one rule to making flubber…get your hands in it! Smush it, mush, squish it with your hands so that you can make sure it gets mixed well.  All you need is  three simple items, and you can make flubber in no time.  You will definitely be a hit with your own children or children in your classroom.

 

I have made this particular flubber for many, many years.  It is always a favorite in my classroom.  You can use cookie cutters with it, cut it, roll it, or spread it out…whatever you’d like!  It adds a little different element to tactile learning than playdough, and it is just as fun!  Below are the simple and easy steps to making your own flubber.

 

Making Flubber

 

Materials needed:

Purex Sta-Flo Liquid Starch

Elmer’s School Glue

Colorations Washable Tempera Paint (any color)

Bowl

1 cup measuring spoon

1 teaspooon measuring spoon

Silicone spatula (optional)

 

                      

 

 

STEP ONE:

Measure out 1 cup of Purex Sta-Flo Liquid Starch into the measuring spoon.  Pour into the bowl.

 

                           

 

STEP TWO:

Measure 1 cup of Elmer’s School Glue into the measuring spoon.  Pour into bowl with liquid starch.

 

 

STEP THREE:

Measure 2 teaspoons of Colorations Washable Tempera Paint into the mixture in the bowl.  (I chose orange to go with the Fall theme).

 

                    

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:

Using spatula and or your hand, mix everything together.  Keep mixing until all of the liquid starch, glue, and paint are blended well.

               

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:

Next, take the flubber mixture and place it into a ziploc bag.  It is normal for it to be very wet and stringy, so don’t worry.  Once it is in the bag, you can mix it a little more by squishing it and mushing it.

 

 

The flubber will need time to sit and form.  You will need to let it sit for at least a few hours, maybe longer.  You want it to not be super wet, and for all of the liquid starch and glue to be as one.  If it is still stringy and really wet, let it sit for awhile longer.  Keep the flubber stored in the ziploc bag in between uses.  Flubber lasts anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on how often it is used.  Use your discretion on if you feel the flubber should be thrown out.

 

Flubber is an easy, fun, and simple way that you can add a great tactile element to your curriculum.  It’s awesome for adults too!!

 

Enjoy!

Anitra

 

 

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Montessori Extras

Birthday Celebrations-Montessori Style

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Who doesn’t love celebrating their birthday?!  Kids and adults alike love celebrating their born day.  It is a very special occasion that is shared with family and friends in a variety of ways.  Children in a Montessori classroom have a very unique way that their birthdays are celebrated and shared with the classroom .  It is termed the Celebration of Life; in which we celebrate and share aspects of each year of their lives on Earth. Each child excitedly waits for their turn to do the Birthday Walk each year on their birthday.

 

 

 

Montessori Walk Around the Sun Activity

 

 

The Montessori Walk Around the Sun is composed of a painted wooden sun with twelve points on the ends.  It also comes with twelve wooden months of the year cards for each of the twelve months.  The sun has a space for a candle as well, which is not included. Add a birthday and the Montessori Walk Around the Sun is ready for use!  For the activity, I put out the sun on a work rug, and have the children repeat after me saying the months of the year as I place them around the sun.  They have learned and memorized the months of the year this way!!

 

 

 

 

 

The Celebration of Life…

In a Montessori classroom, birthday are a tradition.  During this special ceremony, the child stands next to their birth month and holds a globe; which represents the Earth. They (as the Earth) walk around the sun.  Each trip around the sun represents one year that the child has been o the planet.  I begin the Montessori Walk Around the Sun by explaining to the children that we are the Earth and that the Earth goes around the sun.  I tell them that it takes the Earth three hundred and sixty five days to go around the sun, and every time it does, you get one year older; I also add, (except for Ms. Anitra who is 21 forever!) Haha!!!

 

                                 

 

I also ask that the parents send in photos from each year of their life, either as single, individual photos, or as a prepared birthday poster.  I also send out a form for parents to fill out that documents any significant milestones, firsts, or trips that they would like shared during the birthday celebration.  I’ve had some parents get quite creative with the birthday boards they’ve prepared!!

 

Along with the birthday walk and the picture board, I have a special song that we sing as the child walks around the sun.

“The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

The Earth goes round the sun.

The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

And (Child’s Name) turned one!”

 

Continue until the child’s current age is reached.

The children love joining in to sing this song!  I’ve even gotten in on the fun of the Birthday Walk!!

 

 

 

 

Birthday’s are a special time in a child’s life, so why not make it a day to remember!  The Montessori Walk Around the Sun teaches science, months of the year, history, and traditions all in one  It is that amazing of a thing to celebrate your child’s birthday Montessori style!

 

Anitra

 

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Montessori Extras Themed Activities

Activities, books, & ideas for Apples/Fall unit study

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

With the first day of Fall approaching on Friday, September 22nd, I am gearing up to begin a two week unit study of Fall and apples with my classroom.  Although here in sunny Southern California, it is far from feeling or looking like Fall.  The hotter Summer temperatures have slowly started to subside, and we’ve seen cooler temperatures this week, but we are from fro Fall weather.  Even though the Southern California weather is not fall friendly, I still am excited to start our Fall and apple unit study.

For the next two weeks; starting Monday; I will teach the young children in my class about how our environment changes for Fall, different leaves, the parts of an apple, how apples grow, and the different types of apples.  We will have apple tasting, and vote for our favorite apples, examine the insides of an apple, make leaf rubbings, and an apple blossom tree…just to name a few!

 

 

There are many books out there that could go with the study of Fall and apples, but I have chosen to share with you my favorite three books.  I have used each of these books over the years, and have found that these cover many of the topics and areas that I teach rather well.

 

Top 3 favorite books for Fall and apple unit

 

 

A Day at the Apple Orchard

 

By: Megan Faulkner & Adam Krawesky

A Day at the Apple Orchard follows a group of children through the apple orchard.  They pick apples, taste them, and make juice & cider.  The book also describes the life cycle of an apple blossom tree, and shows the growth through the different seasons.  This book is great when teaching how apples grow, the proper way to pick apples, and things that can be made from apples. It also discusses why it is important to protect apple blossom trees for continued blossoms.

 

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt

By: Steve Metzger

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt is a twist on the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  The children go on a hunt over the mountain, through the forest, around the waterfall, and across the lake.  Along the way, they find red oak leaves, hickory leaves, birch leaves, and maple leaves; until they encounter an unwanted guest!  This book teaches about different leaves, and is fun and entertaining!

 

Apples for Everyone

By: Jill Esbaum

Apples for Everyone has beautiful pictures that detail how apples grow, the different kinds of apples, talks about Johnny Appleseed, and discusses the history of apple trees.  This National Geographic Kids book has colorful and amazing photography that makes this book a favorite of mine.

 

 

I can’t wait to start our unit study of Fall and apples.  I have so many science, fine motor, art, language, and math activities planned for the next two weeks!

 

Want to follow along as we learn about Fall and apples?  Interested to see how our unit study unfolds?   Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for pictures of all of our activities and fun!!  I hope to see you there!

 

Anitra

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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom

By Anitra

You’ve probably heard about all the hype and craze surrounding Montessori and Montessori schools. Anything and everything from the teaching method,the classroom environment, child led activities, and Montessori materials.  But what does all that mean?  The Montessori method is a very unique, very distinct, very individualized learning environment with a proven way of teaching young children.

 

The materials, along with the carefully prepared environment, is what makes Montessori, Montessori.  There are various areas and activities of a traditional Montessori classroom.  This is what sets a Montessori primary (preschool) classroom apart from other preschool classrooms. Many people have heard of Montessori, but haven’t had the opportunity to actually see inside or visit a classroom.  Please be aware that there are many different Montessori run schools, each individually owned and operated; so unfortunately not every Montessori school classroom will be set up or run exactly the same.  With that being said; I try to keep a traditional Montessori classroom.

 

Curious to learn and find out more…?   The pictures are from my actual classroom that I currently teach in.  The shelves are child sized, with age appropriate, enticing materials.  The common item you will notice in most Montessori classrooms and materials is wood.  The use of natural wood for the shelves and materials, along with neutral wall colors, is meant to soothe the senses and and the attract the children to the beauty of the room.  Montessori classrooms differ from other preschool classrooms in that they are calming, peaceful, and uncluttered.

 

 

LANGUAGE AREA

 

“Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization.” -Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 98

The Language Area is composed of phonetic sound recognition, three letter phonetic word building, four letter and more phonetic word building, and blends & phonograms.  The three letter words make up the Pink Level, the four letters and more make up the Blue Level, the phonemes and hard & soft letters make up the Green Level.

 

The Pink Level also covers word families, picture to

word matching, and easy phonetic sentences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Level also covers beginning & ending

consonant blends, and complex phonetic words

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Level also covers silent “e”, double vowel consonants, phonemes, and hard & soft letters

 

I also have opposites, parts of speech, sentence building & writing, and even antonyms & synonyms.

 

 

MATH AREA

 

“The results we obtain with our little ones contrast oddly with the fact that mathematics is so often held to be a scourge rather than a pleasure in school programmes.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Math Area is composed of number recognition up to ten, mastering the teens & tens, and working on numbers up to one hundred.  This area also covers simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division.  More complex works include place value, the clock, and fractions.

 

Number recognition from one to twenty, with various materials & activities to master these skills

 

Simple addition, the tens work, & the hundred board all round out the Math Area

 

 

Telling Time, Place Value & Fractions are the

more advanced Math activities

 

 

 

SENSORIAL AREA

 

“And if we look at the sensorial apparatus which is able to evoke such deep concentration…helps also to the development of the mathematical mind.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Sensorial Area is composed of activities that engage the senses of the children.  There are activities for smell, taste, and hearing; and various materials that promote sight and touch.

 

Sensorial materials to manipulate sizes, color,

touch and hearing

 

Complex materials that introduce geometric shapes, as well as tasting & smelling materials

 

 

 

CULTURAL/GEOGRAPHY AREA

 

“…the child’s mind can acquire culture at a much earlier age than generally supposed, taking in knowledge is by certain kinds of activity which involve movement.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 157

The Cultural and Geography Areas is the area of a Montessori classroom that frequently changes.  It is an area where new activities can be added on a weekly or monthly basis.  These areas are composed of science, botany (plants), zoology (animals), geography, and art.  This is by far one of the busiest areas of a Montessori classroom.

 

 

Study of continents, seasons land, air & water                                  Botany, zoology, & insect puzzles and magnets

 

 

Geography Maps

 

 

PRACTICAL LIFE AREA

 

“Activities here build on the child’s natural interest and help him develop good work habits, concentration, eye-hand coordination, a lengthened attention span and control of his body.”-Maria Montessori The Sense of Childhood, pg. 1

The Practical Life Area is another area of a Montessori classroom that changes frequently.  The Practical Life Area has many components to it that make it the most important area of a Montessori classroom.  Since children learn basic working, concentration, and eye-hand coordination skills, it is the prerequisite to all of the other areas in a Montessori classroom.  Activities could include spooning, using a ladle, pouring, scooping, and cutting.  This is by far the busiest area of a Montessori classroom.

 

Other activities include food preparation work,

and using tongs & tweezers

There are also washing activities, bubble making,

table setting, and water activities

 

 

 

All of the areas in a Montessori classroom contribute to the development of the whole child.  As stated before, not every Montessori classroom will be furnished and set-up exactly the same.  In quality, true to Montessori schools and classrooms, you will see similar setups and materials.  One of my favorite areas is the Practical Life Area, I like to come up with fun water work activities, food preparation works, and washing activities.  I like to add variety, and add activities that promote the individual needs of the children currently in my classroom.

 

 

 

Now can you see what all the hype is about?!  Trust me, the pictures just give you a small glimpse of what a Montessori environment looks like.  Can you imagine how wonderful it is to see the children actively working in a Montessori classroom…it’s PRICELESS!!

 

Anitra

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

10 back to school or homeschool activities to give your child a leg up on learning

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Whether your child is going back to public school, preschool, or it is time to get back to your homeschooling routine, it means that it is time for your child to buckle down and get back to the academics.  In most cases, the time your child spends at school or preschool is not enough for them to them to master, learn, and even practice many skills necessary for their academic success. Phonetic letter sound recognition, number recognition, the ability to communicate effectively & use problem solving skills, and fine motor skills are all important aspects that are customary for children to know and master.

 

 

 

 

 

I have parents all the time asking me if there is something that they could be working with at home with their child.  I normally tell them to have their child read (if they are a reader), and advise them of a few resources for them to possibly purchase and/or add to their home.  As a teacher, I do not have just one academic area that I find is important over another one.  In my opinion, they are all equally important, and play an important part in the development of the whole child.  It is important to incorporate all aspects of a child’s development, as well as finding ways to promote fine motor, cognitive skills, and critical thinking skills.  Trust me, no teacher would be disappointed to have a class of well rounded students!!

 

The activities I chose for the list are ones that can be used in a variety of ways and incorporated for use at home as extra support, for your homeschool, or in a classroom to enhance your curriculum.  I have direct knowledge and have used many of these items from the list in various ways either in my classroom or as an addition to my curriculum.

 

 

10 Activities that can used as extra support for your child’s academic learning

 

Add & Subtract Abacus

The Add & Subtract Abacus is for three to six year olds.  It comes with a wooden base and the double-sided wooden boards.  The colorful beads make it easy to distinguish between each of the numbers.  This work is a way to explore numbers, colors, patterns, addition, and subtraction!  It is very multi-functional.

     Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Alphabet Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have a colorful object for the corresponding letter sound on one side, and letters from A to Z on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!

Alphabet Puzzle Cards

The Alphabet Puzzle Cards are for four to six year olds.  The interlocking alphabet cards come in a great wooden box for easy storage.  The self correcting interlocking pieces insures that the puzzles are solved and matched correctly!  These puzzle cards promote independence and

Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets

The Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets are for three to six year olds.  There are fifty two magnetic upper and lower case letters, that can be used for spelling, stenciling, matching upper and lower case, and for building words!  These letter magnets are great for all kinds of language ideas!

Self-Correcting Number Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Number Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have colorful, objects on one side, and numbers from one to twenty on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!
World Map Floor Puzzle – 33 Pieces

The World Map Floor Puzzle is for six plus years old.  Although, we a little assistance, I don’t see why a four or a five year old couldn’t be successful with this puzzle.  The puzzle pieces are made with an easy, clean surface.  This puzzle map is perfect for introducing and learning about the continents of the world.

Turn & Tell Wooden Clock

The Turn & Tell Wooden Clock is for four to seven year olds.  The wooden base and large numbers make it easy for your child to be introduced to and practice telling time.  It has clickable hands to help mark off the minutes, it details hour, minute, half past, and quarter past.  There are also 13 double-sided time cards for practice as well!  This all-in-one clock is perfect for learning to tell time.

U.S.A. (United States) Map Floor Puzzle – 51 Pieces

The U.S.A. Map Floor Puzzle is also for six plus years old.  I believe that with a bit of assistance, a four or five year old would be able to do this puzzle in its entirety.  The extra thick puzzle pieces make this puzzle durable. This puzzle is great for introducing, learning, and studying all 50 States!

Magnetic Wooden Numbers

The Magnetic Wooden Numbers are for three to five year olds.  It comes with enough numbers to count from zero to twenty, and it includes five number signs as well!  These magnetic numbers can be used to introduce counting, number recognition, and simple addition & subtraction!

See & Spell Learning Toy

The See & Spell is for children four to six years old.  You can use the letters to spell the three and four letter puzzle words, spell other words, or use the letters as a stencil.  The cardboard puzzle boards and pieces are built for long lasting durability.  This is a spelling and fine motor activity wrapped into one!

 

 

Adding one or many of these activities to your child’s daily teachings will put your child on the right path to mastering many of the necessary skills needed for their future learning.  The activities are adaptable and allow for use in a classroom or homeschool environment, or just as a supplement at home for your child.

 

Anitra

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Favorite Book Friday's

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #5

Favorite Book Fridays is back again!

Looking for a favorite book to call your own?  Well, look no further!  This weekly series was created to assist you and hopefully your child in finding YOUR favorite book.  I don’t know about you, but this weekly series is a highlight of my week!

 

Each week, I find myself searching through my collection of books to find books that you may not be familiar with or that may not be as mainstream as other books by other authors.  One of my goals of this weekly series is to hopefully introduce you to a book that is new to you and your child and to promote a love of reading that will last into adulthood. This series is dear to me, as it really delves into my love of books, and the diversity and variety of books that are available out there for young children.  I am ecstatic to bring you this series every week, and I hope that you are enjoying this weekly series as much as I am!

 

Title: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Author: Simms Taback

Illustrator: Simms Taback

 

I came across this book in my early years of teaching.  It has an older, classic feel to it, but nonetheless, it has a catchy, lively story and eye-catching illustrations.  It has a great, practical lesson at the end, which I think is important for children to learn.  The story is about finding a way to be happy with what you have.  This book is a winner of the Caldecott Medal and the National Jewish Book Award for Children’s Picture Book.

 

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

 

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is a story about a Jewish farmer that has an overcoat.  His overchttps://chroniclesofamomtessorian.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1155&action=editoat get old and worn, and he decided to make something else out of it.  He continues to remake things from his overcoat; a jacket, a vest, a scarf, a neck tie, a handkerchief until  he ends up with just a button.  In the end, he loses his button; but concludes that “you can always make something out of nothing.”  The illustrations are very colorful and vibrant with the use of watercolors, collage, and die cut  imagery.  It is a method that is similar to that of the illustrations of Eric Carle and Leo Lionni.

 

I love the moral at the end of the story.  It is something that I feel everyone; children and adults, should learn.  It’s not always about what you have, it’s about making the most of what you have and finding a way to make something out of nothing!  This is something that can be used for various aspects of daily life, and I think that it is brilliant that it is taught in a book for young children!

 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

Anitra

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Back 2 School Montessori Extras

Back 2 School-The 4 Best Lunch Box Containers for Young Children

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

It is Back to School time! The early mornings, trying to get everyone out of the house on time, and making lunches.  Back to School means making and packing lunches. Whether you make and pack them at night or in the morning, it is still a chore to complete.  Making and packing lunches means endless amounts of zip loc baggies, tupperware containers, aluminum foil, ice packs and thermoses.  All the makings of a disaster for a teacher…let me explain.  In most, if not all, preschool (3 to 6 year old) classrooms in California, there can be a maximum of twenty four children and two teachers.  A ration of twelve to one.  If every child brings their lunch; all twenty four of them; that means that there are twenty four lunches that we have to help open.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, that’s my point!  I work in a private preschool, and at least eighty percent of the children in my classroom bring a lunch from home.

 

It is very difficult to work and teach at a school who’s philosophy is based on the independence of the children, when parents do not promote independence for their child when considering the containers and baggies they put in their lunches.  For example, I understand that placing sandwiches in zip loc baggies are convenient and cheap, but most parents do not take into consideration how difficult it is for young children to open the baggies on their own.  It is actually pretty difficult for them.  On the other side, using tupperware containers are not any easier, as they tend to have very difficult lids that are not necessarily child friendly and easy to open for small hands.  Even though aluminum foil and thermoses help keep food warm in instances when there is not a way to re warm food, but they tend to be equally as difficult for young children to open themselves.

 

I have noticed throughout the years that the above listed ways to pack a child’s lunch are not practical for young children who need to learn to open things themselves.  It is customary in my classroom, and in many Montessori classrooms, that children be able to at least try to open their containers and such at lunch time.  In most cases, many of the children are very eager and willing to open their own things, and do not want the help of the teachers.  They are building on their ability to be naturally independent and self sufficient.  It is an important part of the Montessori philosophy to promote their inner ability to be natural learners.

With that in mind, I have come up with a list of lunch containers that are ideal in promoting the independence of your child at lunch time, which in turn leads to being independent at other feeding times as well!  The below list are of items that children have had in my classroom over the past one to two years, and are, in my opinion, the best “child centered” products for promoting independent little learners!

 

4 Best Child Centered Lunch Containers

(Items listed are listed in no particular order)

 

 

1. Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bentgo Kids container is a popular one.  It has two easy to open snap tabs, and the multiple compartments allows you to provide a variety of lunch choices for your child.  It also comes in more colors for your child to choose from.  They are durable & leak proof; and the inner tray is microwave and dishwasher safe.  The outside has rubber coated edges for maximum durability, and it even comes with a free downloadable eCookbook!

 

2. Lunchbots Stainless Steel Lunch Container

The Lunchbots lunch container is also a popular choice.  It has an easy to open lid, and similar to the Bentgo box, it has multiple compartments to allow for a variety of food choices for your child.  The durable stainless steel is built for long term usage.  It is dishwasher safe, and also comes in a trio; with two different varieties for the trio box!

 

3. OmieBox Bento Lunch Box

The OmieBox lunch box comes with a kid thermos that is insulated.  It opens easy, as does the lunch box itself with a snap lid.  It also has multiple compartments to provide a variety of food choices as well.  The leak proof, double walled, air insulated lunch box can be used for hot or cold foods, and the insulated thermos will keep food hot for up to four hours!

 

 

4. Zojirushi Mr. Bento Lunch Jar

The Zojirushi Mr. Bento lunch jar is by far the most convenient one for keeping foods hot.  It comes with four smaller insulated containers with lids, that are easily stored inside the jar.  It can keep food hot (or cold) for up to six hours!  It is vacuum insulated stainless steel, with microwavable food bowls.  The bowls come in different sizes, and the jar itself comes in a variety of colors. It even comes with a convenient carrying bag!

 

All of the lunch containers will provide opportunities for your child to practice their fine motor skills.  It also gives them an opportunity to be independent.  Any activities that aid in your child being self sufficient and independent will in the long run lead to them being confident and autonomous in the future, and on in to adulthood.  Come on, now who doesn’t want their young child to be more independent?!

 

Looking for more Back 2 School posts?  All through the month of August I will be bringing you posts giving you Back 2 School tips! Enjoy!

Anitra

 

 

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Favorite Book Friday's

Edward the Emu

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #4

 

Favorite Book Fridays is becoming one of my favorite topics to write about!  I am having a great time sharing my favorite books with everyone, and I am getting great feedback on the books that have been featured on the weekly series.  This weeks choice is a good one as well; it will not disappoint!  I read this book earlier this week in my classroom as a part of our study of Australasia (the continent of Australia, the island of New Zealand, and Papau New Guinea).  We learned about the animals of Australasia.

 

A change in your regularly scheduled programming…

This weeks Favorite Book Friday will feature two books!  That’s right, every once in awhile I will feature two books on Favorite Book Fridays!  The two books featured are books that have a part 2 or a “to be continued” book that follows the first book.  I am excited to share with you the first of the two book features.  I hope you enjoy them both as much as I do!

 

Title: Edward the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

I first stumbled upon this book back when I first started teaching, over 17 years ago.  The story itself is about accepting who you are, and being comfortable who you are.  I especially enjoy the clever, rhyming text that is catchy and fun.  The pictures are some of the favorites in all of the hundreds of books I own.  They are drawn with such character, details, and with vivid colors.

Edward the Emu

Edward is an Emu that lives in a zoo.  He gets bored being an emu, so he decides to go and be other animals in the zoo.  He becomes a seal for a day, a lion for a day, and a snake for a day.  Then he finds that the emus are what most people come to the zoo to see, and decides that he should be an emu again.  But, when he gets back to his den he notices that he’s been replaced…by another emu!  Edward the Emu has a good life lesson on confidence and self esteem, and reminds you to love yourself, just the way we are!

 

But wait…there’s more!

 

And if Edward the Emu wasn’t great enough…there is Edwina the Emu!!!  Edwina is the emu that was brought in to take Edward’s place once he went missing in the zoo. The story is just as well written as Edward the Emu, with the same rhyming, catchy text and the amazing illustrations.  I think that the illustrations in both books are magnificent!

 

Title: Edwina the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

 

Edwina the Emu

 

Edwina and Edward enjoy the zoo, and one day Edwina announces that she has laid ten eggs!  They decide that Edward will stay home and sit on the eggs while Edwina goes out to find a job.  She tries being a ballerina, a chimney sweeper, and a waitress, but to no avail.  After not being good at any of the jobs, sh then she figures out what her job should be…a mother!

 

Both of these books will surely have you wanting more.  They both are great additions to any classroom, teacher, home school, or child library!  I hope that you enjoy them both as much as I do.

 

Until next week, Happy Reading!

Anitra

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