Monthly Archives: August 2017

Pendulum Art

This is almost too much fun.  Pendulum Art….combining the science of motion and gravity with the art of painting. The set up is easy, string some twine or yarn through a styrofoam cup, fix the string to a broom suspended between two chairs, lay paper on the ground, poke a small hole through the cup bottom an pour in some paint.  Let your child move the cup and learn how pendulums work and make some pretty neat art.  The more detailed instructions can be found at https://handmadekidsart.com/pendulum-painting/

Happy Painting!

Disappearing Egg

This is a tried and tested activity, and the kids that tried it (aged two to six) thought it”crazy” “cool” and “neat”. This project only takes time, an egg, vinegar and a jar. Soak an egg in vinegar overnight. It will swell and the shell will deteriorate. You can rinse the remaining shell off, or leave the egg to soak more. The egg is still very fragile with only the membrane protecting it, but you can bounce it a little, and feel the rubbery texture. You can even have children guess from how high you can drop it before it busts.

Rock Stamps

Blending nature and art is a favorite toddler activity, and this is no exception.  The “easy factor” of this craft is off the charts, and the options are as endless as your sticker and rock supply.  To make the stamps, find flat rocks, preferably river rock style so they are smooth.  Pick up a bag of the foam stickers (our local box store carries animals, letters, and other foam shapes).  Fix the stickers to the rocks and just add color!  For more detailed instructions and fun tips, check below!

 

Fun Tip:  use washable markers for your ink and your stamp can print a couple colors at once.  This is perfect for flowers and stars.

Rock Stamps

Lemon Volcano

This is a fun activity to do with the kids. It does require some adult prep, but the effort is minimal. Lemon volcanoes, combining smell, science and fun all in one lesson. The instructions are below, and more detailed information and fun tips are on the website.

 

  • Step One (Adults only) Prep your lemon by slicing the bottom off to make them sit flat. Flip the lemon over and slice out the core. If you are making an open faced volcano, slice the lemon in half.
  • Step Two Prepare extra lemon juice by slicing a second lemon in half and juicing it. Pour juice into a cup and set aside.
  • Step Three Place your cored lemon on a tray. Use your craft stick to mush the center of the lemon and bring out the juices. Be sure to keep the juice in the lemon!
  • Step Four Place a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors (do not dilute) in the center of the lemon.
  • Step Five Add in a good squeeze of dish soap to the lemon. This is not necessary but causes the bubbles to ooze and froth more and longer.
  • Step Six Add a spoonful of baking soda into the lemon. It should start to fizz. Take your craft stick and stir the lemon and lemon juice. It should start foaming really well as you stir it!
  • Step Seven To keep the reaction going alternatively add more baking soda, coloring, dish soap and the reserved lemon juice to the reaction. Squeezing the lemon to release the juices also enhances the reaction. Or if you are like my kids, just stick your whole hand in there and give it a good squeeze.

Science Activity for Kids: Lemon Volcano

Exploration Sets

In almost all our classrooms you can find exploration sets or bead counting trays. They are pretty little wooden trays that make grabbing small objects, classifying and counting them much easier and structured for little hands.  If you are looking for a fun way to do this at home, you need look no further than your refrigerator.  Myhomemademanipulatives.blogspot.com has a couple different fun ideas for how to do this and different activities, and you can see a sampling of one below.  If you would like more tips on how to set these up on a budget, follow the link!

 

http://myhomemademanipulatives.blogspot.com/2011/03/rock-and-shell-exploration-egg-carton.html

Montessori and STEM

Every few years, certain buzzwords begin circulating throughout the education communities. Most recently, it’s STEM. For those not familiar with the concept, STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  The wonderful part for us is we already do a lot of these activities in our everyday teaching.  The North American Montessori Center says it best:  “Beginning in the Montessori preschool environment, students learn the fundamental rules of math and science through the discovery of natural laws through manipulation of didactic materials and problem-solving with peers. The work engages the senses and insures the internalization of concepts, not just memorization of disjointed facts and figures. Through the Montessori concept of Cosmic Education, the curriculum reinforces that everything is interrelated; students see how math and science work harmoniously in nature, like in the Fibonacci sequence.”


We love guiding children through practical and real life situations to help them learn about their world.  The Montessori method of teaching and learning has always been a hands on and fluid dynamic, making STEM activities a wonderful complement to the classroom.

 

Play Is The Work Of The Child

One of August’s themes for our school is to study Maria Montessori. Who she was, what she taught, and her value of children. We study her because it is her model we follow so closely.  A favorite quote, and one that circulates often, is “play is the work of the child.” This quote drives much of what we do, from setting up classrooms to building lesson plans to how we set up the playground and choose outdoor toys.  Children learn about their world by playing, so play is their work.   Toys are not toys, but tools to help the child explore their world and learn.  They learn counting, practical life, and colors, just to name a small amount, all with tools designed for them.