It seems that learning is more fun when you have accessories! If you read my blog, you know my affinity to thrift stores for many DIY Montessori type learning materials.
I found these cheap little stamps a while back & then I happened to come across this book a few months later (under $4 for all). Perfecto. Let's learn about animal tracks.
We matched the track stamp to the animal it belonged to.
We talked and read about each one as we went.
Then, we stamped a page full of tracks & after, tried to recall what animal they belonged to without looking at the book.
Here's another one we did on the cheap.
Thrift store coloring books (new) and thrift store plastic animals (washed first, of course).
We matched 'em up with coloring pages from the book.
We read about each animal (short info on each) from an animal dictionary we had on hand.
Then we studied the similarities between the toy animal and the animal on the coloring sheet. There were three kiddos, so we sat in a circle and rotated animals and sheets so that everyone could closely inspect each one.
Lastly, we colored our pages!
This activity from beginning to end was 30 minutes. This is great concentration for toddlers!
For those who wonder, no I don't shop all the time (even though I'd really like to), or really even think these activities out to great detail ahead of time. They just eventually match up and I try to work them in when I can.
I go to a thrift store or dollar store about once every couple of months (if I'm needing fresh material). I have my eyes open for learning materials in the categories of (Practical Life, Sensory, Language, Math, Botany/Science/Nature...). I also 'google' for ideas- and I spy on the expensive Montessori materials to find a way to make our own version.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?