Editor, momstown Belleville
Teaching 'Under the Sea' in a Montessori way is easy! Here are some ideas:
Ocean Montessori tray: Get the fish to the ocean
A big part of Montessori learning, is to teach children the idea of the left to right transferring sequence in preparation for reading (left to right). Tweezers are used to assist fine motor development and pencil control skills. Also, trays are used for Montessori activities in order to define a child's work space when sitting at a table, and also to teach responsibility of cleaning up our own messes, as well as grace and courtesy when carrying a tray, and putting things back in an orderly fashion. Since the bowl on the right would be filled with water, I would add a cloth to this activity, so that children would be encouraged to clean up their own water spills, and to take care of their environment and space.
Ocean Montessori tray: Counting sea glass
This is classified as a Montessori math activity. The jar on the left is filled with ocean rocks, and is to be used as counters with the sandpaper number cards on the right. The Montessori approach uses sandpaper numbers in order to encourage the child to use their tactile memory when tracing the numbers (in the right sequence for printing them), so they are able to better remember the number symbols. They would count out the proper number of ocean gems to go with each sandpaper number in order to learn quantity along with the number symbol.
Montessori Language Tray: Sandpaper Letters, Sand Tray, Nomenclature Cards
This Montessori language activity, helps the child to learn how to print letters by tracing them in proper sequence, using either sandpaper letters, or, in this case, a sand tray. I would help guide the child's fingers in order to trace the letters in the proper way. I would accompany this language tray with either object boxes (for example, one box containing all sea animals that start with the letter 'o'), or nomenclature cards, such as the free ones found on the website link below.
Montessori Sea Life Sensory Box
This Sensory Box has crinkle paper, beans, small blue and green pasta, blue sand and sea life creatures. There are scoops, buckets and tongs for the kids to explore and practice scooping, tonging and tweezing skills in order to enhance their fine motor and small muscle skills development.
Make Your Own Ocean Scene – Montessori Style
To make your own ocean scene, you will need:
Allow your child to stick the sea print cards into the foam block in order to make their own ocean scene. This activity provides opportunities for fine motor development, creativity, cognitive development, language development (learning the names of the sea creatures), and will go over well with your youngsters!
These are just a few of the many Montessori-inspired activities that you can do at home with your preschoolers! Your children will love them, as they are interactive and incorporate all learning styles, as well as multi-sensory learning! Check out the links below for more ideas or references to the above Montessori activities and websites!
SOURCES FOR INFORMATION:
Lana Kelly( B.A, SSW, ECE, Montessori). For 20 years, Lana has been dedicated to helping children and families. In 2010, she published a book (The Sheepish Lamb) , aimed at building resilience to childhood anxiety. She is a mom to four daughters, and values her faith and family solidarity.