Making a Rainbow

Pouring water

To explore Carter’s interest in rainbows a little more, I came up with this simple activity for him to be able to make his own (while working those fine muscles and following a process at the same time).

Included on this tray is: a bottle of water, 4 plastic bowls, a basket with coffee filters cut in half to make rainbow shapes (the really big ones would work better but I wasn’t able to find them), a dropper and an old dark-colored kitchen towel (for absorbing extra water through the filter).  Food coloring drops were also used, but this was a mommy only materials because of their clothes staining properties.

As with all his activities, I first let him watch me go through the process.  I took the materials off of the tray, spread out the towel, laid out a coffee filter, added a few drops of coloring to each bowl, poured each cup half full of water and used the dropper to drop colors onto the towel.  Then, I modeled how to clean it all up before letting Carter give it a try.

 

The last activity we did with water was Pouring.  I made the mistake of walking away for a few minutes to use the restroom.  When I returned, he was attempting to pour all the colored water back into the bottle resulting in a pretty big mess.  My go-to reaction would be “NOOOO! Don’t do that.”  But, I’m reading and learning more about the Montessori method all the time.  If a child doesn’t reach mastery, correction and drawing attention to their mistakes is not appropriate.  Instead I helped him clean up and told him that we would try it again on another day, making a note of what steps to demonstrate again the next time he chooses to make a rainbow.

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!

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Sorting by Color

A few days ago we saw a rainbow after a spring storm.  I’m sure it wasn’t the first one he’s seen, but it’s the first one that made a big impression on him.  I’ve added a few rainbow activities for the last part of this month and our study of the weather.

To make this one, dig through your craft bins and locate those colored pom poms.  Though I’d love to use some creative and more attractive containers, these leftovers from my homemade baby food making days work nicely.  Add colored construction paper circles in the bottoms of the small bowls and a pair of tongs, and you have a sorting and fine motor activity.  This activity has been on our shelf for two days now and I’m sure that Carter chooses to complete it a few times a day.  I woke this morning to find him sitting as his small table sorting pom poms.

 

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!

March Language and Pre-Writing Materials

Water Cycle Mini-Book

I love this little book for Carter!  It follows the journey of a raindrop throughout the water cycle.  We started reading it once a day this past Saturday.  When it began raining yesterday he made the connection and said, “I guess the water got too heavy to stay in the cloud.”  That one innocent sentence out of my son’s mouth is just a small example of what makes all this worth it to me.  It’s the “thanks” that he would never think to say on his own.

I printed this book from the weather unit on KidsSoup, cut it apart, made a front and a back cover out of construction paper, got it laminated, punched holes and used book rings to hold it all together.  |Let me just insert here a little promo for KidsSoup – yes, it requires a membership fee.  But, it’s $25/year, which boils down to just over $2/month.  That is peanuts for all you get: printable activities, mini-books, art ideas, book ideas, poetry.  If I were to put Carter in Montessori school, it would cost $400/month.  For that, I can do a lot for a lot less (considering I work for free!).|

 

Pre-Writing Sheets

Before children can write, they must first build the muscles in their fingers.  They do this through coloring, tracing, gripping a writing tool and manipulating small objects.  These weather-themed sheets were printed from KidsSoup and ask Carter to trace the raindrops and umbrellas in the first one and to trace the letters of the color words in the second (in the correct color, which Carter didn’t do the first time, as you can see).  Rather than printing multiples copies for repeat use, I had them laminated.  Carter can write on them and then wipe it off to do again later.

 

Matching - Weather and Clothing

These Matching cards were printed from KidsSoup, but I later found a free version based on the seasons from Montessori for Everyone that I like even better.  I love that they always use photographs of real images rather than illustrations.  Many of their materials are on my Wish List!

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!